The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Booking a Birthday Party (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

curtgunz
View Profile
Special user
Only 99% of users have more than
769 Posts

Profile of curtgunz









Do you require a signed contract for a birthday party? I did not cover this and I want to know what you do.




Lots of videos and tips for magicians.








Thank you.
The clown to the left is Professor Q.B.

ProfessorQB.com

Just for fun visit ChurchFun.com -- The Fun, Safe Place for Kids
arthur stead
View Profile
Inner circle
When I played soccer, I hit
1790 Posts

Profile of arthur stead
I used to, but instead of calling it a contract, I referred to it as a “Performance Agreement.” In it, I stipulated the date, time, client’s name, address & phone number, address of the party, my agreed-upon fee, my requirements for performance space, where & how I wanted the kids to sit, etc. I also included a 50% penalty if they cancelled my scheduled appearance too close to the performance date.
Arthur Stead
royalty-free music and interactive routines
www.arthurstead.com
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7367 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
For my birthday party magic shows, I use a confirmation letter, which I mail to the parent along with a special gift. (If the timing of the booking is tight -- less than a week -- then I'll email the confirmation letter without sending the gift.)

I've used a confirmation letter for birthday shows for 30+ years, and I rarely have problems with cancellations. With my confirmation letter, I don't expect them to sign or return anything. For birthday shows, payment is due in cash at the show, and I don't ask for a deposit.

My rates are on my website (low pressure sales -- they call ready to book and knowing which package they want to "buy"), I talk with them on the phone when I book the show and communicate booking details, I send them a confirmation letter, and I do a confirmation phone call a couple of days before the actual show date. For some of my birthday shows, I ask the customer to send a photo of their child for a personalized magic trick in the show, so there is also back and forth communication via email.

However, I do use a show contract for my non-birthday shows, which I email and expect my customer to sign and return. Most of the time, those types of bookings are B2B, and not B2C, and so they might expect a show contract.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
danfreed
View Profile
Inner circle
West Chester PA
1132 Posts

Profile of danfreed
Don't bother with a contract, it's worthless and takes time on your part and the client's part. A confirmation letter would be a good idea, though I don't bother with that either, though I probably should. I like to keep it simple and easy. I usually get a deposit via Square, then tell the client a few simple things like when I arrive, best if they don't eat during show, and best if the adults aren't chatting. I go over other details as needed.
jimhlou
View Profile
Inner circle
3596 Posts

Profile of jimhlou
I do what Dan Freed does. I do call about two days in advance just to make sure everything is "on". Birthday mothers have a lot on their mind and it's reassuring when they know they can depend on you.
TomB
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of TomB
It depends. If you have a legal contract, how does it protect you?

Are you accepting a deposit? Do you have defined a last date of cancellation, for both parties? Is there a type of payment you are expecting to get paid at a defined time? Is there an agreed performance and date and time? A contract protects you legally so you don't have to goto court, or win in court if a disagreement arises. Will you be selling any merchandise at the event? Do you allow recording? What happens if you get sick? What happens if the guest damages your equipment? Is the purchaser responsible for permits? Do you have a business partner that accepts the money?

Legal contracts can be signed thru email with digital signature. So it does not take any additional time. You can create a generic legal contract free online typically with a free trial. Then quickly modify them as needed. I think a contract makes you look more legit. A friendly reminder is also a good way to exceed customer satisfaction.

A legal contract may also help you at the end of the year for accounting purposes. Plus, you made that cool logo. You need to use it somewhere.
RNK
View Profile
Inner circle
4606 Posts

Profile of RNK
I have a contract signed for every gig no matter what is it because I do require a deposit of 50% down in case they cancel at the last minute. That way, at least I am not out all the money I should have made that day. My reasoning is that you are reserving a day and time for your service therefor you are turning down other work for that specific day and time. So it's only fair that you get some compensation since you cannot schedule another gig for that spot in such a short amount of time. Now, I do have one exception, for places that I have done annual gigs at for more than 4 years in a row. For example, there is a daycare that holds an end of the year party that I have performed at for 7 years in a row. For them, I have never had an issue getting paid and have developed a friendship with the owners and have not used a contract in the past 3 years.

But I think it's definitely a smart thing to do, even at Birthday Party venues to cover you and to cover the people hiring you. In my contract I state that if for some reason I would have to cancel (which thank the big man upstairs that has yet to happen), I will send a replacement performer or fully refund their deposit if they choose so.

RNK
MichaelCGM
View Profile
Inner circle
Oklahoma City
2247 Posts

Profile of MichaelCGM
Quote:
On Jul 25, 2019, TomB wrote:
A contract protects you legally so you don't have to goto court, or win in court if a disagreement arises.


I'm sorry but that doesn't make sense to me. how does one settle a contract dispute without going to court?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
TomB
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of TomB
I may have not articulated that correctly. Sometimes you can point to the contract and that is enough. Reminding them they signed it and pointing out the clause. This might be enough to avoid court.

For instance, if you had a non refundable deposit if cancelled after a date, and they cancelled and wanted their money back, you point to contract. Once they see that they signed that clause and understand they would lose in court, they drop it.

The contract helps with clearer heads.

However, if it was verbal, it would be hard to prove the deposit was non refundable. They might not even remember any verbal agreement. You may have even forgotten to tell them. The contract allows you to put everything you want and both parties have a record. If they disagree with a line item, they can cross it out. Negotiations can happen before both parties agree.

I am not a lawyer, but I have watched a lot of Peoples Court. With this expertise, I would advise to have a contract. It is there to protect you if something goes wrong.
RNK
View Profile
Inner circle
4606 Posts

Profile of RNK
And it also protects the client if the perfomer has to cancel. Good for both parties!
Al Kazam the Magic Man
View Profile
Special user
Living in Perth Western Australia
961 Posts

Profile of Al Kazam the Magic Man
I'll ask the obvious question to both TomB and RNK. How many times have you had people cancel on you? Is it a common occurrence? Also, do you find that when you whip out your contract and say..."Here you signed the paper lady...so that's it", that it drags down the expectation from the booking mum of..."Wow, I was booking this magician to entertain all my kids friends and make a great long lasting good impression"?
I get it that it sounds like you're a pro and on top of it all because you have a contract. Do you mind me asking how busy you are with shows? Are you like the Zuccini who does over 300 a year, or just a few shows a month type of performer? I don't mean to come across in a bad way, but these types of questions and your answers can help us understand your situation better.

I don't require any sort of signed contract for kids shows. I very rarely get shows cancelled at the last minute. I do have Public Liability Insurance though. I also have a long standing policy in place of never giving times away to other better gigs that may come in after I've accepted a booking. The only time I've cancelled was when I was in hospital, and once when I had misread the airplane arrival time when coming back from holidays and realised while away that I wouldn't make the party on time.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
www.al-kazam.com
Also on Facebook
www.facebook.com/magicianAlKazam
Howie Diddot
View Profile
Inner circle
San Francisco & Los Angeles California
3267 Posts

Profile of Howie Diddot
Quote:
On Jun 20, 2019, danfreed wrote:
Don't bother with a contract, it's worthless and takes time on your part and the client's part. A confirmation letter would be a good idea, though I don't bother with that either, though I probably should. I like to keep it simple and easy. I usually get a deposit via Square, then tell the client a few simple things like when I arrive, best if they don't eat during show, and best if the adults aren't chatting. I go over other details as needed.



Dan, you don’t bother with a contract, you don't bother with a confirmation letter, do you bother to show up and perform?
Al Kazam the Magic Man
View Profile
Special user
Living in Perth Western Australia
961 Posts

Profile of Al Kazam the Magic Man
Hey Howie,,,Buzz,

For all the years I've known Dan, he's quite a busy performer and that speaks for itself. Not everybody who doesn't use a contract can be considered not serious about being a pro performer.

Just like not everybody here offers free rabbits to the birthday child. You do know that the Magic Café shows up in google searches right? And if people want to see your website they can look at your profile right? You may want to have a look at yours then. Somethings missing right now. I'll use my mind reading mentalist skills to say you may have overlooked that part of your PR.

all the best to you.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
www.al-kazam.com
Also on Facebook
www.facebook.com/magicianAlKazam
Howie Diddot
View Profile
Inner circle
San Francisco & Los Angeles California
3267 Posts

Profile of Howie Diddot
Quote:
On Aug 2, 2019, Al Kazam the Magic Man wrote:
Hey Howie,,,Buzz,

For all the years I've known Dan, he's quite a busy performer and that speaks for itself. Not everybody who doesn't use a contract can be considered not serious about being a pro performer.

Just like not everybody here offers free rabbits to the birthday child. You do know that the Magic Café shows up in google searches right? And if people want to see your website they can look at your profile right? You may want to have a look at yours then. Somethings missing right now. I'll use my mind reading mentalist skills to say you may have overlooked that part of your PR.


all the best to you.



Hey, Al Kazam, i’ve Known Dan for a very long time as well, and at times we post something that’s a joke. The post was written in jest. But of course you've decided to demonstrate your lack of a sense of humor ( as shown in your avatar of a sad looking clown) and lack of professionalism by attacking another Café member. As far as the rest of your post concerning my website, what you wrote makes no sense at all, it’s complete nonsense; your proving to everyone that reads your post that you lack education and common sense, I already know your going to reply to this with a vile, mean and angry comment , its in your nature, but I wont bother to reply because your not worth my time, you are a prime example of why most members do not return to the Café, to many failed unprofessional members like you are here posting crap. I can’t even post a joke to a friend without a member like you interfering by posting an unnecessary attack
Al Kazam the Magic Man
View Profile
Special user
Living in Perth Western Australia
961 Posts

Profile of Al Kazam the Magic Man
Hey Howie (Buzz),
I'm sorry I'm late to the return fire party. No need for the nasty response there buddy! Who knew you were joking? Obviously not me!
As for your website, I looked at your profile and clicked on your website link. It came up as no such website exists. I then searched a bit more and saw you're now a "Mentalist" as well.
I'm also very happy to see you expanding your experiences and building your brand. I remember at one time you used to drive your big van around and give away free rabbits at your shows. It's all good, and glad to see you're still fighting fit and alert as ever. I wish you nothing but success.
I'm going to make a cup of chocolate and have a lie down to ponder my life.
Love and prayers,
Your brother from another mother!!
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
www.al-kazam.com
Also on Facebook
www.facebook.com/magicianAlKazam
danfreed
View Profile
Inner circle
West Chester PA
1132 Posts

Profile of danfreed
Hi Howie, yes, I show up to at least 1 in 3 gigs! I know you were kidding. The reason I almost never use contracts is cause going to small claims court, in my experience and from what I've read, tends to be not worth the bother. Also, I rarely have issues. The last time I was hosed was around 7 years ago when I lived in Oregon. The small claims courts there as I understand it (and maybe everywhere) don't enforce settlements, and they charge fees. So for around a $350 gig it wasn't worth it. The client basic laughed off my threat of taking him to small claims and said he wouldn't pay anyway, which I'm sure would have been true.
TomB
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of TomB
It is not a matter of how many shows you do. It is a principle that when you pay money for a service, you have a contract. A contract allows both parties to have written down everything that needs to be written down. I do not care if you are having your garage painted, or concrete poured in your drive way or a lawn service that cuts your grass. To me it is common place to have a contract. I think a contract is better customer service. How many service businesses do you know that does not have a contract? You cannot even get your clothes cleaned without signing a contract.
TomB
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of TomB
Danfreed,
I understand that $350 may not be worth your time. I understand that different states have different rules. It is the principle that you performed and did not get paid (although a contract may have had you get paid prior to performing). Typically, you can collect by bank levy, wage garnishment, or a real estate lien. You could also settle on a smaller amount or even send to a collections agency.

I would agree that not getting paid should be a rare occurance. That is not the point.

A contract does much more than "guarentee" you get paid. It let's all parties understand the details and develops better customer satisfaction.
danfreed
View Profile
Inner circle
West Chester PA
1132 Posts

Profile of danfreed
Tom, I totally get your points, and for people who like to use contracts, that's fine of course. For that client who didn't pay me, the court would not have collected for me. Getting a lawyer for that amount doesn't make sense. And I could tell there was almost no chance for me to collect from him. When I had an entertainment agency, I did contracts by fax with most of the corporate gigs, thousands of them over 10 years, and never once did I need the contract for an issue, though they did make the client and I more comfortable with the arrangement and details. Many of those contracts were for thousands of dollars though, for big events with a lot of entertainers. The gigs I do now don't justify the effort for me personally, though like I said in an earlier post, a confirmation letter would be a good idea. I wonder if a confirmation letter would hold up as well as a contract if it went to small claims, I'm guessing it's almost as good, but I'm no lawyer.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Booking a Birthday Party (2 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.22 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL