articles and tips from Fran Snyder and concertsinyourhome.com
Someone posts house concert information on the Facebook Fan Page of a public venue down the street. The venue flips out, and decides to build a campaign to shut down house concerts in their area because they think it’s hurting their business.
As house concerts gain in popularity, it’s important that we are careful about how they are promoted, especially with all the new promotional avenues (Facebook, etc.) that are now available to artists and hosts alike. Although there’s great potential for public venues and house concerts to work together, some public venues feel threatened by the thought of a successful house concert series.
1. ALWAYS STATE that this is an invitation-only, private event.
2. Do not publish host names, numbers, addresses, or even email if you can help it. Instead, require an email to you for information about location, host email and/or number, and RSVP.
3. Do not promote the event using resources that would conflict with other venues. (i.e. don’t start a conversation about your house concerts on the fan page of another venue.)
4. Do not mention “tickets” or “charges” anywhere. The correct language is “suggested donation,” but why even put that in your calendar? Make people curious, and fill in the blanks (like the suggested donation) when they ask for info.
Here’s an example of what works great on an artist’s website.
Fran’s Touring Schedule:
July 27th, 7pm
Lakeview, FL - House Concert
This is a private, exclusive event for friends and a few select fans in the area. Invitation only. Email me for details and we’ll get you an invitation.
Final thought: Some people (your fans) could feel weird about going to the home of someone they don’t know. However, you can turn that to your advantage if you make it feel like a VIP event. Have another look at the entry above, and notice how the words make the event feel special, and put the reader in your “inner circle” by having a direct connection to you.
For so long, empty seats have been the bane of concert venues and saddened performers around the globe. In the house concert format, since most chairs are (re)movable, the Greater Council on House Concerts has formally decreed that the occurrence of empty chairs will no longer be tolerated, and the new law will be enforced by a new “burn that chair” app soon to be launched by CIYH in the famous Apple “App Store.” The app will be free for house-concert goers, but lighter fluid will be sold separately.
The Council expects that house concert presenters will now be more diligent in sending out event reminders, collecting RSVPs, and not over-estimating the number of guests who will show. Extra chairs will be accessible, but no longer will they be placed in shameful public view.
When asked for comment about the seeming severity of this law, Fran Snyder was quoted as saying “Not really.”
Source: Judge Fran Snyder of ConcertsInYourHome.com
In Other News: spotted in Wikipedia….
Fran’s rule of house concert seating:
For every guest bottom, there will be no more than one equal and opposite guest chair, unless the host wants the event to look poorly attended and the performer to cry.
Another important physical law of house concerts.
A guest in motion, tends to stay in motion, until the host asks him to shut up, sit down, and listen to the show.
In the free House Concert Guide, I explain the importance of not having more chairs than people at a house concert. Nothing sucks the energy out of a room more effectively than empty seats. It’s even more of a problem when those empty chairs are in the front row, so I have always suggested that hosts pull a few close friends aside before the show to ask them to sit in the front row when the time comes. Human nature being what it is, there are a lot of people who feel uncomfortable looking that eager.
However, here in western Nebraska, I just learned a new trick from the Clarks.
What they do, is they set up a “fake front row” of 4 chairs that are ridiculously close to the performer (considering the space of their living room.) Naturally, no one wants to sit that close, so the second row seems like an attractive choice (close enough, but not too close.)
Then, a few minutes before the show, they pull the chairs out from the front row (to remove, or add to the back if needed) and the full second rowers find themselves in the front row. They grin, the performer loves it, and any pictures of the event now will look well-attended.
Of course, they explain this dastardly plot to the performers ahead of time. Also, if your room is exceptionally small, you may have no choice but to sit people ridiculously close to the performer - so my original advice would be more helpful to you.
When all else fails, be sneaky. Try the fake front row.