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Business Issues - Finances

Increasing Revenues From Your Laser System

Now that you have invested a lot of money into laser equipment and have done some shows, you should consider some ideas on how do to go about generating additional revenues from your equipment:

  • Many laserists find a high demand for their services on weekends but little demand during the week,  You can try advertising special lower rate shows on nights that would otherwise be "dark nights" to increase revenues.  Remember not to discount your show too severely so you don't run into clients arguing "Well you can do it for this price on Wednesday, how come you want to charge so much extra for Saturday?".  You can also try offer the show in a "stripped down" format such as only 7 colours or without outboard effects to justify the lower rates. 

  • Some clubs and bars have "Ladies Night", "60's Night" or other themed promotions early in the week to bring in more customers.  If you can tie your laser show into the theme then you can build an additional market.  One other possibility is to offer these promotional night events a stripped down version of your show - for example without bounce mirrors - in return for a lower rate.

  • Just as some DJ's are "residents" at a particular club or bar, you can offer clients to be a resident laser show if they agree to sign up for six to 8 weeks [or more] on a weeknight when you don't usually get booked.  With a multi week contact in hand, you can provide a reduced rate to the client.

  • When doing corporate shows, always offer to do additional custom programming and logos.  Image programming is labour intensive and can be done in advance off-site so is a profitable add-on to sell to clients.

  • Corporate clients are also used to the idea that everything they do in a professional venue has a price tag.  While you may offer a complete package at a fixed price to a club or dance client, you can often break this down slightly and charge corporate clients for the smoke machine, screen, scaffolding and other items that they would otherwise have to supply.  You have to tread a fine line here and insure that your rates for this equipment you already have are below market rates so they will pay you rather then another supplier.

  • Corporate clients usually have the material they want in their show in mind well before the event date.  Typically you will bring them to your studio some days before the show to present the show content and have them sign off on it.  Corporate clients are also notorious for wanting to add or change things at the last minute.  Make sure that once they sign off on the show, your agreement states that any changes after that will be done at a rate that is higher than your usual programming charge.  That way, when they suddenly substitute 3 speakers who's names you have already programmed into the show and you have to change the names, you can make sure you are well rewarded for the hours of extra effort you have to put into last minute changes.

  • You can have your show sponsored by a local business.  Laser graphics are a unique form of advertising that stays in the audience's mind and it is not something they see every day.  Consider having a regional or national company sponsor your laser show by paying you a fee for each show in return for advertising at that show.  Many clients hiring you will accept this as a condition if it helps reduce the cost of the laser show to them.

  • If you own a sufficiently powerful laser, you might consider renting it out as a "laser beacon" on a weeknight.  Placing the laser with a steering mirror in front of it atop a store or restaurant and aiming the static beam down the street [subject to local regulations] can be a good way to attract attention to the business.  It is also less costly for you to do as no projector and programming are required.

  • Try teaming up with a local radio station and working with them on some of their outside broadcasts.  They often do special broadcasts from "midnight madness" sales and other events in order to attract people to the event.  By providing a laser show in conjunction with the broadcast, you get your name mentioned on the air, they get their logo projected with the laser and the package is an added incentive for people to come to the vent, and added revenues for you if it is on a weeknight that you are not generally busy.

  • If our area has a minor league sports team, consider approaching them to provide laser shows at their home games and playoff games.  You can also approach local teams to provide lasers for their season opening game or for tournaments, playoff  or championship games.

  • Consider breaking into new markets that are not generally associated with laser shows.  There are laserists who have done shows at public swimming pools and on ski hills!


Bob Ash of New Method Laser has contributed the following additional ideas:

  • Charge for Text messages: In a nightclub, you would be surprised to see how much someone will pay to put their message on the screen... from "FSU Rules" to "Happy birthday Mary", and the ever popular "John loves Judy". If your system supports "easy" scrolling text, you can offer the service for as little as $1 to $5, and bag an extra hundred bucks per night.
  • Rent your equipment out when not in use:  OK, so this is a rough one, but if you have a backup system, a lucrative contract, and good insurance against damage, you can make an extra couple grand every month. The easier the system is to operate, the more of a chance you have of renting it out.
  • Intermission:  It almost sounds too easy, but even a one hour show can benefit from a short intermission. Your vendors can sell something as trite as popcorn, or something as hi-tech as "rainbow" diffraction glasses, or even souvenirs. Be sure to keep the music going (at a lower level), and keep the lights dim, to perpetuate the "party" atmosphere. $200 to $2000 extra per show is not unusual.
  • Get people to come sooner, leave later:  In disco and bar locations with permanent laser shows, don't use the Lasers all the time. Let it be known that the most Laser activity is early (8-9 o'clock?) and late (1-2 o'clock). People will gravitate in earlier, and stay later. An extra hour of crowd in a bar can bring in an extra $100-$2000 per night...do the math.
  • Get advertising income:  While you're projecting all those hot laser images for peoples enjoyment, you may as well plug a non-competing local establishment (clothing stores come to mind)... and charge for it.


DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area.

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