Pay-To-Play Events: A Deeper Dive

Whether a Fair, Beer Festival, Public Charity Event, or the like, Public Events are a big deal.

In many cases, these events bring in thousands of people or, in the case of a rarer few, hundreds of thousands. There is always money to be made, but one of the things we hear asked often from owner’s groups is whether or not engaging with or, sometimes, paying them outright is going to be worthwhile.

 The answer depends where you see yourself going with your Mobile Axe Throwing business. We discussed this to some degree in the Booked Events vs. Pay-Per-Throw Events blog post, but these events demand  more air time.

The biggest factors are three-fold:

1) Getting A Fully-Paid, Guaranteed Compensation Is Always Better… Right?

This one has supporters and detractors from both sides of the aisle. 

Yes, it is always a win knowing that you’re going to get a check for your event fee. Your company doesn’t have to factor rain, bad turn-outs, or heat into the equation. It doesn’t have to shell out for event space.

As with everything, there are downsides. As Bruce Arians says, “No Risk It, No Biscuit”. My love of biscuits aside, there’s something to this. Putting yourself out there at an event can lead to big windfalls.

There are plenty of Mobile Axe Throw companies around charging somewhere between $400-$800 for a 3-4 hour event. How would a $1700-earning event sound for 6-8 hours? There are tons of events worldwide where people are interested in throwing some axes- and they’re going to pay you a (relative) fortune to do it. 

The gamble is obvious: you’re going to invest more time, staff hours, and money (paying the event runners for space). That leads us to the second big factor. 

2) Personnel And Entrance Fees From An Event

I won’t patronize you with the question “What sounds better: earning $600 or $1700?”. It’s a loaded question anyways: the scale of a larger event might be beyond the scope of some companies to undertake properly and safely.

First, there’s staff hours- potentially your hours– at an event that lasts all day or multiple. Your sunk cost might be significant on staffing alone. Do you have multiple lanes? Go ahead and double or triple that guesstimate in your head. 

A small party might have you paying out for 3 hours staffed; a 2 day music fest, on the other hand, could see that jump up to 40.

Many of these events don’t charge up front for entrance. However the bigger the event, the more the up front cost is likely to be. There are state fairs which charge in the thousands, so be aware that things can be expensive on the ‘Risk It’ side.

Birthday mobile axe throwing

3) Advertising

This is one of my favorites; it is tough to beat having 20,000 people who all get eyes on your product. They see, they want, and they book you.

Many people have no idea that an axe trailer can pull up to their house, so advertising your wares is undeniably important. 

This is often overlooked when people are weighing their options between public and private events. The residual benefits from public events continue to pay dividends everytime you get a phone call.

Tip: Do you have someone interested in having you come to their birthday, bah mitzvah, or wedding? Let them hop up and get some throws in- it works wonders in outlining the experience they’re going to have.

Where Do I Draw My Line In The Sand?

This comes down to your company when it’s all said and done. There are a ton of ways to slice the apple here, but your preferred company size is a good start:

Do you have multiple trailers or side-lane units? 

Can you handle staffing up to that size?

 Is it within your company scope to pay down for events that may be a wash (literally and figuratively)?

Important questions that you’ll have to answer for your company. 

Up Next: Event Outreach

Leave a Comment