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

LRN kickSMARTER campaign…

We started this fundraising campaign at Kickstarter, which became too limiting. You can now contribute two ways:

About

Let’s create a remarkable place for music fans and a support system for the listening rooms that we love. 

We started back when the internet was made of wool and sticks. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish with squirrel-powered computers and an etch-a-sketch.

But it’s time to rebuild!

In order to launch some wonderful new features and tools for our treasured artists and music fans, we’re totally revamping our websites. We’re making them mobile friendly, and paving the way for a brighter future.

We’re also launching fan memberships, allowing more people to connect and enjoy what we do, even if they don’t host concerts or perform.

In the video, I’m wearing a Concerts In Your Home t-shirt. That was our first website, and it’s still going strong today, with thousands of events each year. But all these events are part of a larger ecosystem of musical goodness. Great, intimate concerts don’t have to happen in a living room! They can happen almost anywhere, provided the right people show up.

That’s why we created the Listening Room Network, to support public venues as well as private ones, and to create lots of new opportunities for artists to find a listening audience and a living wage. You, the fan, get more opportunities to get up close and personal.

Replacing and upgrading 10 years of work is a massive investment of time and money, and your participation will help us do it quickly and do it right.

The internet was designed to help us connect… and so was music! Listening Room Network is about making those connections last. 

We’re excited to include you in our journey. As a supporter, you’ll be among the first fan memberships, and be able to help us in the creation of perks and benefits we’ll provide for our members. You’ll be able to see our updated designs and features before we roll them out.

Finally, we hope to inspire you to join your fellow fans and contributors at our Listening Room Festival, the largest annual gathering of house concert fans. We think you need a music vacation every year – Florida is beautiful in April, and this one-of-a-kind festival is so charming. Join us if you can!

Some of our Rewards!

kickstarter_banner (1)

 

You can now contribute two ways:

LRN Kickstarter – Message for hosts to share with friends.

join the kickstarter that ends November 15th, 2017.

MESSAGE FOR HOSTS TO SHARE – campaign ends November 15th!

Subject: A fun and worthy music project you can support.

Dear Friends,

You might already know how much house concerts mean to me, but you might not know how vital they are to the music world.

Right now, there’s a fun campaign to help more people discover and connect with these events around the world.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/365553320/listening-room-network-house-concerts-and-so-much

Please check out the short video, the meaningful goals, and fun rewards you can choose if you decide to contribute.

Thank you for your generosity. Hope to see you at our next show.

Your friend….

KS still image 4

 

LRF17 – Artist Applications Open

Listening Room Festival was a great introduction into the community in St Pete and all of our hosts did a fantastic job at setting up the space and making us feel right at home. The money was great and we made lasting fans and friendships. I would recommend the Listening Room Festival to any artist who appreciates performing in front attentive, supportive audiences that appreciate the gift of good music and connection. – Rory, Quiles and Cloud

As we approach our 5th annual festival, we’ve just opened the application process for our next festival which will take place March 17 – 23rd, 2017. This festival helps artists actually make good money, playing house concerts, as they travel to play a showcase for the largest gathering of house concerts in the world. Springtime in Florida!

Another unique twist is that the contest judges are active house concert presenters, so any artist in the contest has the potential to get a booking or two even if they don’t get selected as a festival performer.

Learn more and apply at ListeningRoomFestival.com.

TenTen Concerts – House Concerts Made Easy

TenTen Concerts
House concerts made easy: ten songs, for ten+ guests

[This is an excerpt from Fran Snyder’s forthcoming book, House Concerts and Modern Touring for Small Acts. Snyder is the founder of ConcertsInYourHome.com, which is the most active house concert community on the planet. Stats and opinions in this piece come from 8 years of watching and helping thousands of house concerts take place.]

Video version here.


You are the new music industry.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of house concerts, and how music fans are putting on living room shows with amazingly talented artists. These shows bring neighbors, co-workers, and friends together, and deepen the roots of communities. Plus, they can be a lot of fun!

The easiest and best way for new hosts to get started is with a house concert format we call TenTen. Ten Songs for Ten+ Guests.

TenTen Concerts are exclusive shows designed to achieve some wonderful stuff:

  • Get enough committed attendees by sending just one email.
  • Host a show with a minimum of effort and maximum fun.
  • Create a show on musician’s off-nights, and help them start an audience in a new town.
  • Give your friends a remarkably intimate concert experience – every seat is like a backstage pass.

New hosts are often stunned at the quality of talent that is available for these small shows. Touring artists spend a lot of time and money to develop an audience in a new town. Publicity, travel, hotel, flyers, ads, soundperson/system, and food make it incredibly difficult to tour sustainably when playing clubs and traditional venues that also take a big percentage of the revenue. House concert hosts take away all these expenses except the travel. Hosts are the heroes of the new music business.

The easy TenTen Concert format is designed for weeknights. Touring artists have to make more money on weekends (especially Saturday nights) so we encourage bigger events on those nights. But even if you’d like to host larger shows, the TenTen format allows you to build up to that gradually by hosting a succession of smaller shows to hook a few new friends each time.

Small Starts Can Have Big Endings

Here are a few things that can happen:

  • You might get excessive RSVPs and decide to do something bigger, like 20 or more. You still have that option!*
  • Some attendees may ask you to help them book a TenTen at their place because they saw how easy and cool it can be to do a small concert.
  • Some attendees may want to team up with you to host a bigger show next time.

*The key here is that you set an achievable goal for yourself, and set reasonable expectations for the artist. What you don’t want to do is tell an artist you can get 20 guests and only have 10 show up. We’ve seen this happen too many times.

The Numbers Fine-Tuned

“Ten Guests” is the target as well as a minimum expectation. We don’t count the host as part of the number of guests, so we’re really shooting for a minimum of  11-14 people depending on your household.

TenTen hosts understand there is a $100 guarantee (Ten Guests X $10), so they know that no-shows will cost them money. We don’t want to ask any professional artist to play for less than $100. That means you need to be diligent about collecting RSVPs, promoting early, creating a waiting list, and sending a reminder message two days before the show. CD and merch sales do not count towards the $100. Ideally, an artist will make $150-$250 from a TenTen Concert.

Since the successful host (with ten+ paying guests) is not expected to pay, anyone can afford to host a show. Some hosts like to buy a couple of pizzas and make a salad, but that’s totally optional. The point is to make it quick and easy for people to attend after work.

Another powerful aspect of having a finite guest list (e.g. ten people), is that it makes the event exclusive. For a host that wants to do these on a regular basis, they should invite enough people so that they are turning away at least as many as they are accepting. The only way to train people to RSVP and to commit to attending events is to turn them away when they don’t. If people don’t get turned away once in a while, they take the concerts for granted.

TenTen concerts are an opportunity for artists to fill off nights. One great way to find artists who are looking for shows in your area is the avails pages at ListeningRoomNetwork.com http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/avails.html. These pages are organized by regions (states, provinces, countries) and provide listings of artists and the most critical gaps in their touring schedules. Check out some music, and reach out to the acts that inspire you!

In music today, the power is in your hands. You get to decide which artists get a boost on their tours, and which artists get promoted to your friends. Best of all, you don’t need to be rich to have a significant impact on the artists you love.

TenTen Concerts are one of several one-set formats promoted at ConcertsInYourHome.com

Fran Snyder is an artist and the founder of ConcertsInYourHome.com. In addition to these two roles, he’s also hosted many shows and written more on the subject of house concerts than anyone. Snyder is committed to solving the “touring problem,”  and has been featured in American Way Magazine, Billboard, and the New York Times. He continues to innovate different ways that artists can package their live show. Thanks to his work, many artists thrive on small successes, instead of starving until the big one. Read more at http://www.fransnyder.com.

House Concerts are for Lovers… courtesy of Russ and Julie

awkward, funny exchange from someone wanting to avoid their ex at a house concert.

Dear Russ & Julie,

I am looking forward to seeing you at the House Concert this Saturday.  Can you please do me a small favor and make sure Jane Doe isn't on your RSVP list. She and I ended our relationship in the not too distant past and I don't wish to run into her.  Thank you for helping to preserve my sanity!

Bob

– – – – –

Dear Bob,

Actually we DO have Jane Doe down for 2 people on the RSVP list.

You RSVP'd first, but she RSVP'd some time ago.

Russ & Julie

– – – – –

Dear Russ & Julie

I don't want to put you guys in the midst of any drama, but can you tell me when she RSVP'd?

Also, go ahead and cancel my RSVP so someone else can see the show.

Funny thing is I'm now dating someone you know who I met at a Russ & Julie's House Concert!!  (We're calling it the Musical eHarmony!)

Thank you,

Bob

– – – – –

Dear Bob,

The answer to your question is that she RSVP'd on Christmas Day.

Sorry that you have to cancel.  We will open up your 2 spots to people on our Waiting List.

So glad we were able to help you find someone here at Musical eHarmony…. we aim to please! 😉

We hope to see you again soon.

All the best,

Russ & Julie