In doing what I do, I have an interesting perspective when watching bands plan and promote an event. I get to watch the event unfold from conception to delivery, and also experience it as an audience member. Having also been a musician, I additionally have had the pleasure of participating in the process. From this unique position, I would like to offer some advice to performers, in hopes that those who are taking the business seriously will take THEIR business seriously, leave a good impression everywhere they appear, and make money doing so.
Working with venues
When a venue agrees to host your show, they are taking a risk. Their intent is to be profitable – if they make money, guess who else takes home a check? YOU do! Know your contract, and be aware of what steps you can take to help the venue promote your show. When you are booking, ensure that you have a good contact point. Be prepared to communicate professionally by email and phone – respond promptly and concisely. Here are some things to consider, remembering that doing as much venue research as possible ahead of time will please the booker tremendously. Asking questions that will help you and the venue pull off a successful event is very important!
- Who is providing promotional posters/street team?
- Will the event be advertised online?
- Who creates the event?
- What is the process and timing for online promotion?
- Where is the ticket link?
- Have you communicated the bill order?
- Have you communicated your stage plan and gear needs?
- How are you being paid?
- What can you do to assist the venue?
Working with media
I strongly suggest making connections in the industry. Find a local radio DJ, writer, or just an active music lover who you can brainstorm with. Everyone in the industry shares about bands who excite them. Many musicians make great music, but how do you get people talking?
- Plan ahead – when you book an event, share ASAP once the venue gives you the go-ahead
- Share creatively in social media – there are many Facebook groups designed for this purpose
- Submit your band to artist directories throughout town
- Submit your event to media calendars in the area
- Share your music with media – email teasers and links, offer availability to meet
- Be prompt in answering media inquiries
- Provide correct, updated information – make it easy to cut and paste from your web presence
- Follow up – this is a business relationship that can develop into a partnership for future events
At the Show
This is the opportunity to seize the day, build momentum, and keep people talking! It’s not over when you leave the stage – it is the launching pad for your next steps.
- Love your venue – appreciate all staff! Sound technicians, servers, hosts. Be grateful.
- Smile – just do it. This is fun!
- Interact with your audience before, during and after the show. It just takes a second to make a friend…or an enemy
- Thank everyone for the opportunity to share your message and speak from your heart.
- Be confident and talk about your next plans. Everyone is interested.
- Have merchandise, business cards, ways to stay connected
- Have an email sign up list
- Stay for the whole show, appreciate your teammates for the event.
As a musician with a gig, you have a voice and a platform to share it – take advantage of all opportunities to create an enjoyable experience with everyone in the process. From the moment you start thinking about an event, think about how you can make your band stand out as professional, friendly, and a joy to work with. The key is to encourage others to help you promote by making it easy and fun to work with you.