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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Top 3 tips for booking daycares? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MJE
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I haven't done daycares in many years, but have been considering doing a few again in this, my semi-retirement. They are usually a lot of fun, actually. Sure, there are horror stories, but I always played well with the kids and they really "got it." It's definitely not for everyone.

I was just watching a segment of the Magic Master Summit going on for four days. There are two guys talking about doing daycare shows at this time. As usual, the subject of pricing came up. Also as usual, the answer was evasive. It does seem to be a big secret.

I do know that about 20 years ago, the budget was established as $50. A major chain decided on that and all other chains jumped on it. Now, 20 years is a fairly long time, but I bet the situation isn't a whole lot better. But, how does one know? By charging an exceptionally low fee, it hurts the entire business. By charging too much, you're just spinning your wheels.

I've heard this topic come up on occasion and every time pricing comes up, whoever is being consulted or interviewed gives a non-answer. It's not good. I understand that there may be some embarrassment about low fees, but hiding the information perpetuates keeping the fees low, as well as having good performers waste marketing time with unreasonable fees.

I'm not surprised that this question was evaded in today's seminar, but I am disappointed. I know that performers, including myself, were waiting to hear this answer. What we got was the same ol' story.
MichaelCGM
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2016, MJE wrote:
I've heard this topic come up on occasion and every time pricing comes up, whoever is being consulted or interviewed gives a non-answer. It's not good. I understand that there may be some embarrassment about low fees, but hiding the information perpetuates keeping the fees low, as well as having good performers waste marketing time with unreasonable fees.


It's not that big of a secret. As David said above (2011), "Keep the price low -- roughly around what you'd charge for a birthday party." That's exactly what I do in my area, Metro Oklahoma City. There are some magicians that still (fifty years later) do some shows for $50, including birthday shows. Of course, they know better than I, the value of their show. And there are others who offer lower than usual rates for certain groups, including day cares. I offer a special rate for Seniors and Retirement homes, as my way of giving back to the community. But my rate for day cares is $150. That's the same rate I charge for a local, indoor, at home birthday party for up to 30 people. (Non-holiday dates of course.)

Does that help?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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MJE
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2016, MichaelCGM wrote:
Does that help?


It certainly does! Of course, you are one guy in one market, but I would guess that it's pretty uniform nationwide.

I was thinking that my math was off, so I looked it up. It was actually 24 years ago that I was dealing with the $50 ceiling. As mentioned, it was just ONE chain that decided on that and everyone else fell into line. In my case, I was a registered vendor with three large chains, so booking was a fairly simple matter. Everyone in that business knows everyone else (or used to, at least) and that price cap quickly caught on with the independent facilities, as well.

Since I haven't done anything in that market for over two decades, I'll need to write a couple of shows if I choose to jump back in. That will be fun in itself. It's great that you are in there doing it. Those shows can be a real blast with the summer school-age kids!
MichaelCGM
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I agree that it is just one market. I know that other areas pay better for birthday parties, but OKC has more opportunities. I also find that certain types of businesses DO try to set the standard for what they will pay for entertainment. However, one must decide if one is going to have one's prices set by averages or by one's entertainment value. I was told that day cares in the OKC area were, pretty much locked into $100 budgets for entertainment. I won't leave the house for that much. Eventually, with word of mouth reviews of one's show, they either pay for a better quality show or stick with "average." The choice is theirs, but it is our choice if we want to lower our rates to meet those of an average entertainer. Only you know what the market will bear and what your show is worth.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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danfreed
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If you make a really good demo video filmed at a preschool, that should really help get you better money or book more shows, if you can get people to watch the demo that is.
MJE
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Hey, Michael! Do you have any suggestions for interesting things to do in OKC? We've never been here before and just got in last night. We plan to hit the cowboy museum today. Obviously, we will have to go to the Mickey Mantlee restaurant at some point (Mick is my baseball guy, ya' know?), which must be right near the hotel, since it' a block from M.M. Blvd.. The banjo museum might be cool, but what do you suggest? Thanks!
MJE
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Sorry....I didn't 'mean to give Mick an extra E in his name. Typing on an iPod isn't my idea of a good time.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2016, MJE wrote:

I was just watching a segment of the Magic Master Summit going on for four days. There are two guys talking about doing daycare shows at this time. As usual, the subject of pricing came up. Also as usual, the answer was evasive. It does seem to be a big secret.


I also watched the same talk, because I'm connected to Neal and Chris on Facebook (and so I was interested in them).

To be fair, the talk you watched was about making a "6 figure income from kids shows" (and no more description than that). It wasn't just about daycare shows (I'm not sure where you got that impression). If you follow Chris and Neal on Facebook, you'd know that they do shows for summer daycamps, libraries, churches (including VBS, etc.), birthdays, etc. They also said this range of show customers during their talk. From following their posts, I get the impression that daycares are just a small part of their business, so it might have been a bit unrealistic for you to expect them to zero in on that topic specifically.

And they did reveal a few prices during their talk. I'm not going to discuss those here, because it's not my place to share their prices out on the open web.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
MJE
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Yes, you are correct. I was attracted to the talk's title and retrospectively said that it was about daycares. There was quite a bit on the subject, but they evaded the question I was most interested in hearing the answer to. Oh, well. I've been getting info from a few people here via PM, so the talk was really a positive catalyst for further discussion. Can't beat that!
vincentmusician
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I guess a lot has to do with where you are located. As far as my Daycare market is concerned, they have money. There will always be some who want a discount. My advice is do not be afraid to charge what you are worth. I am experienced and know what I am worth. If someone says, "But I can get this other guy for less, I say, " Then Get Him. If they want you, they will pay. I had one customer book me and she said she could get someone else $100 cheaper. I asked why did she book me? She said because you sound more experienced and professional and that is what I want. Cheers!
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