Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How does your Merch Booth Do? Need Some Tips....

Over the past few weeks Endagon Entertainment has really taken off. We have be hosting local shows tours and events in the Central Florida area and have trying not to take a day off, even though I could really use one. But as a show promoter and marketer, I have been noticing the bands and their actions on promoting and making sales. One thing that has really irked me is how they handle merch and their fans, new, old and potential.

I’ll get specific. We hosted a Rock For Hunger show in Lakeland a few weeks back and had 3 locals play along with a touring band from Texas. The merch area was as followed:

Rock For Hunger: Full set-up including T-Shirts, buttons, informational flyers and brochures, plus a laptop running a slide show.

3 local bands: Two had cd’s, almost hidden from plain site and one band didn’t bother to bring anything at all

Texas band: Full merchandise set-up complete with cd’s, t-shirts, hats and stickers all set-up in a great display with t-shirt rack, cd holders, etc.

The end result: The local bands made no money and the touring band banked with the local community’s dollars. So I thought I’d post a few quick tips to help some bands get it right!

1. Location of merch booth/table. Make sure you are visible to all the fans that want to come and see you. I know most venues have small or no areas to set-up but make sure your table is accessible at all times.

2. Make it presentable. When you go into a store all the clothing, music, video games are neatly organized and in displays where people can see them. Having shirts hidden from view do you no good. I love that a great number of bands are getting their shirts up in the air whether on a hanger, taped to the wall or on a fence like mechanism. CD’s should just lie on a table. Make them stand out. Create a poster or banner with the CD artwork on it, etc. Your merchandise is your business, so treat it that way!

3. E-Mail lists: Why don’t more bands take advantage of this FREE resource? Get out a page of paper and have everyone in the venue sign-up. We have had great success in walking through the crowd with our list and talking/interacting with them. Some people are just plain lazy and won’t walk over to your table/booth so go and get them! Everyone can write down an email address and it won’t cost them a penny. This is invaluable information for future marketing that will sure be a frequent topic for me and the blog.

4. Lighting: Make sure your merch is in some kind of light. Go to Wal-Mart and pick up a cheap desk lamp that can bend and twist and use it in dark venues.

5. Keep yourself organized: Goes without explanation.

6. Create deals and packages: The old adage of the 2-for-1 or buy this and get this free! It does work; just make it worthwhile to your customer/fan.

7. One great thing that Chris and I have seen is non-tangible merch items. “CD’s $5.00……Hugs are FREE! Or $5/kiss or something silly but entertaining will get your fans talking about your band.

8. Have variety. I know bands are broke but have more than a paper sleeved cd. Stickers and buttons are great and cheap.

9. Have someone working your merch booth. Quick example: We had a big show we were promoting and I was working our merch table. We had a national act set-up to our right. During their set, maybe 10-20 people were asking about cd’s and shirts. I’m a nice guy so I helped out, you might not be so lucky. Have a designated worker and one that is a great talker and salesperson working your merch at all times. Better yet, give them a commission or drink tickets based on the amount of merch they sell. Make it fun and entertaining, they are sacrificing standing in the front row to stand at a table!

That’s it for today folks. Get ready for Bedlight for Blue Eyes and Swamburger exclusive interviews to be posted asap! coming August 2007-the new name for Internet Marketing and Promotion made specifically for bands/artists/musicians! is on right now!


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