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What makes an event worth doing?

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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 768
Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Sep 24 2014    Post subject: What makes an event worth doing? Reply with quote

What do you usually pay out to organizers, base and/or percentage? I have folks ask us to do events occasionally and I am actually building a food truck, slowly. We have done a few events over the years but I am leery of showing up to a loosing proposition. I did a weekend event for a friend this year and lost my butt. Too few people or too high a pay out to organizers or both, what makes an event worth doing? I realize it takes time to find good events as well. We are so busy on most weekends with the restaurant and catering that I have a hard time straying anyway. I have talked with a few food truck guys and they stuck to scheduled events like corporate stuff where the risks are limited and the host is providing a perk or convenience to their guests or employees. We do several teachers trainings every year and the district isn't looking for a cut, they are just trying to keep the staff on campus during the lunch break. We usually sell out every time at the very end, 100 people in about an hour.
The lessons are in the customer's criticism. They aren't always right. The rewards are their satisfaction.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
BBQ All Star

Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 5067
Location: Fredonia Wi

PostPosted: Sep 25 2014    Post subject: Reply with quote

After 5 years, I continue to look for "good" gig's, but still dont have the "perfect" eye for them...They are ALWAYS a crap shoot as weather, economy, local plant recent shut down or layoff, even "other" local events can greatly affect our sales [ the most expensive gig we do competes with the next county over's county fair and 2 other big gigs near Chicago, but we sell out everything I can fit on 2 lg smokers every time ]...
We pay a set rate, anywhere from $250 - $1k to park [ usually inclused electric ]...Did the % thing ONCE,[20% of gross for being in their building - was nice to have the room, fridges etc.Did fairly well on sales, but never again].
Had one want $500 PLUS 15%, I still laugh every time I so much as think of him, and even harder when I see him [ local promoter who is now a failed promoter ]
Doing one this weekend that is more for advertising than anything...a small town "fall fest" ..$25 to park, must run generator, but is close, we do have a good customer base in the are, and the bar who used to do a pig will not be doing it this year...So we will make SOME money while reaching out to those who dont normally stop in when we are open for lunch only in said town...Doing these small. local towns HAS greatly increased our corporate catering gig's, so even a break even event [ after meats, salaries etc ] turn into big money eventually...We dont have a brick n mortar to promote from.
I see any other big gig where we dont take in at least 10X the $ to set-up as a failure of sorts, and we wont return the next year...unless there are extenuating circumstances...have done well over 25X event cost on a 2 day expensive gig..
We just recently had a pretty big failure in my book [ 8X event cost ], covered ALL costs and made a few bucks to boot, but promoter brought in 6 BBQ guys - yes, contract stated there was no exclusivity on food type, but 6??!!! He told me there was 1 other, even told me guy's menu to ensure ours werent identical...suddenly half the food vendors had BBQ... We WILL be doing same event [ which is area wide, not just one local ], but 5 miles away from his location/campgrounds where all his happy campers go to buy gas and beer Wink Was asked by them to park there when I stopped for gas, but had already paid for my spot in campground / fest area, then weather went to crap to boot...
We have found enough "good" gig's that I plan on building another food truck this winter - may not license it for street vending, but WILL have someone drag it along to the good money makers - should pay for itself at 1 good gig alone based on my building it with much of the stuff I already have on hand, craigslist from failing 'raunts, and auction house right down the road.. gonna put my Minneapolis "cordon bleu" trained chef in it, have him hocking some "not fair" food at fairs Wink and maybe I'll even get some sleep running cook to order food truck! [ have him feed the smoker logs all night Wink ]
I often see guys happier than all get up, making a half way decent wage for a full weekends work...not me, I gotta make a years good salary in 6 months or so...so its go big or stay home!
Money Maker
Mr Tony's Kitchen http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=67601
Being Blessed with income from my passion!
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