“ ‘Less Rock, More Talk’ – You Got the Show, Now How Do You Get People There?” was the tagline for the second installation of “Talk Shop” hosted by Kevin Hoskins (The Middle East), Shred (Team Shred Productions), and Steve Theo (Pirate Promotions) with an appearance by Josh Smith (Talent Buyer from Mass Concerts). I was able to catch this panel discussion on January 19, 2010 at the Middle East venue located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since Generation DYI has already covered online promotions, as well as street promotion, let’s talk about another topic from the panel: how to market live concerts. After establishing an online presence, it’s time to spread your music through live interaction; a.k.a. booking gigs. The “Talk Shop” panel showcased different ways to promote your band and upcoming shows through online social platforms, street promotion and media (basically everything we’ve discussed but with more detail on how to bring heads to a show rather than a Web site).
With the basics in mind, the most important aspect of promoting a concert is creating a flyer or equivalent hand out promotional tool that illustrates all the details. And, just like writing songs, the first 10 seconds are the most crucial for captivating your audience. So, be sure to showcase your band name across the top then the venue, and really sell yourself because in the end YOU ARE A BUSINESS. Generate a nice, clean flyer that can be printed (and look nice) in both color and black and white. The nicer the flyer looks, the more eyes will be forced to focus on it and read what you have to say. Shred of Team Shred Productions goes into more detail on the audio track of the panel discussion posted below.
In addition to the flyer, direct some attention towards media outlets (local newspapers, magazines etc.) as well as local radio stations that would promote a local show and venue. This is a great way to get easy access to a large database of readers/listeners but it can be the most costly, so be cautious when considering this approach. Find new ways to connect your Web site to your social networking outlets and other means of promotion like a mailing list. Many bands have found unique ways of getting fans to sign up for their mailing list (regional) which is one of the best ways to get the message out to different areas.
And while social networking is a great way to promote both your band and shows, being able to put a face to your name and music goes a long with fans. Reach out and create relationships. We are not here to make a single sale but a long-term customer who will come back and support you throughout your growth. Another point that came up in the discussion was finding ways to connect with other local artists/bands to create what Kevin Hoskins called a “micro scene”. Networking with other bands is key in this day and age. Creating friendships gives you the chance to expose yourselves to each other’s fanbase and can create a strong community within your scene.
Check out other key points from the panel speakers as well as other local Boston bands in the audio file below. This audio clip was cut down from an hour and a half discussion to about ten to fifteen minutes so if you are interested in attaining the full audio clip you can always get in touch with me and I’ll be sure to get you a copy. Enjoy!