When you want to get booked into a place you are a big question mark to the person your talking to. Do you know how to entertain their crowd? Will their crowd like you? And most important, will they make more money with you there?
That’s about it… and will you show up when you say you will.
The first time is about proving yourself. So talk to the people at the other places you play and ask important questions. Do they notice a different crowd when you play there? Get their take. If you bring in a crowd that spends money tell every manager you meet that so-and-so said that. Or that you don’t just appeal to kids. (who don’t have money and can get a bar in mucho trouble) Whatever they say that’s good, tell everyone. You have to create your own buzz.
Don’t be afraid to ask those questions. I see bands get their money and head for the door. Don’t do that. When the money is in your hand start asking questions.
Did you notice people staying longer or ordering more?
Did you see new faces?
I saw people singing along. Did your regulars seem to like us?
Who do you want to attract here?
If you’ll just ask questions, you’ll learn a lot about the bar business. A good bar manager knows what the average customer spends and how long it takes. When one customer spends their money and leaves, and is replaced by another customer, that’s a “turn”. The more turns the better. They know exactly how many turns they need to have a good night. It’s simple math. You only have so many tables or standing room. Move enough people through and you can make more money from the same space.
People like to tell you how smart they are. So let them! Pay attention and you’ll know exactly how to get booked again and at the next place.