July, 2015 Issue

In This Issue

12 online articles from this issue. Next



Every summer,we review what has happened the year before to try to get a clue as to what to expect for the upcoming year. We study trends and try to be on top of what you may want or need and try to deliver pertinent stories that will help you make the best of 2015/16.

While the campus activities market has changed over the last sixty years- in fact- the major changes have come in the last five years - it is our goal to introduce you to new programs, artists and events that will help your school be stronger and more involved with current trends.

With 2016 being an election year, it will be a chance to explore the political landscape and get your feedback on candidates and policies that could help make the students on your campus more informed and active in trends that will make positive influences on your campus community.

For most of the last decade, variety acts, especially hypnotists, have dominated the programming at almost every campus as well as the pages of this magazine.They draw a huge energetic crowd that loves to participate in this kind of show. While there has always been some overlap of material, these artists are working more diligently to customize their shows, developing new routines that are unique to themselves. While some of these types of shows genrally do not exist outside the college and fair markets, they genuinely thrive here.

But there are other variety acts that developed wings and expanded to other venues. The first that comes to mind is Craig Karges, who is a genuinely nice guy with a show that has been consumed by every canopus that could get a date on his schedule. Craig was the first act in modern times to expand into the casino, military, corporate and other markets with greater success. Then there was Justin Wilman, aka Justin Kredible who dominated the variety market, winning Entertainer of the Year with this magazine an unpresciented FOUR times, As he got cable television exposure, he got on the radar or Corporate Producer, Nancy Hays who found him through ACE and an introduction by CAM's Editor, Ian Kirby.

Just this year, Judy Thee, who is a well respected producer and member of AEP called me. She was producing a show in Asia and was not able to attend the June AEP Conference, but through the AEP grapevine had heard good things about Daniel Martin's showcase at the conference and wanted to pitch him to a major client. I put her in touch with Chris Schuler at Bass/Schuler Entertainment and she has pitched Daniel to her client. Judy buys all the talent for the Freeman Company clients and produces shows all over the globe. If Daniel gets the nod, this will be a huge step toward national exposure and certainly a boost to his career.

Comedy is still quite hot as you can see from the arcs in this publication. A school can get a great comedian for generally a decent price and really not have to worry about extensive production, travel or excessive load in or load out. All of a sudden the price is pretty much the price with very few add-ons.

While both music and speakers have taken a back seat to variety and comedy, as so many rising stars are starting to break out, both have great potential in the coming years.

That leaves true novelty. There are a few companies who have developed outstanding products that are local to the campus market and those will do extremely well. But the industry as a whole is somewhat stagnant. Where in the 90ís product was rolling out at warped speeds, notional manufacturers have been slow to come out with new ideas that can boost attendance for programs at schools. Because companies like CEP and P.E.E.R.S are heavily invested in this market, they continue to develop and engineer their own products for campuses and do not rely on development from third party sources. There are a few novelty suppliers. like Record-A-Hit, that continue to round out their availabilities to schools, giving them a wide price range of possibilities for spring carnivals and events. But we no longer have 30-40 companies with expansive inventories available to campuses.