An Essential Checklist from Booking to Performing
Many people will agree that creating a targeted to-do list is essential and immensely satisfying when having a seemingly overwhelming number of tasks to complete and people to contact. Who doesn't love checking off items and saying mission accomplished? This is easy for a grocery list or a few chores to track, but the number of spinning plates can feel insurmountable when managing all aspects of a live performance tour.
It is officially spring and summer touring season for artists, musicians, and bands, and concert booking agents and agencies wish they had more hands and hours in the day. They are the folks responsible for securing tour dates at individual venues and outdoor festivals, as well as managing the logistics of what a tour entails. As the music industry evolves in using innovative technologies, every concert booking agency requires artist management software to make all of their tasks efficient, effective, and streamlined.
A booking agent’s primary goals are scheduling shows that will be profitable for the artist or band in terms of driving ticket sales and building a loyal fan base. Let's look at some specific things booking agents do when scheduling their artist and band clients for tours.
Book Shows in the Right Venues.
This might seem like an obvious approach, but the task requires much more than sticking pins in a map. Booking agents research and target the best venues that align with the artist and band's size, style of music, and popularity. There are a lot of live performance venues and music festivals across the country, so booking agents do their homework on each. Hence, they match an expected type of audience with the genre, project the number and dollar value of ticket sales, and secure a place known for an excellent reputation hosting successful shows.
Negotiate Fees and Contract Terms.
Concert tour management is so much more than scheduling dates for shows. Any single show date or extended tour requires expert financial and negotiation skills with venues and music promoters to secure the best possible fees and contract terms for all their music industry clients. Artists, musicians, bands, and other music industry professionals suffered a severe reduction in their incomes when the COVID-19 pandemic brought live performances and touring to a standstill; therefore, everyone is trying to make up for lost time and lost revenue and cannot afford to make mistakes going forward. Booking agents' primary aim is to get their artists and bands the highest possible guarantee and the best merchandising and sponsorship deals.
Let’s go back to that image of spinning plates. Booking agents have a mile-long list of things to do, and one misstep or forgotten task can make or break the success of a scheduled date or performance. In addition to getting show dates on the calendar, their coordination efforts include organizing all travel arrangements, including cars, vans, tour buses, and plane flights. Depending on where artists and bands travel, agents must ensure that passports and other identification are up-to-date and that overseas immunization requirements are met. Lodging is another huge piece of the touring puzzle, especially when huge festivals draw many out-of-town attendees. Hotel rooms and Airbnbs can fill up quickly, so no booking agent wants their clients not to have proper accommodations.
Equipment rentals may also factor into what makes a tour date go smoothly. Sometimes renting instruments or audio gear for various venues is more cost-efficient than transporting large and expensive items. Fortunately, in larger towns and cities like Nashville, plenty of businesses can accommodate these requests.
Promote the Tour.
This is the marketing part of the tour management checklist. Booking agents work with promoters, venues, and music festivals to advertise the tour and sell tickets. While some may use traditional advertising platforms like radio or print, many are adept at using social media channels to build awareness across a wide audience and build excitement about upcoming tour dates. Using social media can also help artists and bands build connections by engaging with their fan base on the platforms they frequent.
Everyone in the music business knows that making and sustaining good relationships with venues, promoters, and other industry professionals is vital in reclaiming lost time and building a reputation for excellence, no matter their role. Booking agents always aim to establish solid connections with whomever they encounter to ensure future bookings for their clients. They want to create more opportunities so that tours are successful and that their following of loyal fans continues to grow.
How does your concert booking agency handle all of the detailed and timely logistics of putting together a successful tour? Are they using artist management software as an integral part of their planning strategy? Your Tempo has the latest innovations in tour management. Speak with one of our music industry professionals today to ensure that the upcoming touring season is the most successful for you and your clients.