Twisting and Squeaking Through a Recession

As the US economy becomes more volatile, entertainers have to become wise in their business marketing. I asked the mbd2.com balloon forum how they are planning to deal with the oncoming recession? Many ideas were express, but the most of the post stressed that diversification of your business would be the great’s asset to the longevity and success for an entertainers.

Suggestions of balloon deliveries, d├ęcor and expanding your marketing were expressed which are easy to say but difficult to do if you’ve never done them before. So let us not focus on expanding into new markets, but to diversifying the things we already do. Let us focus on one segment of entertainment and that’s a show.

The slow economy is not affecting entertainers who have a good show, in fact these people are working. If you have a successful show, bookings are slightly down, but these entertainers have steady work coming in. So how to you expand your marketing? It’s simple, outperform other entertainers, make your show as professional as it can be. You’re going to have to improve your show. In a good economy there is little incentive to retool a show because work is plentiful. In a bad economy the shows that have a clean, polished, professional, and well scripted are shows that are getting the bookings.

Let us assume that the majority of your entertainment business coming from schools and libraries, which presently are having recession cut backs. What can I do to diversify my entertainment in a way that these markets will retain their customer base and still give me growth potential?

I could simply say: “Expand the show to it appeals to more markets”. But expanding or modifying your show is not the answer. Doing this changes the integrity, quality, skill level, and marketing material. Plus the quality is what is going to keep the job rolling in.

One can make the argument to reduce show rates and sell harder to schools and libraries, but reducing rates while cost of living increase is not good business. So how can we diversity a show and still keep growing in a recession market?

Here are some ideas on how to diversity your clientele and still increase your market.

  1. Create community good will and offer a free show at your local library. Send out invites to potential customers encouraging them to see a free live performance.
  2. Get testimonial from past clientele to use in advertisements.
  3. Expand your show – remember only the best shows get callbacks. Invest in lighting, backdrops, posters and fliers to help promote your show. Theatrical appeal can be the deciding factor separating you and other acts.
  4. Book a year in advance and receive this year’s prices. Larger discount if paying 50% up front. Be wise and invest this money. It will take self discipline not to spend next year’s revenue — today; unless you’re the United States Congress it’s expected.
  5. Network with other entertainers to combine shows. Magic-Balloon-Juggling gives the client triple the entertainment value in one action packed show. Reduction in profit, but teaming up with other experts will make for a great show.

It is important that entertainers don’t take diversification to far. Taking a good magic show and turning it into an OK juggling show is not going to get you more work at the schools or libraries. Diversity or expand your skills in your field of expertise. Become a master of one entertainment skill instead of trying to become a jack of all trades. Work to make your show the best it can be and the better it is the more booking you’ll get no matter what the economy is like.

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1 thought on “Twisting and Squeaking Through a Recession”

  1. I would respectively disagree about the recession not impacting people who have a good show. I think that it’s having a strong impact on everyone, especially those that got a little carried away with their pricing.

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