11-16-2003, 05:47 PM
Overview question, should the sponsoring organization expect the even to break even? or make a profit.. or expect to subsidize it for a couple of years?
Do you approach seminar leaders... with hat in hand... explaining your start-up status... and hope for a price break from them... or expect to pay full professional fee.
You get more out of music…when you savor the notes.
Richard Mao, The Peking Piper ( PekingPiper@mao.org )
I'm not sure how to use the quotes command on the forum, so I just cut and pasted your questions...
???Overview question, should the sponsoring organization expect the even to break even? or make a profit.. or expect to subsidize it for a couple of years???
If you are thinking long term (5 years or so) I think that your goal would be to break even the first year. I remember MHAF's first workshop; talk about being nervous! Keep things very simple the first time around, because you have no idea what the response will be like, or if weather or other unforeseen acts will come in to play. Once you are in the black, put the money back in to the workshop so you can increase attendance and offer more the next time around.
This is where it is so important to be a non-profit. You can apply for grants, such as regional or local "start up" grants or short-term funding from local arts groups. The only caveat is, from my experience, piping/drumming is so specialized and appeals to such a limited audience that any potential benefactor may not see the workshop/organization as existing for the "greater good" of the community. Lots of people are looking for free money these days.
Regarding funding from other sources, the key thing to remember is "the worst thing somebody can say is 'no'". Solicit in-kind donations, such as pizza for the masses, bottled water, etc. You would be surprised how many local companies are willing to donate things in exchange to hang a giant banner at your workshop. I can elaborate for pages on the financial aspect of workshops, so let me know if you would like for me to expand here.
???Do you approach seminar leaders... with hat in hand... explaining your start-up status... and hope for a price break from them... or expect to pay full professional fee???
Depends what type of instructors you are looking for. If you think of top-notch instructors/performers that normally do the workshop circuit, their weekends are precious, especially during the off-season. If you are not willing to pay full price for their time, somebody else probably is. I have found that most folks coming in from out of town would rather stay at a local piper's house than be dropped off at a hotel. You can defray costs there.
Do some research; see what the going rate is for what you want them to do at the workshop. Some instructors have different prices if the workshop also includes a recital. Again, some instructors are probably hardline about their professional fees (and rightly so); others may be able to negotiate.
I know of one workshop that pays instructors a premium; I know of another that offers their instructors a modest honoraria, regardless of an instructor's normal fee. It just depends on what types of names you want headlining your event and how many people you want attending your workshop!
One other point, if you find that Instructor A is quoting you a firm price and Instructor B is willing to do the workshop for a lesser fee, BE SURE and pay them the same regardless of what the different fees are. I know this is common sense, but I have heard some bad news stories over beers about how professional services differed on the instructors' willingness to negotiate.
Let me know if this all made sense and if I can expand!