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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How's Your 4th Quarter Business and Overall Year? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
9769 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
It is once again that time of year as we are in the prime 4th quarter for many performers and entertainment-based businesses. Based on our annual nationwide bookings and through the research form a combination of over a dozen resources we input regularly, bookings seem to be up about 7% of live entertainment throughout the U.S.

So, how is your fourth quarter and holiday season doing this year? Just this last week seems to have last-minute holiday bookings still coming in for many performers.

Then, let's follow up that question with the annual how was your year overall? Up, down, more profitable, did you take a hit anywhere or have areas that improved or were stronger compared to recent years?

Did you hold to your previous pricing or were you able to increase (or have to decrease) your rates?

Was profitability up or down?

More bookings or less bookings over the previous year?

Did you add additional services or change your offerings in any way?

What were your strongest performance markets?

It seems smaller events of 60 or less people seemed to increase in consumer markets, and professional markets seemed strong overall, but I would like to hear from the workers here on your overview and how it aligns with these national findings?

I hope you'll share your thoughts.
Gerry Walkowski
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Inner circle
1418 Posts

Profile of Gerry Walkowski
Hey Mindpro,

I'm jumping in just to get things started here.

Without going into details, and I'm not looking for any sympathy, I had some personal problems this year which forced me to cut way back on my marketing efforts. I even went as far as to cancel shows. So given that, naturally my numbers are going to be way off this year.

My particular situation (it had nothing to do with health or money) is getting better, so there is a brighter horizon moving forward.

I will say that I have just as many holiday shows booked now as I did last year. Again, though, I did absolutely no marketing whatsoever to get these other than sending these previous clients an email or calling them on the phone.

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Regular user
126 Posts

Profile of cafecheckers
Gerry- sorry to hear of your challenges. I wish you all the best. You should be most proud of your bookings without marketing. It says a lot about the business you have built.

While I spoke to Mindpro about these questions, I will offer my perspective for the benefit of the discussion. I will also clarify that I am a student and my performance schedule is on a part time basis.

My bookings are up, though I have not yet done my analysis to say what the percentage is, I would guess 10% to 15%. My price/show went up by 15% and I reduced the number of discounts offered. Schools, in particular were better for me, likely because I placed more emphasis on booking them. I attended my first few PTA/teacher conferences. Halloween and Christmas both saw modest increases in bookings. I was pleased with this because I held back on marketing my Halloween season due to a potential residency opportunity that fell through and left me short on marketing time. My Christmas season was somewhat impacted by school related activities.

I invested significantly more back into growing my business and offerings and am super excited about the momentum I have going into 2019.
Ken Northridge
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Inner circle
Atlantic City, NJ
2243 Posts

Profile of Ken Northridge
4th quarter +18%

Year to date +4%

I’m very pleased with these numbers considering I have begun the process of pulling back on investments and advertising. I have also seen a sharp increase in tips as there seems to be more money and optimism out there.

Looking over the past 8 years my business is remarkably stable, and profitability is on the rise (along with my 401k). Smile
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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