Event Promo Checklist

It’s pretty disheartening to know how good your music is and you still end up playing to an empty house. So we’ve compiled a “Must Do” list for both the promoter and the band to maximize attention and get the people out to see you. And if looking at these lists looks like a lot of work, you’re right! It takes a lot of time and energy to let the world know who your band is and why people should not miss your next show.

For the Promoter:

1. Establish the show date with the venue making sure that your date is not conflicting with other shows or events around town that may pull your crowd away.

2. Ensure that venue fits the band’s needs; i.e. stage requirements, lighting, sound, etc.

3. Do a thorough walk through with the venue manager. Get the specifics on load-in / load-out, parking for the band’s vehicle(s), the location for the band’s merch table, stage dimensions, available power sources for stage, and merch table. Also, know if there is a green room for the band and if wi-fi is available.

Sarge Tip

Take an outlet tester and check every outlet in the venue. This will ensure that you have the correct power sources, and avoid possible equipment damage from plugging into broken sockets. Always check breaker boxes. Make sure you have enough power!

4. Negotiate the terms with the venue; including any guaranteed dollar amount for the band, who handles the door person, does the venue have their own sound tech, are any food /beverages included for the band (if not, find out what food places are nearby). A written venue agreement is the best way to avoid complications and misunderstandings for all parties.

5. Check out the venue’s website, Facebook, and any sources they have for promoting the shows. Scout for sponsorship opportunities for your event.

6. Talk with the other bands to learn how they are promoting the show.

7. Get your promotion in order by reaching out on your social media pages. Use them to promote the date, and follow up on all inquiries and comments. Get good flyers prepared and have them posted in strategic locations and at the venue itself. Do a newsletter announcing the show. Utilize e-zines and online calendars to get the word out.

8. Make contact with local ticket outlets like music stores and Ticketfly.

9. Team up with non-profit organizations if it fits your event. A benefit for a local charity organization can be very helpful in promoting the event.

10. Do a promo video for YouTube. Use it in your online promotions.

Sarge Tip

About two weeks in advance, make contact with the venue again to be sure that they have not double-booked or forgotten to book your date.

For the Band:

1. A performance agreement for the band is a good idea. If the terms are in writing between you and the promoter there is be no room for misunderstandings from either side.

2. Be mindful of your Blackout dates. Do not over saturate one area by playing too often in the same places.

3. Be sure the entire band is informed of show dates, venue, and location. All band members need to be aware and active in promoting the show.

4. Get your show booked far enough ahead of the date to utilize any and all promotional opportunities; social media, interviews, reviews, flyers, and word of mouth advertising. Organize press and media outlets. Read Music 101 Article on Cultivating Press for the Media.

5. The band should also do a walk-through of any venue they have not played before. While the promoter should have already visited with the venue manager, this is your music; be responsible for knowing the stage, lighting, sound and available power sources.

Sarge Tip

During your walk through, think about the lighting in terms of fans taking pictures with cameras and cell phones.These days everything is shared instantly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and you want the pictures to look good!

6. Find out in no uncertain terms if there are comp tickets for family & friends, and exactly how many.Know how many people you are allowed to invite and avoid embarrassment to yourself, your band, the promoter, and the buddy who didn’t bring enough cash to pay the cover.

7. Utilize some of those comp tickets to offer some kind of press pass for potential reviewers, blog writers, photographers, magazine and radio people. The more of those folks at the show, the more coverage you will get afterward. It’s important to know who they are and follow up with them.

8. Pay attention to the other bands that are booked for the show, and make contact with them. If they have played the venue before, they may have some valuable insight about the place that the venue manager may have left out during the walk-through. Ask the other bands what they are getting out of doing a show here.

Sarge Tip

Promote, Promote, Promote! Make sure people know you are playing and get them excited about the show! Coordinate a contest in conjunction with the show….where the winner must be present at the show to claim their prize.

9. Make the show a happening by promoting a birthday, anniversary, EP release, holiday, or other event that draws a crowd. Arrange a flyer for your band; remember to include sponsors, promotor, and the other bands. Get their logos. Be sure the promoter has these materials as well. Organize your street team to drop flyers in the weeks before the show.

10. Create an event page on Facebook, make sure it is in line with the show. It needs to be as good or better than the promoter’s event page. The page must include show date, times, age restrictions, and other artists with web links for all bands on the bill. Select an official administrator for the page. The administrator is responsible for answering all messages, texts and posts generated on the page, in addition to keeping the page updated with the most current information on the show.

Sarge Tip

Do Talk to Strangers! Respond to all e-mails, comments, phone calls, etc. within a few days before the show.

11. Take advantage of networking at the venue in the weeks before the show. Get a feel for the crowd that the venue itself attracts. Introduce yourself with flyers and pre-sale tickets.

12. Organize a photo and video shoot for the event.

Sarge Tip

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but sound is sooooo much better. Do a video for YouTube, your event page, band page, and anywhere else you can post it.

Compiled by Rose’s Damned Opinion

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