When your choir performs, it’s a chance to show off all the repertoire you’ve been working hard to learn, a chance for your singers to experience the buzz of a live audience, and above all it’s just plain exciting.
As a choir leader it’s always important to remember that in addition to all these things, every performance is a way of marketing your choir. Here are some ways to maximise this opportunity.
Look really slick
In the run-up to a performance, it’s always worth going the extra mile with your repertoire. Work on performance skills, including stage etiquette, looking out to the audience and receiving applause. All these things help to make your singers look and feel more professional on platform and the audience will notice the difference. Branding is also a great way of promoting your choir at events. T-shirts for contemporary choirs and folders for more traditional choirs help to lodge the name of your choir in the audience’s mind.
Have marketing material to hand
Whenever you perform, make sure you have marketing material with you. At the very least, some business cards are handy in case people enquire about joining the choir or about possible performances at events they may be organising. Other ways of marketing include banners with your logo or pop-up signs. These are affordable and easily portable, making them the ideal way to quickly display your brand. You could also produce leaflets or postcards with information about your choir and any upcoming events. Perhaps friends and family could hand these out to audience members.
Boost your membership
There’s nothing quite like a great performance to boost your numbers. Don’t be afraid to announce that you welcome new members and ask them to come and see you after the show. Make sure you have a notepad to take down names and email addresses or phone numbers. If you have had people interested in joining the choir prior to the performance, tell them about it and suggest they come along. By actually seeing the choir in action and enjoying a fantastic performance, they may be more likely to take the plunge and join you. If your choir is full, there’s no harm in taking names for a waiting list. A waiting list also reminds existing choir members to value their place in the choir as they know it’s not easy to get in. This can improve their attendance. Of course, if your waiting lists gets quite large, it might be time to consider starting another choir!
It’s important to remember that it’s not just your choir performing at an event. As a choir leader, you are also on show to the audience. You need to follow the same advice you give your singers and conduct yourself professionally: smile, be approachable and always positive. After a show, it’s a good idea to mingle with audience and choir members and be availble to chat. Learn to receive compliments and thank people for them rather than saying something like ‘I thought we weren’t going to pull it off’ or ‘you should have seen us a week ago’! Mingling with your audience can give you an insight into what they loved and possibly what they were less impressed with.
If there are people at the performance who could potentially offer opportunities for the choir, be bold and talk to them. There’s never a better time than when they feel enthused after seeing an amazing, energetic performance. Again, have your business cards to hand for these kind of conversations – what have you got to lose?
Finally, always follow-up any of these opportunities the next day. Get in touch with potential members and give them all the rehearsal details they need or if putting them on a waiting list send official confirmation of this plus regular updates.
If someone is interested in booking the choir, send out all relevant information or a proposal document with some costings. Speedy follow-up will show people you are professional, enthusiastic and organised.