Covering The Corporate Gig

Posted on November 18, 2010

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As a cover band, getting gigs can have its ups and downs. One of the prime destinations for a cover band’s financial situation should be considered as the Corporate Gig! Many of these events will pay upwards of 5-10 times what a standard club gig will pay and that doesn’t hurt! So how to get them and what do to do with them is the focus of this article!

As with any booking situation, finding the key person responsible for contacting the gig is your most important element. Often times, getting included in a booking agents band list is going to be a sure fire way to land the gig. This will involve having a well rehearsed and most often, a well-performed show that people are familiar with. Getting the booking company is an entirely different article, but keep reading on, as much of this you can do without the agency.

To start, know what you are worth. Its “mucho importante” to have a fee schedule set in place from the get go. It’s easy to back down on your price and still get a god paying gig, but once you stated your price, there is no way you will be able to talk it into a higher pay scale than the one you gave out first. Know what you are worth and stick to your guns!

Before agreeing, of course, you want to know who the audience is. If it’s going to be a black tie affair, you are going to have to appear differently than you would for a summer themed Hawaiian shirt function. Is it indoors or out? What is the age demographic of the band? Is it a reunion where people will be chatting and your music will be annoying?  Knowing your audience will help you to construct a set list that works with the crowd. There’s a long distance between Metallica and Coldplay music, so be ready to perform the right set list.

In the contract, have clear definitions of each party’s obligations. All aspects of arriving and leaving should be listed including parking arrangements, load-in time for the band, what backline is in place and if there is an outside audio management company – get the name and deal with them directly! Is there insurance for the event hall and what does it cover in case a guest decides to pour a drink over your amplifier. Do you get a sound check? Can you bring a guest or roadie to the event? Can you film or record your performance? Know what you need to know before the event because an apology for making a mistake will never erase the memory of that actual mistake.

When a price is determined, it’s also best to get a deposit. Fifty percent is not at all uncalled for. You would have to produce this to book a room, they should have to produce this to book the band. Don’t back down!

If at all possible, go to the venue and see the stage and sound system. Meet the event manager and get a name and number for your Rolodex. When the event is over, sending a nice hand written letter thanking them for the opportunity to perform will go a long way on the business etiquette side of things. You want to leave a great memory of the performance.

A corporate event is going to be the best stressor to test the values and professionalism of your viability as a professional performer. Do it right and it will become a formula for a consistent schedule of corporate gigs that can offer a 6-figure salary for your band.

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