Didn't hear from the school again, now I know why.....

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Calash

Coastal Music Services
Hi everyone,

Sometimes in this business, you just want to go outside and just pound sand. I did a middle school dance not too long ago and came highly recommended by the principal who had seen me at a different school. The secretary asked if I could offer a discount since it was my first time there. I did, 10%......They were blown away, but I did not hear back from them. Are you thinking????? You guessed it, they had someone else come in and do a 2.5 hour dance for $100.00. When I asked the secretary why I never heard from them again, she said that I did a GREAT job, but this is a fundraiser for the school, and the kids don't mind the "Other Guy" even thought I know he does NOTHING. Oh well. What can you say to that. Take care, Nancy from CMS
 

oldschooldj

Member
I have found that when the schools I do dances for want me to do funds raisers, I just bring in my smallest rig DXR15's, Numark Mix Deck Express and Laptop, with 1 T-bar with four ligths on it (with hazer) and just do it for free. That way when I do a real dance for them they pay much better and I bring in a pair or more of 18" subs, 8" or 12" tops, EV-DCONE DSP and CP4000 amp, with 2 or 3 T-bars of lights.

This keeps them happy, cost me a couple Friday Nights a year, and doesn't let the cheap-o DJ with a couple powered speakers on sticks steal my real gigs. The kids really know the difference when you hit them with a couple powered 15" verses 18" subs with tops. They also understand when you let them know you are helping them out for the funds raiser and that is why you can't bring a real rig for it like you do for the other dances. It also makes them appreciate when you bring the big show and will make them understand the difference between you and the DJ with two powered speakers on sticks for the real dances.
 

Old_Goat

Senior LDJC Member
Having done myriad fund-raisers over the years, I can tell you that ALL of your public and most of your private shows are the reason you get called in the first place. They WANT the $1K show. Of course, they want it for $0. For "regular" events they want a discount - (especially if they want to book for several in advance), but fund raisers? As "close to the ground" as they can get them. Do they want YOU or do they want your STUFF?

If this is a private school / public school matters. If it's for a new batch of uniforms for the band or a trip to Paris matters. I never did / do / will do fundraisers I don't "feel for".

THAT said...

The idea of doing a less involved / less technical show is an option. The idea of discounts vs. tax receipts comes into play. The idiocy surrounding "school gigs" comes in to play, as well.

Best of luck.
 

Ausumm

Active Member
The person hiring you could care less if you are good, bad, or the best.
They are not the ones who are playing for, so their ONLY motivation is price.
Middle school kids may have enjoyed your work, but they are not critics and don't know any better.
And they probably did NOT remember your name no matter how great you were last time.
 

Conanski

Active Member
I haven't done a school dance in 20yrs and by the looks of it nothing has changed. For the most part every dance is a fundraiser for something or other so the only way to break the cycle of a price war to the bottom is to offer them a package deal, you get some return business and a chance to establish a benchmark and they get a cut rate deal on fundraisers if they guarantee you the Prom at full price... for example. If they won't agree to something like that shake hands and walk away.. you can't win.
 

Arnoldo Offermann

Active Member
The idiocy surrounding "school gigs" comes in to play, as well.Best of luck.
I wouldn't say idiocy.. it all depends on how its done. I have people tell me this and that school won't pay more than $500 and I scoop them up at 10x that. It's just about presentation and making the #s work. Followup shouldn't be on the school side... they're not used to vendors following up-- break the pattern and you'll see results!
 

Old_Goat

Senior LDJC Member
My reference to "idiocy" doesn't begin, or end, with the sell.

If it did, we wouldn't have been hammering at the subject for the last 20 years or so.

"Never underestimate the power of idiots in large groups". School gigs give you five, (or more), "large groups" in the same room at the same time.

Hey, some folks love 'em. Some folks love bars. Weddings. Karaoke or MC-ing corporate events. It's all good, but it doesn't eliminate the existence of the issue. Just exemplifies the abilities of entertainment professionals to work to their strong suit.
 

djbillman

New Member
My reference to "idiocy" doesn't begin, or end, with the sell.

If it did, we wouldn't have been hammering at the subject for the last 20 years or so.

"Never underestimate the power of idiots in large groups". School gigs give you five, (or more), "large groups" in the same room at the same time.

Hey, some folks love 'em. Some folks love bars. Weddings. Karaoke or MC-ing corporate events. It's all good, but it doesn't eliminate the existence of the issue. Just exemplifies the abilities of entertainment professionals to work to their strong suit.




Schools are "Always on a budget." Any county or state you go to they have to get the funds from their school board. I met with a high school for a homecoming dance and they said the last 2 djs the previous years were rude and boring. So I gave them a $200 discount and gave them a great presentation. They said I had the best attitude and options for a great price. Well....... they said they still decided to go with the previous guy. I guess he gave them a good deal. So schools are unpredictable.
 

Arnoldo Offermann

Active Member
Any county or state you go to they have to get the funds from their school board.

That is 100% incorrect. Funds come from the SGA Treasury.. aka Student Funds. Yes, some federal funds are budgeted for student activities, but that is NOT where most of the money comes from.
 

dj_kevin_f

Go Big or Go Home
In instances where time and service are donated, no tax break whatsoever is allowed, as the IRS Publication 526 clearly states, "You cannot deduct the value of your time or services…"

However getting the school to recognize the donation as an in-kind could result in incredible good will with the community.
 
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