Regardless of genre, era, or culture, music has a unique way of unifying and connecting people. Watching live musicians perform touches the soul and fires the imagination in ways that pre-recorded music can not. Planning a memorable music event, whether big or small, starts by getting the basics right. With expert advice from Joe Mullins, event coordinator of the Industrial Bluegrass Festival, we have put together the basics on how to plan a live music event without a hitch!
Step 1) Define Goals and Objectives
Before you start planning any music event, you need to define your goals and objectives. You can’t effectively plan your musical event without knowing what you want it to achieve.
When setting goals, work with SMART goals, which are:
For example, saying you would like to “host the best music event ever” is not very specific or measurable. A goal to plan “A three-day indoor Industrial Bluegrass Music Festival” meets the SMART goal objectives.
Select your objective goals first such as:
- Be the leading Bluegrass indoor music festival in Ohio.
- Booking 5 artists that are in the top 50 of their genre.
- Increasing social media following by 20%.
Once you select your objectives, nail down specific goals with measurable key performance indicators such as:
- Cost of Customer Acquisition
- Number of Ticket Sales
- Number of Sponsorship Inquiries
These goals set the path for your musical event, take your time to set them.
2) Set The Budget
Your budget will guide your decisions on venue, entertainment, methods of promotion, SWAG, etc. Having a realistic budget helps direct where your focus needs to be. You can easily create a budget template in a service like Excel. How many people do you expect to attend your event? What is a realistic price for tickets? Will you have sponsors?
Number of people X cost per ticket + sponsor revenue = potential revenue
Can you afford your music event selections based on this number? If not, you need to reallocate your budget or look for other sources of revenue.
It is simple. If you do not set a budget, you will most likely overspend.
Joe Mullin’s Pro Tip: Your budget should never exceed what you plan to make at the door.
3) Select The Music Event Venue
Your venue selection is as important as your entertainment because it promotes and fosters the ambiance and mood. Your venue sets the tone for your event.
Here are key questions to consider when choosing your venue:
- How many people do you expect to attend?
- Do you need an indoor or outdoor venue or a venue with both options?
- Where is a majority of your audience located?
- If it is a multi-day event, are there housing options located nearby?
Consider location, transit time, and parking as well while booking the venue. Sure, a venue needs to have all of the necessary facilities, but it also must have that little bit of atmosphere. Consider not just the capacity, facilities, and location of the venue, but the reputation they have for music. Some people religiously visit the same event venues and are fans of the space as much as the music.
Joe Mullin’s Pro Tip: “Choosing your venue is one of, if not, the most important decision you will make for a successful musical event. When we walked into Roberts Centre, Wilmington Ohio, it had the “WOW” factor we were looking for. The indoor versatility gave us an edge above our competitors.”
4) Know Your Audience
Your audience is ultimately paying for your music event. Depending on the type of concert you’re organizing and your budget, build an artist line-up that your audience will enjoy and appreciate. Do an analysis of what works best for your audience. Basically, give your audience what they love.
It is imperative to know who is buying, but more importantly, you need to know how to reach them. What social networks does your target audience use? Have you budgeted for advertising on these social platforms?
5) Know Your Artist
You want your artist to feel welcomed and appreciated. Whether you offer them free food/beverages, discounted housing accommodations or publicity on your advertising material is your decision. Make sure they are happy and comfortable so they can put on an amazing performance for your audience. If you’re going to use multiple artists, make sure they are comfortable performing with the other acts.
Joe Mullin’s Pro Tip: If you take care of your artist, they will take care of your audience.
6) Select a Concert Date
Lock onto your music festival date early! Confirm the availability of your artists and make sure your event dates don’t clash with other popular events going on in the area. Consider your audience’s work schedule and location’s traffic patterns. Make sure you choose a good date to get the most people to come. Once you finalize the concert date, start promoting.
7) Promote Your Music Event
Create some buzz! Remember, the best way to reach your audience is to understand your target market. Understanding your target market will allow you to efficiently spend capital to reach the most number of potential ticket purchasers.
Depending on your target market you can:
- Send out email campaigns
- Provide brochures and other paper marketing materials
- Put an advertisement in the newspaper
- Use your local genre radio station
- Use social media channels
On some of these platforms you can post your event for people to RSVP, roll out contests, offer group discounts, create engagement and grow a following. Apart from social media campaigns, you can use email marketing integration to send out invites and reserve tickets.
8) Post Concert Follow Up
Build and maintain your relationship with your audience and artists after the concert. A simple post-event survey or feedback form gives you an idea of what they thought about your event. Once they become your loyal fans, their word of mouth will get you more success compared to any other promotion.
Hosting a music event is fun! With our guide and Joe Mullin’s Pro tips, you’re about to capture your attendees’ hearts by organizing the most memorable and successful music events.