Planning a concert is a big deal. It is a jumble of enthusiasm and fear for the new organizers. Sometimes, it can also be quite a task for the organizer.
How do you plan a concert? The answer is in the question itself: planning. Trying to start a concert with zero budgets, no location or no performers is definitely a failure. Thus, having a large pre-concert planning window is very important.
Now we have that relevant bit of info out of the way, let's explore everything you need to know how to put together a successful concert.
If you follow the steps, you'll surely find the process quite exciting and deeply satisfying. This guide will help to learn on how to plan a concert in some simple steps:
A. Know your goals beforehand
One of the most important steps while planning a concert is establishing goals. In other words, what is the objective of your concert?
Without a clear idea of what you're expecting to achieve, you won't be able to organize the event the best way possible nor gauge its impact.
After you decide on the goal, you may also finalize a relevant theme or concept. This theme will help you tell the story behind the event.
Your theme should focus and attract your target audience. Also the decor of the venue should give justice to your theme.
Identify the attendees for your event and what style and concept will be most appealing and memorable to them. It would be great if you can speak to a few members of your audience to cross-check the concept of your event.
B. Create a Budget
It's interesting to guess how many attendees you expect at your concert. Multiply this by the cost you think people will pay for a ticket and consider the total as your budget.
To have funds for expenses and get a profit, you'll need a clear budget plan before anything else.
Use the rest of this list to see what you'll need for your event and create a line item for every category. Keep 10-30% of unallocated funds for extra expenses so that, if something comes up, you will be ready for it.
C. Find the Talent
The atmosphere of concert will depend on the musical team that you onboard. This may also be one of your main budget line items depending on the kind of talent you want to onboard.
Try to find talent that fits well with your event concept and theme. For example, you need a band with teenagers playing for seniors.
Think before you hire out-of-town talent. That's because you will have to pay for their travel expenses which may weigh heavy on your budget.
Choosing local talent will help you save money and maintain a relationship with the local community.
D. Pick a Venue
Most venues are set up to accommodate live music. If you choose an indoor venue, make sure they have experience with a stage and seating setup that will work for the music you've chosen.
Outdoor venues have more production costs and are more prone to weather conditions. But they can be a great choice for concepts such as barbecues and bonfires.
If you choose an outdoor venue, make sure that you have a backup plan for:
- Heat, cold, snow
- Rain and wind
- Any other elements that could ruin the concert
The energy of your concert will be impacted by the crowd. And your venue size plays a huge role in the same. If you book a large venue and don't sell it out, then you will have a half-full room and a low-energy crowd.
On the other hand, if you book a small venue that sells out quickly, you'll regret having missed out on more ticket sales. And the energy of the crowd will be affected again. So, it is always better to go with a bit smaller venue that you are sure you can fill.
You'll have to reach the venue early as the rest of the event details will start falling into place.
E. Apply for Permits & Insurance
Based on your venue, you may need to get permission for food, alcohol, and music. Check with your venue and local authorities to see what you require.
It is good to get or have insurance for venue so that you'll be covered for mishaps such as fire, theft etc.
The Cvent Supplier Network will help you to find, request, and book venues all across the world.
F. Finalise a Date & Time
The date and time for your event will depend on your audience and your event theme. Some concepts and venues work better in the night. Here, you can use lighting and backdrops to set the mood and tone. Other themes and concerts, especially outdoor ones, will be logistically easier to manage in the day.
Keep in mind what day and time works best for your target audience and concert. Consider things like school, work, holiday schedule etc.
G. Determine what Equipment is Needed
Check with your venue and musical team to determine what equipment they will bringing themselves.
This could include-
- Sound System
- A/V Equipments and others
Just think about other arrangements also such as-
- The sitting arrangements according to the space you have
- Need of amplification of music while performance
For an outdoor venue, ensure you have a way to protect the equipment from the elements. While making bookings, ask the relevant questions to the vendor or venue team such as-
- Equipment requirement of yours
- How much time do they need to make all arrangements
- What do they need from your end while doing arrangements
- Do they require a loading dock or power access from your end
These details will be a key to avoid costly mistakes.
H. Create a Comfortable Environment
Keep your talent comfortable and help them unwind at a backstage area in the venue. This could be a separate or a sharing room with other performers. But it should have easy access to the stage as well as restroom facilities.
You must also provide snacks, water, soft drinks and other small necessities for your musical team. Ask them in advance if they'll need somewhere to change or rest between the performance.
The audience's comfort will depend on appropriate seating, refreshments, and restroom facilities. For an outdoor venue, ensure there's an adequate shelter for extreme weather. Or have a backup plan for when a heavy wind rolls in.
Don't forget to make a plan for everyone's safety, too. Also have enough security, medical assistance, and event assistants to manage the audience and venue.
I. Start Selling Tickets
If you are planning to make money from the concert, you will need to sell tickets. You can partner with a ticketing service to provide print or digital tickets for your event.
Some service providers offer custom branding on the tickets, accept payments, and get registrations. Many also include a website link on the ticket with your social media accounts.
Tools such as Ticket Generator help you do it all. It also helps secure and generate tickets for your concert easily.
It offers you all the customizations on the ticket. In addition, each ticket comes with a QR Code that cannot be copied. And when people will show these passes at the entry gate, event coordinators can scan the QR Code with their phones. Doing so will tell them if it's a valid, duplicate, or invalid entry.
No need for you to manually verify any details. And it'll hardly take time to verify each guest. That means you not only figure out a fast but also a secure way to do so. Isn't that amazing?
The date and time of the concert should be clearly mentioned on the ticket. And don't forget to mention relevant seating details and a clear return/refund policy.
J. Promote the Concert
Like other events, the promotion of your concert will directly depend on its success. You will need a marketing plan that takes considers your event theme, audience, and musical team.
If your artists have promotional channels, double down on those and partner with them.
Besides the artists/performers, you could also increase the outreach by partnering with:
- Event partners
- Ticket sellers
Selling tickets won't be easy until nobody is aware of the concert.
Concert planners not putting in enough effort to promote the event actually happens often. For sure, one or two posts on social media probably won't have much effect on the audience.
The steps we've discussed are one-and-done tasks but this isn't one of them. Marketing is an everyday activity, especially focusing on social media. People simply consume a lot more from social media than the real world now.
Get everyone on the same page about the event theme and objectives. And make it easy for them to promote the event by providing email, contact, social media etc.
It's best to post diligently so that your event is always in the limelight and is flooding the feeds. Don't spam but maintain consistency. It's wise to do some additional research if you're unsure of how to proceed.
Make sure to capture high-resolution images and videos during the event. These will help in your follow-up and could be really useful if you plan on making it a regular (recurring) event.
To summarise, there are several ways to plan a concert. You need to do some important bookings and arrangements such as-
- Discussion and booking of musicians
- Search and payment for the perfect location
- Arrangements for food and drinks to keep the audience happy
Planning a concert isn't challenging, but it is laborious. Some start with big ambitions, only for reality to smash it all to bits.
Certainly, you need to have a constant commitment to carry it from an idea to fruition.
And if you devote time and effort for organizing, financing, and promoting the event, you'll see amazing things happen.
Things to recall from this guide are-
- Be patient
- Be willing to compromise
- Don't compare concert size with concert success