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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Hotel Rates - How do you include them in your fee? ( if needed) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of poofersmagic
Hi All!

I was just wondering how you all figure in hotel rates into your fees. Do you look before you accept the booking at what the rates are? Do you book a hotel first and then call the client back? What is a good way to do this? Kyle and I just booked a 3 day event, and luckily we don't have this problem, but I am just wondering how we can go about this for future reference. What works best? Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Kelly Peron
Magician and Magical Partner
Jim Snack
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Profile of Jim Snack

It really depends upon the type of client I am dealing with.

If I am working for a corporate client I will often quote a fee that includes all travel expenses EXCEPT hotel which I stipulate be direct billed to the client's master account.

A corporate meeting planner will have an account with a hotel sales office and my hotel room will show up on their bill along with the other expenses for the meeting.

The advantage of this method is that I don't have to invoice them later for travel expenses and the client knows up front what the expenses will be. Furthermore, they sometimes can negotiate a better rate on the room than I can, and might even have a complimentary room available that they can use.

Disadvantages of this method: 1) in most cases I don't get the reward points 2) often the hotel front desk will screw up the billing because they don't have a credit card imprint. Then they ask me for my credit card at check-in - only for incidental purchases, so they say. As soon as it goes into their computer system it cancels the original method of payment and I end up getting charged and have to invoice the client later.

Yesterday, I sent a third invoice to a client trying to collect $95 for a hotel room from last month that was supposed to be direct billed, but the meeting planner messed it up. It's just not worth the hassle. Of course that was a government agency so it doesn't surprise me.

Regarding government clients, they usually can't re-imburse for any amount over the government rate, something I can't get if I make the reservation myself as I am not a government employee. So whenever I deal with a government client, I expect problems.

My advice: Ask your client if they would prefer an all inclusive fee quote that includes all travel including hotel or being billed for travel expenses separately. I just hate doing invoices later so I prefer the all inclusive method, and some clients prefer it also.

Jim Snack

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Mr Amazeo
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186 Posts

Profile of Mr Amazeo
I charge a base show fee plus expenses. Hotels aren't as big of a variable as air travel. I give them an estimate at first and then I get back to them with a solid quote. Or, more often than not, I can do a turnkey quote which includes everything - which seems to be the popular choice with meeting planners. They prefer one price to cover everything - less paperwork on both ends.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Profile of Donald Dunphy
Kelly -

I probably run things more like you and Kyle, with regards to certain aspects of my business.

In just about every case, where I have to stay out of town, I ask the customer to provide me hotel or motel accomodations. Sometimes I like to stay at a bed and breakfast instead.

I tell the customer my needs (non smoking, no pets, larger bed for my height, quiet room -- not above a night club, secure, prefer first floor -- to avoid carrying all the equipment a long way, etc.), and they take care of it. Sometimes it helps to put this in writing. Done correctly, it doesn't come across as demanding, especially if you give reasons for your requests.

I have never had to give my credit card info to the hotel or motel for incidentals.

Often, if they are a school or a festival, they can get the hotel or motel room donated to them because of connections they have.

Be sure to ask your customer for full info, so you can do the reservation confirmation call, etc.

In a select few cases, I arrange the accomodations myself, and build that into the fee. Usually at a bed and breakfast.

This has been my experience. It might vary for others.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
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Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
Our performance agreements with our clients are stated with our performing fee plus expenses, which are agreed upon signing. They include travel, hotels and food.

Occasionally we will get the expense check and handle the hotel ourselves, typically for hotels while traveling to the venue. Most of the time for hotels during the show, we have it set up where the client handles it. Ensure that they have pre paid and have guaranteed late check in. You don't want to check into the hotel after the show only to find out they gave your room to someone else.

Hope that helps.


P.S. We look forward to seeing you and Kyle at our shows at the PA state fair.
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Doug Arden
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885 Posts

Profile of Doug Arden
My contracts are also stated with the fee plus all expenses including hotels, meals, air fare and ground transportation. The clients pay for this so I don't have to invoice them at a later date. I personally like this much better than sending recepts and waiting for payment.

I have them provide me with confirmation numbers for hotels and rental cars so I don't run into the problem of those not being available when I arrive. They also send an electronic ticket for the air fare so I know that's been taken care of as well. The meals are simply charged to my room.
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New York, New York
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Profile of nucinud
I give the client a choice. Either let them book the hotel or pay me back the exact costs. Their choice. And I always get a 50% deposit on the show fee plus estimated expenses (including ground transportation, airfare, hotel and meals).
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.

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Harry Mandel
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Thanks all this is great information and I thank you for being so kind to Kelly and offering her sound advice. I have not really had to do this that often in the past as our festival and fairs we perform at have always usually been 1 or 2 day events that is within our driving zone so that we can sleep in our own bed at night.

However, we are finding that our show is growing as is the markets that we perform for. Because of these larger multiple day Fairs and such, we are finding this is becoming more of a concern and issue for us and we want to address it in the best way possible.

Your thoughts are a lot in line with some of my own and I thank you for it. I am thinking that I like the idea of doing a one fee price mentioned on my contract that covers everything from the show package to meals, travel, gas and hotel. This gives them one sum and it becomes an easy choice for them to agree upon. I also means one check and one invoice as opposed to multiple ones.

It also give me the freedom of being able to stay where we want to stay and we have control knowing for sure that we have a hotel room without hoping that the client has it covered for us.

This fee would all be stated to them in the contract in advance and signed by the client long before we do the event. If they in return say they can give us a hotal room for free etc. then we can certainly talk to them about doing that as an alternative.

These are great thoughts and certainly has me thinking in the right way that may work best for Kelly and I and the clients we serve. Thanks guys.

Kyle Peron

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