Let’s say you have a growing number of fans because you have been marketing like crazy. Now your album is done and you are ready to share it with the world. Do you just put it online and wait for the dollars to roll in? You could. But, why not have more fun? Put together an album release party. This is a great way of thanking your supporters and creating more press for yourself.
What to Provide
What should you have at your album release party? Besides the obvious, the band and DJ, you will need plenty of albums. Bring merchandise for your fans to purchase. Remember, this is to thank everyone, so remember to give away plenty of products. Autograph the CDs to add that special touch of gratitude.
You will also want to have catering there. The food does not need to be heavy. This should not be dinner, but a snack is preferable. According to your brand you will benefit from having beverages.
Of course fans will want to photograph with the band. Make sure to get a good photographer. Some will have their own cameras. Be sure to tell your fans about your website and inform them your pictures will go up soon. They will be interested and go to your site where they can find out more about what you are doing. This is also a wonderful marketing opportunity for those who have only been introduced to you.
Where to Host
When selecting a place to have your party first decide the mood you want to set. If you are going for an intimate occasion with your most loyal fans a friend’s home or a coffee shop may work well. You may decide you want a big stage and a little distance from the fans. If your album is highly conceptual you may want a theatre. Look for a place that fits your brand and the sound of your music.
Check out the places you spend time. Also, find your fans and see where their favorite places to go are. They may know of a spot that would love to host the party. Of course, you should start this search early enough to set aside funds in case you need a security deposit. Wherever you go make sure to get a contract that clearly states what your money buys you. Some places will include catering and alcohol.
What to Perform
You clearly want to perform songs that are going to get your fans singing along. Make sure the songs are ones you are excited about. Ask those who have heard the album which are their favorites. Album release parties are supposed to be fun introductions so keep anything depressing out of the set, for now.
While you have your fans present interact with them. You may have industry professionals or press there. They will want to see how the crowd responds to you. You do not want people tweeting your party is boring. Accessibility is a must for artists today.
You will want to use the same marketing techniques you use to get your fans. As mentioned in the “Musician and Entrepreneur” article this includes blogs, emails, and other shows. Ask the business owners in your community if you can post flyers about your show. Make sure these stores fit your brand or are knowledgeable of your music. Take cds with you to give as a thank you. If you are uncomfortable giving all your music away pick your top three songs or offer a free download code on your website.
If you are asking anyone to help finance your party you must approach them with a win-win situation. People do not want to offer up their resources without something in return. This could mean your friends too. You do not always have to present cash. Sometimes a mention on your blog and pictures with the building name will appease business owners. If you do not have money offer your services as a musician for a party of theirs in exchange for whatever you need from them.
If you have friends and family helping out make sure not to take advantage of them. Loved ones may be happy to assist you if you show your appreciation. This could mean free merchandize for them, free entrance, or free drinks. If they are paying definitely remember to send a thank you card.
Look for creative ways to fund and promote your album release party. Get a nice outfit, take photos, and turn up!