Are You Getting Accurate Audience Counts?

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Touring Strategies
Get Accurate Audience Counts

Get Accurate Audience Counts - by Jeri Goldstein     

Are you getting accurate audience counts when you play for the door gigs?

Playing clubs usually involves door sales.

Depending on the deal you negotiate, it is very likely that your income will be partially or wholly dependent upon a percentage of the tickets sold.

When you play clubs that don’t offer advance ticket sales or have a real box office selling pre-printed tickets, your income is at the mercy of whomever is collecting the money at the door. Do you know that person? Are your interests their utmost concern? Are they working for the club? So are you getting accurate audience counts?

Here are a few suggestions to help you get accurate audience counts and increase your income.

  1. Ask about ticket sales, box office, advance tickets and how money is collected for the show when you negotiate the date.
  1. If money is collected at the door, ask who handles that. Are they a club employee? Is that their only job or do they also bar tend or wait tables or are they a volunteer? Knowing this will help you plan for your income success.
  1. During negotiations, alert the booker that you will have someone from your team, stand with the ticket taker at the door counting paying audience members with a clicker or counter. This will help you ensure that everyone coming in, pays and no comps are offered other than those on your list.

You may have a road manager, band member, trusted friend, relative or super fan be your counter. Offer a fan some merch, two tickets to another of your shows or even dollars per hour. Believe me, it will be worth it.

  1. Set your ticket sales start and stop times with the booker. Let them know you’ll be collecting up to one half hour prior to the end of the last set. Now this is crucial since so often, the club’s ticket collector stops collecting after the second set leaving the third or fourth set free. This one item could make a huge difference in the money you get when you settle.
  1. Before you start your show, take a head count to get a sense of the tickets already sold. If this is a venue with people entering throughout the night, you’ll be glad you have a door counter on duty through your last set.
  1. When settling up at the end of the night, take your door person and the clicker to match your numbers with the club’s.

Are you getting accurate door counts in club situations? It can mean the difference of a disappointing night or a great night. You cannot count on the club to watch out for your interests, so by taking these steps, you will begin to have more great gigs. Take charge of those pay at the door situations, leave nothing to chance, least of all your potential income.

I just happen to have an extra click counter. If you play for the door gigs and would like to receive this clicker as my gift, then just post a story about a real gig you had where having a clicker might have made a huge difference in your income for the night. 

I’ll review all the stories that come in and select the winner. You’ll be notified in next week’s Biz Booster and if you win, I’ll send you an email as well to get your address details.

How many times have you questioned the results at the end of long club date? What other actions have you taken to ensure you get paid what is really due?

Leave me a comment below or on the Performingbiz Success Strategies Facebook page

I can’t wait to hear about your success.

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2 comments… add one
  • Shaun Eli November 27, 2017, 12:18 pm

    Take a photo or photos of the audience from the side of the stage. That way you might be able to actually count how many people are in the audience.

    You can also try counting people on the way out.

    • Jeri Goldstein November 27, 2017, 12:33 pm

      Hey Shaun,
      Great Idea. Works really well for events that have only one audience rather than an audience that enters throughout the night.

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