It doesn't take very long for venues to start blurring together. You have to get from city to city and there's not always a lot of time to make many stops in between. Before you know it, the venues are almost all you see. 22 days and 20 shows later it takes 5 minutes just to remember where the 4th show of tour was let alone what the green room looked like! Here are some recommendations on the things you should be tracking at all the venues you play at.
This seems like the most obvious thing to track so let's get it out of the way first. Your ticket sales mean everything. They are what will open up new doors to working with booking agents and record labels, they are what venues will look at when it comes time to ask you back, and they are what will pay for your dinner that night. You should absolutely have these numbers stored somewhere for each venue you've performed at. It will help inform many important conversations as you continue to grow as a band or artist. To take it one step further, if you can create graphical representations of your growth at certain clubs and in different markets it can be a great way to to keep your team up to date on the progression you're making in different locations.
While ticket sales are arguably the most important metric to track, merch sales are arguably a very close second. Selling merchandise can provide a lot of supplemental income on top of your payment for the show. Recalling whether or not a venue takes a cut of your merch sales and how much net profit you made can be incredibly helpful when you're planning things out on tour. Maybe you didn't make very much at a particular venue last time but there are more pre-sales this time around and you think your team could bring in more more? Maybe you made a lot last time and although there are a similar amount of people going on the Facebook event you see a lot of return visitors who may not buy a lot of merchandise again so you lower your expectations? Either way, you will have the data you need to start making those projections and, even better yet, to start setting financial targets for you and your team.
We've all had nights where the sound equipment isn't up to par. It can be incredibly frustrating. If it happens, you want to remember where it happened and ideally why so next time you can be prepared. Maybe it requires you bringing some of your own mics, maybe it requires you getting there a little earlier for a longer soundcheck, but whatever it is you should take those necessary steps. Likewise, when it's really good, it will bring the whole show together. Keep track of where those places are, make note of all the equipment they're using and keep them close. This is where your music will sound the most impressive and that undoubtedly plays a massive role in helping you build a fan base.
How does one keep a venue close? A great place to start is by storing all of their contact information in a database. This includes social media too! If you have all this information stored it's easy for you to look them up and like the Facebook event for a show they have coming up, helping you stay active in their network. For more pressing matters that require you to email a sound engineer or a talent buyer, their information can be right there for you when you need it. The ultimate solution for something like this is CRM software that will help you do all this in one place, and actually allow you to both initiate and monitor all your interactions.
General Venue Information
There is a lot of other general information you may want to keep track of. The venue address, so you can easily look it up if you're going there again or you just want to tell a friend what neighborhood it was in. Capacity, so you can tell a promoter what room sizes you have started to play at or brag to a family member about how your band is starting to play some much bigger places. What their food was like so you can plan your day around eating there or start looking up some near by restaurants. Whatever the reason may be, building yourself a database with all this information can help your team stay more informed and stay more organized.
In any business organization is critical. It's no secret that keeping track of your network can lead to better organization. A great place for musicians to start is by building a database of all your venues. There are some great tools out there that can help you do this from something more general like Google Sheets to more industry specific tools like Master Tour or Immensity. Whatever you choose, get your hands on it and get organized. There are a lot of venues out there waiting to showcase your music and become a part of your network.
At Immensity we aim to provide software that fosters growth, collaboration, and success amongst musicians and other industry professionals. Download Immensity on the Apple App Store and start managing your music business more efficiently today