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Thread: Cost of laser shows?

  1. #1
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    Default Cost of laser shows?

    I've been adding up all the money I don't have but plan on spending anyway in the hopes of finally being able to offer laser services and I've decided I should probably get a feel for what's to come as far as expenses and income per show. Aside from the obvious expense of all the gear, the maintenance and the traveling, what are some other common expenses for laserist?

    More importantly though, what are common fair prices to charge for the services? Obviously the amount charged will depend on many factors including the size and quality of equipment and the number of people hired to do the job but I know many of you are modest hobbyist doing simple shows for a few hundred locals on a weekend. TomorrowLand and Electric Daisy Carnival aside, what does a single or dual laser show usually cost for a night at the club? I certainly won't be offended if you'd prefer to keep your prices confidential but I'm hoping to get an idea of what price is fair for both the promoter and the laserist. I have yet to experience or fully understand the paperwork and reports involved in doing a show so I'm sure that plays a part in the price but are we talking $500, $1000, $1500?

    For reference, I have no other gear (as far as lighting or audio) to offer so this is strictly aimed at laser shows. I just read an article that was written to help determine what someone should charge for a laser show but when they mentioned needing $50k every couple years for tube lasers I realized this was a bit outdated, lol. Hopefully you guys can shed some light on the market since the advent of full diode lasers. Thanks!


    -Luke
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  2. #2
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    Half a pound .
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  3. #3
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    Either the value of a pound has sky-rocketed or it really sucks to be a laserist in Essex
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    Piss my shit ;-)
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  5. #5
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    This topic has been addressed before but, I don't have time to search for a link or provide a long answer since I need to run out the door for work but, I think you'll find the answer is "what the market will bear." Norty posted a pretty good description of how he prices things out once but, it really is going to vary widely I'm afraid.

    I for example, do most of my shows in the same place with the same set up and KNOW I'm charging less than I should but, I'd rather book lasers 12 times per year at a lower cost than maybe get lucky with one or two higher paying clients in the same 1 year time frame. Cash flow is a wonderful thing and it doesn't sting as much if people change their minds and don't follow through. When you lose one of your two $10k shows in a year, it's major. But if you lost a $900 show, and have 3 more scheduled that month, and two the following month and three the month after that, yeah it hurts a little but...I look at it as the clients loss for not having my services when I usually over deliver.
    PM Sent...

  6. #6
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    I tried to do a search on the topic but none of the thread titles seemed relevant to my keywords so I didn't look into any. I'll try it again and see if i can track down Norty's thread.

    I figured the cost would vary quite a bit based on location, supply and demand of services but I didnt even know where to start honestly. I don't want to be the guy going around and only charging $100 for a show and putting other guys out of business while ultimately taking a loss myself but I also don't want to charge too much and end up losing potential clients. I will definitely have to feel out the local market for it, I just wanted to find a reasonable starting point.
    LASERS!!

    1x Homemade 500mW 405nm Projector
    1x Homemade 1.2W RGB Projector
    1x Lightspace Color Ray Series 6W RGB
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  7. #7
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    If lasershow have to been created brand new (I mean a "personal" show) I would suggest $100 each minute.
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  8. #8
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    Ahh, that is an aspect of laser shows I didn't really consider. Perhaps with a little (or a lot) of practice creating custom shows I could add that to my services. I'll just need to expand my software first.
    LASERS!!

    1x Homemade 500mW 405nm Projector
    1x Homemade 1.2W RGB Projector
    1x Lightspace Color Ray Series 6W RGB
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  9. #9
    Bradfo69's Avatar
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    Steve I think he's referring to the performance of the show and not the programming. I'm at work now so I'll try and find some of the pricing threads. But to elaborate on my previous post, I have a unique situation and "pros" probably would be pissed at what I charge and say I'm devaluing the profession but, it's two different worlds.
    .
    I have the unique situation of having the venue and having clients come to me. Lasers are an upsell to what they're planning on hosting already. The gear is stored here so I don't have own/rent a van or truck, pay for hotels and meals, brainstorm how to safely get each unique venue set up, deal with lighting directors, have my gear in the rain and other elements, etc. Most of my laser shows are for weddings and proms.
    .
    Take a typical wedding here. Our wedding package is $98 per person inclusive - that's meal, bar, cake, flowers, gratuity, facility, etc. A typical wedding is about 120 people so, do the math. $98 x 120 = $11,760. They're going to spend about $600-$700 on a DJ, maybe $600 on a photobooth, and have other expenses such as dress, favors, bridal party gifts, invitations, etc. They're not going to spend $3500 for one or two 3 watt RGB lasers just to enhance the dancing time which is what an outside pro company might want just to walk in the door.
    .
    Often the DJ has a few lights on a stand and that's good enough for most people. So you have to sell them on the idea of lasers which I do by giving them a demonstration at an event we host a couple times a year called our tasting event. All of the booked brides grooms and families are allowed to come to an evening event that we make into a custom mini bridal show with various vendors and also a chance to sample a lot of our food. It's usually about 18-20 weddings represented and about 120-150 people The hall is decked out and dressed up fancy like a wedding would be with all the tables having different linen combinations, nice centerpieces, uplighting, a laser gobo with names and date on the wall. There are cocktails, door prizes, demos and other fun stuff. The last demo before they leave is when I talk about the lasers, turn the lights down and hit them with a pre programmed show like Uptown Funk with usually 5 RGB's and other effects. Usually they're pulling out their phones and filming and taking pictures, cheering and applauding at the end and then I give away a $100 gift certificate door prize off of any lighting package I offer. I explain that I am the only one in our state with a variance who can legally offer this service (truth) and I usually charge $695 so I'm right in line with what they pay for their DJ or photobooth or ancillary services. I may also sell them on uplighting for $400 which I discount if they're also getting lasers and so it's $995. When you have mom, dad, maybe the best man or maid of honor all sitting there at a table after having a good meal and a few drinks and give them a laser show, it's an easy sell and perhaps half the weddings will get lasers and about 80% will get uplighting. You also appeal to the fact that every bride wants their wedding to be the one people always talk about and remember and lasers are a totally unique way to do that. On the night of the wedding, I'm usually playing them "live" with Quickshow or Beyond along with whatever the DJ is playing. I mix in a lot of other lighting that I can control such as moving heads, scanners, regular DJ lights and be able to give different "looks" during that couple hours of dancing after dinner.
    .
    They have a pro photographer there and I'll usually ask them for any good shots that include the lasers which they are usually more than willing to provide me for free and, word of mouth from their guests as well as couples showing off their wedding pictures is plenty of free marketing and advertising so, it's a buzz that builds on itself.
    .
    I'm hosting my first similar event in a couple of weeks for all of the proms that are booked here next spring where the kids can come and see the hall and get a laser demonstration to see if it's something they want to enhance their prom. Once you get a school hooked, kids naturally talk and so each year it's almost a slam dunk.
    .
    Now... on the "outside" world, it's a whole different ballgame. Pricing a show involves having to figure out all of your expenses, which can be excessive, and then what you actually want to make for your time. Vehicle rental, gas, tolls, motel if necessary, the cost of site visits, hired help, meals, cost of last minute consumables like batteries, tie wraps, the dash to Walmart for the power strip you forgot and the pack of beef jerky you grab at the register while waiting in line. The hardware store run for the wing nut that rattled off while traveling and you can't find in the trunk anywhere. The flat tire getting fixed at 3:17 am on your drive home.... Plus your amortized expenses such as insurance, advertising, web hosting if you have a web page, taxes, accounting, checking account fee's, postage, paying off the investment in gear, and you have to keep up with the technology and be upgrading things too. Oh, and it's not a rocket science job so it's not like you can charge $100 per hour for you time... let's be reasonable. A person making $65,000 per year earns about $31 per hour before taxes. Show me a laser show operator making $208,000 per year at $100 per hour..... nope. Didn't think you could.
    .
    So.... I know that doesn't answer your question but hopefully gives you some things to think about in terms of what to charge for a laser show. You kinda have to do it because you love it and be content with a little cash in your pocket and memories since, memories ARE "life".
    Last edited by Bradfo69; 10-29-2015 at 06:32.
    PM Sent...

  10. #10
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    I think it might've been this one Brad was referring to.

    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...ight=transport
    Frikkin Lasers
    http://www.frikkinlasers.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

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