Disappointment of a local artiste….

The following post has been written to highlight the importance of reading a contract. In this instance, I will be highlighting my recent experience with St Georges Theatre, Great Yarmouth.

On the 12 October 2017, I booked the St Georges Theatre as the venue for my show, OMG.

I had used the Theatre twice before, 6 February 2016 and 28 June 2013. On both these occasions, I was paid the following week. Indeed, having also performed at The Playhouse Theatre, Norwich, Epic Studios, Norwich and at Cromer Pier and payment was exactly the same – the following week.

Unfortunately for me, I signed the booking contract with St Georges Theatre without reading it fully. I checked how much I would be paying them to hire the Theatre and their services, the booking fee payments etc – but I didn’t check when I would be paid. I naturally assumed that it would have been the same as all the other times, the following week. This was NOT the case, it was now 30 days from invoice.

The Theatre had new management appointed and this was one of the changes they had implemented. I had not been notified on booking that the terms and conditions had changed.

This came to light a week before the show when I asked when payment would be made.

I then sent several emails asking if, like the other instances, I could be paid the following week. The Theatre Director said that she would discuss this with the Finance Department on the Friday, which was the day of my show. I met the Theatre Director in the Theatre Café that Friday where she informed me that the Finance Department were unwilling to make an earlier payment, as it was a new policy and could not be changed.

So why am I disappointed?

  • Firstly, as a self-employed person, cashflow is vital to my business. I specifically scheduled the show for January as this is my quietest month and the extra revenue would have certainly helped. Having to wait 30 days from date of invoice, therefore puts financial pressure on me and my family.
  • Secondly, I’m disappointed that the change in the terms and conditions weren’t highlighted to me prior to booking. Of course, I should have read through it thoroughly, but how many people would – especially when they have used the Theatre twice before? I simply would not have booked the Theatre if I had been aware.
  • Thirdly, I’m disappointed with the inflexibility shown to me here – as a REPEAT CUSTOMER and LOCAL business who is PAYING the Theatre for their services, I would have thought that the Theatre may have wanted to HELP me – how difficult would it be really to simply make an earlier payment? After all, the Theatre have ALL THE MONEY FOR THE TICKET SALES IN ADVANCE, so all they are really benefiting from is extra interest on this money. So is that extra money earned on interest really worth losing a REPEAT CUSTOMER for?

SO what about the show? Yes it went well. We had just under 180 people attending, which I believe is an excellent attendance for a show at the Theatre. Tristan and Jay were both fantastic and a credit to the Theatre – thanks guys for your help. Incidentally, having checked Twitter and Facebook, from when my show was booked in October there were no posts on these Social Media sources advertising my show from St Georges Theatre which was also disappointing.


So in conclusion, once again I’d like to highlight the importance of fully reading a contract before committing.

Please feel free to share this article and add your own experiences as well. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Product Launch: It’s a Kind of Magic!

In the aftermath of a launch, the wonders of your fantastic new product can so easily be submerged in the raging seas of competition. A product launch is all about the splash – about creating an enduring awareness of your brand. So, however amazing the features and benefits of your product, it might be fair to say that in the overloaded minds of consumers, the memories made at a product launch will very likely soon sink out of sight.

The answer: create a connection, in the minds of your clients, between your brand and a memorable experience.

This is what Sean Goodman is so good at. His bespoke magic act will be woven into the presentation and promotion of your product, with tricks tailored to the taste and mind-set of your target market. Taglines, slogans, and references to your company and products will be incorporated into his act, making the magic very much a part of your brand, rather than a separate entity.

Sean’s adaptability is a valuable asset to his clients. His does not deliver a set routine, rigidly adhered to in spite of all that goes on around him. Sean’s magic is a service – a tool that can create magnificent results.

If you would like to talk to Sean about his services in the corporate sector, contact him via his website (http://www.simplymagic.co.uk/) or by telephone (01493 733 661 / 07907 213 498).

Like Moths to a Flame … Sean Works his Magic at Trade Exhibitions

We recently hired Sean to work on our stand at a medical conference. Not only was his magic superb but he was also both very funny and professional. His dialogue was perfectly adjusted to suit our market and he even managed to make up tricks on the day involving our merchandise. We’ve already booked him for our events next year and would highly recommend him to other businesses.

These words from the Marketing Director of a medical recruitment agency are testimony to the power of Sean’s bespoke magical performance. At trade shows and exhibitions, Sean will draw individuals to your stand with tantalising magic, forming a little crowd, which, like all little crowds, soon grows into a larger crowd. Your stall is now at the centre of attention.

Incorporating your product into his magic, Sean acts as a part of your sales team. Long after the exhibition, when competing brands have been forgotten, your own brand will be inextricably connected, in the minds of many, with the magic that happened at your stall. This feedback was kindly shared by one of Sean’s clients: I phoned your company because it was the one I remembered – probably something to do with the magician!

The attention Sean draws has value, of course, in terms of proximity: an audience has landed in your lap! But Sean goes that extra mile by focusing his routines and effects on your goods or services, providing a natural progression from the initial raw entertainment through to real promotion. This performance is all about your product rather than his own.

Sean, who is a full member of the Magic Circle, is a respected authority in his field: he’s a regular speaker at conferences for those in the magic industry, and his own magic products are purchased and used by professional magicians all over the world.

If you would like to talk to Sean about his services in the corporate sector, contact him via his website (http://www.simplymagic.co.uk/) or by telephone (01493 733 661 / 07907 213 498).

Tried that Gym and it didn’t work….

Ever met someone who said they had tried that “BNI thing”, but it didn’t work for them? The likelihood is YES! The truth is that BNI will work for ANY BUSINESS but not for EVERY PERSON

For example, there could be a Plumber in a Chapter who is doing really well, but another in a different Chapter who isn’t. So what’s the difference? IT’S THE PERSON – not the BNI System. 

However it’s never the person’s fault, well not in their eyes. It’s like someone moaning that a diet didn’t work for them – any diet will work, so long as you follow the diet!!!

If someone complained that they tried several Gyms, but none of them worked – they simply didn’t make them get fitter, what question might you ask? Perhaps;

Well, how did you use the Gym? How often did you go? Did you follow the plan that had been explained to you?

Good questions. What do you think the answers would be?????

Regarding BNI it’s exactly the same. BNI has been developed over the past 30 years and is a proven system that will help build any business using referral marketing as long as you follow the system. 

Is it difficult or complicated? No but it does take time and effort and some people are simply not prepared to put that time and effort into using the BNI system for a variety of reasons. 

So the next time you hear someone complaining about how BNI didn’t work for them, try asking the following questions;

  • How many 121’s did you do?
  • How many trainings did you attend?
  • How much business were you thanked for?
  • How many referrals did you pass?
  • How many testimonials did you give?
  • How many visitors did you bring to the Chapter?
  • Did you attend your meetings?
  • Did you prepare your weekly presentation so it was different each week and was specific in asking for referrals?
  • Were you a 90 minute member? 
  • Did you take an active role in your Chapter by volunteering to do roles?

In conclusion, it’s easy to point the finger of blame elsewhere isn’t it, but often we fail to look at the primary cause – OURSELVES

Spirit of Enterprise Awards 2015

Sean Goodman Magician

Ta dah!!!!


WOW. I’ve been shortlisted down to the final 3 in the Best New Business category in the Spirit of Enterprise Awards (SOEA) 2015. To say I’m pleased is an understatement!

One of the major reasons for this excitement is that often people don’t actually perceive being a professional magician as a “proper business”. Indeed, I’m often asked;

“So what do you do in your day job?”

Funny isn’t it! I guess it’s because everyone just has this mental image of being a magician is just a bit of fun. Well of course, it is fun – I’m very fortunate to be able to earn a living doing something that I love. However like any business, it must generate enough money (dirty word) to pay the bills and create a health work/life balance.

What people don’t see is that behind the façade of being a magician lives a businessman. My business can be broken down into three parts;

  • Performance – providing magical entertainment at weddings, corporate events and private parties
  • Franchise – developing the unique Squiggle Magic franchise
  • The Magic Market – creating and selling magic to the worldwide magical community

My application to the SOEA highlighted each of these three aspects of my business, and having been interviewed thereafter, the respective judge commented on how surprised he was!  I am thankful that he took the time to dig deeper into my business and to shortlist me.

Well the big day is on the 20th November at Great Yarmouth Town Hall. The result isn’t important – being shortlisted is. I’m really looking forward to the evening, and being able to celebrate with my wife Laura and daughters Sabrina and Kelly is the icing on the cake.

Magic on!

Sweets or Magic?

Trade show and exhibitions are used by many businesses to generate leads, sales and market themselves. Sadly though these can be expensive, not just in terms of the initial costs in booking the stand, construction and manning costs but also simply that not enough passing delegates actually get on their stand and therefore missing sales opportunities.

Missed opportunities cannot be quantified, but wouldn’t it simply be better to draw more people into your stand, and keep them there?

Well having a magician on your stand could help maximise your trade show investment.

Draw in customers

There are two ways where a magician can do this. Firstly by interacting with passers by with close up magic and keeping them on the stand until the next sales agent becomes available. Secondly, by doing a short stand up show to build a crowd around the stand.

Emotion is a strong selling tool

Top quality magic creates an emotional memory which lasts. If therefore the magic can be linked to the clients goods or services, then the customer will have a strong emotional memory of the magic and the associated goods and services. Particularly if the customer can take away something which has formed part of this magical experience to reinforce the message.

Of course in the ideal world, the magician should also have sales skills themselves.

So what do think. A bowl of sweets or some magic to draw people onto your stand? You decide.

BNI – is it a good investment?

I believe that networking and word of mouth marketing are excellent ways for businesses to promote themselves and generate sales.

There are many different networking groups out there, and many perceive the BNI is another one of them. It isn’t. BNI is a referral based business – the meetings have a specific purpose – to find genuine qualified business referrals for each other.

Here are my thoughts about the BNI. Please note these are just my thoughts and I have no hidden agenda!!!

Brand name – the BNI is a franchised business and is successful. The BNI brand is well known internationally and each chapter follows a set structure.

The weekly meetings are an early start over breakfast. Each Chapter consists of several businesses (no duplicated trades/occupations allowed) and each member gets the opportunity to stand up for a minute to tell everyone what they do and what referrals they are looking for.

It’s usually quite lively! Some find this liveliness uncomfortable and also the fact that they need to stand up in a room full of strangers equally uncomfortable. It gets easier with time.

Does the BNI make money? I guess so, but why shouldn’t they? So long as members make money then everyone wins.

The handing of referral to fellow members is key to the success of the BNI. Everything is geared towards generating referrals for fellow BNI members. Other networking groups prefer not having the extra “pressure” of handing out referrals. They prefer the more relaxed and informal approach and assume that by getting to know each other then the referrals will come. In my experience this didn’t happen as people had no incentive or reason to refer me onto their customers unless perhaps they directly asked them “Do you know a magician?”

In the BNI members pass on referrals weekly to each other. To help others to refer you onto their client base there are several things you can do:

One to ones – have a meeting with another member to find out more about them and visa versa.

Educate via your 60 second slot – each week you can stand up and tell people what you do and more importantly, what specific referrals you are looking for. Being specific is key.

Look for referrals for others – the more you help others then they will help you.

Give and ask for testimonials – reassurance to use you!

Measured results – this is massive! Members actually record how much invoiced business has been generate. Real business. In the Kett Chapter this is over £2 million in a rolling year.

There is a comprehensive performance monitoring system in place to help Chapters grow and improve. Results are uploaded via the web and therefore quickly input and reviewed.

Regular Training – training is key to help members generate more referrals. There are numerous training workshops which are put on to help members get the most out of their membership. After joining, members go on the MSP (Member Success Program) which essentially runs through the basics of BNI and what to do, and what NOT to do!

Huge network – the BNI is a worldwide organisation and as a member you can visit other Chapters. This is great for expanding your contacts.

In addition, there is a web based application called “BNI Connect” which as the name implies, allows BNI members to connect to other members worldwide. This allows members to expand their contact sphere dramatically, and specifically too.

And the costs? This is a big difference to other networking organisations. When you join there is an initial fee, then an annual fee and the cost of your breakfasts. Then if you attend training sessions, they cost too plus of course your time and petrol. Compared to others, it’s much more expensive. So why join???

Something is expensive if you don’t get any return out of it. A networking event costing £10 may seem cheap, but if it generates no business then it’s a waste of money! Why not just give your money to charity!

Ultimately it’s all about return on investment. The BNI has developed a system of success which has been developed over nearly 30 years, and how closely you work this system will determine your success in BNI. Many people find that the BNI becomes their number 1 customer – their primary source of business. Indeed, this has proved to be the case for me.

The ultimate compliment for any business is when it’s copied. In my opinion, the BNI is the best networking/referral business out there having tried many other variants.

There are many Chapters, and although they all follow the same format they are not the same. What makes them different is the people in them. A Chapter full of proactive enthusiastic members will find itself up at the top of the stats. The Kett Chapter is certainly one of these, and is currently the number 1 Chapter in the UK and Ireland.

If you’re looking to join the BNI do visit a few Chapters and judge which one would be best for you.