Choosing the right Live Band used to be potluck. Unless you happened to see them play somewhere, all you had to go on was the Band’s word; the “We’ve been playing for years….We do every type of music….Ask such and such about us…” etc. It can be all very convincing, but without proof they are just empty words.
Live Entertainment is a significant investment, so hiring a band should be no different to taking on any new supplier. Think about it; you wouldn’t take on a new beer brand based solely on the word of their sales rep. You’d expect to see branding, understand the culture of the company, and of course you’d want to taste it! So why would you book a band costing hundreds, based purely on their word?
Just like the beer sales rep, Acts lookinmg for gigs should come armed with more than just words. Here are 5 things to request before booking a band:
1 - First Impressions: When a band calls, ask them to email you. Apart from allowing you to consider it in your own time, the quality of the mail (spelling, punctuation, etc.) can be very telling about a band’s approach and whether it’s “just a pub gig” to them, or something they take a bit more seriously.
2 - Social Media: You know the importance of your social media pages for engaging with and keeping your customers informed. The pages belonging to Live Entertainment Acts are no different. Check that they promote gigs they do in other venues, and that they are engaging with their (and therefore potentially, your) customers.
3 - Videos: Whether shot on an iPhone, or by a professional videographer, a live video tells a lot about an Act and whether they are suitable for your customers or not. It may not be as good as actually seeing them live, but it’s close enough to let you make an informed decision.
4 - Photos: Whether professionally posed photos, or some snaps taken during a gig, photos tell their own story about a Band. They can help reveal the personality of a Live Act; laid back and relaxed, in your face and exciting, or something in between.
5 - Testimonials: There’s no better word than that of people who booked the band previously. Any band worth their salt will have written testimonials from satisfied past bookers. If they are not already on their website or social media page, ask for them.
Make an Informed Decision
Video and other media don’t tell you everything, and ultimately the best way to find out about a Live Band is to see them gig for yourself. But that usually isn’t practical, so at the very least an Act looking for a gig should be able to provide you with some or all of the tools mentioned above. And while they don’t guarantee that you’ll make the right decision, at least it’ll be an informed one!