How Your Middle Buyer Saves You Money
We as Middle Buyers occasionally hear, “We are going to book our artist direct in order to save money.” Meaning, they don’t want to pay the 10% fee that Middle Buyers charge on top of the artist fee. But what programmers often don’t realize is just how much money a Middle Buyer can save them. Let’s look at some real examples.
Example 1 – The “BIG” show – A year ago one of our school programming board clients was interested in an artist on the rise, but was dragging his feet. We as Middle Buyers often are more in touch with artist prices and changes, and we knew this artist’s price was going to double in the coming weeks because several singles were flying up the charts. We let the school know that it was “now or never.” The school trusted us, submitted their offer very quickly, and the artist we confirmed for $75,000. Literally by the very next week, that artist was charging other schools $150,000 due to their sudden jump in popularity.
A few weeks later, the production for that artist grew into a massive set up that we could not have anticipated when booking the artist, and their needs went far beyond anything the school had budgeted for. We negotiated with the artist’s production team and management, explaining the budgetary issues, and the tour ended up paying for $10,000 of that increased production.
Thus, for our $7,500 fee, we saved the school $85,000, plus they had a huge, sold out show. Worth it, don’t you think?
Example 2 – The “smaller” show – A school with a budget of $15,000 wanted to produce a large scale concert. Typically $15,000 doesn’t get you an artist that can sell thousands of tickets. However, a small unknown band at the time (someone named The Band Perry) was routed through the area, and we had booked them at another school or two, knowing they were on their way up. We knew there was one more routed date possible, so we convinced the school to book The Band Perry for $12,500 and another small up and comer at the time, Thompson Square, for $2,500. The school ended up selling 3,000+ tickets for this event and made a profit, which is basically unheard of in the college concert world. No one, not even the artists, anticipated those ticket sales.
Thus, for our fee of $1,500, the school saved $30,000. Broken down, instead of the school losing about $20,000 on a show (which they normally budget for) the school MADE about $10,000. Again – worth it.
Example 3 – Saving money along the way – We also save money for our clients in smaller ways. For every event, we suggest our clients form a budget and share it with us, so we can make sure the numbers are realistic and help them stay within those numbers. We speak with tour personnel daily, so we know how to have the tough conversations about saving money. We can review production needs and suggest areas where savings might be possible. We can also go through catering lists and see how we can prevent wasting food, and thus save money. We have even saved some of our clients a few thousand dollars by suggesting a new production company they hadn’t heard of, or by routing several shows together and putting the same production company on all of them.
Thus, even if we only save our client a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, it is still making up for the cost of our services.
What’s more – you can’t put a price on the experience and expertise a Middle Buyer can give you. When you’re faced with a tough decision and you don’t know contractually and legally what you can do, we as the Middle Buyer are there to tell you. We’re there to help you through the tough decisions, make suggestions every step of the way, and offer creative solutions to problems. Every artist has a team of people representing their best interests. We represent the buyer’s best interests.