booking entertainers

Booking Entertainers: Knowing Your Target Audience

  • Robert Brecht
  • January 05, 2018
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Want a packed house at your next event? Well, you need to make sure you are booking entertainers that are a good fit for your target audience and vice versa. Music comes in all different types and styles ranging from country to traditional rock, hip hop to jazz. This also means that audiences come in many different types and styles.

All successful marketing campaigns target a specific audience. A target audience is a group of individuals who have certain things in common with each other that sets them apart from other groups. You do not want to waste money by booking the wrong entertainer for your event. Book a band that speaks to their desires and needs. Matching your target audience to the right band or solo artist is key to having a successful event!

Start with Target Audience Demographics

DEMOGRAPHICS: This typically includes 6 main elements… Geographic Location, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Age, Marital/Parental Status and Socioeconomic Status (GGRAMS). If you are trying to get millennials to an event, you might not want to be booking entertainers such as Tony Bennett. If your audience is an upper crust one from the Eastside of Manhattan, booking entertainers like a grunge band might not be the right thing either. The sharper you can make your target, the better.

  • Geographic Location – Is your target audience one of the urban, suburban, or rural nature? Would you bring a hip hop band to rural Texas? Yeah, me neither! What about pairing contemporary classical music entertainment with a group of single 21-year-olds in LA? Nope! That would not fly.
  • Gender – What is the anticipated composition of male vs. female for the audience? But knowing, for example, the majority of your onlookers will be women is not enough. You need to dig deeper because you may find that they are predominantly single young struggling mothers vs. married and retired senior women of wealth.
  • Race/Ethnicity – What is the predicted ratio of Hispanic, White, African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Middle Easterner, Two or More Races, etc.? When we book entertainment for the Grito Festival each year, we must keep at the forefront of our minds that this is a celebration of the Hispanic culture in the Baytown, TX area, which comprises 40% of its population. Check out our blog GRITO Festival 2017 to see the artists we booked.
  • Age – Will the audience be predominantly of a younger generation, older generation, middle aged, or an assorted mixture of millennials, baby boomers, and Generation X?
  • Marital/Parental Status – Will your spectators be mostly married couples, singles toting other single friends, or again, a blend? Do they have children or do they lack that responsibility? These make a big difference because the needs of raising kids and sharing a household often trump the desires of people when they were living the footloose and fancy free single life.
  • Socioeconomic Status (SES) – SES is based on income, education, and occupation, and it is broken down into 3 divisions…high, middle, and low class. So, which of these levels will your audience be comprised of? Knowing the SES of your audience, and hence income levels, will tell you what they can afford, whether or not status is a factor, and if perceived pricing will work. If you are booking entertainment for a fundraising gala you would not charge the same price as if you were booking entertainment for a low income target customer.


Examples of Booking Entertainers that Suit the Audience

The key is to know the audience who will be attending or who you are trying to attract. You want to match audience demographics to the entertainer and therefore, book entertainment to match the audience. If you are booking entertainers for a dance hall in a small Texas town, Tribute to George Strait would be a great fit. Have a wedding reception coming to your venue, Mambo Jazz Kings would bring down the house. Talk about a perfect match, how about Beatlemania64 for a 50th high school reunion? Now those are crowd pleasers! So what are the signs of a pleased crowd?

Audience Behaviors That Show You Are Booking Entertainers That Are a Good Match
  • Highly engaged and dancing
  • Singing along, smiling, and laughing with friends
  • Posting their experience on social media
  • Texting or calling other friends immediately to come join them
  • Staying at the venue the full length of the performance
  • High sales of alcoholic beverages
  • High sales of band merchandise (if applicable)
  • Seeking interaction with band members during breaks
  • Asking date and location of the band’s next performance

It is imperative to keep in mind that audiences are rarely a monolithic group of people who think and see things in the same way. While booking entertainers, remember audiences are comprised of people with diverse interests, attitudes, behaviors, needs, problems and motivations. Effective entertainment booking begins with understanding your target audience. From Adele to ZZ Top and from Willie Nelson to Sam Smith, audience-entertainer matching makes or breaks a performance!

Glenda Black

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