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How much do tiki events earn?

Pages: 1 13 replies

santa posted on Sun, Aug 19, 2018 9:24 AM

Does anyone have an idea how much tiki events like tiki oasis, tiki kon, hukilau and the other events net in profit to the promoters? Is there a way to estimate? Some of them have a lot of large sponsors. Do the participating hotels charge the promoters to rent the space?


The space use is determined by the contract you sign with the hotel. It requires so many rooms sold to get the space. The promoter is on the line for the deficiency if the contracted rooms are not booked.


I always thought it was odd when people would ask me how much my restaurant made, or what the rent was, even how much did I sell it for!

First if you get an answer it will not be the real numbers.

Second the people that would ask these questions of me would never ever be able to start a restaurant.
The smart people know not to ask.

Third it varies greatly with each event.

As an event promoter it's just not smart to give out numbers, people that work with you may get pissed if they know you are making any money.
The people who rent space to you will jack up your fees if they know you are making any money.

And there's a little group known as the IRS that has tax returns that states the event made little to no money, ever.

On 2018-08-19 13:58, tikiskip wrote:
And there's a little group known as the IRS that has tax returns that states the event made little to no money, ever.


santa posted on Sun, Aug 19, 2018 4:48 PM

Skip, which large events have you 100% promoted? Then why are you offended or commenting about a question not related to you that you have no experience with or advice on? From what I’ve seen the big events totally sell out all the rooms, bar, restaurant and conference rooms. That makes me think the producer and promoter might not pay rent. Unless people pay cash for everything it’s unlikely all their corporate expenses and profits are hidden from the franchise tax board or irs. I’m not talking about a cash only bar restaurant .
Is that what you stiffed the taxman on?

santa posted on Sun, Aug 19, 2018 4:52 PM

Why would any business person continue to run their business if it didn’t make money? We know successful companies make money. That want the question. The question is margin. Skip you mentioned before going broke as a vendor at tiki conventions. You didn’t mention going broke as a restraunt owner.


Some do these things for love and passion and not money.

You get event space for signing a contract with the hotel. You must book X number of rooms under yout party by a certain date, and then they may also require you sell so much food or alcohol at their bar etc. and if you don't do that, you are on the hook for the space and it's usually a LOT. $70-100k or more.

Sponsors are often in kind sponsors. You get rum from rum sponsors which you serve to guests. Or they pay for ads, cups with logos printed, etc. Sometimes they give cash.

There are a lot of variables and you need experience to draw up any kind of budget. Attendance is always the big variable you won't know until it happens, though you'll have a big hint when the deadline for rooms hits.


"Skip, which large events have you 100% promoted?"

None, but I have seen the IRS tax returns on at least one of these events and I know how that event was run in the beginning so I have some knowledge on events.

The numbers on that event did not add up really and that was just a quick look, 100 mugs at "X" cost equals "Y" that kind of thing.
One guy did the mugs and he got that cash, another guy did some other things and he got some of that.

Then you could hire your best friend to do "security", so there are many ways to skim.

That event is lucky the IRS is stupid and or not looking at them, and it was a small event.

A restaurant is just a small scale of a big event and a larger scale of a small event.
But You do it every day for many years.

'Skip you mentioned before going broke as a vendor at tiki conventions. You didn’t mention going broke as a restraunt owner."

I never said I went broke as a vendor, I said it was not worth the effort and time you put in and that after all is said and done you spend your weekend being an employee of said event.

In fact I kicked a$$ at vending AND even more so at the restaurant biz.
I sold mostly out at the booth on day one in a few hours, and I was the guy to beat in the alley where my restaurant is.

I want to go to the event, not pay to be an employee of the event and miss everything.

Why do you think many of the "Stars" of tiki get a free ride to come and vend at some events.
Do you think somebody comes from California to vend in Florida and pays what everybody else pays to vend?

If you do all I can say is "Bless your heart"

And why would somebody tell you I'm doing great and making a ton so you can then start your event and take biz away from them.

It's money, Sure it's not all cash but much of it is.
It's right there on the dollar bill....
"In god we trust"
If anybody other than God is your partner or fills out your return then keep a watchful eye.

For the many years I have been on TC event throwers have mostly not posted on TC about the events, Damn you don't even see pics of the event these days why would they give you numbers.

Swanky is the only event guy I have seen give any kind of info on the workings of events.

Talk to the bank teller girls or the person who runs the bank that they do business with.
They know some of the numbers.

I could be wrong it could change.

What kind of event are you planning on having and where.

I run a craft cocktail business as well as being quite involved with Hukilau for the past decade or so, and my reply is always, "Well, if it's such easy money, feel free to go out and do it yourself." Sorry, but nobody is taking a yacht to the Riviera on profits from these events.


I bet the big ones make good money.
But that is after years of not making any money.

We went to the first Hukilau and it was like a busy night at Trader Vic's, very small.

These events start out smallish and then get bigger and are lots of fun, then they get way bigger and are not as much fun.
It becomes mostly a way to make money and that sucks all the life out of it.

Plus you need to remember many events have fallen out, like OHANA Luau by the Sea 2015 it lasted only one year.

So not all of them do well.

santa posted on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 9:41 AM

I think it would be hard to do well financially in the beginning. The question is if the event survived how well it would do.

On 2018-08-21 07:54, tikiskip wrote:
...many events have fallen out, like OHANA Luau by the Sea 2015 it lasted only one year.

Side note here... I think Luau By The Sea was conceived as a way to keep a tiki event at the Mai-Kai / Ft Lauderdale which are both world-class venues. Then when Hukilau continued, I'm guessing the organizers decided it was not feasible to continue, as they would likely always remain in the shadows of the more well-established event.

The more we make, the more we spend. People doing Tiki Events just love the party. We are doing the Las Vegas Huka Pele Tiki Weekender and I am hoping to only lose a reasonable amount for the first few years. After that any money made will be held towards the following years party. More bands, more performers, more take homes items, or better quality. :)

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