Mail or In Person promo pack delivery?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jeb, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    I can think of advantages/disadvantages of each, but whats the opinion of the board?

    In the mail seems kind of impersonal, but if you're a schmuck (or if the possibility exists that you might be perceived that way through no fault of your own :) ).....

    I just dropped a bunch off at the post office for convenience. Now I'm having second thoughts, but oh well. I did save probably 30 bucks in gas and two or three hours.
  2. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    From my experience with club owners, I'd say it's harder for them to say no in person...but much easier for them to lie

    I would hand deliver those that were convenient or semi-convenient and mail the rest.
  3. I think in person is better, get a chance to make some sort of an impression.

    But if the cops were chasing me while I was going by the bar, I'd just mail it.

  4. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Generally here (in Ireland) the main/big venues go through agencies to get their the trick is to get your promo pack to the agency which mostly involves finding out who to send it to (by checking their web site or ringing them up and asking for the person)..the next VITAL thing to do is to send them your promo and then FOLLOW ring the person/dept under the pretense of checking to see if they got it..(they might have hundreds of promo packs coming in in one day but they'll always remember the guy/gal who rang them and spoke to them personally)
  5. bassontherun


    Jul 9, 2005
    I found Murf's posting very interesting. Here in Houston, it's just the opposite. For the most part, the band has to go get its own gigs. A few go through booking agents, but that's fairly rare in the big picture.......but I digress.....

    Around here, it's absolutely, positively in person! You can just about guarantee that a promo kit will end up on a pile on the desk or circle filed if you mail it in. I will normally call a venue, find out who books their bands, find out that person's schedule, and visit them during off peak hours (try 3PM on a Wednesday, NOT 9PM on Saturday with a dart tournament, wet t-shirt contest and a live band). After you've dropped off the kit and pressed the flesh, you'll have to make repeated phone calls to that person to get in (Murf is exactly right about the followup!). I've had some bars that I visited a half dozen times and called a dozen times to get a gig (or a definite "No"-- I can then move them off of our active list). In the end, this really is show biz (at its most basic level). The talent has to work hard to get the gig. This is one of the big reasons that bands will take reduced scale if necessary to play at a place regularly. Saves the band a ton of time, effort and money on the booking side.
  6. Bob Bl.

    Bob Bl.

    May 1, 2003
    My experience is that if you just mail a press pack to a venue, you might as well just throw it away.

    At the very least, you have to:
    1) mail it to a specific person who has been called ahead of time. That way they are expecting it, and it probably won't just get chucked.
    2) Follow up on it (give it a few days to get there, otherwise you are just being a pest), preferably in person.
    3) repeat step 2.

  7. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    As a part time show promoter... it's much better to do it in person. You're much more apt to get asked to come and play if you can walk in without being high and can hold a simple conversation.

    Just being able to do that puts you hand over fist over most bands.
  8. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Wow, I actually think thats pretty in Ireland we are the kings of the "superpub"..where the biggest venues are basically pubs (big surprise.. :rolleyes: ) who generally tend to employ an "events manager" who books all gigs through 3rd party agencies...and as the saying goes.."if your not in you cant win"

    Follow ups are VITAL
  9. +1

    You can mail it, as long as you called first and either talked to the person doing the booking or at least find out who, and put it to their attention.

    In person is still a better choice. Call first and find out when that person will be there.

    Follow up, follow up, and follow up, until you get an answer.

    When doing the follow up call, don't do it so frequently that you might become a P.I.T.A. but persistence usually does pay off as long as your band is what he is looking for.
  10. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    As rediculous as this sounds...the single most effective booking method I've ever encountered is....E mail.

    I saw with my own eyes a guy book 12 weeks work in 3 days just by emailing clubs a song list and a price quote based on number of days booked.

    I thought he was nuts for even trying then I started to think about it...when an owner or a manager sits down to check his email...he is ready to take in information and you have his undevided attention at a time that's convienient to him.....
  11. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    I think handing it in person is most likley the best way to go if you get to talk to the manager or who ever is in charge of the bookings. Handing it simply to a random member of staff would be probably be the same as just sending it via post.

    The main thing is to get talking to the guy in charge of bookings that way you can talk about the band, see what they like to hear what in a band, answer any questions/set at ease any concerns they might have. The promo pack will then re-inforce what you've already explained. Always play it cool. It might not be best to say you drove all the way simply to drop in the promo pack but instead say your visiting a friend in the area and thought you would hand in the pack since you were there. They wont know the difference.

    Our singer rings up venues starts talking to whoever is in charge explains what we do tells them the price and most of the time would secure a gig. Once we played one gig more bookings would then follow. It's can help sometimes to do the first gig at a reduced price in this instance. Once they see the band and are impressed you can ask for more money the next time you play there, providing you let them know initially your doing an indtroductary price for the first gig.

    Professionalism goes a long way. Dont go in looking like your drank a bottle of LSD on the way over. Having good quality posters and buisness cards help.

    Also an element of bullsh**ing can help as well. Maybe exagerate the areas you have played, the price of the equipment that you use. But be general and believable. Dont tell them you have a solid gold bass that was delivered to you in a rocket car or you have regular gigs supporting victor wooten.

    To punters in the venue who want to know what price your charging always exagerate it but also to a believable extent. It's best not to say anything at all but if they pushing it exagerate slightly. If they ask where else you are playing you should exagerate that. Always play your cards close to your chest.

    Basically you don't want to give the impression that the band is a two bit operation (I'm not saying you are or anything) regardless of whether it is or not. Bar managers just like to know your professional, experienced and are satisfied your playing music that will go down well.

    Ok so thats all I can think of right now and remember that bullsh**ing is an artform. One I haven't yet mastered but fortunatley our singer knows all about it.

    On a side note a lot has to be said about the convenience of an agent it saves loads of hassle and you having to do all of the above.
  12. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Oh and +1 on the follow up. Especially in venues that are more difficult to get a gig in. Just make a casual pone call and play it cool.

    If they tell you your getting $2000 for a 45 minute set don't sound extatic just quietly accept it as if it happens everyday of the week and conclude the phone call as per usual. When the hand set is down you can start jumping around the room yahooing and get excited telling your band memebers the sweet gig you just got.
  13. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    I'm convinced that in person delivery has greater potential, but there is no less chance that your packet doesn't end up in the trash when you turn and walk out the door than if it was received in the mail. I've never delivered a packet in person to have the owners attention and be signed on the spot. I've had call backs with both strategies, but am pretty sure that my mail in call backs could have been based on reference and not the quality of the packet alone.

    Thanks for all of your replies.