In this episode i'm going to talk about organising your gig diary.
Dates are the single most important element to your entertainment business. They need to be planned properly and your diary needs to be strictly organised. I remember as a mobile DJ a school formal assumed that they booked me when they didn't. I got a phone call out of the blue one Friday night asking me where I was?
I had to literally drop everything, including my girlfriend and frantically load up the car and drive really fast to the venue. I was one hour late and wasn't organised or dressed properly to do the gig and it just wasn't a gig that I would be proud to do.
Luckily it was the organisers fault as I had a system in place to confirm every booking in writing and they actually did not confirm the gig properly. This was the client's fault, but imagine if you didn't run your diary properly and it was your fault. What a disaster that would be to your reputation.
Another aspect of being in this game is that we are weekend warriors and the weekend is where our family and friends have parties, get married etc.. So we have to miss out on these occasions as we are usually working at other people's occasions.
Plan your diary in advance
When do you get your bookings? If your scene is the pub and club scene, usually up to 6 months in advance, if your in the Wedding and corporate scene it can be sometimes up to 3 years in advance. So you have to plan your life in advance.
Book your holidays well in advance and then block book it off in your diary. Have you got children at school? Take a look at school events such as christmas plays, sports days etc. and book it off in your gig diary in advance.
Do your run a band? Make sure you organise your members diaries for their holidays and events. Or make sure you have deps organised for their absence.
Type of diary
When I was a dj I had to buy paper diaries a few years in advance. If i got an enquiry from a customer and I wasn't beside my trusty collins diary I had to call the customer back.
If i lost my diary I would of been screwed.
This manual diary system is slow, unreliable and is stuck in the past century. As an entertainment agent, I still have acts running their diaries this way where I have to text them to check availability. Its too slow and It costs them business as other acts that use an online calendar can get booked quicker and will get more gigs.
If you're using an online diary such as google calendar, well done to you. If you're still using a paper based diary you are going to have to change for the future.
Why use an online calendar for your gig diary?
Its with you all the time- On your smartphone you can instantly access your calendar and check or add bookings. It's backed up, Lose your paper diary, lose all your information. Lose your phone? The diary is still there on the cloud.
Sharing - With google calendar, you can share your availability with agents and only let them see busy/available without any further details or you can share your gig diary with your band or staff members to help organise everyone the right way.
With sites like book entertainment, you need to have your diary organised online and sync your availability so that customers can fill in the blank dates with paid bookings. If you still don't want to ditch that leather bound paper diary, you can always run the two methods together as a hard backup.
- Plan your year or years ahead including holidays and family events.
- If you have other staff members or musicians, make sure they also plan their year in advance and plan your deps in advance to cover them.
- Ditch your old paper diary and go online
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below: