Nailing That First Impression – Part 1: The Promoter
Would you go out on a first date being rude and belligerent, only to end the night by stealing plates and silverware at the restaurant?
I’m going to guess not.
Then, try not to do the equivalent when you’re playing a venue for the first time…or anytime.
Last week we talked about some easy ways to land gigs and touched upon the importance of making a good first impression.
It’s just as important in the music industry as it is anywhere else in life.
Over the next few posts I’m going to cover four different areas in which you need to nail that first impression in order to book better gigs and further your career.
Lets begin at the beginning:
Promoters are the backbone that keep the live music scene thriving. They’ve got the tough job of constantly booking acts for their venue and drawing in customers.
They also deal with a multitude of bands at any given time and that makes many of them more than a little bit jaded. Bad promoters are everywhere, booking seven bands on a bill and disappearing when its time to pay the bands.
However, don’t let your run in with a few bad ones determine your actions towards all other promoters.
Getting on the promoters good side is a great way to get repeat gigs at a venue, and you can start by making a good first impression.
Even though the job of a promoter is to “promote”, more than likely, this won’t happen other then a blurb on the website.
When you land your gig, show the promoter that you are interested in getting the word out about it. Ask them to send your way any promotional materials for you to distribute.
If they don’t have any, make your own and share it with them instead.
Take the extra effort to promote the show and you will both benefit from it.
Show Up On Time
Most promoters will also expect you to load in at a certain time. Try to make it.
If the load-in time is unreasonable, or you are on tour and just not going to make it on time, its a good idea to call ahead and let the promoter know you are running late.
A simple phone call will ease their worries about being short a band, and having to scramble to get an act last minute.
You don’t want to deal with a crazed, stressed out promoter when you arrive at the venue.
Deliver What You Promised
If you got the gig by promising you would bring a certain number of people, you better damn well bring that number of people.
Promoters plan their nights based on a band’s draw–and if you bring far under the amount you promised, you can be guaranteed it will be difficult to book a gig there again.
If you can’t bring anyone out, don’t lie; explain the situation and that you will do your best to promote. If you do have fans in the area, underplay the actual amount you can bring out.
This way you can exceed the promoters expectations when your quoted number of 40 people blossoms into 75.
Things are going to go wrong occasionally, however, you must keep your cool under any situation.
Showing your professionalism will go a long way towards getting you re-booked at the venue the next time around.
Nailing that first impression with a promoter is an easy way to get on their good side, and hopefully moves you to the top of their list the next time you are looking for a gig at their venue.
Check out Nailing That First Impression – Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
Image by: jeff_golden