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Adding new gigs to the mix (besides clubs)


guitarguy19

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I'm looking for tips and ideas for adding to the mix from those of you that don't exclusively play clubs. We do basically all club dates along with 1 regular casino gig these days. I'm really not sure what to look for or what we want to do, all I know is that I'd like to find us a gig or 2 that aren't average play till 2am club dates. I'm in sort of a think-outside-the-box mode...

 

I will admit the casino gig we got a very lucky break, because one of their suits caught a club gig of ours and recommended us. We have done well and maintained the gig for several months now and I'm optimistic we'll keep it in 2012. Had she not caught us playing and went out of her way to recommend us, I doubt we'd ever have gotten in there.

 

How do you guys go about adding gigs to the mix that aren't your typical club nights?

 

I have thought about joining GigMasters, but I'm not sure of the costs associated with listing there, or if the rewards would be worth it. Any thoughts there?

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I'm a big fan of Gigmasters. We book probably half our private event gigs through them. They require a membership fee that starts as low as $59 for 3 months (and is cheaper per-month if you sign up for longer). I would recommend hanging with the site for at least 6 months because it does take a while (at least a gig or two booked through them) to develop a presence on the site. As you can imagine, the bands with the most bookings continue to book more. Obviously the bands with 100 gigs booked will look better to customers than a band with 0. They also take 5% of each gig. (Which, depending on how you end up booking the gig, doesn't necessary have to be 5% of your actual booked fee. It's very easy to book a $1500 gig and tell them you booked it for $500. There are some reasons for which you might NOT to do that, however, which we can talk about later if you get more interested in the site.)

 

The best things they provide (IMO) are:

 

A) they come up very high on Google searches. If somebody searches "classic rock band" (or whatever your catagory is) and "Detriot" the site is going to come up very, very high in the search and then clicking on the link should take them very quickly to your band's listing.

 

B) they have enough of a professional presence online that customers feel safe booking bands through them.

 

So as far as trying to hook up with clients that don't regularly book bands and have no idea how to go through an agency, I don't think there is any better service out there.

 

The other recommendation would be hooking up with a local agency and see if they are interested in booking your band and finding out what you need to do to be the kind of band they want to book. (i.e., improving your promo material, etc.)

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Interesting:

We have agreed to do a 6 month run with Gigmasters, pending our updated promo being finished.

 

And the reason we started updating promo (audio, video and pictures) is because a local agency that we think we'd fit in well with told us they could book us no problem, but not with our present promo.

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Interesting:

We have agreed to do a 6 month run with Gigmasters, pending our updated promo being finished.


And the reason we started updating promo (audio, video and pictures) is because a local agency that we think we'd fit in well with told us they could book us no problem, but not with our present promo.

 

 

Well, it only makes sense that if you're looking to appeal to clients who have never heard your band before, that your promo kit is EVERYTHING. And it also follows that if your band had a good enough following/reputation that you could sell it without having to look towards clients you have never heard your band before then you probably wouldn't even be considering going through an agent or using a site like Gigmasters.

 

So yes. For any band looking to move out of nightclubs and into the private gig arena, I can't emphasize ENOUGH the importance of the promo kit.

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Interesting:

We have agreed to do a 6 month run with Gigmasters, pending our updated promo being finished.


And the reason we started updating promo (audio, video and pictures) is because a local agency that we think we'd fit in well with told us they could book us no problem, but not with our present promo.

 

 

We also agreed to do this. Hopefully we should be signed up with promo materials completed by the end of the year... in time for those summer gigs. But we'll see!

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You're already in a casino. I would imagine that in addition to the day-to-day operations that they also have a convention center type area that caters to a lot of one-off private and corporate events. Do a little digging and find out who the event coordinators are and invite them out for an evening with your band. Don't be afraid buy them drinks and toss some swag their way. You may be a little close to the holidays to get much out of the season, as many of these events are planned well in advance, but you can definitely be thier back up plan this year (call us anytime even on short notice) and their go to guys next year. Many of them do a couple of buyer parties a year. Offer to play one of these for them. You want to be the group the think of first.

 

Bridal fairs are another avenue and that season (or at lest the planning stages) is coming up right after the holidays. Offer to provide entertainment in exchange for a booth. Sell your band there.

 

Partner up with an events materials provider. They often do theme parties and if you can fit that theme (50's, pirates/tropical, disco) you can easily be recommended by them to their buyers.

 

But here's the catch to getting and keeping these type gigs. You have to be the complete package. Playing music is just part of it. You don't just show up and play. You have to be coordinating with purchasers and key people well in advance to make sure you're providing what they need. You have to be able roll with whatever comes up to make sure thier vision happens. You have to be the MC and take control of the party when they assume you were going to be the one doing all the talking. You have be prepared to patching three wireless mics and two computer feeds for the auction people they forgot to tell you about. And the music? Ages18 to 88. You have to be more than four guys standing on a dark stage playing Alice in Chains tunes. Take a look at Guido's page for a very good idea of who those buyers are looking for.

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Bridal fairs are another avenue and that season (or at lest the planning stages) is coming up right after the holidays. Offer to provide entertainment in exchange for a booth. Sell your band there.

 

This is good advice. I'm close with the person who runs our rehearsal building (and its long-running sister site, and numerous other properties/interests for the owner): they have been trying to build their existing business hosting these kinds of events in their massive showcase spaces. They have already asked about having us do the next wedding/bridal fair for them.

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I have hired a band off of Gigmasters for an event that I was hosting in another state back in 2010. It was a good experience from my end. Gigmasters does a pretty good job of letting customers know what to expect from an act - near as I can tell.

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