New Member Information - Booking Conference Tips for Exhibitors

1.    What should I expect from this Experience?

This first year is your course in “Exhibiting 101” and you couldn’t have picked a better course! You must participate and compete knowing that there are hundreds of other agents / self represented artists in the field representing hundreds of artists. Your goal should be to meet your colleagues, begin to establish name recognition for your artists, (or yourself of you are self represented) and exchange information and materials with presenters. Of course, there are no guarantees so come as prepared as you can. Remember that other artist’s representatives are NOT your enemies. These individuals have years of experience and much to share with you. Introduce yourself. Ask questions when they are not busy, and take notes.

2.    What should I bring?

  • Enough materials to distribute and decorations for your booth Remember that all DVD, video and audio equipment has to be used with headphones. Bring business cards, a notebook, stapler and tape, and any other items that will help you promote your artists and keep track of presenter responses.     
  • Web Site: You need your web site address to be clearly listed on your materials and business cards.
  • On the web site, you must have  music, video of every artist, plus links to artist page, plus tech and stage plot info for the artist

3.    What if presenters ask to have materials mailed?
Some presenters prefer that you mail to them after the conference is over. Although this adds some cost to you, it also represents another opportunity for you to contact the presenter and to make your material stand out.

4.    What should I include in my press kit / information packet?

•    A business card
•    Description of the artist(s)
•    Photos
•    Press clippings
•    Technical requirements
•    Information on residency / workshop possibilities
•    A listing of previous bookings
•    A roster of artists under your management

Plan to display additional brochures and small pieces, as some presenters may not be ready to use the entire kit. If interested, a presenter will call you for full details following the conference.

5.    What about audio and video/DVD equipment?

Many artist representatives prefer to have the art form and artists sell themselves through audio or video/DVD representation. Understand that presenters have limited time to spend at each booth, and they may look at your video/DVD or listen to a CD for only a minute. You must either rent or bring your own equipment through the Exhibit Hall decorator. Don’t forget your headphones!

6.    How can I get my message across in a very short time when presenters are moving quickly through the Exhibit Hall?

Practice your main message before you come. Try to develop a short paragraph that describes the “uniqueness” of your artist, art form, the repertoire, the general technical requirements, the dates you have available, residency activities, fees, etc. Find out all you can about the presenters most likely to book your artist(s). Since this is your first experience and you will be meeting new presenters, you may want to spend more time listening and taking notes on what the presenter’s mission is, who the audience is, how big the hall is, how technically developed the facility is, what the artist fee ranges are, and when the presenter makes the decisions. The information can be invaluable for the future.


7.    Realize we are all in this together.

You need presenters and they need you. It is team effort to bring the Arts to the people! To that end:Try to relax and work at building relationships for the future.

  • Look at other booths for good ideas, but do not take anything without offering to buy it first. Remember, the materials are expensive.
  • Do not grab presenters as they come down the aisle
  • Do not interrupt another artist talking to a presenter
  •  Do not force materials on a presenter
  • Ask what a presenter is thinking about for their season – budget, space, audience, and artistic genre. Consider it an exchange of information.
  • When talking money, know your costs so you can be fair to yourself, and to the presenters. (Remember that presenters often talk amongst themselves, so be consistent)
  • Know your market and find your niche
  • If you pencil a presenter and venue in for a date, follow up post conference to find out if they are still serious. Go to contract as soon as all the details are sorted out.
  • Send out materials post conference in a timely fashion
  • Return all phone calls and emails

8.    What other events should I attend? 

Attend as many of the conference activities as possible, including professional development institutes, workshops, the general membership meeting, and the keynote dinner. The conference offers a host of opportunities for education and professional growth, allowing you new insights on the field. Meal functions and social activities allow time for networking and fun.

9.    How should I dress?

Most people at the conference will bring business and casual attire. Dress for comfort and in layers allowing for inside and outside temperatures, air conditioning, etc.  You are walking and / or standing on hard floors for long periods of time so wear comfortable shoes at all times.

ASK QUESTIONS. REMEMBER, THE ONLY STUPID QUESTION IS THE ONE YOU DO NOT ASK!

REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN

ATTEND THE FIRST TIMERS / NEW COLLEAGUES MEETING

See you at the Northwest Booking Conference in Tacoma, Washington - October 17- 20 2013

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