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  • #16
    You asked about your website so I'll give you some tips where I have some expertise

    - your site will load faster if you shrink your images in Photoshop instead of re-sizing in the browser

    - in general, either GIF or JPG will load faster than PNG, only use PNG when you need semi-transparent images

    - do not rely on external sites for your content, you never know when they are going away (the exception here is YouTube)

    - paragraphs of centered text are very hard to read. text-align: left please.

    - using a frameset to hide the fact that you are using webs.com can screw up your bookmarking and does screw up your page titles. At least make your title generic, instead of "Spacecat Home".

    - You will eventually find webs.com either limiting or a liability....but they are a good way for a non-web-developer to get up and running, so my professional advice and pragmatic advice are in conflict here.
    Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

    Comment


    • #17






      Quote Originally Posted by wesg
      View Post

      You asked about your website so I'll give you some tips where I have some expertise

      - your site will load faster if you shrink your images in Photoshop instead of re-sizing in the browser

      - in general, either GIF or JPG will load faster than PNG, only use PNG when you need semi-transparent images

      - do not rely on external sites for your content, you never know when they are going away (the exception here is YouTube)

      - paragraphs of centered text are very hard to read. text-align: left please.

      - using a frameset to hide the fact that you are using webs.com can screw up your bookmarking and does screw up your page titles. At least make your title generic, instead of "Spacecat Home".

      - You will eventually find webs.com either limiting or a liability....but they are a good way for a non-web-developer to get up and running, so my professional advice and pragmatic advice are in conflict here.




      Thank you for the feedback!



      - I will examine all the image sizes and edit with photoshop.

      - I think most of the images are jpg files, but I will check and edit the images as necessary there too.

      - I'll figure out how to utilize the space on the webs server. Unlike the rest of their platform I didn't find that to be very user friendly so I went to photobucket...but you are right. I should save them on space that I know will be there when we need it.

      - I will change the centered text paragraphs to align left. I assume you're talking about the About Us page where I have shots of each band member. I think the rest of the text on the site is all aligned left.

      - I have TRIED to change that damn title and haven't been able to get it to work. I need to dig in and find out how the heck to do that. If I go there using the .webs.com address the title appears with the changes. If I get routed there through "spacecatband.com" which we got to eliminate the crappy ".webs" from our address, the title won't change from the original title we chose (which was that SpaceCAT - Home).

      - I already don't like webs.com much, and I do find it limiting. But I'm far from a web developer and we still would like to try to avoid hiring this out because I know it would end up being pretty expensive. So until we take enough steps up to warrant it, I need to try to make this site at least serviceable.



      Another thing that's driving me CRAZY is the sidebar titles are a different color on the 1st two pages of our content (from the 4 clickable images on the home page) than on the last 2. No fricken idea........
      Christian

      SpaceCat
      www.spacecatband.com

      "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix







      Originally Posted by wheresgrant3


      Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.

      Comment


      • #18
        We've been a club band since 2003. We've actively pursued weddings/corp/private since 2008 while straddling both ponds. We've average 8-10 weddings per year and about 60-70 club dates. We really haven't done much to attract weddings beyond referrals until recently. We're all at that stage where we want to limit our nightclub exposure going into next year. Now we are actively pursing weddings as a component for this band. We're shooting to see if we can push for 25 weddings by 2014. It's a natural progression. A few factors have stalled us from marketing too heavily into the wedding space. For one, unlike alot of wedding bands we're earning terrific money playing in the clubs (which is an easier show, and most times more enjoyable). #2- We've never made the effort to package and market ourselves beyond just being a younger themed club band. But we're all getting a little older. And the chance to earn as much at one wedding vs an entire weekend of playing in clubs is becoming more temping.





        I'm currently working on a wedding video demo and a wedding page on our website. Last fall we took some promo photos for both acts:









        None of us are thrilled with the Wedding image but it's something to work with until we get ourselves another shoot scheduled.



        I'll defer to Guido on this as he has some of the best experience on this board in terms of booking weddings (probably Space Norman and a few other bandleaders). As he stated, being organized, treating the band as a business and most important marketing, marketing, marketing.... Even as well known as we are, we still have to market ourselves to prospective brides and vendors. Many brides off the street have no clue who we are... especially if they haven't been out and active at local clubs.





        We've marketed ourselves as a great 'anti' wedding band (no offense). Many couples who hire us are either fans or have seen or been recommended to us by fans. We offer a cleaned up version of our nightclub act (which is high energy). We'll work with couples to cherry pick through medleys IF there are songs and material they don't want us to play. We'll learn 2 songs by request (at no charge) the remainder we'll spin with our DJ. Plenty of praise and no complaints yet. I find that we're playing about 30-45 minutes before and during dinner and 1 hour after dinner. The DJ spins the rest. It's alot of sitting but we get fed and we get paid.
        so over this signature BS!!!

        Comment


        • #19
          You need to change the title on that redirecting frameset page you have before the user gets sent to webs.com. You will not be able to change it on a page-by-page basis.



          And there is at least one site besides photobucket you are pulling content from, the blue bar images are from a third party.



          The site's not bad though, for a hack (no offence - just a fact) you are getting decent results. I have seen so-called professionals do far worse. If you were in my band I would let you do the web work and only help out if you got stuck.
          Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

          Comment


          • #20
            I've done tons of weddings-I've done a ton of ceremony gigs as a soloist, and then after securing the support of a good agent, a bunch of cocktail hour wedding gigs and also been the main band for a bunch more. The difference was money. When I was booking them on my own, I was getting decent money, but the money went way up with the agent. I think if you are booking them on your own, it's pretty easy-you'll probably ask a lot less than an agent and will get the gig if you are what they want. Getting the confidence of a good agent is what will propel you into getting the better wedding and corporate gigs IME. It could be different in your area.



            We are submitted for many gigs by our agent-it's the ones that the client decides we are what they want that come through. My advice is just be really good at what you do as opposed to trying to turn yourself into what you think people want. Every bride has a slightly different idea, and many want something different that the typical wedding band. If you want to be the typical wedding band, it's clear what needs to happen-just scope out that type of band and emulate them-two girl singers, keyboards, optional horn section, and be able to play some popular jazz tunes for dinner, "celebration" "shout" and all the other known wedding tunes. Don't forget the ethnic tunes for the Greek, Jewish, etc weddings. Have tuxes. It's a big job actually to be able to offer the typical wedding band. You really gotta want it to be good at it.



            As far as what to charge, you fee should have some relation to what your already earning. If your a $400.00 a night club band, you can't expect to start booking 2k weddings. Start at 800-1000 if that's the case, and work your way up.

            Be prepared to use subs, so charts and a list of guys who can read them could save some hair pulling.

            Comment


            • #21






              Quote Originally Posted by wesg
              View Post

              You need to change the title on that redirecting frameset page you have before the user gets sent to webs.com. You will not be able to change it on a page-by-page basis.



              And there is at least one site besides photobucket you are pulling content from, the blue bar images are from a third party.



              The site's not bad though, for a hack (no offence - just a fact) you are getting decent results. I have seen so-called professionals do far worse. If you were in my band I would let you do the web work and only help out if you got stuck.




              No offense taken. When I sat down to make this site I didn't even know a single line/command/whatever of html or any other language. I've actually learned a lot and I think I've managed to get something serviceable together. Is it a professional quality site with all the bells and whistles? Hell no. But to the average passer-by I don't think it looks like someone's Uncle Joe whipped it up on a Saturday afternoon either. But what do I know I'm just a hack.



              I figured out the title thing, thanks!



              Not sure what "blue bar images" you mean. I'm using a webs template that was provided on the site. Are they using a 3rd party for imaging???



              And believe me if we were in the same band YOU'D be doing the web design. No way I'd ever touch it. You actually know what you're talking about, and there's only room for 1 programming dork per band. Pretty sure I read that somewhere.
              Christian

              SpaceCat
              www.spacecatband.com

              "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix







              Originally Posted by wheresgrant3


              Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.

              Comment


              • #22






                Quote Originally Posted by guitarguy19
                View Post

                And believe me if we were in the same band YOU'D be doing the web design. No way I'd ever touch it. You actually know what you're talking about, and there's only room for 1 programming dork per band. Pretty sure I read that somewhere.






                Hmmm... funny you should say that. I manage most of the marketing and communications. Our singer is a PHP programmer. There's a big difference between programmer and designer. He built our previous website in PHP which lasted 9 years and looked pretty dated even when we launched it. But it was functional and very efficent. He wanted to do a redesign, but all of the designs were very dated. So have months of pleading with him we went Word Press. I know it killed him to use a template, but honestly the site looks modern enough and now updates take me minutes instead of hours.
                so over this signature BS!!!

                Comment


                • #23






                  Quote Originally Posted by MartinC
                  View Post

                  Getting the confidence of a good agent is what will propel you into getting the better wedding and corporate gigs IME. It could be different in your area.




                  We already are working with a few different agencies for club gigs, some of which work private events as well. I'm going to really get us streamlined with all our promo materials and everything before I pitch us to them for that market. We may have some opportunities there though.









                  Quote Originally Posted by MartinC
                  View Post

                  We are submitted for many gigs by our agent-it's the ones that the client decides we are what they want that come through. My advice is just be really good at what you do as opposed to trying to turn yourself into what you think people want. Every bride has a slightly different idea, and many want something different that the typical wedding band. If you want to be the typical wedding band, it's clear what needs to happen-just scope out that type of band and emulate them-two girl singers, keyboards, optional horn section, and be able to play some popular jazz tunes for dinner, "celebration" "shout" and all the other known wedding tunes. Don't forget the ethnic tunes for the Greek, Jewish, etc weddings. Have tuxes. It's a big job actually to be able to offer the typical wedding band. You really gotta want it to be good at it.




                  We're not going the typical wedding band route. I think we have enough variety (and we're always adding more) in our repertoire to be able to pull off more of a different type of show. We plan on offering a little tamed down version of our club show, splashed with some additional tunes that we might not play at clubs. We can also offer some of the wedding standards if they want. But I suspect our market (for weddings anyway...keep in mind we're also going for the private event market...) will be for younger couples that want a fairly energetic, dare I say rowdy, type of party for their wedding.









                  Quote Originally Posted by MartinC
                  View Post

                  As far as what to charge, you fee should have some relation to what your already earning. If your a $400.00 a night club band, you can't expect to start booking 2k weddings. Start at 800-1000 if that's the case, and work your way up.

                  Be prepared to use subs, so charts and a list of guys who can read them could save some hair pulling.




                  We have a couple of subs at our disposal right now that we've used for club gigs when necessary, so that's a plus on that note.



                  As far as what to charge, right now our club gigs vary from $600 (gigs where we provide no PA or lights) to $800-$1200 for us providing everything. After contacting several wedding bands in our area to get bids to see what the going rate is, I got quotes from $1000 to $2500 so far. I actually expected them to be higher...but that was speculation.



                  I'm thinking of charging $2500 if we put together a package for both us and a DJ; I'd try to sell this as sort of an "all inclusive" package...we handle all the emcee duties, coordinate with them ahead of time to nail down a detailed itinerary, provide band sets plus DJ sets, learn 2-3 songs free of charge, allow for everything under the sun musically, etc. This would leave them absolutely nothing to worry about on the day of...we handle everything.



                  A lower tier package would be $1500 for just the band to perform as if it were a club (essentially)...without the emcee duties and the full on DJ. I'd still offer our sound system to be available for whoever wanted to run the music during breaks and host/make announcements/etc. Does that sound viable?
                  Christian

                  SpaceCat
                  www.spacecatband.com

                  "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix







                  Originally Posted by wheresgrant3


                  Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Your site is pulling content from freewebs.com and websimages.com -- I guess webs.com must own these.



                    wheregrant3 is totally on the money on designer vs. programmer. I'm a good programmer with allllll kinds of web programming experience, but my design skills suck ass. Your design is better than anything I am likely to come up with.



                    My new band's current website -- http://DrBombay.ca/ is basically contentless and boring to the point of ugly.... but I was able to whip it together in an hour and it scales very nicely to any sized browser (try changing your browser size, then ooh and ahh, LOL). I'm waiting for us to have some media collateral together, then I'm going to sit down with the artist in the group (who has formal training as an illustrator) and see if we can't come up with something together that isn't ugly as sin.
                    Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

                    Comment


                    • #25






                      Quote Originally Posted by wesg
                      View Post

                      Your site is pulling content from freewebs.com and websimages.com -- I guess webs.com must own these.



                      wheregrant3 is totally on the money on designer vs. programmer. I'm a good programmer with allllll kinds of web programming experience, but my design skills suck ass. Your design is better than anything I am likely to come up with.




                      Lol...I found a couple of other bands sites that I liked and just tried to copy what they did. It's not as flashy as theirs are, but the structure is similar. That's what I like most about what we did. All the pertinent info is easily accessible, with the exception of venues and reviews. That will be much more accessible when we gather some reviews and organize them enough to show them off.
                      Christian

                      SpaceCat
                      www.spacecatband.com

                      "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix







                      Originally Posted by wheresgrant3


                      Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.

                      Comment


                      • #26






                        Quote Originally Posted by MartinC
                        View Post

                        When I was booking them on my own, I was getting decent money, but the money went way up with the agent. I think if you are booking them on your own, it's pretty easy-you'll probably ask a lot less than an agent and will get the gig if you are what they want. Getting the confidence of a good agent is what will propel you into getting the better wedding and corporate gigs IME. It could be different in your area.




                        This brings up a good point: it's REALLY important to know your market area and how people are finding bands. You and I approach the same market from different angles--but it's a big enough and diverse enough market that we can do that.



                        In our case, the agents we work with aren't putting us into weddings--they've got other bands they use for that it seems for whatever reason. Where we are able to go around that is the fact both Tahoe and Napa Valley (and SF as well) are "destination wedding" spots. Probably 2/3rds of the weddings we play are for people that are coming in from way out of the area. Which might make them more likely to do their own internet searches for bands in the area rather than try to find an area talent agency.



                        Clearly, in the Nor Cal market, there's room for both types of marketing. In other areas, there might not be. Or it might be something different.
                        _________________________________________________
                        Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

                        Comment


                        • #27






                          Quote Originally Posted by guitarguy19
                          View Post



                          We have a couple of subs at our disposal right now that we've used for club gigs when necessary, so that's a plus on that note.



                          As far as what to charge, right now our club gigs vary from $600 (gigs where we provide no PA or lights) to $800-$1200 for us providing everything. After contacting several wedding bands in our area to get bids to see what the going rate is, I got quotes from $1000 to $2500 so far. I actually expected them to be higher...but that was speculation.



                          I'm thinking of charging $2500 if we put together a package for both us and a DJ; I'd try to sell this as sort of an "all inclusive" package...we handle all the emcee duties, coordinate with them ahead of time to nail down a detailed itinerary, provide band sets plus DJ sets, learn 2-3 songs free of charge, allow for everything under the sun musically, etc. This would leave them absolutely nothing to worry about on the day of...we handle everything.



                          A lower tier package would be $1500 for just the band to perform as if it were a club (essentially)...without the emcee duties and the full on DJ. I'd still offer our sound system to be available for whoever wanted to run the music during breaks and host/make announcements/etc. Does that sound viable?




                          I would really guess it depends on your market, your reputation and the competition in your area. In my market a decent club band who had no experience playing weddings and not a huge following to draw off of, $1500 would be a fair price DJ or no DJ. We started at the $2500 mark (keep in mind we made for many years $1600-2200 for bar and nightclub gigs) and DJ'd ourselves. As we grew more experienced we added a dedicated DJ not only in our wedding package but for our nightclub gigs as well. That increased us to $3600 for a package. That's fairly expensive around here. Good wedding bands charge between $3K-5K per wedding. Up and comers under cut $1500-2500. It really depends what the market will bear and what your act will be sold on. In other words is it some 'green' bride and groom unfamilar with your band, lumping you with the rest of the wedding bands in the area. Is it someone who's seen your band before and loved you guys and said "I want THAT band for our wedding?". I can tell you that we've lost some weddings to some older and more established bands who actually charged more because they were able to sell what they do best.



                          It really depends on your market and what it's able to bear. I can tell you in my market reputation means alot. Upstarts have a hard time getting a foot in the door, mostly because the pros know the business like the back of their hand. I second Martins advice. Get a good agent if you can. They will take the legwork out of the pitch and you can focus on the presentation.
                          so over this signature BS!!!

                          Comment


                          • #28






                            Quote Originally Posted by wesg
                            View Post



                            wheregrant3 is totally on the money on designer vs. programmer. I'm a good programmer with allllll kinds of web programming experience, but my design skills suck ass. Your design is better than anything I am likely to come up with.






                            Thanks. It's a $35 template from some designer in India. It took a weekend to tweak but since then has been incredibly manageable.
                            so over this signature BS!!!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Geez, Grant, that's a good idea. I'm so used to have the resources of my company to do whatever I need that it never occurred to me not to do it from scratch by myself when it came time for outside-the-office web work!
                              Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

                              Comment


                              • #30






                                Quote Originally Posted by wesg
                                View Post

                                Geez, Grant, that's a good idea. I'm so used to have the resources of my company to do whatever I need that it never occurred to me not to do it from scratch by myself when it came time for outside-the-office web work!




                                I looked at using Drupal first. Some templates and modding them, but the content management side of Word Press appealed to me. I get it... as a designer and creator doing something cookie cutter seems disgenuine. Our singer was afraid our site would look like everyone else. But I convinced him that content, as well as navigation and ease of use is the real different-or for people visiting websites. We work hard to keep ours regularly updated. Some new and different every few days. The result is daily web traffic. Last year we had more than 20,000 visits averaging 3:58 mins. More than 54% were repeat views, and about 90% were from a three county radius (love Google analytics). So in terms of local traffic (which is what I really care about) it has reach and stickyness.
                                so over this signature BS!!!

                                Comment













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