Plan Your Event Like a Pro

It’s officially gig maker season – meaning that this is the time of year when we’re shouting out for charitable music lovers across the UK to step forward and do something amazing for Oxjam: namely, to host their own gig. Putting together your own event can be incredibly empowering, and for those who haven’t tried their hand at it before, it can be CV enhancing too, providing valuable experience for those seeking to develop a career in the events industry.

This year we’ve taken the shackles off and are encouraging gigs of all shapes and sizes. It’s ‘your gig, your way’, meaning that you have complete control. Whatever size you had in mind though, thorough planning, production and promotion are vital to making your event a success. Here are a few tips to help with the early planning stages of your gig and to make sure that you kick things off like a pro.

1. Know your audience
Before you get ahead of yourself and pick out your ideal line-up, do some research into your local scene. You may think you know it inside out, but it’s still worth investing some time looking into your local venues’ gig listings to see what types of music and which bands are most popular. You may be all about minimal techno, but if there isn’t a demand for it in your town, then you’re unlikely to sell a lot of tickets. Also, be wary of booking bands who perform too frequently – you want your event to stand out, and no one will pay to see a headliner who has performed just down the road only a week before.

2. Develop a theme
Once you’ve established who your gig is aimed at and what type of artists you will be booking, make sure you keep a consistent line-up in order to cater for your audience’s tastes. A bit of diversity is great, but three completely different acts can come across disjointed, and is less likely to attract a crowd. A consistent and strong theme will also help when branding and promoting your event.

3. Get a team together
Choose a great team of friends to help out with your gig. Although you may be the one with the vision, and you may consider yourself a control-freak, having willing friends around will prove invaluable. Don’t be afraid to delegate jobs, utilise your team’s expertise and take their ideas on board. Their support can be invaluable, plus if they all bring a few friends along, you’ve got some guaranteed ticket sales from next to no effort!

4. Utilise word of mouth
32% of Oxjam gig-goers first hear about events through word of mouth, so this is an avenue that shouldn’t be underestimated. Make sure you spread the word, and encourage your artists, team, friends and friends of friends to do likewise. Starting early with your promotion will also help as it gives people longer to make some noise!

5. Ride the Oxjam bandwagon
Oxjam is a nationwide music festival and brand, so make the most of the free promotion! 26% of gig goers will hear about your event through Oxfam channels, so make sure you register and put your event on the Oxjam map. Include ‘Oxjam’ in all your branding and advertising materials too, and use the goodwill generated from Oxfam as a charity when trying to secure partnerships and support. Venues, tech and printing companies, as well as local mags and media outlets will be way more eager to help, and hopefully with a massive discount, if they know that the event is for charity.

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