Top 5 tips for getting great corporate gigs
A guest post by Jon Fellowes of LastMinuteMusicians.com
Finding exciting shows that pay well can be a real struggle sometimes. While playing the pubs and clubs circuit has always had its place, these shows are rarely big earners, and while wedding gigs can prove to be great money, they are always going to be at their height of popularity over the summer, and so can’t be counted on over the winter months. This is where corporate gigs come in – often they are very lucrative shows that can take place at any time of the year.
What are corporate events?
Corporate events can take many forms. In general, the term is used as short hand for any kind of function where a business, rather than an individual, is picking up the tab. These can be all sorts of events – product launches, networking events, summer parties, Christmas office parties, team building days, client entertainment events and many, many more. It is extremely common for the event organizers to hire live entertainment.
We at Last Minute Musicians know a thing or two about how to secure these shows, so below we’ve listed our top 5 tips for getting corporate bookings
1) Get listed with entertainment agents, directories and event planners
A lot of corporate entertainment will be booked through a 3rd party, as companies tend to like the additional level of reassurance that they usually bring. As such, it helps to get on the books of large entertainment agencies, as well as registering with entertainment directories. In order to do this, it helps to have all of your promotional material up to scratch, with a great EPK (electronic press kit). This will usually comprise of a promo video, high-res photography, audio recordings, biographical information and links to social media/website.
When putting together your promotional pack, try to put yourself in the place of a prospective client or agent – what is it that they would want to see?
Although event planners don’t take applications in the same way that entertainment agencies do, it’s always worth dropping them an email, just to make them aware of your act. Building up links with these areas of the events industry will help you secure more corporate gigs.
2) Find a USP (unique selling point) for your band
Corporate events will often have some kind of theme to them, and so the planners will usually be looking to reflect that in their choice of live music. Recently, popular themes have included festival or “Glastonbury” type functions and vintage style events.
Festival events are usually held in the summer, as they often take place outside, with BBQs, tipis and lots of live music! These can take the form of team building days, charity events or simply summer parties. As you would expect, festival-style bands, like “Mumford” folk acts and other acoustic bands, will be really popular for these.
Made popular by recent trends in both television and music, vintage events are also very prevalent – especially with “vintage” business openings, formal events or product launches. Any business with a strong vintage-style brand will usually try to reflect this in their choice of event. “Post-modern jukebox” style bands will be very popular at these events, as they can usually work in both formal and informal settings.
3) Advertise specifically for corporate events
Targeting some of your online advertising at corporate event planners around popular times of the year will help secure more of these bookings. Make sure to put up videos and offers that are targeted at business events – summer parties and Christmas parties will usually be the easiest to advertise for, initially. Consider adding a page to your website detailing what you offer for corporate events.
Once you’ve secured a few corporate bookings, some email shots to your previous clients will help with the potential for repeat bookings. Corporate events are somewhat unique, in that they can have a very long lifespan. When you build up a good relationship with one company (particularly a large company), they can end up recommending you to other departments or sites, and booking you every single year for the foreseeable future if you do a good job!
4) Try to look the part
This will be different from band to band, but a lot of corporate event planners will want an act that has the ability to dress in a formal style, especially for events that are designed to entertain clients. If you’re a band with a certain niche when it comes to your look, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to forsake your usual clothes entirely – just that it might be worth making it clear in your initial quote that you’re prepared for more formal events.
5) Diversify your act
When it comes to booking entertainment, many organizers of corporate events would rather go to one supplier for as much of the entertainment for the day as they can. This means that any act that can offer a package of entertainment to suit their needs will be likely to secure the booking.
While this can mean a much, much longer working day, you can also use this to justify a much bigger fee for the services offered. While it will depend a little on your line up, the options for acoustic sets over dinner or drinks receptions, late night DJ playlists and even providing a compere for part of the event will usually be of interest to any organizer, as that will cut down on how many additional acts they have to research and hire.
If you’re looking for more bookings, consider registering for a listing with the Last Minute Musicians entertainment directory, with over 75,000 customers using the directory every month. You can do that here: https://www.lastminutemusicians.com/register/
To learn More about Jonathan follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JonMFellowes