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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How to factor in travel time in a quote (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ron van Someren
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I have never booked a gig where I had to travel by plane. However, I am quoting right now for a gig across the country. There will be a full day of travel each way and although the company is paying travel expenses, I am curious to know how others would quote for something like this. Would you charge double your fee? Triple? Any other pitfalls and expenses I may not be thinking about that seasoned magicians travelling would experience? Also the client said they cover travel expenses as in Hotel and Flight, I am not sure if they were also counting on paying for the extra luggage fee on the plane to get my gear there, which I honestly have no idea how I would quote for that. Finally I always have my own sound system, in this case is it better to have them provide one? Thanks everyone.
Dannydoyle
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Here is a simplified way to think of it.

You have a fee required for you to perform a show. Once it is all boiled down THAT is how much you must be left with.

So ANYTHING that takes away from that number is an expense to be passed along. Cab rides and on and on. Obviously airfare and luggage is important. Personally I don't want food expenses because I eat at home.

That is a simple version.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hegbli
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Usually, if it a company, they purchase the air lines ticket. Otherwise, you have to find out the airfare and quote that price. For cabs, food, tips etc., you usually quote a per diem of $100 or more. You have to get receipts for all extra expenses, then turn them in for reimbursement. Form what you said, looks like they expect you to pay out of pocket and pay later.

You have to do your homework and find out rate and charges. Make sure you are up front and find out if they take a year to pay their performers and fee. There is not standard as all companies are different.

Just make sure you put everything in the agreement, some companies require an invoice after your services are completed. No invoice, no payment.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Mindpro
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I am always amazed with these types of posts. There are many things at work here which you are asking, but the one that always amazes me is the "Would you charge double your fee? Triple?" Does your value double or triple? Is your show 2 or 3 times better? I have never understood this mentality.

What is your price for the market you are serving with this request? Your value doesn't change due to the location of a booking does it? No. Now if you are referring to it with regard to expenses, this depends on which of the two ways you choose to structure yourself with the client.

A. An all-inclusive price that includes your performance fee and covers all of your costs and expenses. Airfare and lodging are only two of the expenses as those that regularly travel know. But you must also be aware of all transport both from your home or office to your airport and then also from the destination to your hotel, to the venue and of course all return trips. This is referred to as ground transportation. It may be limo, car, Uber or Lyft, or other. Some clients will want to pick up up, others can organize a shuttle, while you may prefer to have your own rental car. Don't forget about parking as most airports, hotels and convention centers have a daily and even hourly parking rate. I just paid $49 a day parking at an Omni hotel. This all needs to be decided and factored for in advance, upfront. I agree with Danny meals should not be included as you would have to eat anyways. Some utilize a per diem. Many feel an all-include price is much easier, cleaner and you do not have to get into a breakdown of each line item.

B. A separate price for your performance fee and your expenses. Many clients may request or require this as each of these are paid though different processes and budgets/funding. Contracts and invoicing may be similarly. Are they paying your travel or reimbursing you for these expenses? Big difference. Show fees may often be paid in advance, however expense billing may be net 30 or 60 for some clients/operations, so it does make a difference (we recently had a client that paid net 60 which meant we would have to front $125,000 and always run 60 days behind to continue to serve or work with this client). The difference is usually how the client works or prefers. They can not and will not change their systems for you.

Part of being a regional, national or even a road performer is knowing how to figure and quote expenses. It's an art and science in and of itself, especially in the corporate, education and fair/festival markets.

Also perception and logistics come into the picture. For ease and simplicity, a simple all-inclusive price makes it very easy to book you. On the other hand if the client has their own travel source or vendor and wants to maintain the points and benefits for themselves, they may require you use their source. Then comes the issue of do you handle it or do they prefer to handle it themselves?

Hope this provides you some insight and food for thought.
Mindpro
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Looks like Bill and I were typing at the same time.
Ron van Someren
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Thanks everyone. Clearly good points made. Mindpro, the reasoning behind my comment about doubling or tripling the fee, is simply to account for the travel time and being out of commission for 3 days. If you charge $5000 to do a show locally- is it unreasonable to ask for double your fee if you are away for 3 days travelling across the country? I truly don't know the answer to that, however, I would honestly think that most travelling pros are charging a higher fee in addition to travel expenses which is not considered income, are they not?
Dannydoyle
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What exactly makes your show worth that much more? Other traveling pros are aware of their values.

Let me ask you why a company has to pay for your "down time"? On those other days would you be doing other shows? If not then why would they have to pay?

The value your show has to a client has nothing to do with your needing to be tied up for X days. You can price your way right out of a show by charging more than your perceived value. If you are going to charge what a traveling pro is, and he has a better perceived value, they will go with the traveling pro.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On Dec 9, 2016, Ron van Someren wrote:
... the reasoning behind my comment about doubling or tripling the fee, is simply to account for the travel time and being out of commission for 3 days. If you charge $5000 to do a show locally- is it unreasonable to ask for double your fee if you are away for 3 days travelling across the country? I truly don't know the answer to that, however, I would honestly think that most travelling pros are charging a higher fee in addition to travel expenses which is not considered income, are they not?


You don't seem to understand being honest in business practices. No, they don't pay for your down time, it is your job to keep your calendar full. If you have to turn down already booked shows, then you don't take the out of town show. It is your responsibility to keep your calendar full, and to work out scheduling of those show dates.

Yes, it is unreasonable to just double your fee, that is not honest or business like. If you are good enough a performer, then you charge industry fees for venue. In other words if you are charging $200 for a show in your home town area, then you charge $200 for the out of town work.

We have no idea who you are, or if you are even any good at what you do. If you have television appearances, magic convention appearances, Magic Castle appearances, then you may be under charging your services. These help your ability and if you can deliver for the company. You have to ask what they expect from/in your performance.

Much also have to do the exact type of corporate work you are going to quote. There are all kinds of and types of corporate work.

When you are the position you are, it is best to be honest with the client and discuss with the booker or bookkeeper how they wish to handle payment for services and travel expenses.

Food for thought. You response sounds more like a shyster or con man, then a working professional. That is just the way your are sounding, not that you are.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 9, 2016, Ron van Someren wrote:
If you charge $5000 to do a show locally- is it unreasonable to ask for double your fee if you are away for 3 days travelling across the country? I truly don't know the answer to that, however, I would honestly think that most travelling pros are charging a higher fee in addition to travel expenses which is not considered income, are they not?


I understand you truly don't know the answer which is why I think many are trying to help you here. Your mentality or approach may be very prohibitive and even damaging. This mentality is exactly what works against a road, traveling or national performer and makes clients and agents prefer to choose and work with local talent instead.

Your price should be your price whether its local or road. When you have varying prices for different clients and locations it can mess you up in the greater picture, and be preventative of some great lasting relationships. Only "one-and-done" performers tend to work this way, which is not the business model I would recommend. Of course you can do what you want and feel is best for you, but you are thinking only from your own perspective and not what is most important in business which is the client's position and perspectives, whether that be a direct client or an agency.

The reality is most performers do not get paid per booking for all they invest in their art, business and performance. I regularly tell everyone "I travel 23 hours just to do a 1 hour performance." They think I'm kidding but many days it is exactly that. In a perfect world our performance fee would allow us to recoup from all the years of education and study we have invested, all the props, resources, books, DVDs, courses, coaching and training we have had and purchased, all of the time creating and structuring a show, practicing and rehearsing, lessons learned, setbacks and error times, promo creation time, video creation and editing time, marketing time and efforts, prospecting time, lead generation time, sales presentation time, load time, travel time, setup time, pre-performance time, on-site time, networking and smoozing time, and every other element we have invested in our business, performance and operations. The reality is for most entertainers this just doesn't happen.

Much of this is simply the cost of doing business. Regular 9 to 5 workers would like to get paid for getting up early, time in the shower and getting ready each day, time for the drive to work, time sitting in traffic, time away from their families, the meals they have to eat for breakfast and lunch, gas, parking, wear and tear on their vehicle and so on. It simply doesn't work that way, and while everyone would love this, to most this sounds ludicrous. As does it for the performer who thinks this same way.

As someone already said, do it for your price or don't take the gig. But don't gouge a client because they aren't in your own neighborhood.

Yes, you should receive additional payment for reasonable expenses directly related to the booking (and there are many ways to handle this), but that is separate from and non-related to your fee. There are other ways to get increased fees when working on this level, but not by having a different or larger fee just because of location.

I regularly work with local performers and speakers that want to go regional, regional performers and speakers that want to go national, etc. and there is some knowledge, understanding and etiquette that goes along with these decisions and opportunities. Many are still competing with the client's local or regional performers/options which you must keep in mind at all times. Especially if you are an unknown or not yet a name. Understanding the client's perceptions, understandings, interests and operations is very important and necessary to operate on these levels. Also market-specifics come into play as well as each are different from one another.

This would be a nightmare for an agent, agency or corporate event planner trying to present or book you. They need a consistent price to offer their clients, period. Not a wishy-washy, variable, "it-depends-on-what's-all-involved-and-the-specific-location" pricing. You would be shooting yourself in the foot and most would never even consider working with you with such an approach. While there are some exceptions for this, I don't believe they pertain to you at the point you are at currently.

I hope this is offering you a better understanding to your questions and situation.
Ron van Someren
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Listen guys, I'm simply asking a question. I never once said my time is worth double or triple because of geography. I did ask should it be? I am asking for help and suggestions. I have never travelled before, that doesn't make me a shady businessman, and it doesn't make me dishonest.

I do however appreciate much of what was said and thank you all for your insight.
lou serrano
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I'm going to disagree with most of the comments on this thread.

I ABSOLUTELY charge more for an out of town gig than I do for a local gig. The great thing about being in business for oneself is that we each get to determine how we want to run our own business, and how much we want to get paid for our services.

Here is the easy formula that I use. After taking into consideration the time, date, location, etc. for the engagement, how much money do I want to be left with after I pay for all travel costs? That is how much I charge for the event. In most situations I have the client make travel and hotel arrangements. On occasion I charge an all-inclusive fee and make the arrangements myself.

So ask yourself, "How much money do I want to make for the event after I factor in my travel days?" This is time spent away from your family and friends. How much is it worth it to you to be away from home?

Here is a recent example. I just did a gig for Google in Sunnyvale, CA. A conference for 450 people. I was hired to do two 10-minute sets. I quoted a fee plus travel. They asked for an all-inclusive price, so after I figured out how much my travel costs would be, I gave them a revised price. My fee wasn't based on the 20 minutes of magic. It was based on what I wanted to receive for my time away from home. The client loved me, and I will be back for another event in April 2017.

Charge what you want. You don't have to justify the fee to anyone but yourself. If the client doesn't want to pay the fee, you can always negotiate or lose the gig. If you lose the gig, don't let it bother you, because it would be less than the value you've placed on your own worth.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Keith Raygor
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I also charge more for out of town gigs than in town. I charge a flat fee for the day plus expenses. Sometimes they make the travel arrangements, sometimes I do. It's not that complicated. I know it works because much of my work is for repeat clients.

I don't worry about incidentals like food or extra luggage because the fee I'm receiving already covers those.
55Hudson
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I don't charge more for out-of-town gigs, but I do have a minimum. If I'm going to be out overnight, then I will charge my rate for two hours strolling plus after dinner show. - my top rate - plus hotel and airfare. I absorb any other costs.

I may discount to meet a client's budget limits for local shows, but not when I travel.

Hudson
Dannydoyle
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If you can charge more for those gigs why wouldn't you charge that for all gigs? This is my confusion.

I mean independent of travel expense.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Keith Raygor
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In part because of the added considerations that travel puts on the gig, from airports, transfers, time away, etc.
The differences between driving 20 minutes to do a one hour gig, and traveling across the country or out of the country to do the same exact hour need to be accounted for.
Dannydoyle
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I am afraid I am being unclear I am sorry.

My show is worth $X. Independent of expenses that is my value. I put as high a value as the market will allow.

Now without expenses my show has that value completely regardless of where it is being done.

I would venture a guess that I travel more than most here for performance. I get the expense thing, I get the time thing to a point. What I do not get is if the show can pull in $X out of town why is it not worth that same money 20 minutes down the road?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hegbli
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I don't know of any company that pays travel time for their employees. They pay transportation, and meals, that is all.

As I mentioned previously, there is industry standards for certain fields, but if you have no experience in those fields, then you have to take your 1st few as a learning experience over doing the perfect job for you client.

On the Federal Tax form there is no box for being paid because I have to leave the house to work.

You regular current employer pays to work at his facility, and not for being at his business.

Same is true for self-employed work, you are paid for the work, not the time away.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Mindpro
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One of your concerns should be the amount of equipment you have to transport and the related costs and logistics. Same for your sound system. If you're transporting a lot of equipment and props, I would take your own system as well. One of the greyest areas when working on the road is relying on other's sound systems and their interpreting and following your rider (unless it is a theater or venue with a permanent house system, in which always ask to see the specs on to properly decide).

I always suggest maintaining as much control in as many aspects of the booking and performance as possible.
Bill Hegbli
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Yes, in the early days, my contract side they provide a microphone. When I got there, they had a microphone mounted on a podium Even though I had a set of different plugs for different systems, it did little good in this provision.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
55Hudson
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Quote:
On Dec 10, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
If you can charge more for those gigs why wouldn't you charge that for all gigs? This is my confusion.

I mean independent of travel expense.


If I could get my top rate for every show, I would. And I would never travel. I may think my show is with x, but unfortunately not all of my clients ageee.

They may love the show, but they may also have a maximum in mind regardless of the talent.

My goal is to stay busy and maximize my revenue. Sometimes that means discounting my rate.


Hudson
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