We spend hours preparing for a game show, and many man hours loading, unloading testing, transporting, and returning to warehouse expensive equipment. Except for “stock” game shows, our programmers spend hours (as much as ten hour for every performance hour) programming computers, checking format, spelling, and testing.
This equipment is expensive. You can’t buy it at Walmart. And insurance for our business can be outrageous.
You could try to put on a game show yourself, however, the quality won’t be near what we provide and you will spend HOURS designing, developing, and modifying. Furthermore, to even rent sound, lights, and video projection will set you back at least $1000.
Finding talented people who can be a part of this business, who know the technical and performance side is hard to come by. Exec Producer Jeff Helfand likes to be at most events and is only one person.
Unfortunately for us, one of the better made props are readily available to any “DJ” who can shell some money together. However, that’s where the difference ends. We live, eat, and breathe game shows. Executive Producer Jeff Helfand has spent the last THIRTY-FIVE years (since he was 10 years old) in every avenue of entertainment – Theatre, Broadcasting, Communications, and video. He just didn’t “fall into the business”. You can’t beat a degreed professional who is an expert at entertainment and staging.
Furthermore, we constantly add to the “Show” of game shows. “DJ’s” who have a game show system use it like karaoke – as an add on. Many of them now use relatively cheap and unattractive systems.
We always add to the “show” – moving lights, full backdrops and pipe and drape, extended crews, load in and ready before guest arrive.
Then there is the programming aspect – we currently have over 20,0000 questions in our database — and they are growing. We spend more time thinking about and designing game shows than any other company. This is what we do.
We travel easily within 12 hours from our home zone in Chicago. This is a comfortable distance to drive the extensive equipment necessary for production. When we drive equipment, everything is turnkey – we provide all lights, sound, props, video, and scenery. Larger game show productions and tours can travel easily across the country and even out of the country.
Outside of this zone, for smaller events, we can either subcontract or use local resources (such as sound, lights, and video) and ship proprietary game show props and software programs. Corporate meetings usually have this contracted for their event, so it shouldn’t be a problem. When we need to ship equipment and fly staff to events, we do travel, but the our production costs start to rise. Clients pay for air/ground transportation and expenses for up to three staff members.
Sometimes a “Block Booking” may be developed in which multiple events may be set up either by one client or a group of clients. This Block Booking can reduce your production expense by making it more cost effective to travel to areas outside of our 12 hour driving distance.
We should note, that as far as other companies or planners that produce game shows, we still remain the most cost effective because we keep our overhead low. So flying us somewhere may still be cheaper than are next competitor that may offer similar services.
Technical and space requirements vary by market and production level.
Non video projected game shows require at least 24 feet across by ten feet back with two 20amp circuits of power.
Video projected game shows require at least 24 feet across by 16 feet for front projection. We now use ultra short throw projectors to alleviate depth issues. More space is always better.
Please ask for specific requirements of the show we intend to produce for you.
Yes. Depending on your goals – to educate, to entertain, or to promote, your may contribute to all or part of your game show event. Your products and services can be the key to your program to motivate or excite your crowd.
Schools may provide material based on their curriculum.
In the absence of material provided by you, we do have multiple databases that have over 20,000 questions covering every topic and every level of difficulty from Kindergarten through college. Our pop culture database of questions are updated monthly. We can usually query this database for a wide variety of criteria and either print out question books, upload to our e-readers, or input into our computerized multi media programs. (No other game show production company is this sophisticated or this organized).
Depending on your goals and the nature of the program, we try to get as many people who want to be involved as possible. Factors include the size of the group, the time available, the format of the game show. Our interactive style involves the audience and creates cheering sections or teams. Except if you specify otherwise, we tend to use high turn over in most of our game shows. Some game shows use wireless buzzers in the audience to interact as well.
During Elementary and Junior High school events, we program at least one game for each grade level present during the show and if time, one game for teachers or parents.
We will work with you the way you want us to. While our intent it create a turn-key game show program that requires little effort on your part, we can honor VIP’s as scorekeepers, prize patrols, or “Vanna’s”. It is not recommended, but if one of your VIP’s want to emcee or co emcee your game show, we will work with you to create the best show possible.
The client is generally responsible for providing prizes unless contracted or purchased through Game Show Gurus. Based on the number of rounds we intend to play or the number of people in the group, you can grant prizes for winners and/or consolation gifts for the non-winning players. You may also provide premiums like colored T-shirts, noise-makers, foam hands, and other props to get them involved. We have Game Show Gurus premiums like flashlights, pens, t-shirts, etc. We also have what we call “we couldn’t sell on ebay” prizes — stuff we are just giving away.
Our Money Machine also works with real money. You can put coupons and gift certificates in there as well.
We have access to many catalogs of give aways, prizes, and other premiums, so ask us and we might be able to get them for you. You may also go to www.gameshowgurus.makesparties.com and buy items there.
On some occasions, especially for school programs, we may provide Mardi Gras type beads or Game Show Guru premiums as prizes.
Absolutely. We carry business equipment and liability insurance. It is standard practice for us to set up our equipment out of the way of the guests, so there are no cords to trip on. In the event that a cord does cross the path that is frequently traveled, we use gaffers tape to secure the cables down to the floor, so the cords are stepped on, but not tripped over.
Yes, we require a minimum of 30% deposit to secure your date and times. This will be included on your contract. The remainder of the bill is due at or before the event. .
Events that are dependent on pre registration of attendees may require up to a 50% deposit. Included in this can be park district and venue events linked to a holiday, New Year’s Eve, venues, resorts, and more. This is because some organizations who we thought had “good credit” and “would pay us at the event” developed a bad habit of canceling, sometimes the day before. One school in Schaumburg even cancelled because they had “too many attendees” and “no room”. We find this ridiculous. We always show up to events we are scheduled at and fulfill our end of the bargain, We have never canceled a client and do not overbook.
We will give you a “courtesy hold” on a date, but NOTHING is considered official until a CONTRACT and DEPOSIT is received in our office. Don’t risk losing your date. Make sure that you return them BOTH on time.
To continue providing excellent service, maximize our profitability while not overextending ourselves, we must enforce these policies.
We do not like Accounts Receivable but will work with school and corporate payment policies as long as they have good credit with us and have signed contracts with DEPOSITS on file. We do accept most major credit cards.
Most game shows are high level or private productions. On certain occasions we might be able to clear with a client to let guests see an event. We always have online videos available. But remember, everyone’s event and productions are different.