How to Negotiate an Entertainment Discount
Ok, so you’ve shopped around, checked references, and learned that the performer with the best reputation happens to also have one of the highest prices in your city. This shouldn’t surprise you. Even so, you may be able to get the quality that you want without paying the full price. Consider these items to try to negotiate a lower fee on your kids magic show or other type of children’s entertainment:
1) Try to book the show as early as you can (think two or more months) before the magician or other entertainer is committed elsewhere for your special day.
2) Ask if they have any special promotions or coupons coming out in advance of your event date.
3) Ask if he or she offers any discount for prepayment. Be sure to get a signed contract when you do this and use a credit card for extra protection.
4) Ask if there is a discount for cash.
5) Be flexible on the date and time of your event. Ask if they have another magic show or special event in the same part of town a week before or after your desired date. If so, maybe they could do your show back to back with the other one and pass the savings on travel expense on to you as the customer.
6) Ask if there are any gifts or special items that can be omitted from the magic show that would lower the cost.
7) Find another parent who would be willing to do a combined birthday party with you and split the expense of the children’s entertainer.
8) Marketing and advertising takes time and money. As such, you could potentially help lower the entertainer’s expenses if you can leverage your social contacts and help the magician to book one or more shows at or near the same time that you book your’s. If you can help generate more business for him or her, then you’d likely get a discount.
9) In a style similar to Tip #8, you may be able get a discount after the fact in terms of a rebate. Some performers will offer a referral fee to customers who send new customers to them. Ask about it in advance and be sure to follow-up with your friends and family to confirm that they booked the show and then follow-up with the children’s performer to get the referral fee.
Lastly, please keep in mind that anyone who’s professional enough to attract your attention has likely spent lots of time and money investing in the props, equipment, training, marketing and rehearsal. This calls for a fair price in exchange for their efforts. In all honestly, it’s challenging to earn a reasonable wage as an entertainer, and most are paid far less than they deserve. With that in mind, DO try to negotiate better rates, but also be considerate and understanding if his or her needs will not allow for price adjustments.