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Prices for Elementary school dances.. your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Event Specialties' started by hippydog, May 5, 2012.

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  1. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    I'm just waiting for my hard drive to finish replicating while I type this.. so I wont go into detail till tomorrow..

    but I was wondering first off..

    What kind of prices are you seeing in your area for elementary school dances?

    I'm doing my daughters school dance next week, and I was really shocked at the going prices they were getting..

    <to be continued>
     
  2. JMM773

    JMM773 New Member

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    300-500,... strictly elementary, gr 1-5
     
  3. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    Thats exactly what I heard from the parent coordinator..

    to be fair, i dont do school dances anymore, (except this one coming up fr my daughter LOL), but 20 to 15 years ago thats what the multi-op company charged back then.. around $400.. and we brought less stuff..

    When she told me the prices she was getting from DJ's I was kinda shocked, I automatically assumed they were from new or lower end DJ's.. NO! she told me the names of the companies (as they keep a list and share the list if a new coordinator comes on board, shes been doing it for 4 years).. I knew the names of four of the companies that she mentioned, and they are good companies IE: use legal music, some members of associations, all of them have been in biz for years..

    I asked lots of questions and we had a good conversation.. She has no problem paying for a legal DJ, and even a 'quality' school dance DJ,
    the simple fact is she knows she can get one at under $500!

    P.S. I'm NOT complaining, I just thought it was interesting.
     
  4. JMM773

    JMM773 New Member

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    With that market, they just don't care enough - The kids are too young and won't notice. Hence the price. However, if you can pick one up, go for it, they're usually pretty easy and quick money.
     
  5. maestro

    maestro Active Member

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    Here elementary schools don't normally book DJ's or hold dances except MAYBE one for the grade 7 grads at the end of the year. Middle schools will pay about 395.00 for a 2 hour afternoon dance for approx. 400 kids. I raised the price for my middle schools recently to 449.00 for a 2 hour dance but I can't see it getting any higher than that as there are many that will do it cheaper and even bring dual screen video out for that price; idiots.
     
  6. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Mobile Beat Moderator Staff Member

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    I just quoted a dance to a good friend of mine whose wife is the coordinator. At $300 I was too much compared to the others. Don't really care as I have other stuff going on Friday nights right now.
     
  7. DJSTEVEZ

    DJSTEVEZ DJ Emeritus

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    Sorry to go off-roading here, what's the time duration of a party for schools based on a $300 - $500 price tag?
    I'm thinking 2 hours, but I don't want to assume. -Z-
     
  8. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    yes.. they dont care enough, the old "we cant charge much for tickets cause then no one will come".. Which I guess is essentially true.. start charging $15 per kid and and most parents will say "frack it"..
    which is kinda sad.. As a parent I have no problem paying $10 to take my child swimming,, I have no problem paying almost $30 for a few hours at the local amusement park or 'chuck E cheese' playplace..
    but a school dance? all of sudden theres little value in it? it has to be free?

    as too the "quick and easy money"... That I dont see.. sure.. the dance is only 2 to 3 hours.. BUT! the setup is large (schools EXPECT the big lightshow and sound, IE: running two mackies and 4 pars would be lackluster in a school gym lol) and many school gyms are a pain for setup (limited window for setup and many times stairs to the stage)

    for a full time multi-op I guess having something on a friday is nice.. but is it worth almost a 50% discount VS the rest of the industry? (weddings, anniversaries, school reunions etc)

    I'm not trying to "raise the prices" or anything.. I just kinda assumed that after 15 years things would have changed one way or another..
     
  9. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    thing is.. who are the idiots?
    the DJ's for not holding out for a higher price? (doesnt work.. I stopped doing school dances 10 years ago.. hasnt raised the prices a bit LOL),
    the DJ's for not educating the schools? (I'm not a horrible sales guy.. trust me when I say my daughters school has no interest in paying top money for a DJ)..
    the schools for not charging enough , or making a bigger deal out of the school dance.. (my daughters school has to beg people to volunteer to help out)..


    I guess I am really feeling my age this week.. I keep on thinking back to when I was a kid,
    we used to pay entrance fees of $5 to go to a dance, and school dances were a big deal! The entertainment WAS important, we knew who were the better DJ's and would ask for the good ones.. I'm not 100% sure but i think the prices for a DJ back then were also $400 roflmao...
     
  10. JMM773

    JMM773 New Member

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    I see it as quick and easy... it's a 2 hour setup, doesn't feel like much work to me and it's only 3 hours (per your question Steve)

    mind you, that's strictly gr1-5... the only exception is for a middle school dance i've been doing once per month, every month for the past 9 years (so 108+ events for them x 200or300 each = ~24K).. it's a great testing ground for a lot of my new gear, software, music, etc., not to mention this whole time they were saving for a new facility, so happy to help them in that aspect too

    possibly raising their price this month or next month since they're going into a new facility, but i don't really care too too much,... still love them as a client, they're easy and they work their dances around my schedule all the time, so i can always take their gig and if something comes up, they move their dance for me (and vice versa, if I don't have anything going on and they really need to move a dance, I try to accomodate them as well).
     
  11. Billabong

    Billabong Rock Lobster

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    Shifts into four-wheel-drive: For me, two hours.

    I do elementary dances, organized by the PTA, for my son's school. Two hours long, I charge them $175.

    Other elementary schools, I'd charge $300 for two hours.

    Middle school/high school would be $500 for a two hour dance, for the reasons hippydog stated: bigger setup, more stuff needed.
     
  12. fbeweds

    fbeweds New Member

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    I just did an elementary school dance last week and they paid $700 for a black light show. Some schools start at $300 but we usually work up to the 700 1000 range all depends what they want and how many kids.

    Good Luck
     
  13. Maverick

    Maverick Pumping It Up

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    We have one school we do 9am-11am every year 625.00 for two hours, A DJ two speakers and games...you just gotta position yourself with the right clients...make it worth YOUR time to do...You also have to get the PTA in the mindset that this ISN"T ABOUT SELLING TICKETS...if it is than you might want to pass or work with them to come up with a plan...but most of the stuff we do the PTA has already raised money for "end of year celebration etc".....so price isn't that much of an issue, we tend to stay away from events where ticket sales are the main reason to do it...
     
  14. djtunes

    djtunes Checking Reality

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    Markets vary. In my county (Brevard, FL) the school board has to ok any school's budget so it ends up going to the cheapest guy.

    One Middle School I do once a year... It use to be 2 or 3 but they put a new sound system in their cafeteria and use an iPod for 2 other dances.

    I have been back once since they put the system. I walked through the cafeteria and noticed ZX1s in the 4 corners. I don't know if there is bass.

    I played in the gym. It is a small gym just big enough for one court and bleachers on the 2 long sides of the court.

    I used 2 subs (PV118 power=QSC GX5) and 2 15" 2-ways (PR15 power=QSC RMX1450). All of the bleachers were folded shut. I was on centered at 1/2 court back to the wall/bleachers. I put the 2 subs coupled on my right and the 2 15s on poles, one in front of the subs and the other to my left. I was surprised at how much sound I was able to get out of this set up in this gym. The bass was BIG. Every since I have been coupling my subs and putting them almost completely back against the wall it's like I have 2 more subs there. Hint hint.

    So... 2-1/2 hrs. $349

    The people at the school did admit at the end of the dance that I am so much better than the iPod thing they do (Thanks!), but the school board won't pay for more than just the one dance.

    A local elem. school flaked out recently. I had the date penciled in that I was gonna cover for another local pro, and they never returned the cont. - could not return phone calls - then finally got through and found out someone is doing it for $100/3hrs.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  15. djmanny

    djmanny New Member

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    I don't know part of the U.S. you DJ's are playing at, in Central Florida. The going rate for a Elementary School Dance is $300.00 - $400.00 for a 4 hour show. If you charge anymore than that trust me you will be sitting at home watching T.V. or scanning music on your hard drive. Most of the time they are only charging $2.00 -$3.00 per kid.
     
  16. fbeweds

    fbeweds New Member

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    That's Funny I just did a gig two weeks ago and got $700. Now yes we added some extra and I gave them a Discount,
    But its out there if you sell it right and are good.
     
  17. djmanny

    djmanny New Member

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    That maybe true, but many schools cannot afford to pay that rate because they don't have a budget that will support that. No matter how good you are and every DJ in their own mind perceive that they are the best DJ in the world, and if they don't think they are good they don't need to be in this business. I have been in the business for over 20 plus years, I also have a retail/wholesale store and deal with alot of DJ's. The thing that I should have said the Business has been really tainted with the evolution of the computer. Every person that has a laptop and can download music is a DJ. Yes the computer DJing is very convenient but it takes the skill out of the craft.
     
  18. fbeweds

    fbeweds New Member

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    I do agree with you. Most schools are in the $300 budget, I would know my wife is a teacher... But some school will pay top dollar if you show them that this well bring in more kids to the dances. We are the Maker or Breaker.

    The staff that hire me stated that they been using the same DJ for the last couple of years and the dances were getting smaller. he did'nt show any extras. (same setup same lighting)

    The one I just did exceeded their last numbers as we had 207 kids attend.

    Now CPU djs and TT DJs, yes I can relate as I started dj on Gemini and Technic 1200 TT and it was great and tough me how to be a real DJ, Not those that go by BPM... But As you know being a TT DJ would suck now--- Due to all the creates you would have to bring in. Now you can still use your TT with Serato or VDJ and laptop but you still are lugging two big players. Now I own the 3700s & MC6000 which can do magic.
     
  19. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    I've also been in the biz for 20 years now..
    and I have a completely different take on it..

    From talking to different schools, parent committess (who hire the DJs), students, and my fellow DJ's..
    I've come to one simple conclusion..
    most DJ's are not doing anything special compared to 20 yrs ago..

    20 years ago I started with doing school dances for a multi-op I worked for.. He pretty much did all the school dances in our city, and the small towns around us..
    Bring a big lightshow, big sound system.. give away some prizes.. done..
    beat mixing was not a major thing (but I learned how to do it anyways)

    sure.. computers have made DJing easier.. the thing is, in 2 decades our "craft" has barely changed or evolved.. We have all these new fancy tools at our disposal, yet the artistic side has not grown with it..

    20 years ago the multi-op charged around $400 for the elementary/middle schools, Around $600 for junior high and high school.. (and we brought in a heck of a lot of equipment)..
    If i had a video of back then, compared to now. it wouldnt look much different (except the speakers and lights do way more for half the size and weight)

    the equipments lighter & cheaper, why should schools pay more?

    (just being a devils advocate, sorry)
     
  20. djmanny

    djmanny New Member

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    I kinda disagree 20 years ago at a normal school dance I would have brought (2) Fullrange Speakers and Subs a small light show (a slow moving effect for slow songs and (2) fast moving effects for the other slongs) To stay ahead of your competition you have to do something different. 20 years ago they didn't have flat screens or aluminum box trussing and music videos were not as readily available as they are now. Intelligent lights were not as affordable as they are now nor as reliable. I attached a picture of what I use for a medium size (400 -600 kids) prom or homecoming dance
     

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