I was recently asked what the difference is between the different party packages I offer. To put it simply: time.
But I realised there is actually more to that question. When I sat back I looked at the question from my client’s point of view, and they weren’t really asking what the difference was in the packages based on the length of time I’ll be performing for; but what package would be the most suitable for the event they are organising.
When it comes to weddings and corporate events I have created specific packages, and these are designed to fit around the various needs – not just on the length of time I’ll be performing for. For example, a couple arranging their wedding may think that the ceremony finishes at 2:00pm, and guests will be called through for the wedding breakfast at 4:00pm, so two hours is perfect. I now offer a package that is 2.5 hours long – this means that I can perform around the tables whilst guests are finding their seats, settling in and waiting to be served.
Once the couple look beyond the confines of time they see the benefits of the package – and in this particular package I include some special magic for the top table who have probably missed much of the magic in the drinks reception as they were away posing for photographs for most of it. I also have packages for corporate events where I mix can combine close-up magic with my after-dinner mindreading cabaret show. Again, these have been developed from experience and the event booker (who may at first just been looking in terms of time) can see the benefits of the packages.
But when it comes to parties it does come down to time. But how much time do you need? You may think that guests will arrive at 7:00pm and the disco starts at 8:30pm, so 1.5 hours will be perfect. But just because the disco starts at 8:30pm, it’s likely it won’t be much more than background music for the first hour. And will there be enough guests there by 7:00pm ready to see magic.
And how many guests will you be expecting. If you are having a small gathering of friends they may be arriving at 7:00pm and leaving between around 10/11:00pm – but that doesn’t mean you want me there for 3 hours!
So once I relooked at the question and established the real question I needed to answer I wrote my reply:
The main difference is the length of time I’m there for, and therefore how many tricks people get to see. Typically at a wedding I may spend 2 hours going round 80 guests sitting around 6 to 8 tables, but with smaller events (such as private parties) I have the opportunity to show more tricks – so more people have a chance to get involved and it becomes much more of an experience.
If it’s a small group (perhaps around 10 to 15 people) then usually 1 hour is enough and ensures that everyone gets involved, but with a larger group (say 15 to 30) then 1.5 hours should be enough. With over 40 people then 2 hours is really needed to ensure everyone has an experience (and not just sees a couple of tricks).
Bear in mind this is just a guide, and I’ve done plenty of events where I’ve spent 2 hours entertaining just one table of people, and also just one hour trying get round 150 people!
Hopefully that helps you a little when planning your event. If you have any questions or would like to discuss what would work well for you then please ask (email [email protected]) and I’m happy to have a chat over the phone/Zoom/Skype. My main priorities are to ensure that you get the best value, and your guests see the best magic. I judge this based on 15 years experience of performing at hundreds of parties, wedding and events; and not to try to increase the time, and hence the fee.