So all those Coachelle/CMA Fest dreams of playing as an artist and attending as a fan have drifted far away from our realities this year. As we all know with the current pandemic, we are uncertain when we will resume to normal life. Right now when it comes to touring we have had to adjust and create the New Normal. The entertainment industry has suffered a huge financial loss of millions in 2020, that loss of revenue affects managers, publicists, agents, musicians, and the artists. With so many jobs and paychecks at risk, how do we shift? One alternative to live touring we have discovered and seen recent success is the virtual show, below are some tips and tricks of the trade to booking shows virtually in 2020.
Before you set yourself up to pitch your artist for a virtual event/concert, be sure to think outside of the box. Come up with a unique concept that is going to make both the venue and people at home want to buy in. Here are a few unique concepts we have seen be successful.
Be Flexible with Your Fees
We know that being an agent, a lot of our job relies on commission of guarantees for live shows, but with the recession due to pandemic we have to understand that venues are not going to be able to offer the fee your artists may typically go for. Be willing to exercise flexibility and have the mindset that anything is everything right now. This provides a low risk investment for the venue and increases your chances of making a higher guarantee post COVID.
Find the Right Venue/Partnership
Find a venue who has had similar acts to what you are pitching, pollstar is a great resource to look up venue histories. Ideally for a virtual concert, venues with capacities 500 and under tend to work best and help you find a reasonable ticket price/deal split where both you and the venue profit. Also find your corporate buyers right now, with the long list of cancelled conferences, seminars, company gatherings, they are finding ways to shift as well virtually, covering their entertainment needs at a lower cost is going to put your artists in the corporate world and open up private engagement opportunities. Destination Management companies are a hot spot for corporate gigs.
Knowing what platform you are using and making sure both the artist and the venue are comfortable are going to be key. Zoom tends to be the easiest to navigate and the most popular platform to do virtual shows. Other platforms include Google Hangouts, Skype, Blue Jeans, and Adobe Connect. I advise agents and artists to link up together to find the best platform to use well before the show and make sure the buyer can adapt as well. Make sure you have quality sound, a quality background situation, and zero outside noise.
Marketing is CRUCIAL
Just like creating the virtual show, marketing is going to take some creative energy. Typical marketing such as google ads/facebook ads, etc have not been proven as effective as they have been for live shows. Right now organic content has been the most effective way to create awareness and sell tickets for virtual shows. Don’t just be organic, but be consistent, posting 3-4 times a week as shown ticket sales increase vs a weekly posting. Facebook, Instagram and Youtube have been the most effective social media sites when it comes to marketing a virtual show. Be fun, do snippets of songs, share 2020 stories, really focus on engaging and building a relationship with your audience when posting.
Researching products (wine, mugs, beauty, sounds equipment) that your artist really loves and will be able to use during the virtual show is beneficial. You can easily get a sponsored post by the product (Morgan Myles did this with Wine, see link below) and the product’s company is likely to include your show in their feed. Right now some great sponsors working with virtual concerts are just about any wine club, smart cups, bark box, fresh skin care, and Anker soundcore earbuds. Striking up a non-monetary partnership during the pandemic is an easy marketing resource to help your virtual shows. It also puts you in a good position for a lucrative sponsorship deal post pandemic.
I know it's tough right now in the entertainment industry, but we are a collective group of creatives and I know that we will pull through this pandemic stronger and more united than ever. We can always shift and set the tone for the new normal. It takes a little collaboration and a lot of patience, but we can do this! I hope these tips to selling and performing a virtual concert are helpful and if you ever have any questions please feel free to connect with me.
Join Jess Tuesday July 28th 1PM EDT to learn even more at our virtual webinar and get your questions answered. RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/113030924538
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Written by Jess Mosby
Joining Al McCree Entertainment in 2019, Jess not only single-handedly built her incredible roster, but has a real passion for the business, one-of-a-kind service, and experience that cannot be matched. Arriving in Nashville in 2015, Jess has worked in every aspect of the music industry from PR to artist management, but really found her passion working for Keith Case where she learned the music agent business first-hand. When Case retired, Jess became the Midwest Rep for notable acts such as Bryan Adams, Sugar Ray, and Richard Marx. When she signed and booked R&B group Dannity Kane’s 2018 The Universe is Undefeated Tour, Jess recognized a real need to represent artists in the same genre who are being under serviced. Recently, with the pandemic Jess has found unique opportunities virtually for artists to still perform and support the venues.
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