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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Dinner Theater Magic Show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jonathandupree
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Hey guys, I just wanted to share an idea that I have been working on and it is working for me. Something you might want to try. I realize that in a difficult economy you need to think creatively and outside the box to generate new business.

So here is what I did. I decided I wanted to put on a dinner theater magic show but I did not want to pay for a room, advertising, or promotion. I racked my brain and thought, "Who already has a database of people they can advertise to and needs to get people to come?" How can I create a win-win for someone?

Then it hit me, I went to a country club where my son has swim meets. They have a restaurant and a banquet room. I met with the owner and shared my idea - here is what we agreed upon. . .

He will promote the dinner theater to his members. We set a price for the dinner and the show and are splitting the tickets 50 / 50. The guest will have dinner in the restaurant where I will perform walk-around magic. Then they will move into the banquet room / theater and we will give them an opportunity to buy drinks from the cash bar before the show. ( more $$ for the club owner )

I will then do an hour long comedy magic show. After the show, the bar will remain open and so will my Back of the Room magic shop. There is nothing like this in our city. This is geared as a date night for adults, not children.

We are also promoting a magic camp the week after the dinner theater for the club members kids. This will take place from 10 am to 3 pm and will be during the first week of Christmas break. (Just a 1 day camp) Parents feel safe dropping their kids off at the country club, lunch will be provided and the parents can go do some Christmas shopping. This time we are not splitting 50 / 50. The club will get $10 per kid and I will get the rest. Smile

The club owner was very excited I approached him. You see, tons of business owners are looking for creative ways to generate more business right now.

One more note, I did call in a few favors from people I have worked with in the past, charity events, who have connections with the media. I am going to be on two of the local morning talk news shows to promote the dinner theater as it is also going to be open to the public.

So my risk is basically zero. Just my time. Hope this helps give you some ideas. I am going to be making notes through out this process and am going to model it at other country clubs if it goes like I believe it will.

I will keep you posted.

Jonathan Dupree
MagicB1S
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Good Luck with your Show, I will like to hear how this goes for you. After visiting Florida and seeing the Dinner theater show in wonder works I also thought this could go over well near me, I just haven't pursued it yet. Maybe someday I will put it all together
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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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John Kaplan, has an excellent Called Night Magic

Also do a search in Google for "Night Magic by John Kaplan"

Its a great idea and works well.
Dennis Michael
Mindpro
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This is a longtime standard, which has seemed to fall out of favor in recent years. John's Night Magic program took it to the next level. The magic camp idea is also a great addition. I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted as how things go. These are typically very difficult to make any real money with but you have so many other ways to gain from these type of self-produced/promoted events such as the radio and newspaper press coverage, BOR sales, and mostly from other companies that book their company events at the country club that the venue can refer you for. Is the event also open to the public as well as members? I'm assuming so if you're promoting via public medias. This may be your saving grace and normally a clubs membership is limited and rarely is enough to generate big profits. Sounds exciting!
jonathandupree
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Yes this event is open to the public. I will keep you posted as to how it turns out. I will also let you guys know if it is profitable or not.
Ola
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The ideas works a treat if the venue is 100% committed.
I've had 2 venues in the last year that have let me down BIG on the marketing of the evening. They didn't even bother sending out a "newsflash" to their email database. :-(

My suggestion: Go for it!!! But... help promote the event as much as you can. Send press releases / put up posters / call radio stations etc.... If you are working with a great venue you have just dubbled the marketing efforts. If the venue lets you down... you still have your name out there and bums on seats.

Have Fun!
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JamesinLA
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What are the ticket prices?

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Dennis Michael
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Ticket prices depend on how much the organization wants to raise. $40.00 a person for a dinner and show is not bad. Remember it is a fundraiser and there are other methods such as a program with ads can increase the funds, as well as 50/50 drawings, door prize, or even limited ticket drawing says with nice cash prizes.

Our local church sells 100 tickets at $100 each. If it is a sell out that's $10,000 dollars with 50% going to the church and nice top cash prizes. 1-$3,000 1-$1,000 and 2-$500 prizes. If it isn't a sellout they work with what they got.
Dennis Michael
Bill Hegbli
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How did this go from a profit making event for the Country Club and magician to a 'Fund Raiser' event.

The original post did not mention anything about a fund raiser event. His suggestion was a way to get yourself working and making money at performing magic for a living or extra income.

He split it 2 ways, the country club, the magician, if you add a charity, then it becomes totally not profitable to even bother.
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Dennis Michael
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Fund raisers are not necessary charities. However, it is easier to sell "Night Magic" If the entertainer gets their fee and the organization makes money too.

One would need to read John Kaplan's Night Magic Program to fully understand how to make 100,000 dollars a year doing this type of program.

The low-end country clubs near me charge the member $75 per dinner twice a year whether you go or not. They can afford a magician, and not do a fund raiser.

Fundraiser doesn't mean a charity. It can be used to raise money for a specific project, like uniforms, or building a new clubhouse. The list of possibilities is hugh.
Dennis Michael
jonathandupree
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Well the Dinner Theater is coming up and it will be a complete sell out. We have already booked two more dinner theaters at the same country club for Valentines weekend. We will run two nights since this first show sold out so quickly. Tickets were $40 per person and they will get a salad, choice of Pasta, Redfish, or Steak dinner, dessert, and non alcoholic drinks, walk around magic during dinner and the main show.

I am splitting the ticket sales 50/50 with the club. 50 tickets = $2,000 - $1,000 for the club and $1,000 for me plus back of the room sales ( probably another $700 to $1000) so I think my first dinner theater is successful.

BTW, I spent ZERO on advertising. I had a great friend who does graphic design make me a very nice poster and another great friend make a great logo for me. (Both are members on the Café and they do awesome work) I got a magazine to run a free full-page ad for me, and I got the local morning show to let me perform some magic and promote the show.

The Club owner is very excited about the success of the event.

And this was not a fundraiser or charity event. All about providing a great night of food and entertainment and making it a win win for me and the club.

Hope this gives you guys some ideas of getting into another venue you might not have thought of. I attached a photo of the poster and will also post a picture of the logo.

Click here to view attached image.
jonathandupree
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Bill Hegbli
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It is nice your idea came together and looks like it will be a success. The holidays I am sure helped with the success of booking the event as a sell out.

I wish you success in your performance and thanks for the idea.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
jonathandupree
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I appreciate that. Thanks again!
MichaelDouglas
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Great idea. I wish you the best. Let us know how it goes.
Mindpro
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Congratulations Jonathan, sounds like a winner!
rockthemike
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Congrats Jon!
Could you post a larger version of your poster please?
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JamesinLA
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How did the evening go?

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
jonathandupree
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It was a great success / complete sell out. Have another diner theater in oklahoma city next sunday night. It is also sold out.
David Thiel
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Outstanding idea! Thank you for sharing it.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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