It is a question that every band that represents themselves ask at one point, how should I contact a venue for booking? I am always preaching the route of email over all other communications outlets, almost to a comical point. It is just what you do. A common question or comment I get is "But do you book at all over the phone?" or "I only book thru text, will I be able to book with you?" To answer your question, not a chance. Let me tell you why, as well as give you reasons.
The average talent buyer spends very little time actually booking, if you were to look at what % of the day they spend or particular activities. It is as important for a talent buyer or booking agent to be prepared as it is for an artist. A good talent buyer has a wealth of information, contracts, media lists, game plans, and often times a small army of individuals they have to get particular information to. Start times, load in information, production details, hotel logistics, the list is as large as your programming and having information readily available is not only a time saver, but a good practice of preparation.
Email is king, the paper trail, the ability to search dates or details and finding information, attachment capabilities, and often access to a lot of the things that were mentioned in the paragraph above. All major booking agencies work through email, all professional ticked venues are doing the same. If you are not doing EVERYTHING through email, you will eventually learn why you should at some point.
A lot of folks that handle multiple calendars are multi-taskand sometimes though they are super organized, can be scatter-brained. The last thing you want is someone who isn't always good with details in charge of giving you all of the details. Email holds folks accountable, the proof is right there in your inbox.
WHY FACEBOOK MESSENGER IS NOT AN OPTION
- It is a communication outlet that is under the finger of a social network. It could go away, or change, at any point.
- You cannot message from your page to an individual, and that individual more than likely doesn't book thrrough Facebook. (Some smaller clubs and venues still do. We will eventually explain how to navigate those waters).
- Personally, I handle 6 venues and a variety of other events, if I responded to and worked within all of the facebook messages I received, I would not ever get anything done, as most are conversational driven due to the proximity and ease of the conversation characters.
WHY NOT USE TEXTING OR CALLING?
- If you have a friend or good relationship that works best this route, feel free as any means of communication is helpful and there is wrong way to seal the deal.
- 95% of the time that you text or call someone, they probably will not be sitting in front of the computer hoping someone calls for dates. Most talent buyers are also venue owners, bar managers, or have 2 to 10 jobs that they are operating within that day.
* Some venues and buyers prefer calls, always assume you are one of 10-20 folks that have reached out that day. For people that hold multiple venues, this can be overwhelming sometimes.
WHY EMAIL WORKS EVERY TIME
- You are using the industry standard means of communication, that's always a good place to start.
- Most email clients have multiple extensions available that you can use to help with your workflow. For example, Boomerang for GMail will automatically remind you to follow up with people that have not responded to you. If you are following up weekly on a date, this is super helpful.
- Organization is much easier, as you can keep your conversations, agreements, and more all in one place that is easy to find.
- Buyers are able to book when they are booking, as opposed to stopping and doing it when approached via another route and in the middle of something that isn't booking.
- It holds the venue and artist accountable, as all of the details and agreements are transparent.
At the end of the day, we are all just people. Performers, talent buyers, and bookers are in this for the love of the industry and art, the more we can find compromise and respect each other's time, the better anyone's work relationship will be.
If you have any questions about booking, music business, artist development, or more, you can contact me at TravisSmithBooking@gmail.com