Sunday, June 29, 2008

How much are you worth? PART ONE

I was collecting money at a workshop recently (something I nearly always forget as I always get so carried away with the singing!) and somebody mentioned that they thought I wasn’t charging enough. He cited another workshop leader who runs similar workshops, but who charges more than twice what I do.

This got me thinking: how much am I worth? should I be charging more? how did I arrive at the current fee? Next week (How much are you worth? PART TWO) I will look at why I might not want to charge the going rate or highest possible fee (more of a philosophical rant!), but for now, let’s look at what might affect the fees that one charges for workshops or regular choirs.

There are several factors to take into consideration when looking at workshop fees:

experience of the workshop leader

A more experienced workshop leader will command a higher fee since you are effectively paying for their years of experience. A new workshop leader starting out with very little track record cannot afford to be too expensive.

content of the workshop

Is it just a straight singing workshop or are there ‘extras’ included in the fee like lunch, songbooks, CDs, etc? The fee needs to cover these extra costs.

demographic of the participants

Depending on where the workshop is being held, or who the workshop is aimed at (e.g. the unemployed, single parents, retired people), the fee needs to be ‘affordable’ for the participants.

reason for the workshop

Sometimes a workshop can be run as a ‘loss leader’ for promotional purposes, or to try and recruit singers for a local choir. In these cases you might want a lower fee in order to attract as many people as possible.

basic set-up costs

Of course you need to cover all your costs: venue hire, publicity, printing of lyrics sheets, etc. In order to do this, you also need to anticipate the minimum number of participants you might attract.

size of the group

One-to-one singing lessons will always be more expensive than large group workshops and participants will be prepared to pay accordingly.

financial status of the workshop leader

Is running singing workshops just a hobby or part-time occupation, or is this the sole source of income?

subject matter of the workshop

An easy light-hearted singing day will usually be much cheaper to attend than a singing master class or specialist theme.

amount of preparation time

Are the songs being taught ‘off the shelf’, readily available and all ready to go, or is there a lot of arranging and sourcing time needed?

fees of comparable workshops

If there are other singing workshops held in the same area, the fees can’t be too different.

other factors

Can you think of any other factors? How do you go about setting an appropriate fee for your workshops (or even choirs)?

go to Chris Rowbury's website

Chris Rowbury


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