So you are faced with providing some great school assemblies for your school. But you have a limited budget. What to do?
Of course, if you want to play it safe, there are both cheap and free assemblies that can be found.
McDonald's has great Ronald McDonald show you can, I believe, get for free. Local hospitals often have shows on health or bike safety. And you can sometimes find a local performer who has thrown together some kind of show and offers it inexpensively.
But in the world of school assemblies, this is the equivalent of shopping for clothing at Big Lots when what you really want is Saks 5th Avenue. Or eating dinner with a coupon at Wendy’s when what you really want is Red Lobster, or, better still, Morton's Steak House!
Well, I expect at least a few of you are the kind of diligent shopper who loves to get a great deal, right?
You are the one who checks the high priced stores always heads to the sale racks first, finding that unbelievably cool item for 70% or even 90% off and chuckling all the way home, right?
Well, when it comes school assemblies such “deals” are around, too, if you now how to find them.
Some performers of school shows are resident in a particular area. They hold down a “day job”, and take time off to perform the occasional show at a local school. These are not the guys you want. Nothing against their talent or performance, but they can afford to wait for the school that will pay full price.
No, what you, the inveterate discount hound are looking for is the performer or company that tours.
With any performer and with any tour, as the year progresses, there will be days that simply do not fill in. A tour will be working every day and then there will be an odd Thursday afternoon that no one wanted for whatever reason. It is a week or two away and the odds are that it will remain empty. Bad news for the performer! On the road, a day off may be nice for catching up on sleep, but a day off also means no income that day while road expenses continue.
Use this knowledge to your advantage!
Assuming that you are either the principal, in which case you have the power of God when it comes to scheduling events at your school, or that as a teacher or parent, you have the persuasive skills to win over said principal with only a short amount of notice, deals may be found that can make your budget stretch a lot further.
Here is what you do. Husband your small budget carefully. Research the performers and companies that you think are the best. Do your homework. Then,make some calls every now and then. Call a company that you like. Think of this like going into the high end department store and heading to the clearance rack. Ask them what is coming up in your area of the country. Be prepared as there may be nothing. Just like when you check that clearance rack and there is nothing in your size. But, maybe ... just maybe ... this will be your lucky day. You may find out that a really great show will be in your neighborhood in a few days or a week or two, and that ... yes, it does happen to all performers ... there is that odd Thursday afternoon open.
Now you are cooking. You can feel your heart beginning to race a little.
Ask the price. But don’t stop there. Use your knowledge. Bargain a little. Chances are they want to fill that day as much as you want to have that show! Often times you will walk away with a really great deal.
Don’t be fooled by the salesperson who claims to have “a little grant money” with which they can help you. This is just blowing smoke to save face. Here is a tip. For profit companies don’t get grant money. Doesn’t happen. Period. They are just saving face not wanting to admit they need to pay the performer that day.
Use your knowledge and you can come out ahead every time.
Or, rather, most times. There may not be anything in your area. Or you may hit a stubborn performer who just won’t negotiate. Don’t be discouraged. The bargains are there. Keep looking. Your kids deserve it!
And just so you can believe what we say, here are some examples coming up. Mobile Ed currently has select but really good “deals” available in several states, including Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island and Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Give us a call. We might have a great deal for you!