articles and tips from Fran Snyder and concertsinyourhome.com
Give Hosts a Second Chance
by Fran Snyder
Following up is not rude, it is professional. If you go through life assuming that every no-answer is a rejection you will miss out on some great opportunities. People are busy and distracted. Give them another chance.
Caveat: If your emails are impersonal or off-target, people are much less likely to respond. How about using their first name and some reference to the info in their profile?
How you can play “Russ and Julie’s of Tomorrow”
by Fran Snyder
If there is such a thing as a “rock star” house concert series, Russ and Julie’s is surely one of them. This sweet couple has been hosting a show every month for 14 years, and regularly draw very nice crowds that earn performers very special rewards both in experience and money.
But chances are you can’t play there. Russ and Julie have befriended so many talented people over the years that it takes extreme discipline to work new acts into their lineup, and they take that task very seriously. They go to the FAR-West.org conference every year to see new acts, and meet them personally. It’s very rare that they’ll book someone that haven’t personally seen and met, and when they do - it’s usually someone with a phenomenal reputation.
So why am I telling you this?
Your fans, your friends, even your MOM could be tomorrow’s Russ and Julie.
Russ and Julie started hosting because they attended a house concert and were totally blown away by the concept. Most music fans start hosting because a performer asks them to give it a shot. I’ve been working for six years to provide you with great tools to create a new generation of house concert hosts.
The DinnerAndSong program is the best tool yet. Many of the hosts who start off with DinnerAndSong will eventually graduate to bigger events, and some of them will develop into amazing house concerts. Use this program to inspire your fans to do something small and easy, and you’ll get them hooked. Plus, there’s no better way to fill your off-nights with something enjoyable, productive, and cost-saving on the road.
I want to see a ridiculous amount of opportunities for you. It would be even better if you were connected with some of them. Hosts that you inspired, that fell in love with these events, and hosts that could eventually provide you with an opportunity to make $1000 or more in one day, every year.
Imagine if you inspired a few hosts like that over your career - and the legacy you would leave behind. Severin Browne inspired and performed Russ and Julie’s first house concert. Not only did he play there many times, he opened a door for a hundred performers to get that same amazing, enriching experience. That’s a legacy to be proud of. You can leave that kind of a mark as well.
We’re preparing a big plan to add 100 new hosts in 28 days. But you can get a head start today. Find your artist page (or the page of an artist you love) at DinnerAndSong.com and share it on Facebook.
Great questions from Dave Cool, who plans to publish an eBook on the subject. My answers below.
1- What advice would you give to an artist attending a music conference for the first time?
If you are showcasing, prepare. Know your best tunes cold so you can focus on the audience. For timed showcases, work up at least one short option - about one minute and a half in length. It’ll come in handy so often - NEVER go over your allotted time. A solid verse/chorus, or verse/chorus/bridge can be great - heaven forbid you leave them wanting more, right?
2- What should artists avoid when attending a music conference?
Avoid ANYONE who is complaining. Conferences are exhausting enough without suffering these people. Once in a while, be aware that you ARE one of these people. And stop it right away.
3- How can an artist stand out from the hundreds of other artists at a music conference?
Be actually interested in the people you talk to. Nothing will set you apart more quickly than that. Want to be remembered? Follow up after the conference. That takes you to the top 10% right there. Attend the conference with this ethic for three years and you’ll be one of the best known people at the conference - easily in the top 1%.
4- Do you recommend that artists play as many showcases as possible while at a conference, or just stick to 1 or 2 “quality” showcases?
Both are viable options, but one of them is exhausting and annoying.