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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Having a Party Planner/Agent?!? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mando
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Just out of curiosity I have had a party planner/agent for kids parties contact me wanting to work with me but I never really had any experience with this sort of thing.

How do you guys go about it? Do you give them a higher rate to sell your show or shows? or do you give them a reduced rate so they can have more room to work with?

Do you give out your promotional business cards at the events or no?


Armando
Mindpro
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Typically agents and event planners expect agency rates which are less than your normal rate. The idea is that that they will incur possible time and expense in representing you, and since they hope to get you multiple and repeat bookings, they expect a discount. This also allows them to make a profit - after all they're in it to make money too and trying to operate a business.

No, you should not hand out YOUR cards at an event that they book you on, you should hand out THEIR business cards, promo, etc. and refer them to your rep.

Many agents will drop you like a hot potato if they find you soliciting or handing our your own promotional materials. Hope this helps.
Mando
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MindPro thanks for the info, sounds great.

I would also like to ask magicians that do use agents/partyplanners how much do they usually reduce their magic show price by?


Armando
TonyB2009
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Mindpro is spot-on with the advice. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Typically I give a fifteen per cent cut. If they then add a bit to my standard price someone who orders through the agency might pay a bit more than if they went to me direct, but nothing outrageous. The agent gets a reasonable cut, and I get most of my fee. Everyone is happy. Other guys might do it differently, but I suspect not much differently.
Al Angello
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Working with an agent can be a beautiful thing. It can also be a very bad thing. You have to be careful that they are not making more money from your gigs than you do. I have cultivated a working relationships with several honest agencies that make money for both of us, also sitting around the house and getting bookings over the phone is a beautiful thing. Lots of times my agents will tell me that a potential customer has budgeted more money for my show than I usually get.

I have also been contacted by agencies that offered me a 50/50 split. The agencies that I work with get 15%, or 20% commission.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mando
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Thanks for the advice tony b about the 15 percent, and thanks angello as well.

Anybody else care to share?


Armando
Al Angello
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Armando please call me Al
It is best that you ask the agency what their commission is, and if you find out that they are actuall making more then that you should speak up. Of course if an agency is geting you double your usual fee, and taking 25% then it is your call.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mando
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Gladly Al,

Well the agent that contacted me is a solo agent . doesn't work
With an agency or company
Al Angello
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Armando please call me Alfonso
I work with several house wife agents. It doesn't matter how big they are it matters how honest they are. I just booked the biggest job of my life from a couple who works out of their kitchen. The job they booked me for is three hours of walk around a day for 16 consecutive days.

Size does't matter
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Starrpower
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You are over-thinking this.

I tell the planner or agent what I charge. They know their business and what they think they can get; they will tell you how they'd like to proceed. Some will add their fee on top of yours, others will take their fee OUT of yours. Still others might ask you if you could take $XXX if it will close the deal.

Like anything, it's negotiable. Work with them. If they WON'T work with you, you probably don't want to work FOR them. Follow your instincts.
Al Angello
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Yea
What Starr said.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mando
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Your right starr, thanks for the advice

Armando
Mindpro
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Quote:
On 2011-04-02 12:08, Starrpower wrote:
You are over-thinking this.

I tell the planner or agent what I charge. They know their business and what they think they can get; they will tell you how they'd like to proceed. Some will add their fee on top of yours, others will take their fee OUT of yours. Still others might ask you if you could take $XXX if it will close the deal.

Like anything, it's negotiable. Work with them. If they WON'T work with you, you probably don't want to work FOR them. Follow your instincts.

Be careful with this, as you are more than likely setting yourself up for a situation that often works against you. I feel it's best to give them your agency rate and not be too open to being negotiable on your pricing or you will soon find yourself as they guy they go to for budget gigs and become known as the guy they can get to be flexible on your rates (over and over again). This opens the door for your getting burned and this coming back to haunt you. The other thing that often happens when they understand you will be flexible is that they will often charge their normal price and pocket a larger amount for the booking since you are willing to take less. Plus it is almost impossible to ever go back and ask for more money or even your regular rate once they know you as being the "negotiable or flexible guy.".
Al Angello
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I have had agents that took advantage of my honesty, but not for long. If you are always honest you never have to cover your tracks.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Starrpower
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Based on my experience, I have to disagree. I only work with about 4 agencies on a regular basis, and I have no problem being upfront and honest. One in particular is very straight with me; he tells me when he can get MORE money for me, and will also tell me when he thinks he needs some wiggle room. If it was always "You gotta go lower to get this," then I might agree. But this is not the case.

My personal philosophy has been to assume most people are going to be honest. Will I get taken? Perhaps ... but not often. If I get a sense someone is trying to screw me, I simply won't work with them.

Call me naive if you'd like, but I think life is just to short to go through it assuming everyone is out to get me.
Al Angello
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You gotta go with your gut feeling here. An agency called me up last week that I haven't heard from in two years. I have no idea what commission they extract, but I do remember that they always get me twice my regular fee, so I bid the gig accordingly.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mindpro
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I say good for you to anyone that has only had good, reputable experiences. I wish it was always that way or at least more often. I guess having been a performer now for thirty five years and having worked with agencies and event planners nationwide and a few out of the country, I may have had a few more bad experiences than many. But Al & Starrpower is right, when you find the good ones, you establish and build a great relationship and they will serve you for years to come with returns over and over again. Some find a handful of these good ones and only work with them and not even seek further representation.

I also work with specialty agencies that specialize in only certain markets such as fairs & festivals, colleges, coporate, schools, and comedy, rather than general or full service agencies.
Al Angello
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Mindpro
I am a Philadelphia area family entertainer, my wife insists that I sleep at home every night. I have turned down Cruise Ship work. We are not in the same league.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mando
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Do you guys wait till a party planner calls you or do you give then a call?
Mindpro
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Gotcha, your wife is smart!
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