articles and tips from Fran Snyder and concertsinyourhome.com
Several hosts have recently asked if they can sponsor an artist’s membership fee to help them join ConcertsInYourHome. The result is such a win/win/win that I’d like to share it with you.
Here’s how it works.
The contributing host approaches me to discuss the artist’s readiness to join. We look at their skill level, touring goals, and promotional tools (live video, website, testimonials, etc.), and we determine if now is the best time for them to join. If so, here’s what we do.
With a host sponsor, even a modest DinnerAndSong event would easily recoup the artist’s investment. Artist membership fees are the primary source of income for CIYH, which allows us the budget to keep inspiring, coaching, and supporting house concert hosts.
Sweetener - 5 CIYH shirts for you to give away.
I’m inspired by the generosity of this community, so I’m offering 5 free CIYH shirts to the first five hosts who’d like to do this. One host asked to do this anonymously, which we can do.
P.S. - If you are a host going through a rough financial time, please know that your generosity of putting on these events is quite enough. We are grateful.
P.P.S. - to see if an artist is a current member of CIYH, search here.
This is my response to an inquiry from an agent who wants to list several artists at ConcertsInYourHome… I thought you might find it informative. — Fran
We did away with agent memberships and incentives a few years ago, for several reasons.
1. Most agents aren’t willing to change “the way they do things” in favor of the personal approach that is necessary to connect with house concert presenters
a. riders/contracts tend to be a problem (unfit for house concerts)
b. guarantees are unusual (and agents typically ask for them)
c. hosts usually want access to the artist before the gig
d. emails should be personal, and not a broadcast to a bunch of collected host addresses.
2. We raise our talent standards each year, and each artist has to measure up on their own, and not through affiliation with an agency.
3. We want artists who are committed to the concept, and who want to inspire their fans to host shows. Artists who have agents are rarely pro-active about engaging their fans with our videos, guides, etc.
So if you have a specific artist in mind that would like to join, and participate in the community, we’d be happy to take a look. Video is important. It’s not necessarily bad that an agent would work the site on their behalf, but the artists must be engaged and enthusiastic about we offer, and the agent must be willing to work the site and not harvest information.
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I did a DinnerAndSong back in April on a Sunday night. We had about 8 people, sold 7 CD’s and everyone had a great time. This person had us at the Riverhawk Festival so it was a pretty easy sell.
I have booked 6 house concerts through CIYH so far. It is really one of the best ideas anyone has come up with and followed through with for the traveling musician!
~~Joan, for Michael Reno Harrell
Message from Fran: Facebook me.
It’s not something I’ve shared enough, but we raise the level of talent at ConcertsInYourHome every year. We do this for several reasons. First, we want our hosts to be consistently impressed by the talent that reaches out through our site. Second, we want our artists to have the best chance at success when they invest in a membership to our site.
It’s also important that we keep a balance between the number of hosts and artists on the site. This allows artists to get more shows, and hosts to avoid being overwhelmed by requests. Of course, if a host has their own website, they’ll get a lot more inquiries that way.
Although we (gently, constructively) turn away a lot of new artists, it’s very gratifying to see the high percentage of new members coming in as referrals from our community. Thank you for sharing the best of what we do.
I’ll be spending all of September in France, realizing a life-long dream to live and work there for a while. I don’t have any shows scheduled, but I am looking to connect with a lot of people while I’m there, and will do my very best to inspire some new hosts! If you have any contacts I should meet - let me know! — Fran Snyder
ConcertsInYourHome - we’re almost ready to launch the Robust Recommendations System (RRS) to allow hosts to more easily provide us feedback about the artists who’ve spent time with them. Once this is working smoothly, we’ll (finally!) create a way for artists to provide feedback about hosts. (Of course, you can always do that with a simple email to Jeff or Fran.)
DinnerAndSong.com - still eager to get nice pictures that show the concept as we designed it. We certainly allow you the freedom to stretch the concept to your needs, but we want the pictures on the site to show 1. small groups of (6-10) people, 2. unplugged (no microphone) performances, and 3. simple dinners. Please email Fran to share any nice quality pics that can help us inspire new hosts to give it a shot.
PeachGigs.com - This site stalled a little bit this spring… and I decided to hold off on promoting it until we have a more friendly interface for “busy venues” who want to list a lot of shows at once. PeachGigs is our way to promote public listening venues - but only the ones that are strict about maintaining a “listening room atmosphere.” Give us a few more weeks on this, thanks!
ListeningRoomNetwork.com - this is our “umbrella” site and will eventually be a way to bring new fans into our community in a fun way.
PrivateRecitals.com - this site is set to promote house concerts which feature classical music. We’re looking for design help to make this site look a bit different before launch.
Things are going great. I just came back from a five day mini-tour to New Jersey, Pa and Ohio. Of the five shows, two were obtained through Concerts In Your Home. I’m a believer.
– Bob Marshall
Here’s the updated U.S. and Canada Map of
our growing network of DinnerAndSong (DNS) hosts!
New CIYH Hosts: (artist members can search “member since 2011-07″ using the advanced search.)
21 New Hosts!
Maureen from Alberta
Melody, Don and Micah, all from CA
Dean from CO
Carolyn from FL
Kristina/Tim from IN
Dennis from KS
Stacy from MN
Sam from MO
Hope from NE
Bob from NJ
Kathyrn from NY
Maureen from Ontario
Katie from PA
Lisa from UK
Jim & Robin, and Larry from VA
John/Marlene from WA
Scott and John, both from WI
CIYH hosts can elect to do DinnerAndSong events instead of, or in addition to house concerts.
New CIYH Artists:
2-Bit Palomino, Aireene Espiritu, Andy Wahlberg, Jen Hajj, Phil Henry, Rob Larkin, Sara Beck, Sarah Blacker, The John Byrne Band, The Sudden Lovelys, Tom Neilson, Up the Chain
Our Audio 6-Packs (free downloads) are back! This month, download 2 tracks from each of our featured artists. Lovely music!
Look for these new artists here!
(Signed on for another great year!) Jason Myles Goss, Julie and John Pennell, Mark Wayne Glasmire, Natalie Gelman, Nathen Aswell, Randall Bramblett
Schwag of the Month:
Finally some new DinnerAndSong designs for shirts and a bumpersticker! Until there are more DinnerAndSong events than regular nightly dinners we must keep spreading the word. Insist that people tell you what they are waiting for with this new “You’re waiting for what?” shirt.
And put your bumper where your mouth is with a DinnerAndSong bumpersticker that gets right to the point - “Let’s have it”!
Host Reward Winners!
Congratulations to Linda Oliver and Jeanna Stavas. Each host wins a $50 gear voucher from D’Addario and Planet Waves. We’ll look at the CIYH calendars each month and randomly pick two winners from our active hosts. Login and post your events! (It takes about 90 seconds.)
Our new blog, for hosts only.
Please share this newsletter with people you like. — fran