Having the job of scheduling assembly shows or virtual assemblies for your school can be stressful. The main reason is simple; you won’t really know with 100% certainty if the show you’ve booked is going to be a hit or a dud until the day of the show. And that’s too late. If the program drags and is boring or is not suitable for an elementary audience, the teachers will be shooting daggers at you. You don’t want that. Instead, you want compliments and congratulations for a job well done.
Keep reading and I’ll share with you secrets to increase the odds that the program you schedule will be a hit. But first, there’s some good news and some bad news.
….the good news: There are a lot of amazing and top-notch assembly performers that are available to come to your school.
…now the bad news: There are also some assembly performers that are, how shall I say this gently, “not so good.”
First, let’s take a peek at your goals. Are you looking to scheduled nothing but good assembly shows this year? Stop right there. You can do better. Let’s make this your goal instead: Schedule nothing but GREAT assembly shows and virtual assemblies this year. Now, that’s better. But why raise your expectations that high? It’s simple. Remember the old saying, “Shoot for the stars and if you miss, you’ll land on the moon.” Landing on the moon still means you’ll have a really good assembly show every time.
Variety acts, speakers, and performers know that the school assembly market can be very lucrative, so it can become flooded with performers from all sorts of backgrounds. There were days when elementary schools were scheduling one assembly show per month for their schools. At that time, everybody, from top full-time assembly performers to Uncle Harry, who did a few magic tricks or had a guitar, was performing in schools. Having a dud show or two was not uncommon, but it didn’t matter too much because the following month a new performer would visit your school. Fingers crossed that that show would be better. That approach doesn’t work anymore. Bad shows are not acceptable. Classroom time is too valuable to waste. Money is too tight.
Now, with budgets much smaller, schools should never settle for anything less than awesome, right? And you certainly don’t want teachers shooting you dirty looks during an assembly show or throughout virtual assemblies. Follow these simple and proven ideas to get the absolute best show every time.
Here are 5 simple secrets to finding great presenters and presentations:
Before the internet, the only way a school performer was able to advertise was through the mail. Schools would be inundated with hundreds of brochures every year and those brochures would usually feature a quote or two bragging about how good a show was. Sadly, many of those quotes could have been made up or just been from a best friend. You didn’t know. It was buyer beware. But today, with sites and apps dedicated to collecting reviews, there is a lot more validity in the recommendations you may read. Sure, anybody can still get their best friend or spouse to write a glowing fake review, so when searching for reviews on assembly shows, choose the programs that have dozens upon dozens upon dozens of reviews. At Scheer Genius Assembly shows, we have well over 100 Five star reviews on Google and many more on Facebook. Those reviews are a mix of older ones, from 4-5 years ago, to just last week. Seeing feedback with a track record will help assure you that you may have found an awesome assembly show.
Even more important that good reviews is a track record of repeat performances. When talking to potential presenters, one of the best questions you can ask is, “How often do you return to the same school?” If a presenter is great, then they will have hundreds of schools that they’ve returned to year after year. If they don’t, be wary. Do some more research.
Stay away from any assembly show that does not have a youtube channel or videos on their website. By watching a video, you’ll not only be able to hear and see the reactions of students, but you’ll also see what you’re buying. Sometimes you want the wow factor of large productions with beautiful backdrops, props, and sets. Assembly shows are just that; they are shows and production value will be apparent in a video. The companies that use spectacular sets and costumes obviously care about delivering the best possible presentation. Elementary kids and their teachers love to be wowed as they enter an assembly show. Choose a show that looks great and isn’t just a guy with a microphone. Note: There are some powerful presenters who are motivational or anti-bully speakers who do a fabulous show without any glitter, magic tricks, songs, or theatrical sets. A video clip is your best bet to hear the quality of their content and message. We pride ourselves in delivering over-the-top spectacle. You can visit the Scheer Genius Assembly Shows Youtube page here:
This is a no-brainer. Do you have a new principal in your school? Likely, they’ve seen some awesome presenters at their former building. Find out who those presenters are and book them. Your teachers may even have favorite presenters. Ask them for suggestions too. Call the neighboring elementary school down the street and find out who is scheduling the shows there. With a team effort, you can share the good, avoid the bad, and maybe even save some money if you can schedule a performer at two different schools in one day.
This idea takes the most effort, but it guarantees that you will book a great show every time. It’s this: ask for an invitation to come see a performer in action. It’s likely that the show you’re interested in is already coming to a school near you (ok, maybe 20-30 miles away), but you can make a day of it. Grab a friend, travel to the school to see a show, and get some lunch nearby afterwards. You’ll have a great day and get all the info you need. Of course, you’ll need to work out all the details with the presenter and the hosting school before you head out the door. You will need advance approval to visit a school during the regular hours, but that’s usually easy and most school will welcome you with advance notice. Have the presenter request permission to have guests as well and you won’t have any problems.
With all that being said, come out and see one of our presentations and see for yourself if one of our twelve assembly shows is right for your school. You’re invited to be my guest. Just let me know which school you’d like to visit. I’m sure we can make this work. You’ll find our schedule here: