As booking agent, I liked to avoid unwelcome surprises when my acts were touring.
Shouts of “Surprise!” may be fine for parties, but for tours, not so much. In fact, the last thing you want on the day of your first show of the tour is a surprise. Like when you discover they only have 2 mics and you needed 6, or that they never put up any of the 50 posters you sent. Or how about when you were depending on their publicity person to send out those press releases they promised and now you find out they did nothing. Big oops! Big Surprise!
And the worst of it is, it could all have been avoided.
It is simple, it is systematic and it is do-able.
Face the facts, all of these surprises affect your show and your income. Without the proper tech set up, your show suffers and you’re on edge. Without the publicity promised, ticket sales suffer and you’re not making the money you expected.
Now by taking steps in advance, you could avoid unwelcome surprises that throw your performance off and lose you money.
Avoid Unwelcome Surprises—Advance Your Dates
Start with your very next gig and Advance Your Date. This is one of the biggest jobs a road manager does—checking on details many weeks ahead of the tour. They make sure all the needs of the act are taken care of, put in place or are in the works.
But they don’t just call once—no, they call multiple times during the tour planning and after-contract booking phase.
1st call: Right after the contract is signed
This call is introductory to make sure all the technical and hospitality riders have been received by the appropriate people. They check to see if everything can be provided and if not, make a plan to make accommodations.
2nd call: 4-6 weeks out for dates booked further into the future. This is a re-check call to follow-up on the progress of any adjustments made in the first call. It is also a check on the publicity and ticket sales if they’ve gone on sale at this point.
3rd call: 2 weeks out from the show to check in on publicity that is now in place and happening. If things are not going smoothly, there is still time to step in and do something about it. A check on ticket sales allows for some additional push to publicity efforts when needed.
4th call: Day before the show is a time check, arrival check, sound check confirmation call. Any day of show interviews or plans can be reviewed and any last minute glitches can be caught and fixed ahead of arrival.
Some road managers do more calls, some less. The big lesson here is to do some strategically timed advance check-ins with each venue to make sure things are as you thought they would be. This is the best method to avoid unwelcome surprises and ensure that every gig you do comes off without a hitch.
Now when you begin advancing your dates and barring any acts of God getting in the way, you should be able to rest assured that you’ll have a great gig.
Do you have a system in place to advance your dates and avoid unwelcome surprises?
Leave me a comment below or on the Performingbiz Success Strategies Facebook page.
I can’t wait to hear about your success.
Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for designing this week’s Biz Booster graphic image, “Avoid Unwelcome Surprises.”
Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, Future Dance. Check them out at www.curfew.co.uk.
And for more career-boosting tips, articles, books, resources, teleseminars and online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com.