A music event is not the same for the organizer and the attendee. An organizer has an agenda. They have goals, objectives, and milestones that have to be met in order for an event to be a success. An attendee, on the other hand, just needs to have fun.
These two groups are, however, tightly intertwined, seeing as how, in order to have their own goals met, an event manager (organizer) needs to find a way to provide this fun. Here are several key aspects that a music event organizer has to cover in order to make all of this come to life.
Set the Budget
Knowing the resources that you’re going to work with is essential for any subsequent planning. Setting the budget right away will give you a measurable and actionable criterion that, later on, you can base the majority of your decisions on. It also reduces the chance that you’ll overspend, thus causing a number of problems down the line.
Now, one of the ways to handle this efficiently is to download an event budget template. Here, you have an item-by-item list that you can use as an orientation. For instance, you have the venue and venue-related costs listed, the décor costs, food/beverages cost, event programming costs, etc. When it comes to the music event, the event program will be the most important item on this list.
Once you’re done, you’ll have projected expenses. Now, provided that you’re charging tickets, you can compare the projected income to projected expenses and see just how viable your plan is.
Also, keep in mind that things sometimes cost a bit more, which is why you want to create more maneuvering space in your budget. One of the simplest and the most elegant ways to do so is to create a contingency reserve fund. This way, your plan will become far more resilient.
Pick the Venue
When picking the venue, there are a couple of things you need to address. The first thing is, naturally, the size of the venue. What kind of attendance do you expect to have? The size (together with the location) will usually determine the cost of hiring the venue. However, the attendance will determine your maximum potential income.
Second, you need to figure out what kind of a crowd to expect. When it comes to a music event, these things are a bit simpler to figure out. Let’s say, for instance, that you plan to host an event in Minneapolis. In this scenario, what you would have to pay attention to is the Minneapolis Nightlife. This would give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Unless you’re having a lot of big names on your list of performers, the location of the venue will greatly determine the attendance. As we mentioned, this will also determine the cost of the venue, so choose carefully.
Lastly, seeing as how it’s all about the music, you need to check the acoustics of the place. Unless you’re an expert yourself, it might be a good idea to bring some help along. Asking one of the performers to visit the spot with you in order to assess the acoustics might be a good idea.
Talk to the Artist/Artists
When planning the music venue, the success of the event will depend on the artist/artists in question. So, take some time to do your research, reach out to them, and try to spend a bit of time with them before booking them for the event. Remember, artists (especially talented ones) are often difficult to work with, but this doesn’t mean that the hassle is not worth it.
Previously, we mentioned doing research, and there are several ways to do so. First of all, in the age of the internet, there’s so much information available. Second, you can make your outreach into a part of your research and try to get a feeling of what they’re like. Lastly, you could attend a gig of theirs. This is probably the best course of action.
The key thing is that you take care of them. They will take care of you in return. Show some respect and appreciation for their work. The majority of artists will feel more flattered if you compliment their art than if you were to proceed with any kind of personal praise.
Pick the Right Date
This is essential to your success for a number of reasons. First of all, you do not want your audience split. If there are other events scheduled on the same date (or around the same date), it might be worth your while to make a bit of a reschedule.
Look at it this way. Other music events are not your direct competitors. Sure, you’re fighting for the same spotlight, but it’s not like people are exclusive in an “if I attend an X event, I can’t attend a Y event” manner. There’s enough for everyone, but you still want to skip any potential overlapping.
When it comes to the date itself, ideally, you’re gunning for a weekend so that people can let loose. Also, if you’re hosting an outdoor event (an open festival), you’re aiming for the warmer part of the year. Consulting a weather forecast is also important, seeing as how things like heavy rain can reduce attendance even if it’s an indoor event.
Keep in mind that people need art, and if there’s no event in that particular region for a while, people will develop a form of a craving for it. People just want to dance, mingle, and have a good time. Use this undersaturation to your own advantage, and you won’t regret it.
Promote the Event
When it comes to event promotion, you want to be brief and concise. Start with basic information in bold (and bright) letters. Answer four most important questions:
- Who’s performing?
- Where’s the event?
- When’s the event?
- What’s the ticket cost and how can one get them?
Sure, you are allowed to go into detail, but your first priority is always to answer these four questions. Naturally, answering these questions in different formats is a challenge of its own. Listing all the basic information in an Instagram post and on a leaflet is not one and the same.
You can also raise interest by starting a contest or a giveaway. Give people a chance to win a free ticket and gain some additional exposure while you’re at it. Needless to say, social media platforms are ideal for this strategy.
Most importantly, you need to gradually build up the hype so that the interest is highest just before the event. Nonetheless, bear in mind that some people buy tickets in advance. People who have already purchased the tickets are most likely to attend either way.
In the end, organizing a successful music event sounds far more intimidating than it actually is. It’s all about having the right mindset. First of all, instead of seeing it as difficult, you should focus on the challenge it represents and the level of personal accomplishment you can reach by throwing a successful event. Second, it’s a valuable learning experience. After the first event, every subsequent one will be a lot easier to organize. Still, with the above-listed five tips, even the first event shouldn’t pose that much of a challenge.