Book your Season – How to easily handle artist inquiries!

An idea for House Concert Hosts and Listening Rooms

One of the challenges of booking talent is staying on top of artist inquiries. If you are open to inquiries all year long, it can create periods of frustration when you feel you don’t have time to give artists a good listen. On the other hand, closing off your booking channel (red booking light) can make you feel like you might miss out on a great opportunity.

One great solution is to book a season at a time. That can be once, twice, or up to 4 times per year, depending on how many shows you do. Here’s an example to illustrate.

Booking Quarterly Seasons – Once per quarter, we listen to all our inquiries and choose the next 2-3 shows, 6 months out or more.

  • In January, we book July, August, and September shows.
  • In April, we book October, November and December shows.
  • etc.

Of course, you can adapt this to your preferences. Maybe you prefer to book 8+ months out. Maybe you prefer to book 4 months at a time, like this:

Booking Three Times per Year

  • In January, we book September, October, November, (December optional)
  • In May, we book January, February, March, April of next year.
  • In September, we book May, June, July (August optional!)

Some hosts and venues like to book their entire year in one shot.

What are the benefits?

  1. You can let artists know AHEAD of time that you won’t be responding until your next booking window, so you don’t have the constant pressure to answer inquiries as they come in.
  2. You can compare and listen to a full menu of options, and feel great about choosing your best options for the season ahead. You can get a real sense of which artists you want to keep in touch with, say, if dates don’t line up this time.
  3. You have flexibility. If your dream act reaches out for a show outside of your current booking window… book her! If there’s so much talent that you want to book an extra show, do it! List the show, and artists will see the dates/months that are no longer available.
  4. Promotion becomes easier and more effective when you can promote a whole season as well as individual shows.  LRN webflyers contain links to your next 6 upcoming concerts.

Will this work for all hosts and venues? Of course not. But if a booking schedule or season appeals to you… try it!

How to adjust your profile at LRN for seasonal booking.

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  • Put up a yellow booking light.
  • At the top of your booking info, describe your basic process in as few words as possible. “We book seasonally! In January, we will decide on our bookings for July, August and September.
  • Choose the first month (July) of your booking window as your Target Month.
  • Then follow your plan!

Booking seasonally? If you’d like to suspend the weekly reminders for pending inquiries, just let us know.

If enough of our hosts/venues adopt this type of plan, we can update the site to make it even easier. Thank you!

Visit http://www.ListeningRoomNetwork.com to join as a house concert host or listening room venue.

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Booking System Updates at LRN

Our Goals:

  • make booking easier for hosts and artists.
  • improve host response rates.
  • decrease artist errors in reaching out to hosts.
  • allow members to track results and learn how we can best improve this process.

Artist Inquiries

  • automatically attach artist profile links
  • feature most important information
  • restrict emails to a length that hosts are more likely to read.
  • give hosts easy decision choices and room to add details.
  • allow us to track how things are going.
  • copy the artist for easy record keeping, and the history is downloadable if you misplace your emails.

Host responses include

  • clear subject headers for artists to sort and keep track in their email folders, and a link to the host’s profile
  • the original request so that artists see what the host is actually responding to.
  • the host email address if the answer is Yes, Maybe, or Not Now so that communication
  • can continue independently. A reply of “No” prevents artists from persisting or challenging the host decisions.

This system creates tabs for hosts to organize the artists they’ve looked at. Artists with a Yes or Maybe status allow the host to share a “potential artists” page with their mailing list so that they can book shows with more interest, advance RSVPs, and better turnouts.

Please remember that some hosts actively look at the avails pages to find artists. Be sure to update your profile regularly to make sure that your avails are current and the right hosts can find you.

Your fans,

CIYH

Updated Booking Lights at ConcertsInYourHome

Thanks to recent feedback we’re adding clarity and ease to our booking system. We’re asking hosts to re-think how CIYH artists can best self-select to send inquiries that make sense for your schedule.

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Green Light:
For hosts with flexibility, reluctance to book far ahead, loving the pickup TenTen concerts, filling a cancelation, or just getting started and looking to fill some dates quickly…. the green light is the best choice.

Yellow Light:
For hosts who always look 4 – 18 months ahead.

Red Light: No artist inquiries for (up to) 90 days.

Red lights expire and revert to yellow after 90 days, so that hosts are prompted to reconnect with our artist community and to update their profile info – at least a few times per year. Hosts receive an email alert when the change happens, and there’s a built-in login link in the email so that they can change back to red in about 20 seconds. We have more hosts than artists at CIYH, so inquiries never come at an overwhelming pace.

In addition, hosts can also encourage artists inquire for a specific month by noting that in the booking info section.


The booking light change is not a major departure from what we had before. We’ve just clarified what the green and yellow lights stand for: It’s a time reference.