5 tried and tested ways to boost your choir audience

Lets face it, as choir leaders we all like our choirs to perform to a good crowd. It gives the singers that special performance buzz, adds atmosphere and gives us professional fufillment when we hear the applause. Plus, if you run your choir as a business or as a charity and put on concerts, ticket sales often form a vital part of your revenue, going towards covering costs or raising funds. So how do you ensure a good audience? Here are our five tried and tested ways:

1. Never underestimate the power of your captive audience

If you have just enthralled a crowd with your latest repertoire to rapturous applause, take the opportunity to thank them and announce your next performance. With any luck they'll jot it straight in their diary.

2. Pitch your ticket prices carefully

When planning a performance, always consider a fair ticket price (of course be realistic within your budget). Lots of people coming along at a lower price is better than not so many at a higher price. Plus, as a choir leader, there is nothing more stressful than getting the price wrong and worrying that no tickets have been sold with just a week to go! Check out other successful events in the same area or venue. How much did they charge?

3. Think about your audience when planning your performance calendar

Make sure you don't load too many performances in a short space of time. If your audience is dominated by friends and family of the choir, you'll probably experience a law of diminishing returns. However much we love our families, we probably don't want to go to a concert every week! Be realistic about how often you should perform, even if this means saying no to some opportunities.

4. Promote your performances in any way you can

You don't necessarily have to buy advertising. You could put up posters and flyers in your local area. Ask choir members to take posters to put up in their places of work or at their children's schools (with permission, of course). Remind your singers to mention the performance to friends and acquaintances.

5.  Get the word out

You could organise a flash mob (an unannounced performance in a public space that takes people by surprise) in your local area at a shopping centre or local fete (always get permission from the managment or organisers first) and then enlist some friends and family to hand out flyers about your next performance while you have the attention of the crowd. See if your local radio station would like to record you singing and give your next gig a plug. I always think it's worth giving these more ambitious ideas a go. If you don't ask you don't get, plus all these types of activities provide a really exciting 'hook' for your choir.

Finally, remember to always keep your audience in mind when planning your performance programmes. Keep your concerts interesting, varied and not too long. It's much better to keep them wanting more than wishing it would end!  A happy audience are much more likely to spread the word and come back again.
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1 comment

Victoria Hopkins

Thanks Graham. While there's clearly a place for participation and familiar repertoire, there's also plenty of room in the world for other things. When I'm an audience member, I certainly welcome 'clever musical arrangements' and even the occasional 'obscure challenging number'!
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