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Discounting Local Programs

Joan Burge

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If you are seeking convention work for groups coming to your city, do you offer a special discount on your fee to try to gain their business? If so, how much?

Do you give a discount on full-day or half-day seminars to local businesses? All of my work is out of state but am going to work at getting local business and not sure whether to discount or not. We recently moved to a new city.

-- Tracy Brown

I live in Dallas, TX. I have a Texas rate and a national rate (and any international work is negotiated separately). My Texas keynote/half-day rate is 20% lower than the national rate. My Texas full-day rate is 23% lower than the national rate. But one important note: My rates are travel inclusive, so the national client usually feels they are still getting a deal because they figure if they paid my Texas rate plus travel it would be about the same.

-- Peggy Duncan

I live in Atlanta and I do as much local business/conventions as I can. When I travel, I have a different fee schedule. I used to base it on how far I'd have to go, but now I just charge a flat rate when it's outside Metro Atlanta, requiring an overnight stay.

-- Larry Mersereau

Do you plan to deliver less value to your local clients?

-- Sharon Adcock

Is your current fee based on value only or do you have extra added in because you'll be out of town? If you haven't padded it w/extra and it's based on the information/value that you bring to the organization, then discounting for local makes no sense. They're already getting a discount because they don't have to pay your T&E.

-- Robert Skoglund

I remember hearing that Larry Moles in Ohio worked cheaper at home. In Maine I get less than what I get out of state. I don't charge travel in Maine, but get $200 more to drive to NH, VT, MA, RI and $300 to NY and PA. Got $400 travel this summer for driving to MD.

-- Helen Wilkie

My thinking is coloured by the fact that I started on the training side, doing all local work (Toronto is a huge market). Then when I started doing conferences, I just added $1,000 any time I go out of the province and kept the rest of my charges the same. Although I do go out of town more now, most of my work is still local, so this makes the most sense for me. If your work, on the other hand, is mostly traveling with less at home, the other way might make more sense.

-- Leslie Charles

Regarding training fees/keynoting fees -- I'd figure the half-day workshop (concurrent session) locally might be a percentage of your full-day fee. Good keynotes range from $3500 to $20,000 depending on their skills and client base.

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