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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Association of Family and Kidshow Performers » » Kidabra 2020 Foam Party Lecture - A Review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TKD27
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Wallingford, CT
463 Posts

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Hey all! So at last year's Kidabra, Christopher Weed (owner of Showtime Magic Products) lectured on setting up foam parties to be an addon to your magic business. I missed his foam party lecture, but I got chatting with him about it afterward and ended up following his system. Having now bought all the necessary equipment, I wanted to give an initial review of his foam party system for any other Kidabra folks who saw the lecture, but were on the fence about it.

The Basics

As Christopher explained in his lecture, the basic concept here is that you buy a large foam cannon, capable of blasting out high amounts of soap foam and then market foam parties as a service. Although this isn't related to magic shows in any way, it is a natural add on for magicians who already have standing contracts with summer camps, daycares, etc. It allows you to leverage your current relationships to offer foam parties a new service. Instead of being booked once a summer, you now get a secondary program to secure a second booking. And as we all know, the cheapest customer to acquire is one you already have.

Christopher is the brand ambassador for a company that sells foam machines, Foam Daddy. Christopher obviously recommends them over the competition. Based on my own research before buying in, it does seems that the high end products offered by Foam Daddy are superior to the ones offered by their next closest competitor, Party Machines. The Foam Daddy Stacker cannon is the Cadillac of foam machines, both in features and price.

Too Long, Didn't Read (my summary)

Foam parties are a great concept to buy in to if you're running your business like a business and are looking for a way to increase your revenue. If you're a hobbyist, or a part time weekend warrior, this is not for you. It is expensive to buy in to (compared to starting up a business as a magician, not compared to starting a real business) but can yield great rewards if you do it right.

Okay, let's dive a little deeper...

The Bad

Okay, so what sucks about the foam party business? Well, the startup costs, for one. The foam machine is expensive to buy (just under $3k), the foam solution is expensive to buy, and the accessories you need to make this work well really add up. I'm about $5k in on this and I haven't even done a single foam party yet. Additionally, there's a lot of equipment to haul in and out of your events. The equipment gets messy and gets everyone (including you) wet. When it's all said and done there's a lot to clean and dry, before loading it back up and heading out to the next gig.

Further, since this is the Magic Café, something worth noting for you all is that this isn't related to magic at all. Honestly, the business is probably closer to bounce house rentals than magic shows. So if you're looking for something that's creatively fulfilling, there are other better opportunities. Juggling, ventriloquism, balloon art, and bubble shows are all better choices for a side-gig that lines up with what Jeff McBride calls the "allied arts." It's hard to imagine McBride incorporating foam parties in to his act. If anything, he would be using the foam party's classier cousin, Bubble Shows.

The Good

Okay, so what's awesome about the foam party business? Well, the startup costs, for one. Yeah, that's right - the startup costs are both a positive and a negative. Because it costs so much to get off the ground, the weekend warriors cannot justify buying in to this and doing it, too. That means that all those guys you're competing against for magic shows suddenly aren't there when it comes time to book foam parties. As of when I'm writing this, most of us doing foam parties have the market to ourselves (that will change).

And that leads to the other huge benefit - this concept is so novel and exciting, that it gets you on the phone with people who generally didn't want to talk to you. "Oh, you do magic shows? Yeah, we've got a guy we've used in the past, he's fine, we'll stick with him," turns in to, "oh, you do foam parties? That sounds like so much fun, tell me all about it!"

And as I said above, the cheapest customer to acquire is one you already have. I have booked more magic shows at summer camps and daycares this year just because I had the director on the phone talking about foam parties. "Well, let me tell you a bit about what else I offer!"

And it really does work because these things sell themselves. I wasn't sure if I wanted to really do this or not, so I set up a small website for my foam parties and sent out an email blast to an email list I belong to with park and rec directors. In a day I had a handful of bookings, so I started buying up the equipment. By the time my foam cannon actually arrived my summer was close to sold out for foam parties.

Foam parties sell themselves. It's beautiful.

Another big plus is that there is a really awesome, helpful community of people in the Foam Daddy Facebook group. The group is moderated by Christopher Weed and the owner of Foam Daddy, Paul Gaona. So while it's not a place to talk about other foam machines and the like, it is a place where the top people in the group are financially incentivized to help you succeed in your business, and that really shows in how helpful and welcoming the community is. That group just makes it so easy to figure out what you're doing and share ideas to grow your business.

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a fun new thing to try out that is adjacent to magic as an art form, foam parties will not be for you. If you're looking for something small you can add to your magic shows, check out balloon twisting, juggling, or ventriloquism. But if you're willing to work hard and want something that is a natural fit for your business portfolio, allowing you to increase revenue by leveraging your existing business contacts, foam parties are an awesome business opportunity.

I'm happy to answer any questions about my experience so far, and I know Christopher Weed is happy to have you all contact him and go over it all with you, too. You can find him at https://www.showtimemagic.com
Tim Snyder
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Chicago, IL
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Quote:
On May 7, 2021, TKD27 wrote:

... I haven't even done a single foam party yet. ... In a day I had a handful of bookings, so I started buying up the equipment. By the time my foam cannon actually arrived my summer was close to sold out for foam parties.

... I'm happy to answer any questions about my experience so far.


This seems just a little premature. I wish you would have posted after you had hosted a few parties. Please do. It would be nice to have your perspective after hosting actual foam parties. It sounds like you are just doing municipal events. My one concern is how the foam affects lawns. The homes in my area have very manicured grass. I would hate to do thousands of dollars of damage to their lawn. I know the foam pit is a nice option, that might cause less mess for the client. How quickly does the lawn defoam? I watched Christopher's KAX lecture, but have not yet watched his Foam lecture at Kidabra. I feel like this would do better in a working class neighborhood than in the executive communities.
TKD27
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Wallingford, CT
463 Posts

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Quote:
On May 9, 2021, Tim Snyder wrote:

This seems just a little premature. I wish you would have posted after you had hosted a few parties. Please do. It would be nice to have your perspective after hosting actual foam parties. It sounds like you are just doing municipal events. My one concern is how the foam affects lawns. The homes in my area have very manicured grass. I would hate to do thousands of dollars of damage to their lawn. I know the foam pit is a nice option, that might cause less mess for the client. How quickly does the lawn defoam? I watched Christopher's KAX lecture, but have not yet watched his Foam lecture at Kidabra. I feel like this would do better in a working class neighborhood than in the executive communities.


Oh, so first, my apologies, I meant KAX, not Kidabra. I was referring the lecture you saw Smile

And certainly, I was very upfront that my experience is preliminary, not meant to be a "hey, I've learned all the lessons and I'm here to tell you how it's done" kind of review. I will absolutely come back and share once I've done more Smile

For now, yes, almost everything I have booked is either a summer camp or a daycare. I do have one birthday party booked for late summer, but that's it. I'll start marketing birthday parties soon, though, so hopefully that comes through as a nice source of revenue, too.

I actually think the foam pit will do more damage to the lawn than the foam itself! I could be wrong, for sure, but those pits are basically like bouncy houses, big and heavy. I don't want to use them because they're simply too much work to clean, deflate, and roll up. And I don't think they're necessary for the fun of it at all. (and to be clear, I actually don't think the foam pit will cause any damage, but I think the chances of it causing damage are higher than the foam)

So far I haven't seen any ill effects on grass, and I've run two relatively short tests on my grass, both in the same spot. One was about 30 minutes, the other about fifteen minutes. But my grass is also far from nicely manicured, lol.

From my experiences, the foam was mostly gone within an hour, but the first day I did it I did still see little bits of foam out there the next morning. The second day I ran my test it was gone much quicker, but we were having on and off rain sprinkles that day, so that's the explanation there.

Christopher says that the foam completely disappears very quickly, but I think weather is the key factor. I did all three of my tests (twice on my own lawn and once on a friend's lawn) on relatively chilly days here in Connecticut. Christopher lives in Arizona where it's a 100 degrees 11 months out of the year, so everyone's experience will be different. I will certainly report my findings at the end of the summer Smile
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