This is a question asked and frequently negotiated between independent venues and the bands that play in them.
If a venue contracts with a band for a gig, should the venue do the marketing for the event with the goal to get people in the door? Or is it the band’s responsibility to do their own marketing and the venue simply provides the performance space for them?
The best answer is the one that provides the most favorable outcome for both parties, which is increased attendance with longer duration of stay.
Let’s look at it from the venue side first.
Relying on outside parties to market isn’t the best strategy if you want maximum audience potential. The best proponent of your offerings is you.
Here’s why: if you’ve been in business for a while, or even a short period of time, and you are providing good service that people want to come back for, you will have built up a following –a specific set of people interested in you. You want to keep marketing to those folks to keep them coming back and to keep them telling other people how great you are.
Marketing performs best when it is consistently applied. If a venue is sporadically marketing itself and expecting their performers to shoulder the burden, the venue’s followers get mixed messages.
Are they still in business? Are they still doing shows? Haven’t heard from them in awhile.
Marketing works best when it is consistent.
From the band’s perspective, it should be obvious why bands should market.
Some of the more well known small clubs have a booker or team of bookers to book gigs, many small independent venues do not and the booking hat is worn by someone who already wears multiple hats there (read: busy, pressed for time).
A venue’s goal for bringing performers in is to bring more customers in the door and get them to stick around and buy more food and drinks. If a performer cannot bring people in the door, then there isn’t much value in hosting them as a performer.
The best case for venues is to book bands that have a following. What is the best way to assess this? Lots of bands will say they can bring people in. Social media presence provides a good gauge of a following, so it’s important that bands market themselves through social media.
Venues get plenty of interest from bands, usually through emails, and sometimes social media.
How best to achieve this joint marketing approach?
At the time of the agreement to play, as part of the contract, both sides should agree to a marketing plan that benefits both the band and venue. At the end of the day, both want the same thing. They want people coming in the door, buying stuff, and sticking around for awhile. When both sides jointly execute on this strategy, everyone wins, including fans and guests, who invariably will come back for more.
An all-in-one platform that enables independent venues to search for and book highly rated performers will enable venues to make better booking decisions a lot faster. A better booking process means both sides win, as do their customers.
In my next post, part 3 of 3 of this series, I’ll focus on the challenges bands have with getting booked in venues.