She’s developed some of the most ambitious cultural festivals/conferences in recent U.S. memory; now she shares insights with singers.
Dawn Elder is a unique player on the American media landscape. She is a composer, producer, director, artist manager, and creator of over 1000 events spanning a broad spectrum of media.
She has worked with some of the top names in entertainment, from American icons like Quincy Jones & Stevie Wonder to the most celebrated stars of the African and Arabic-speaking world, among them Khaled (Algeria), Mory Kante (Guinea/Mali), and Kazem al-Sahir (Iraq).
What is a smart way to promote a local gig?
Make your gig an event, the happening place to be in your local community. Reach out to local Meet-up groups, and/or consider a local charity or action organization as a co-presenter (an example for the holidays would be Toys for Tots).
Why do you recommend partnering with organizations?
Because local organizations are always looking for new and innovative ways for to bring attention to (or raise funds for) their charities. You will be offering them entertainment, a platform and a social media conversation to raise awareness. Why not pick your favorite and offer to donate some of the door to their charity for the holidays/or encourage your audience to bring a can a food, or a toy for child, etc.
What about working with friends and fans?
Today it is all about team effort, and reaching as many people as possible. Grass roots efforts are still the best method for building a local following. Involve friends and current fans in your success, make them feel how important they are to you and make them feel vested in your success. Loyal followers are the best free adverting and the most consistent attendees.
A great thing you’ve seen for getting people at gigs to keep engaged between gigs?
Building friendships between attendees and walking around getting to know your fans after the show. This works of course in Nightclub settings, but not quite as well in Theaters unless there are pre and post events.
Do you feel, generally speaking, that singers could do more to build relationships with fans at events?
Make it a happening. In theaters pre-receptions, and post events can really create groups of followers; people start to get to know one another, talk, socialize…then it is a happening. People like going to places where they know folks and can socialize. The theme song from the hit TV series Cheers in the US Cheers comes to mind “Where everybody knows your name”:
Anyway, it is the same everywhere – make your gig and or concert a place of social comfort.
Keep this in mind: it is all about the memories. Music is memories and we all hope our music is generating positive endorphins. Creating a memorable experience has been a cornerstone for some of the most successful recurring artist tours. (FooFighters have really mastered this).
See Dawn’s next article: How to Promote Your Singing – Online and Beyond
Dawn Elder is a composer, producer, director, artist manager, and creator of over 1000 events spanning a broad spectrum of media, she has worked with some of the top names in entertainment, from American icons Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Beach Boys, Sting, Grover Washington, George Clinton and Carlos Santana, to the most celebrated stars of the African and Arabic-speaking world, among them Fairouz, (Lebanon) Kazem al-Sahir (Iraq) Khaled (Algeria), Mory Kante (Guinea/Mali), and Fela Kuti, and King Sunny Ade (Nigeria). Elder has developed and directed television documentaries and concert broadcast specials for major networks in the U.S. and abroad, including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and LBC, and ANA/MBC. Behind all of Elder’s enterprises lies a fierce humanitarianism and a dedication to the principle that culture, especially music, has a vital role to play in bridging misunderstandings between contemporary societies. See her Website.