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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I have been asked a lot lately about working festivals and I felt that this information might be handy for those thinking of getting into this market. I hope you get something from it.

First off, I have learned a lot from trial and error. You must not be afraid to take action and try things out. Will you fail sometimes and make mistakes? Sure you will, but the success-minded individual learns from these mistakes and takes that information and puts it to better use going forward.

I have been a birthday party type of magician in the Philadelphia region for years now. I love performing for children and always will. However, my wife (my magic partner) and I decided we wanted to make a big step about a year and a half ago. We wanted to branch out and be able to build up our show and provide family-friendly shows for a bigger market. This way we felt we could finally increase our income from magic while reducing the amount of weekend shows we had been doing.

From just driving around and observing, we realized there was a HUGE market in our area that would be ideal for our style of performance. The festival market was what we came to discover. This was almost an untapped market in our region and we felt it was perfect for us.

We like the festival market for several reasons:

- We could do a bigger show and highlight some of the illusions we both wanted to perform together.

- It allowed us increased revenue while decreasing the amount of shows we had to do each year

- We could get our name out to a lot of people at these festivals through marketing

- We could make additional income flows through the use of BOR sales

- We could do enough festivals from spring into fall without running dry

- There was a lot of festival style events in our area that could keep us plenty busy for lead generation etc.

I am happy to report that since diving into the festival market, my wife and I are well on our way this year of DOUBLING our income as well as retaining the festivals we worked last year. We have already booked festivals to keep us busy from spring all the way into the winter and have referrals from these festivals in which we are prospecting for currently.

I can not tell you how rewarding this has been for us and how the information here has been inspirational for getting me up off my seat and striving to read, learn, post and take action.

ANYONE CAN DO THIS!!!!

I by no means am even close to an expert on this stuff and I am learning from everyone every day. But there are a few things I have learned over the past year about this market that might benefit those who are thinking of getting into it. I shall try and list some of these below.

- Festivals and Fairs are vastly different - I learned early on that festivals and fairs are vastly different monsters and because of this must be treated differently. In a nutshell, Festivals tend to be 1 day local events that sometimes may go into 2 days.
They also tend to have a lower budget with the committees being volunteers from the communities. Fairs are usually week long events or greater. They have a much bigger budget and usually have a fair board that is hired. Knowing these differences off hand will help you to determine which market is right for you.

- For our area, I learned that January and into early February is the best time to start lead generating for the various festivals we try to target each year. This is the time of year when committees get together and start the planning. If you can focus your lead generation at this time, you will see a much greater return rate.

- Do not be afraid to cold call. You have to be willing to do things you may not always feel comfortable doing. But, when targeting festivals, it is very important that you get the proper contact information ahead of sending out your packet or sales letter. Festival and entertainment people change a lot from year to year and cold calling is a great way of getting this valuable information.

I never try and sell when cold calling to festivals in my area. I simply am talking with them for them to get to know who I am and for me to simply request information and contact info. so that I can send them a packet forconsideration for the year. because my focus is this way, I do not come across as soliciting to them. I have never had any prolems getting the information I need.

- Keep an accurate database of leads. I use ACT and it has been a HUGE help for me. Once you get your contact information, enter it into your database and keep track of what goes out and when you need to make follow ups. The database will work sonders for you if you use it often and maintain it.

- How do you get leads? Well I get a lot of leads in two ways. 1) internet research and 2) local papers in my area. The internet is a great source for finding festival listings and fair listings for any geographical area. In a short amount of time, I can always find a bunch of sites that have listings and contact information for me to start my cold calling list. Also, check your local papers, many papers have listings of events that are coming up that week or for that weekend. They list them under community events or also under things for the family. This has been a great source for phone numbers and information.

- GO out to these festivals and scope them out - Do your homework. Get in the car and actually attend some of these festivals. This is a geat way to get a feel for the event, to scope out current entertainment and staging and to pick up information that you can use. It helps you to see if your show would be a good fit or not.

- A BIG Secret - One of the best things I ever did this current year was to contact my area Parks and Recreation services. I got a huge listings of all the ones in my territory that I wanted to work and I lead generated to them. I got a GREAT return rate. I was very surprised by this but found out that a lot of these P and R's put together numerous festivals and events in their area each year and they are dying for anyone willing or offering to make their jobs easier. target these and you will see what I mean.

There is certainly much much more I can share with you, but I will leave it at this for now and see what interest there may be for additonal help. I just wanted to share my recent success in this market to show that it can be done and that my own success might inspire and/or help you along with your own goals for 2004.

If anyone has any questions, or if I can be of more help, feel free to post here or e-mail me directly at magic4u02@aol.com.

Thanks all and I hope this is of help to some of you.

Kyle
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Steve Hart
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Congratulations Kyle.

I have done the festival markets. I know how hard it is get the bookings and keep up with this market.

What a great place to showcase your talent, make money, and learn a lot at the same time.

Hey Gang, what Kyle is sharing with you is the way to do it.

Steve Hart
Cape Canaveral, FL USA
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"Motivational Magicians are some of the highest paid magicians, find out why?"
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Thanks Steve. I appreciate the kind words my friend.

It is hard to get the bookings and one must really make an effort to learn and take action and strive in this market. But, for me, it has been very rewarding of an experience and one I am sure to continue learning from as I enter into my festival season again this year.

If anyone is getting into this market or would like additional help or ideas, please post here or e-mail me. I would be happy to share my ideas and what I have learned along the way.

Kyle
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Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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How do you overcome the wind and heat when working on a flatbed trailer?

What income potential is possible? $1000 or more for the week festival?

The festival around here Indiana refuse to promote the name of the magician. They only promote the 'Magic Show'.

They also only allow 1 performance.

I only worked the introduction festival once, and that was a freebee. The newpaper refused to take our pictures. They ran a photo of the kids hanging on the trailer.

I hear fairs are different, they want several shows a day for several days. Do they cover motel costs?
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Some great questions and thanks for posting them. Let me try and shed some light on some of your issues and concerns.

You overcome the wind by changing your show around. By this, I mean that working outdoors requires the magician to rethink his or her show to make the show impactful, visual, but without the risk of using anything that the wind might not work with.

For example, you may not want to perform your zombie routine if you're doing a lot of festival work. You just have to cater your show to meet the elements and minimize problems.

You combat the heat by first knowing that it can be a problem. With this in mind, you try and set up your own staging area (if you can) in a shaded spot.

You try and think where the sun will be at your performances and try and set up the performance location around this.

If you're setting up your own area, I always bring an awning with me. This protects me from the sun and weather if I am working a kids area of the festival and need to provide my own staging.

You will also want to tailor your outfit to meet the demands of heat in the summer. This may mean a short sleeve shirt and a vest. You still want to look professional, but dress light enough that the heat is not a problem.

ALWAYS have water with you. My wife and I carry a cooler with us at all the festivals we work. This has water in it and we use it throughout the day. Staying hydrated is the key.

Before I answer the income potential, I must state again the difference between fairs and festivals. These are two words that often get used together when in reality they are 2 totally different venues that have to be treated separately.

Festivals are usually no more then 2 days tops and are usually 1 day at most. They are often local in nature and run yearly. Fairs are much bigger with a bigger budget. They run about a week or more and are put on by hired fair committees.

You will earn a lot more doing fair work. However, it is much harder to get into a Fair then it is a festival.

If you're first starting out, I would target the festival market instead. It is easier to get into and you will learn a lot by getting your feet wet in this manner. There is a lot to learn and starting off small is the way to go.

In the Festival market, it is best to charge a daily rate. You do not want to offer too many package deals with them as it often confuses them to a point that they will not call you back.

Festivals are usually a committee thing. This means there are several people talking about you and deciding on hiring you. If you can give them a day rate and tell them what that includes for the set price, then you will be keeping it simple for them to decide.

Also, keep in mind that you can often to BOR sales before and after your shows. This BOR sales can generate a lot of extra income over top of your day rate. It is not unheard of to make $400+ in a given day.

I have never had a festival refuse to promote me. This is because it is stated in my contract. Working festivals means you MUST have a contract and have them sign it. There is so much going on that this will protect you. In my contract it clearly states how I am to be mentioned and listed in any advertising.

I also combat this by giving them my own promo and advertising packet that has MY posters, postcards etc in it that they can use to advertise the event.

To combat the one show problem, you offer the day rate again. If they know they are getting 2 shows for a set price, they are more inclined to go with the package deal than saying it is X amount for each show. It becomes a psychologial thing.

I also make sure I run my own press releases up to 3 weeks prior to my festival events. By taking this into your own hands, you often get much better coverage and you know the press is there because of you. You gain more control.

Most of the festivals I do are local enough to me that I do not have to stay overnight. This means I keep my cost and overhead low.

I hope this is of help to you. Please let me know if I can be of further help.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-04-02 08:03, magic4u02 wrote:
You overcome the wind by changing your show around. By this, I mean that working outdoors requires the magician to rethink his or her show to make the show impactful, visual, but without the risk of using anything that the wind might not work with.

For example, you may not want to perform your zombie routine if your doing a lot of festival work. You just have to cater your show to meet the elements and minimize problems.


The discussion about content for an outdoors magic show for a festival or a picnic, is also covered in a chapter within the book titled "Creative KidTalk," by David Ginn, Sammy Smith and Steve Taylor, available from your favorite dealer, or from one of those authors.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Thanks Donald. That is a great source indeed and one worth reading over if you're thinking of doing this market.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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pbg739
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Kyle,

Congratulations on the success. We've played email tag for a bit, and I am glad to hear of your busy schedule. As school wraps up for me, I wonder if it is too late to get the promo packs out and to start contacting. Also, you mentioned websites that show festival locations for any region, could you share these. I have found my market, and this is it. I think fairs are a bit more than I can chew right now, but festivals might be a good start. I wish you all the best.


Pete
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Pete:

Starting with the festival market makes a lot better sense for you. You will find it is a better way to break into the market and will act as a learning ground in case you want to jump up to the larger fair market.

There are also many more festivals local to you as most every community has a festival sometime during the spring, summer and into the fall.

It may be too late for some of the spring festivals, but you may find success marketing for late summer and fall festivals in your local communities.

First, you will want to obtain a detailed contact and festival list of the festivals in your area that you want to work. This research will save you a lot of headache and money and will help you to get your materials into the right hands.

I would check out the following websites:

- festivals.com
- festivalusa.com
- californiafestivals.com

Start with these ones first to give you some general listings and dates of the festivals you may want to target.

Another HUGE secret is to target and make contact with your local parks and recreation boards. You can always find their listings and contact information through a website search. P and R's are always in need of festival entertainment and this is one major market I targted this year with HUGE success.

Get this listings together and compiled and figure out which you can target. Then simply do a cold call. This may sound tough but it really is not.

The idea of this cold call is NOT to sell anything to them. You simply want to confirm your contact information and get them to expect your packet in the mail.

I usually just say, "Hi. My name is Kyle peron and my wife and I are local magicians and illusionist specializing in family-friendly magic shows. I was wondering if I might get contact information for the (such and such festival) you hold each year. I wanted to send out a promo packet to the right person for consideration. Thanks for your help."

If you keep it this simple, I have found you get great results and people do NOT think your selling to them. They instead, think you are helping them out. This also gives you the right contact person you need.

Let me know what other questions you have. I would love to help you through this process and will be more then happy to give you advice on your way.

Anyone can e-mail me directly at magic4u02@aol.com, if they want to learn more about this market, have questions regarding it, or would simply like advice.

Kyle

PS: I am thinking about the possibility of writing up a lecture note of sorts later this year. It would be packed full of festival market information and tips based upon my own experience and might help those trying to break into the market.

Does anyone think this might be a good idea? Would you think people would actually like this as a product? Just curious.

Thanks,
Kyle
Kyle Peron

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RobertBloor
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Kyle,

It's a market I'm beginning to research. I'd buy!

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
TheDean
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Whoo Hoo!

All this cool information sharing!

Just this information can help anyone who wants to and is willing to extend the effort to make boat-loads of mooooolah for their business and families!

Gotta' love that!

Bless you Kyle!
Deano
<><

PS
This thread is a GREAT start on your notes right here!
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
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Bill Hegbli
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Kyle,

Thanks for all the details. I would like to point out here in Fort Wayne, IN, we have an event called 'Three Rivers Festival.' It goes for 5 days. The surrounding small towns do have their festivals that are only 1 or 2 days. Plus we have The Auburn-Cord-Dusenburg (spelling) Festival that runs 4 days. I don't know if you ever heard of the famous old automobiles but Auburn, IN is where they used to be built. This is an auction of classic cars as well as events.

So I only point this out so Festivals can be longer then you suggest. As far as sending in your own press release to the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel and Journal Gazette, it would never be published. They only take this type of material from the client. And then they probably will not publish it. This newspaper is very different.

Please, do not think I am not listing to the things you are advising. I just want to point out that here it is very different than you describe. Heck, we don't even have school shows, unless they are free and given by organizations like the police dept. or fire department.

I believe that is why most marketing companies consider this a test state. If they will sell one in Indiana they will sell a thousand anywhere else.

Anyway, I am taking notes on what you are saying. I love to read about successful ventures that are undertaken.

You mentioned that you and your wife travel together. Could you share how much your initial cost you have invested, not including magic tricks, up front to undertake this avenue?
magic4u02
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Thanks all. I will try and go through and answer some of your comments and questions for you.

Robert:
Thanks for the kind words. This is a market that I love and the past 2 years I have really begun to learn a lot about it. I have a lot I am testing for this year's festivals and I am sure I will continue to learn even more.

For me and my wife, this is a perfect market for us. It fits our style of performance and it is really an untapped market for us. There are so many festivals and events around the Philadelphia region, that I have only hit the top if the iceburg here.

I am going to continue to fill everyone in on the things I test and the results I have received from it. I will also share with you all what has worked and what has not and why.

I think I am also going to start writing all of this down. I am beginning to think there might be enough people wanting information like this, that a booklet or lecture notes of some sort might indeed be beneficial to a few. It is certainly a project I will look into.

Dean:
Many thanks, my friend. If it were not for you and your website, I never would be at where I am today and I would never be as happy doing it as I have been the past year.

I have learned so much in the short time I have been at the dean.net and doing marketing seriously. I will continue to grow and learn and take action upon the things people tell me.

I can only hope to continue to share what I have learned with others.

wmhegbli:
Thanks for your reply. I really welcome any comments, suggestions or information from others in different states and regions.

As you have stated, I am sure different regions are vastly different in regards to what festivals they have and what fairs they put on.

Some places certainly will not have as many of them per year as you may find in the city areas where I am located.

However, every town, municipality and parks and recreation in all areas do indeed put on festivals and street fairs of various degrees through out the year. The thing is that most people are just not aware of these events.

The key is to research them and start asking around. I am sure you will find there are many more festivals and events out there then you might be aware of. I certainly know this was the case when I started looking into this market myself.

I only knew of the 3 large ones. What I found out was that every township in my area had at least 2 festivals each year. They all had a summer or spring street festival and they all usually had a fall festival of some sorts. Some of them had even more. This opened my eyes to realizing there was a huge amount of work that I could tap into if I only researched it and marketed to it.

I am sure it may be a bit different out your way, but I think if you research it more, you may find there is a lot more out there then you at first thought. Give it a try as it will only cost you in time.

I can give you some suggestions on how to start your research if you would like them. Just let me know.

My wife and I do indeed travel together and do the festivals as a magic and illusion team. I could not do what I do without her help and support.

Also, it might be interesting to point out that I never do a festival where I have to stay overnight or lodge at a hotel. All my gigs are driving distance to my apt. or near where my folks or in-laws are from. This way I get to sleep in my own bed at night and it keeps my cost way down.

Most of my festival investment is really based more in time then in money. The investments come in the form of:

1) Having good promotional materials and sales letters ready to go. If you're working the festival market, you really must make yourself stand out from the rest and a quality piece of promotion will say many things about you to any festival committee. Spend the time and money to have these done right the first time. The initial investment will be well worth it.

In my own case, since I am a graphic designer. I design all my own marketing material and print them myself at work. This means my cost is next to nothing except for design and printing time.

2) Once you have your materials, your next investment will be in a database of some sort. I have heard of MagicBase as well as ACT. Both work out well. I use ACT and really love it. This is my soul and heart of my operation.

From my ACT database, I can get any and all information, e-mails and transactions on any client or prospect at a push of the button. I can also do mail merging which comes in handy with personalizing your mailings.

3) I then invest time in to doing internet research. I really look for festivals in my area. I search under parks and recreations looking for contact names and numbers. I spend the time looking and searching and creating a sheet of contacts. This takes time to do but is essential in the success of the process.

4) Once you have this list and have it into your database, your next investment is in phone calls. As I stated above, I never cold call to SELL. I cold call just to get contact information and verify whom I should send my packet to. By finding out who makes the entertainment decisions, I can ask if I can send them my information for consideration. I have NEVER had anyone decline when brought up in this matter.

5) The next investment is in mailings. I then send out my packet and a sales letter to my confirmed contact. I then enter that I did this into ACT and make a reminder to do a follow up in a week.

That is essentially the basis to get started. You have an investment, but it is not as crazy as some people may think. Your main investment is in time.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I look forward to hearing back from you all.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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MagicalPirate
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A good way to reduce the cost of Calling is to use a phone service provider that gives you unlimited long distance. This then only leaves you with the time spent doing the calling. I spend only $68 a month on my phone service and it includes local and long distance as well as caller ID Call Waiting and the all important, if you have only one phone line and do internet research, voice mail that answers your calls and takes messages while you are online.

Kyle:
You give great advice and I for one would be interested in your booklet or lecture notes. I have been reading this thread and find the information right on. I was just planning on sending them to my website as most of these people are no longer in the stone age and are computer capable. Especially if you just give them a link to click and they are there. Keep up the great advice and I wish you luck for the spring, summer and fall.

Martin Smile
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magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Martin,

Thanks for the kind words my friend. I really do appreciate them. I like to be able to give back to magic what it has given me.

The festival market has been just awesome for my wife and I and I have found a market that really works well for me and that is not only perfect for my style of performance, but is an untapped market in my area.

I like your phone service idea. I also know others who use their cell phone with the unlimited and free long distance, to do their calls that way as well.

When I make my calls, I always keep them very simple and to the point. As stated above, I only call to get information from them in regards to a contact person. I do not try to make the sale then. This works out much better for me.

I then send out my lead sales letter and my promo kit and then do follow ups via e-mail. This keeps my costs down and has worked very well for us this year. I then make the phone call to speak with them in person when the suspect finally becomes a prospect. This way I can try and make the sale verbally with them and also get to hear their needs for the festival.

I really think I might do a lecture note or more then likely a booklet of working the festival market. This would be just based upon what I know to have worked for me and fill it with tips, comments, suggestions and valuable forms that I use for my festival work.

People have been asking me about this and this year, I may start working on it and try to get it done by the fall. As I go through the tour this year, I am sure I will learn a lot more and collect a lot more useful information that I could place into this booklet.

I will certainly let you all know if I do decide to get that product done and make it available to people.

Kyle

PS: WAHOOOO as I was typing this, I got a call and just landed yet another 2 day festival near me. I LOVE marketing. =)
Kyle Peron

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Bill Hegbli
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Okay, Here is the big question. How much do you charge for an event? I once approached a person I knew that was the director for the festival. I mentioned a $150, and his face changed. Never discussed it further. This was a very small town in Ohio.

Any comments on this phase of the booking.
magic4u02
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You really have to check out and explore your own local market. What I charge may be different then what you may have to charge or what the going rate is in your own local.

I can best answer this by discussing what I have found works the best for festival committees. Do not try to offer them too many packages or add ons. This only confuses them and often times they will not be able to properly relay the message to their group. Often times festivals are a group effort and making it as easy for them is the key.

With this in mind, I always offer them a day rate package. This is a one price for the day that includes 2 30 min stage illusion type performances. I can then add on shows or add in strolling magic if they request it. This keeps it very simple and a sort of "one spot" shopping for them.

Most festivals want you for the day anyways and to be able to quote them a set price makes a big difference. You are getting them to say yes or no on a set rate and not asking them to think of several packages, several rates and convey this all to the people they must deal with.

A day rate also makes it much easier for them to plan it out if the festival runs multiple days and they are thinking of having you there for both.

As I said, I usually charge a flat day rate which includes 2 30-min performances. These usually run in the area of 225.00-275.00 for my area around Philadelphia. I add in travel fee for every 20 miles of travel time away from my home. This covers my gas and travel expenses. I also offer additional shows and walk around for an additional fee that is added on per the day rate.

For some, this may seem a lot and for others, this may seem real low. All I know is that it has worked for me so far and it has gotten me in the door at a lot of festivals locally to my area.

Keep in mind that your price can be on the lower side because you will make it up if you do BOR sales at the festivals. I HIGHLY recommend you working this into the agreement with the festival. Often times you can make more on BOR sales then you will with the show rate. Combined, your BOR and your day rate price can really add up to a nice return on your investment.

With selling any magic related show, you really need to lock in on the needs and concerns of the festivals you work for. If you can tap into knowing what they are after, then you can solve their problems with killer solutions that surpass any other entertainer they have ever had before.

By doing this, you start to change their perceived value of you. If you increase your value in their eyes, you become much more to them then an entertainer. You start to become a problem solver. Problem solvers are in demand and constantly work year after year.

Festival's want several things I have noticed. They want:

- someone who is self-contained. If you can come in there and do your show with little they have to do or provide, then your a huge savings for them.

- they want to see happy faces and they want people to be kept at the festival. With this in mind, if you can offer different shows, then your going to meet this need and create more interest for people to want to stay at the festival longer. This means a more successful festival for them.

- they want someone who is experienced and knows about a festival and how they run. The more you know about festivals, the more you will understand their processes and can understand what they must go through. These people go through a lot and have a lot to juggle. If you can understand them, you can be better off to offer solutions.

- They LOVE if you can offer any help at the festival and alleviate a problem of theirs even if it is not magic related. By this I mean you can offer up suggestions that not only solves their need but markets you. For example you can ask to host and MC a beauty contest or a talent show. You can host and judge a coloring contest for the kids. Use your talents and offer other ideas to them, and you build upon your value to them.

I hope some of this is helpful to you and helps answer some of your questions. If you have any more specifics, perhaps I can help you with them and give you more direct steps you may be able to take.

Kyle
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MagicalPirate
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Wmhegbli:

This is a numbers game. What one director's response is won't necessarily be the same somewhere else. The fee that you can receive is based on many different factors and size of town isn't one of them. It has to do with the size of the event and the budget that is available.

As Kyle states, the less they have to do to have you at their event the better. They have many different problems to deal with before and during the event. Try not to have any additional needs once you are there, they really do not have the time during the event to try to fix the paid entertainment's problems when the vendors are giving them trouble about a million and one things from they didn't make enough money to they don't think the event has enough people turning out to it. These things will aggravate them and you can quickly wind up on their hit list.

I say this from the experience of being a vendor at fairs and festivals for over 5 years. I know the grumblings and trials vendors can create. I'm pursuing the entertainment end in these venues so that I can have some sort of minimum take from a show when I go there. I really hate it when a show bombs and it wasn't worth vending at. With performing I at least take a minimum net away that keeps me from worrying about the outcome of the show. There really is a big void out there in the entertainment market at these events. Mostly because those that run these events are not professionals and are most readily familiar with say a band. They are not even thinking about anything else. Mention magic and the draw that it would have on their event and my experience is that the change on their face is to a smile.

Don't go by the results of a friend you knew who was in charge. They are the worst to base your opinion on as your friends or acquaintances usually don't want to see you succeed. Look for the smaller big events. You usually want the 10,000 and up attendance to find an event that will be able attract the sponsors to cover your show fee. More often than not your fee will be paid by a sponsor or from a budget that is made up of all the monies received from the various sponsors.

Another determining factor in how easily you can get booked or what fee you will receive is whether the show is a free or paid admission event. This determines the budget they have to spend on the show less the amount they want to keep for their program. The best events are the ones put on by the local Chamber of Commerce as fund raising is not one of their concerns. They are interested bringing more business to their communities in the form of tourism. They also have more access to those businesses for sponsoring as they are members of the Chamber.

I would also charge more in the day rate of $400. You are giving them your entire day and your services are just as valuable as the street dance band. Just remember you are on all day long, not just when you are performing your shows. I would also throw in some strolling work to make the price worth it to them.When you are not performing, you are a good will ambassador for the group that hired you, so you should be worth a reasonable rate for your time and services.

If you have to travel and not be in your own bed overnight then include hotel accomodatons in your contract. They usually don't pay for this anyways. They get the rooms comped for you as a means of promoting the local inn that keeps you. There will more than likely be a sign for the inn in your perforance area showing them as sponsor. If you have a big hotel chain with locations everywhere you plan to work you could try to obtain them as a sponsor of your own. They not only supply you with all the accommodations you need but pay so much money for each festival you perform at. In exchange, they get mention at every show you do. Days Inn the official Inn of Redbeard The Magical Pirate. I know this can happen, as I have seen it in my travels.

Stay away from the fairs to start. I know they last longer and that means more paid days but they don't take unknowns. You have to either belong to IAFE the main fair and expo organization or to your local state organization. Here in Texas it is known as TAFE, Texas Association of Fairs and Expos. You have to spend the time and money to be at their annual convention and then it can take several years before the exposure will yield the kind of response you want. Start with the festivals and get known, then take your profits and join the fair associations and attend the annual conventions. Continue doing festivals and add fairs as they book you, this will keep you from dropping off in income as you would if you tried to jump headlong into fairs.

Hope this helps.

Martin Smile
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Gordon
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Very interesting thread, thanks for sharing your experience and advice.

What are "BOR Sales?" I could guess, but it's "BOR" that I can't quite figure out. :-?
magic4u02
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BOR stands for Back Of Room sales. It means any item or product you sell after or before any of your performances and is a way of extra cash stream for magicians and entertainers to supplement your show income.

I hope this helps you some. If you have other specific questions regarding this, please just let me know.

Kyle
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