It’s the 4th day into 2010 and I am already working on how I will stay in business. Now, this may sound a little radical to think this way, but you have to in bad economic times. Saturday, I was working at a restaurant and I overheard a Fox Newscast saying “States are closing or cutting library funds”.
I was not shocked hearing this news because of the sluggish holiday season. My personal feeling is that the 2010 economy will be better than 2009, but only a slight improvement. I feel we will have improvements each quarter. Yet it will be the first 2011 that things will really start going again.
This is how I think 2010 will play out… in 2009, we had many companies laying off people. Companies canceled or did not participate in conferences and trade shows. In 2010, things will improve. Companies will increase staff, see enough profit to attend meetings and trade shows, and have holiday parties. However, they will not have the excess revenue like years past and will have the bare minimum. This means entertainers will have about the same amount of work as they did in 2009. I am predicting in 2011, companies will be again solvent enough to hire entertainers for events and will behave budgets once more. 2010 is the year for companies to get back on their feet.
So how should an entertainer survive this coming year? Interestingly enough I was talking with a Magician Paul Lee who said that 2009 was not a bad year. He was able to retain 80% of his past clients while gaining some new accounts. Maintaining and retaining past accounts will be of greater importance this year than in years past.
Fox’s news report, if accurate, should have entertainers thinking hard about their marketing. I personally have booked a previous library and talked with my contact. She informed me that they are quite solvent. However, she said, “We are working off grant money received last year”. Which made me think to myself? If they did not have the grant money, would they be cutting corners?
If you are an entertainer who has been thinking about marketing to libraries do not get your expectations up to high. If a good percentage of your income is coming from libraries, then tighten your belt. It may become more competitive, which means start working with your contacts and make sure you have a good in when it comes to the 2010 booking season.
Well, it is time for me to get back to planning my 2010 entertainment season. I hope you take some timeout and start planning today.
So what is your prediction for the 2010 economic outlook?
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