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Thread: dancing for your performance fee and providing a silent auction item




  1. #1
    I could get used to this! Heather Wayman's Avatar
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    Red face dancing for your performance fee and providing a silent auction item

    Okay, I've lurked on the forums for several years and have gleaned lots of helpful information at various times when I've had questions. This site is a treasure trove of help. I can't seem to find an answer I'm looking for, so I'm posting my question out right.

    I am about to contact an organization in my community to offer a performance for their annual Gala Ball. It's an organization that is well monied and raises funds every year at their ball to
    beautify our community. Last year, the ball raised $75K for a project that has now been completed. They have a large entertainment budget as evidenced by previous
    year's entertainment. I'm thinking that I'll start out by offering a gift certificate for classes for use in their silent auction. My intent is to get a performance gig out of it too in order to promote the gift certificate in the auction, my classes and the creme de la creme prize for me.....future, high quality gigs booked as a result.

    My straight performance fee for a 15-20 minute show would be $200. The gift certificate will be worth $100. I'm probably over thinking this whole thing (does that EVER happen to anyone of you : ) I guess my quandry is this: Is it silly to perform for $200 and give 1/2 of it back in the value of a gift certificate (but remember my intent, future gigs).

    Any suggestions on how to approach this pitch would be greatly appreciated too : ) I'm still finding my sea legs in the marketing and business side of belly dance. I've got a lot to learn.

    Thanks bunches!


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer jewelbellydance's Avatar
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    Re: dancing for your performance fee and providing a silent auction item

    Quote Originally Posted by okiBelly View Post
    My straight performance fee for a 15-20 minute show would be $200. The gift certificate will be worth $100. I'm probably over thinking this whole thing (does that EVER happen to anyone of you : ) I guess my quandry is this: Is it silly to perform for $200 and give 1/2 of it back in the value of a gift certificate (but remember my intent, future gigs).
    No, I don't think this is silly, especially as in my experience, only about 1% of gift vouchers ever get used. I suppose if someone's bought this gift they may be more likely to use it, but it's not going to cost you anything if you'll be running your classes regardless of their attendance.

    The harder part may be how to get the organisers to hire you as a performer. They may just say "thank you, we'll take the voucher but not the performance", so you may have to insist on both. Perhaps providing a 'discount' to your performance will help (you can say your usual rate is $250, but for this occasion you'll offer a discount performance for $200). Be sure you're also allowed to display or distrubute business cards.
    tahiradancer and Ainsley like this.


  3. #3
    Official BHUZzer Safran's Avatar
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    Re: dancing for your performance fee and providing a silent auction item

    And, I don't see any problem in it, if the Gala Ball raises money for a cause or project that you support!


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: dancing for your performance fee and providing a silent auction item

    I would look at it as 2 entirely separate propositions. I don't think wheedling your way into the performance line up is going to work, your dancing (and your professional presentation of what you have to offer) should stand up for itself as far as getting on that entertainment line up.

    The gift certificate is, of course, a donation, but it is also a chance for you to get your name out in the community. Find out what level of donation earns you a mention/banner ad/logo in the program/sponsor list/posters for the event and decide if it's worth it to you. Of course, take into consideration whether it is something you support anyway, and also (as Jewel pointed out) the slim chance of the certificate actually being redeemed! (this has been my experience as well- I've had 2 class certificates redeemed in all my years of donating to various causes!)

    It is possible that giving on a regular basis, or participating in the event/organization in some other way will give you name recognition when it comes time to hire the entertainment, but I wouldn't look at it as "will you hire me if I make this donation" personally.
    indigostars likes this.


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
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    Re: dancing for your performance fee and providing a silent auction item

    I agree that you should keep the hiring and the donating separate. I suggest that you solicit their business as you would any other (with letter, promotion package, email, whatever). If they are interested in you as a performer you can count on them asking you to contribute in some way: reduce your fee, donate to auction, accept tickets in lieu of payment.

    Start as you mean to go on. If your main interest in them is as a customer then concentrate on that first. IMO.


  6. #6
    I could get used to this! Heather Wayman's Avatar
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    Re: dancing for your performance fee and providing a silent auction item

    Thank you so much everyone for your replies. This is all great food for thought. I'm going to approach the appropriate person with the intent on being hired and deal with the rest of it at the proper time.

    My apologies to all for the late response. Thanks again : )


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