How Much For Your Gold Package?

Lately I have been receiving a lot of requests for “the cost of your packages.”

If you are in the business of selling widgets that come in different sizes, or were sold by the six-pack, the case, or the pallet-load, that approach might make sense.

But I am in the Event Entertainment business, and am marketing a talent-based service that comes with too many variables to market the same way you sell the services of a Car Wash.

Some folks market entertainment like a Car Wash.

Some folks market entertainment like a Car Wash.

One reason this weird expectation has evolved is Internet marketing, and a bit of laziness on the part of website developers. It’s easy to use a template when building a website, even though it may be better suited to selling products than services, especially talent services.

Another reason is the nature of the profession itself, and the profusion of newcomers and wanna-bes. Since there is no licensing required, any kid with an iPod can print a business card and build a website, and claim to be a DJ. And it’s not just kids, there are a surprising number of middle-aged folks who were down-sized out of a job, who jump into the entertainment business because it looks like a fun way to earn easy money.

These newcomers work cheap (if they show up: see what happens when they don’t here.) For their minimal price, they typically have a minimal approach to every aspect of their performance. And they market their service by the hour, or with my personal favorite, “Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Packages.”

Any experienced professional who is a talented Host and Emcee, knows that the value of their service is not in the number of hours, nor the size of the sound equipment, nor the number of cool lighting effects. They know that it’s the time and care spent in planning and preparation, that make their service valuable. The true professional listens and does their homework, and makes sure every detail is just right at the big event.

That’s why I don’t care for “package” pricing or an hourly rate, and no experienced professional does. Every event is unique, and has its own special requirements for preparation, staffing, A-V support, and travel and other logistical details, as well as the varied and sometimes unusual choices made by the client.

Perhaps the biggest pet peeve about marketing we all share, is the “bait-and-switch,” or add-on selling. Advertise one service at a low price to lure customers, then add more features to drive up the price later. It’s the “You want fries with that?” mentality, that has no place in the Event Entertainment industry. I’m not too crazy about it in the restaurant industry, either!

You want fries with that?

You want fries with that?

I prefer (and so do my clients) a consulting approach, listening to what the client requires, and recommending the best way to achieve the goals of their event, and then we create a quote that includes everything. No hidden fees, no add-on marketing. Then the client has a concrete number for their budget.

And it often costs less than the Bronze Package with Fries, extension speakers, and extra microphones.

One Response to “How Much For Your Gold Package?”

  1. This is a great post (your blog is VERY entertaining, as well as informative..). I just witnessed this recently.. A photographer who appeared cheap at the get go, but then proceeded to nickle and dime her clients to death. Definitely not my idea of a good client-vendor relationship. Up front is the way to be!

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