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Corporate events - how much to charge?

Hamish 10 Sep 09 - 04:53 AM
The Villan 10 Sep 09 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Ed 10 Sep 09 - 05:33 AM
Howard Jones 10 Sep 09 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 10 Sep 09 - 05:54 AM
Hamish 10 Sep 09 - 06:01 AM
Leadfingers 10 Sep 09 - 07:45 AM
The Villan 10 Sep 09 - 08:01 AM
Hamish 10 Sep 09 - 08:20 AM
George Papavgeris 10 Sep 09 - 08:27 AM
Morris-ey 10 Sep 09 - 08:50 AM
Hamish 10 Sep 09 - 10:49 AM
The Villan 10 Sep 09 - 12:19 PM
M.Ted 10 Sep 09 - 12:32 PM
Tootler 10 Sep 09 - 07:25 PM
Hamish 11 Nov 09 - 03:42 AM
GUEST 11 Nov 09 - 09:03 AM
alex s 11 Nov 09 - 10:36 AM
Hamish 08 Jan 10 - 05:57 AM
M.Ted 08 Jan 10 - 06:14 PM
Leadfingers 08 Jan 10 - 08:03 PM
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Subject: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Hamish
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 04:53 AM

I've been invited to provide some entertainment at a corporate Christmas party. A few random thoughts spring to mind:

- it's a hard gig. People will be more interested in the free drinks than listening to Matty Groves. (Last year's ventrilloquist died)

- most people there know me and they've obviously discussed whether or not I'd be suitable and they've concluded that I would, so maybe the usual apathy verging on hostility won't be so prevalent

- I can do enough pop stuff and easy "pub folk" to hack it

- I'd probably do the old "get some of them up on stage with me on backing vocals" trick to actively involve them. And stuff like that.

It's not on my doorstep - it's 85 miles each way from home and might even need me to take a half day's holiday.

So: how much should I charge? I've never done a paid corporate gig before. How does it complicate things that the "corporation" in question is the one that I work for? I don't work for that part of the company, but it is the same company.

I'm thinking £200... too much? Not enough?

Sorry to create a new thread for this. I know I've read posts on the subject but I've searched and not been able to find them.

Cheers, Hamish


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:16 AM

£250 plus overnight stay.

You can always invite a mixed group on stage at the very end and finish with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGBvbrXNjs0

That would be one big hoot, and they would never forget that evening :-)


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:33 AM

it's 85 miles each way from home and might even need me to take a half day's holiday

Well, I don't know how much you get paid, but I'd suggest £300 minimum given your expenses. It is however dependent on how good you are...


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:34 AM

I don't think it makes a difference that you work for the same organisation (although you could ask for time off rather than taking holiday).

It's always difficult to get a feeling for the budget these type of events have. If they're providing a free bar then they're expecting to spend a few quid, on the other hand they may have used all their budget on the bar and not legft much for entertainment. It also depends on how many people they're expecting to attend.

Think of a figure and double it. If they think it's too much you can negotiate. They might bite your arm off and you'll wish you'd asked for more.

I played for a wedding the other night and we got paid what we considered to be a good fee, but when we saw what they'd spent on the venue, food and other trimmings we reckoned we could have charged double and they've not have noticed it.


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 05:54 AM

How much do you think you can get away with asking for? Add expenses, then double that figure. They can always bargain you down, but if you ask for too little to start with and they agree, you'll never know how much they'd be willing to part with.


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Hamish
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 06:01 AM

Should I mention the contract riders? Of the liquid, nutritional and voluptuous varieties?

On a more serious note, I'm a hopeless negotiator. My first reaction was "Yes, please!" and it only after the initial euphoria at being asked (I usually have to plead before landing a gig) it even occurred to me that perhaps my next lavish summer holiday* was about to be paid for. So it's great to have an indication of where to start.

--
Hamish

*camping as a volunteer steward, maybe?


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:45 AM

Hamish - If you are doing it as a solo , you will be working bloody hard ! We do 'local' corporate for a mimimum of £100 each for a trio - Distance and overnights are add ons ! Are you supplying your own P A ? or using In House ? If the latter , be there early to sort out all the problems !


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 08:01 AM

Hamish, do not get too greedy, which I am sure you won't. Be honest and up front and ask for what you think is acceptable from your point of view.

Best bet is to work out what you would want to charge on an hourly basis and multiply by the hours you will be away from home, assuming you are not staying overnight.
Add on £100 for petrol, food etc
Include an amount if you are using your own PA.

Total it all up and Bob's yer uncle.

If staying overnight, then ask them to pay for your accomodation seperately (plus female if required. :-) ).


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Hamish
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 08:20 AM

Okay - here's the gig details, having spoken to the organiser about what's involved. There are four completely separate parties available and this one is for the civilised contingent. There will be about 70 people there and there might be a DJ and casino tables. I'll do either a thirty minute spot or two twenty minutes. I'd rather use my own pa, so I'll probably do just that. Certainly I won't share the DJ's gear!!

Using Les's "how many hours?" calculation, well, travel, set up, hanging about, contingency, perform, more hanging about, breaking down the rig and more travel... between 8 and 10 hours. That alone multiplied by a not exorbitant rate makes for a decent wedge.

I think I'll ask £200 plus overnight if I decide I need to stay over. Although I'd probably prefer just to drive home again in which case they've got a bargain.


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 08:27 AM

Hamish, I think you are too low at £200. But I understand your position. You need to be careful however in case they like you. So I suggest you say to them "Normally I would be asking for £300+, but as it is for the company, as a one-time offer for now, I'll do it for £200". That way if they want to repeat the exercise you won't get stuck with too low a precedent.


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Morris-ey
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 08:50 AM

Not knowing what company you work for, what their corporate entertainment budget is, it is difficult to say. But if they can afford 4 separate events then they cannot be short of a few bob.

Are they likely to negotiate/haggle? Is so;

I would start at £300 for 1 x 30 minutes and £375 for 2 x 20. If they offer less, then its up to you.


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Hamish
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 10:49 AM

Well the opening gambit is for £300, so we'll see.

In a curious way, I think I'm getting a bargain whatever. It's a relatively low risk way for me to find out if it's a gigging option I can or want to pursue. And I get to put "Experienced corporate events entertainer" on the CV.

Also, as always, vanity will take over. The longer I get to perform the cheaper I'd probably charge!! (Don't tell and booking agents that I said that, though!!!)

--
A Pseudonym.


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 12:19 PM

Hamish
Have you ever thought that your company is looking at this very thread.

:-)LOL

Well you never know.

What would you do if they said "Hamish, we know you don't know how much to charge, but lets assume you normally charge £300, why don't we offer you £200 as its the first time. We would like to offer you a plush hotel room, but we have a feeling you would prefer to drive home"


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 12:32 PM

It is unlikely that anyone really cares how much you charge them--what they care about it that everything goes well, so sit down and think good and hard about what it will take to put on two twenty minute Christmas sets that go well(one long set at a party is an invitation for disaster)--

If I may suggest--make sure your set list is up to the task, and that means Christmas songs,
not just Matty Groves and some random pop tunes, and remember that, especially for parties, your PA is the real instrument. Also, dress for success--you need to look like the 70 odd reveler should stop partying and listen to you--if you don't, they won't.

Since you work with these folks, you can joke with them and goad them in to singing along, and you can even make up a work related version of the 12 days of Christmas--"Five paid holidays" or some such.

If you make a special effort, you won't feel bad about charging even £375 or so,
and if it is a success, they won't care what it cost--


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:25 PM

The daughter of friends of ours does this kind of gig as half of a cello duo. IIRC they will start by asking around £500 and negotiate from there but will settle for around £300 if push comes to shove. She is also cellist in a string quartet and they charge £800 or did last time I saw her which is a couple of years back at her sister's wedding.

Don't undersell yourself.


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Hamish
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 03:42 AM

Well after some protracted wranglings - apparently it was a run-off between me and an AMy Winehouse tribute act - they've said "yes"! £250. Which I think is fair since I don't yet know what exactly I'm going to do.

Any ideas for a song that "needs" kazoo accompaniment?


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 09:03 AM

Any ideas for a song that "needs" kazoo accompaniment?

San Francisco Bay Blues Boogie?
Nellie the Elephant?


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: alex s
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 10:36 AM

kazoos - big blue frog


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Hamish
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 05:57 AM

Feedback...

I did the gig on December 17th - the evening of the first big dump of snow in the South of England. So I was a little nervous about the 85 mile journey home afterwards.

The first set went really well. They loved the interaction. They loved the spot prizes for the trivia quiz items - especially the "lavish meal for two" (which was a tin of sausages and beans). They did a good job on singing on It's My Party and were suitably willing on the pantomime-style "And now the left side... I think the right side can sing louder than that" palaver. The left side/right side alternate words (as per I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue) worked pretty well, too. Nelly the Elephant was great... Starting with Winter Wonderland worked well.

...the second set was more difficult. They'd had a bit more to drink by then, and I had a little trouble getting their focus back. So it was more like damage limitation. I didn't even attempt Liberty Bell which was to have featured volunteer kazoo players.

Here's the curve-ball. Also known as "know your audience". I'd put the set together on the basis of a shared knowledge of British culture: as in Liberty Bell - the Monty Python theme. However due to the weather many of the British-based punters didn't turn up and there was a high proportion of "off-shore", non-British punters, over on short-term contracts (and therefore staying in nearby hotels and not subject to the weather-related travel difficulties). So the usual banker "Mrs Robinson" just totally failed to connect. The DJ got it right when he put on some Banghra music, though!

Anyway, good fun - especially the first set. There's a promise of a return gig sometime. It's not going to be a new career option, but I feel I've learnt a new skill if opportunities come up.

And as for the journey home: excellent. Nearly. I'd kept ahead of the worst of the snow until I was seven miles from home. Those last seven miles took two hours...

...but I've banked (and spent) the cheque.

Thanks for all your help, advice, suggestion etc.

--
Hamish


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for letting us know how it went. Glad that it worked out--it sounds like you were prepared, it seems like you gave a great performance. I loved the "lavish meal for two" bit--that second set business is about right, and it seems like every show throws a curve of one sort or another--hope other opportunities present themselves!


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Subject: RE: Corporate events - how much to charge?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 08:03 PM

Best 'curve' we were thrown was a Medieval Banquet for 120 College Students ! We were geared for a lot of Double entendres and risque songs - Until the College Principal said Grace ! It was a Religious College - Rapid Discard of the 'good' songs and replacement with GOOD songs !


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