Sunday, 16 January 2011

Socks tour publicity + Edfringe costs

This will interest nobody but me, but this is the most reliable place I can think of to write it down so that, this time next year, I'll be able to find the details again.

This is how much it has cost to produce & send, and who has done the printing of,the flyers & posters for this year's Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre spring tour.

We're playing 32 dates, for which we've printed 30,000 flyers & 500 posters. These have then needed posting to venues.

Out Of Hand printing. 3 day turnaround, art sent via Transferbig
1) 30,000 17pgsm A5 dbl sided colour flyers = £475 inc delivery
2) 500 x A3 posters = £288 inc VAT (£48)
(NB: This special offer came from Big Byte 20/1/11: 1,000 x A3 posters printed full colour one side on 150gsm gloss art stock. £195 ex vat) - Updated 21/1/11: 1,000 x A3 posters printed full colour one side on 150gsm gloss art stock. £150 ex vat

Postage of flyers:
4 kilo is the limit, costs £7.06 parcel post. Over 4 kilo costs £9.
So 23 x £7.06 = £162.38
(+ one Special Delivery for Leicester Comedy Festival launch cost £21)

Postage of posters:
A roll of 10 posters weighs 350gm and costs £1.95 second class
A roll of 20 posters weighs 180gm and costs £1.51 second class
5 posters costs £1.17 second class, and just 3 posters only cost 51p
So 14 x £1.95 + 6 x £1.51 + 2 x £1.17 + 1 x 51p = £39.21

TOTAL spent so far: £985.59

(total amended 20/1/11 to include VAT on posters)

In addition to this there are festival registration fees for Brighton & Leicester, and possibly another I've forgotten, and there will be venues that either want more posters or flyers, or haven't received them (in 2008 a couple of packages of flyers disintegrated en route as a result of me trying to keep the weight of the wrapping down).

So, if every show were to generate £300 profit, it would take at least 11% of this tour to cover the publicity costs so far. Blimey. Next I'll start adding up the mileage and cost of overnight accommodation, and this may start to explain why my phenomenal success has not yet turned into actual money. (And don't get me started on venues that still owe me money about which more anon).

Kev F & the Socks

PS: Notes on Edinburgh Fringe costs written by me on Chortle, Sept 2010

Venue cost me around £4500 or 40% of door, whichever is the greater (for a 9.15pm slot in a 90 seater room, other slots are cheaper).

Accommodation cost me £1200 for me & my wife (cheaper flats are available). Fringe entry cost me £500, 8th page ad in programme cost £750.

Flyers cost approx £300 for 10,000 (though I only used 5000 so could have got away with £180). Posters cost £80 (only printed 50 to go around venue. In the past I've printed 2000 and paid £250 a week to have them fly-posted but this stopped being an option in 2008 when the council stopped all flyposting, and I don't have prices on putting posters on official sites, but no point unless you print giant sized posters which can cost thousands).

Add travel costs of £100 return and living costs of £20 a day, and putting one show on at The Fringe this year cost me approximately £8000.

So, to break even, I would need to sell over 800 tickets @£10 each. Over 25 days that's 32 tickets per show average.

Our show has been very lucky and has sold over that average every year since 2007, so the maths works for us.

I have found that flyering is the sales method that works best for us, and that 300 flyers distributed per day equates to 30 bums on seats that night. It's not a perfect science. There are some days when the audience is not out there to be grabbed. And, of course, you have to have a show that works and that people will go away saying good things about, and you need good reviews etc etc. But even starting cold, as we did in 2007 (and with my previous show The Sitcom Trials in 2001-04, which didn't get great reviews by any stretch) I found heavy flyering (done properly, another story) brought in enough of a crowd for us to at least break even every year (though we didn't start making a real profit until 2008, the second year of the Socks show).

Hope that helps

Kev F

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