You say you found some great looking elementary assembly shows on a website. You even filled out a form with your personal email and phone number, but never heard back from anyone, right?
You found a lot of great assembly shows on a that website. It even says that every presenter lists their shows at zero cost, so it’s certainly all legit. Filling out the form was zero cost. It’s zero cost for everyone. Yippee. You expect to be inundated with emails now that answer all of your questions and you expect the booking process to be a piece of cake. You think you can stop your search right now and relax. You’ve done your job. You accepted the task of setting up assembly shows for your elementary school and now all you have to do is sign an agreement with a few presenters. You expect that all of these great shows are now yours and you’re excited to get these awesome shows on your calendar…..but you’re met with 100% silence. Nobody has contacted you. Nobody emailed. You checked your spam filter. You’re not even getting text messages. You think, “What is up? I have money to spend and nobody is contacting me.”
Guess what? Those websites are designed to make only one person money. Want to guess who? It’s the guy who runs the site. You’re thinking, “How? How, could that be? It says performers list for no cost.” You’d be surprised to learn that while these sites are a great catalog of assembly performers, your contact information (your email and personal information like your phone number) is being sold to dozens upon dozens of presenters but only if they choose to buy it.
Let me explain. Let’s supposed you’ve sifted through the eighteen dozen shows that are described on that site. You found one that looks great, so you submit your information. You’ve decided that you’re going to book Spaz the Magician for your end of the year field day in June. Once you hit submit, an email is sent to Spaz the Magician that says,
“Hey Spaz, we have a customer in Birmingham, MI who wants to learn more about your wild and crazy magic show. Would you like to know who that is? Send us $10 and we will give you all the info you need to land this job.”
All Spaz know is the city and state of the show. If Spaz doesn’t perform in that city, you’ll never know that. You’re in Michigan somewhere but Spaz can’t travel to Michigan for just one assembly show. He ignores the potential lead. It would cost him $10 just to tell you he’s not available for you. The website won’t tell you that either. There’s silence.
But that website is set up now to make some real money. Believe it or not, they want Spaz to ignore the offer because now they will send an email to the 100 + performers in their database. That email goes like this:
“Hey, we have a lead for you. Another company wasn’t available to do this gig so we will send you the info. Maybe you can book it. It’s in Birmingham Michigan. Want the info? Great. Send us $5 and its all yours.”
How’s that sit with you? Your potential lead just got sent to over 100 people who do assembly shows. But don’t worry, your personal information will only be given to those performers who chose to BUY IT. These websites want to sell your info 30 times at $5 a pop. They really didn’t want Spaz to spend $10. That wouldn’t be good for business.
Are you mad yet? You should be. You’re just a volunteer trying to help the school, but behind your back you’re actually being taken advantage of. Not cool. Not cool at all.
Use those websites as a great source of information, but do not fill out the form. When you find an act that you like, just turn to your favorite search engine. Type in Spaz the Magician and, like magic, you’ll suddenly find you’re directly on his page, where there is no middleman and no-one selling your personal information for a profit. When you visit a performer’s page instead of an aggregate site, you’ll even get more information to help you make an informed decision. You’ll see testimonials, a schedule of performances that you may be able to attend, and even videos so you can see the quality of an act. You won’t find that kind of detail on an info selling site.
Please understand that this blog is in no way being critical of the performers who are on those sites. Everyone can use some free advertising and there are some top-notch shows listed, but the scruples of the people running the sites is questionable. There’s even one instance that I know of where a few retired performers were still listed as available. These fake listings help pad out a site’s line up making them look more credible (but again, leading to that more profitable $5 sale many times over).
There are some very legitimate sites though that look like aggregate sites because they list dozens of shows by dozens of performers. However, many of these are agency sites and they will provide you with the best shows that your money can buy. They are not there to collect your information and sell it, but rather they provide a very valuable service. They have weeded out the shows that are not so good and list only the ones that get rave reviews. In fact, when we travel with our shows to the east coast, New Jersey, Long Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, much of that work comes from two such sites. I’m a huge fan of all that they do for me and I have a great relationship with everyone who works for them. You’d love them too (but, I’d rather you call me directly).
The answer is right in front of you. If the site provides a phone number and you can talk with a representative or the actual performer, then you’re in good hands. They don’t make money off of your info. They make money when you’re happy with the show that you booked.
Oh, and by the way, if you visit my page, www.assemblyshows.com you will find what looks like a catalog of twelve shows, because it IS a catalog of twelve shows. Rest assured though, those are all legit. These are all the shows I will personally bring into your school and I won’t sell your info to anyone. Now, contact me directly and let’s set up a show that’s guaranteed to be great.