Christian bands should thank promoters, hosts and bookers
for helping to make their show successful.
Anyone who hires your band deserves a personal Thank You, whether they are the host of a house party, a youth group leader at a church, an independent promoter, or the booker for a venue. They put quite a bit of effort into making your Christian bands show a success. The way you thank a person will help them remember your band. Being remembered in a positive way is a key to getting your Christian band recommended and re-booked. People do not always remember what you said; but they do remember how you made them feel.
Obviously every Christian band should say “Thank You” from stage. But recognize that the promoter may or may not be in the room when you thank them and even if they are won’t be paying attention. They will most likely be caught up in the details of making sure everyone else is having a good experience. So, most promoters will not remember your bands acknowledgement. This Thank You is more of an endorsement by the band to the fans about the venue. Although the promoters like to see their venue being built up in the eyes of the fans, this is not the kind of personal Thank You that will make them feel exceptional… and unfortunately this is all most bands do. You can stand out from the crowd by doing more. A memorable personal thank you does not have to cost the band a lot of cash; it does require a little thought and preparation.
When giving personal thank you gifts,
“personal” means things that are not readily available to the public.
The most common items for bands to give are CDs and t-shirts. Make sure you autograph them to make them personal. If you can, include the name of the person receiving the gift as well as the bands signatures. You could write something like: “Pastor Nate Rocks” for a youth group leader or “Right Side Cast loves Marie” for a house party host. One of my favorite gifts was to put together a gift bag (I made them to sell at the bands merchandise table) with one of whatever the band had to sell – CD, t-shirt, buttons, jewelry, photos etc. The recipient could then keep whatever they wanted and give away the rest.
The way you hand the recipient the gift is important. Don’t just hand it to them as you are leaving after the show. Your gift then feels like an afterthought or obligation. You want the recipient to believe that you are offering them a truly heartfelt thank you. So, make a big deal out of it. Give them their gift publicly. Where it is appropriate, call them up on stage towards the end of your set. If that is not appropriate (and there are many times when it is not) try to find a time to thank them in front of their peers or coworkers (especially their boss if they have one). Often, a good time is at dinner before the show if the staff and band are eating together.
Have the gift ready to give to people that you would like to work with again. If you get to the show and it is such a mess that you definitely will not work with that promoter again (we have all had that happen to us more than once), the band should not feel obligated to give the Thank You gift. Keep it and use it at the next show. The exception to this would be if you have advertised that anyone who books a show will receive a free gift – then, you must honor your word.
Working with the same promoter more than once?
You should not repeat their initial Thank You gift. Instead, print an 8×10 photo of the band posed with the promoter from the last show. Yes, you do have to plan ahead enough to take the photo. Autograph it and put it in a nice frame. Be sure to include a personal message written on the photo with the bands signatures. Watch for clearance sales on frames all year long and this should be an easy, inexpensive but very personal gift.
One last word about gifts for promoters: keep the cost of the gift in line with the payment for the show.
For example: A person that pays the band $100 might get a CD or t-shirt, $250 warrants a CD and a t-shirt. A promoter that pays $500 would get a CD and a t-shirt plus an assortment of other merchandise. When the band gets paid $1000 for a show, pull out all the stops and give the promoter one of everything you have. A general rule of thumb would be to keep the retail value of the gift at about 10% of what the band gets paid (until the band is getting paid thousands of dollars).
Acknowledge the work a promoter, host or booker has put in to your bands show with an honest “Thank You” in the form of a gift. Not only is it polite, it leaves a good memory and paves the way for your Christian band to be recommended and re-booked. Remember to send a handwritten Thank You note signed by all band members about two weeks after playing the show. This personal note reminds people that the band truly did appreciate their efforts and gets your band name in front of the promoters, hosts and bookers one more time in a very positive way. Remember, there are hundreds of Christian bands looking for places to play. If you want to get your band re-booked you have to do your job extremely well and build positive relationships with promoters, hosts and bookers.
Would you like to learn more about booking? We have a great tool to help you know when to book which types of gigs and how to go about it. Click this button for a free PDF called the Band Booking Calendar:
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