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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 6th, 2008, 07:05 AM   #1
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Visit client or have them over to your place?

Just wondering what most people do when they met with the client? Do you meet them at their house to finalise the booking or do they come to your house/studio?

If you go to their house, do you take your laptop to show any footage? Or will they have seen the demo already via a dvd in the mail or something? And its more closing the deal?

I'm probably more interested in those videographers that are doing this part time and don't necessarily have a massive studio setup, but do the editing etc in their study with clutter everywhere of DVD spindles, DVD cases, cameras, harddrives etc. Or do you just clear the lounge room and send your family out the back while the clients are over? Cheers.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 09:40 AM   #2
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I used to visit clients but found the time and cost of doing so to be problematic. If you can keep one room clean enough to have them in your home that's good, otherwise try finding a local coffee shop or some such where you can talk. Don't drive all over trying to meet clients unless you find that fruitful: the ones willing to come to you are more likely to be serious.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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I too, used to go as close as possible to clients... meeting at a coffee shop near them. Now, with the rising costs of fuel, I have them come to my local coffee shop. I usually compensate their travel with a yummy cup of coffee or bagle or something, but it works much better, and no one has complained. Brides tell me that they travel to meet all their vendors, so why should we be any different? I am working on building a new home in the near future, and when we do, I'll have an office, and people can come to our home.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #4
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Your home office and business tax deductions are more secure if you actually meet with clients there as well.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #5
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I always have the client come to us and we have a full room set aside for the office and viewing. This allows me to have control over how my videos are seen and I know that everything will work. I do make a few exceptions on occasion but that is very rare. I've never had anyone have a problem with this.

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Old January 6th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #6
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When I started up my business I visited every single client that contacted me, if it was nearby of further away and almost each time they hired me. I'm pretty sure that especially clients far from my place would not have hired me if they had to drive all the way over. In the beginning it was essential for me to get the job so I did the extra effort.

Now I try to get them to visit me but if I notice that is a problem I visit them, I did have some clients lately quite a distance from my place which I visited and they decided not to hire me and that was quite frustrating. I lost half a day and fuel costs.

I don't have an office here and that is sometimes a problem, we have a lot of animals (2 big dogs and 9 cats) in our house and not every client likes that. we try to keep them in a seperate room but that's not allways possible. :)

Like today I got a request from somebody living 300kms from here, in that case I don't go but just ask them to come, if they do, I allmost know for sure that I get the job.

I really would like to have a seperate office for clients but it's not possible due to building restrictions and going to a coffeeshop I don't like either because if that place is too crowded that's also not an ideal environment to discuss.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #7
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We always have people come to our place. Well, I take that back. I've gone TO THE CLIENT a few times, and never got any of those jobs so it wasn't worth the effort.

We have taken care to make our living room and entry nice so that we can meet with clients there. If that's not an option for you then DO NOT meet with clients in a messy space with animals or children running around making noise. You probably won't get much work that way unless you are really cheap.

If you absolutely cannot meet with them at your place, I would try to pick a cafe or coffee shop close to your home and use a laptop.
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Old January 6th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #8
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Yeah, I think it is better if they come to you. I don't want to waste my time driving around as well.

Thanks for your responses. Just wanted to see what most people do.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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This may be a little late in the conversation, but personally I visit clients in their homes. Usually I am not going more than 80 miles round trip and I have been very successful at booking people when I meet them in their homes. But there are many videographers in the area so I try to be as accommodating as possible. Just something to think about.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #10
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Until recently we had a space set up in our town house for client meetings. If you can do it this way, then by all means do so. We had a signed contract every single time someone walked through that door. I think there's something psychological about the client stepping into your turf, they feel more relaxed, seem more attentive, and it's easier to impress them on your own nice large display with nice speakers hooked up rather than playing your video on whatever tv they happen to have in their place. I'm going that route again just as soon as we can buy our own little place and fix it up a bit.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #11
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Speeking just of wedding video productions.... I have booked every client that I met at their house. May be I'm charging too little? :-) I find that the ones I meet are more serious. I have also booked two from meeting in person at a central location. All the rest were phone calls that didn't pan out.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #12
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Reality check

Hi all,

As others discussed, meeting clients at your home has pluses and minuses. IMHO, don't forget the biggest downside of all - the insurance angle.

Let's say as your client approaches your home, she trips and breaks a bone, ultimately leading up to a $50,000+ hospital charge (more for therapy). Then you find out your insurance company denies the claim - your homeowner's policy excludes business affairs conducted at your home.

Now what? I realize gas prices are going up but it seems like it would take about 500 years to break even...

Your mileage may vary, Michael
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Old March 12th, 2008, 08:11 AM   #13
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Matt, I do this part time along with my normal day job, and edit in my clutter of DVD spindles, papers, tapes, etc... and I always meet with clients in their homes, and I have been successful so far, probably booking about 75% of the visits on the spot, and another 15% within a few days.

I think it gives them more personal service. I carry a 24" HD monitor and my camera to show demos in HD, and if they have a big screen HD I can hook right into it. Everyone's been more than pleased, and I find the expense of traveling to their homes is more than made up when you make a sale on the spot. I carry brochures, business cards, a notebook for names and numbers, and demo DVDs to hand out in my car and try to give them out as much as I can, you'll be surprised how fast word travels when you're offering something people like. Most of the clients I have booked either have a brochure or business card they either got from me or a previous client.

I can deduct my travel and mileage expenses, plus if I eat or buy gas when I go meet with these clients it also gets deducted, so even with the added fuel cost, it's not so bad come tax time :)
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Old March 12th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #14
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Michael, you have the same legal risk while you are taping the wedding. Someone trips on your tripod, etc. You should have business liability insurance. I get mine through WEVA. Some reception locations require me to give them a copy before I can shoot there.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 04:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Sobodos View Post
Michael, you have the same legal risk while you are taping the wedding. Someone trips on your tripod, etc. You should have business liability insurance. I get mine through WEVA. Some reception locations require me to give them a copy before I can shoot there.
Sure Steve, I hope we're all aware of those liabilities and are insured when we're on location. But that doesn't cover us at home and when no one mentions it on our forum, it seemed like a good idea to ensure everyone doesn't overlook this risk area. After looking at your WEVA policy, please correct me if you're covered for client liability at your home. Otherwise, what I'm advocating is a far different risk with no recourse.
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