Do More with Less - Dilbert

“Why don’t entertainers list their prices?”

You want to impress and delight your guests, but you’re on a budget, and the budget is always less than it should be. So you think, I’ll head to Google and see what it costs to hire a magician, or a DJ, or a Bill Clinton impersonator (don’t laugh – I know a guy).


Much to your frustration, not one entertainer lists his/her prices on the website. What gives?


Entertainers don’t list prices on our websites because our rates are flexible and depend on a variety of factors. Some of these factors are:


Type of service – Generally speaking, strolling magic is less expensive than a stage show, due to less overhead, equipment, time to set up, etc.


Day of the week – Friday/Saturday are generally more expensive than weekdays, due to demand.


Time of the day – Evenings are generally more expensive that mornings/afternoons, due to demand (except in the case of children’s entertainment).


Time of the year – Depending on the market, different months are busier than others, and therefore more expensive. You should expect December rates to be at least 20% higher than other times due to the influx of holiday parties.


The type of event also greatly affects the price, i.e. corporate events cost 10-20x that of kids birthday party shows.


Here are sample rates for professional magicians:


Private Events: $300-800

This includes local bar mitzvahs, weddings, adult birthdays, house parties, etc.


Small Companies: $500-1500

Locally owned businesses that host employee appreciation days, holiday parties, etc.


Corporate Events: $1500-5000

Again, there is a huge range depending on many factors, including travel cost and time.



The Real Value of Hiring a Professional

The service industry is littered with amateurs, weekend warriors, and semi-pros. Doubly so for the entertainment industry. Many of these people are passionate and, in fact, many of them are very talented. Some of the finest magicians who have ever lived were not full time professionals.


But there is a huge difference between a great magician and a professional event entertainer.


Professional entertainers provide value to their clients way beyond hiring a magician, or a DJ, or an impersonator. You are getting years, and sometimes decades, of experience in event situations. Professional entertainers improve your event in ways that you will never even know.


EXAMPLE 1: The Approach

As a strolling magician, approaching a group of people is a honed skill that requires finesse. More importantly, there are always a few people at any event who would prefer to be left alone. The pro has developed a fine-tuned sense of who not to approach.


EXAMPLE 2: Appropriate Material

Every audience laughs at different kinds of things. A professional will read the room and tailor his humor to your guests’ particular dispositions.


EXAMPLE 3: Control

As an audience, it’s very uncomfortable to watch a show where the performer isn’t sure of what he’s doing, or where he’s going. Professionals are polished and confident. They guide the audience from beginning to end, taking complete control of the room and giving everyone an amazing experience.


EXAMPLE 4: The Unexpected

Something usually goes wrong at an event. Whether it’s on or off stage, professionals are ready for anything, because they’ve seen it all before.



In Conclusion

As consumers we often get hung up on price. I check Amazon before buying my new tablet at Best Buy, because they might have a lower price. Why should I pay more if I don’t have to?


The difference is this: in the above ‘tablet’ scenario, you are getting the same thing for a lower price. That’s how it works with physical products. But entertainers provide a service, not a product. When you hire an amateur, you get a lesser service for a lower price.


Before you book an inexpensive entertainer, ask yourself this: is it really worth the savings if you end up with someone who doesn’t have the experience to deliver an amazing performance to your guests?


In that way, it can be much more expensive to hire an amateur.


Brian Miller HeadshotAbout the Author: Brian Miller is a full time private & corporate event entertainer. He combines world class magic with laugh-out-loud humor into a show that your guests will rave about for days if not weeks on end. His TEDx talk is one of the most popular of all time. With over a decade of shows for thousands of audiences in 25 states, Brian has the experience and winning personality to make your event a huge success. Call 716.982.9510 or use this contact form to get a free, no obligation quote and event consultation.

Brian Miller

Brian Miller

Brian Miller is a private event magician, corporate keynote speaker, and youth motivational speaker based in Connecticut. His TEDx talk is one of the most popular of all time with 2 million views worldwide. He maintains a schedule of 200+ events per year across North America and overseas.
Brian Miller