10 Ideas For Booking Conventions and Private Parties

© 2011 Vinny Ribas

There are numeous ways for an indie artist to land private and corporate gigs. The most productive way is to build relationships with the outside vendors who influence the buying decisions. Here are some ideas:

1. Google ‘event planners in your city’. Make a list and check out their websites to be sure that they are the right kind of planners for the events you want to perform at. Also check for event coordinators, meeting planners, meeting coordinators etc. You can also find them at local meetings of Meeting Planners International or the International Special Events Society.

2. Contact yourlocal Convention and Visitors Authority to see if they have a vendor directory that they send to conventioneers. These vendors are often asked about the local entertainment. You can also advertise in these directores.

3. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for a similar directory. Follow the steps in #2.

4. Attend a bridal fair – both event and wedding planners will have booths there. You can also have a booth or pay to showcase your act.

5. Contact caterers, photographers, event supply companies, venues that host events, videographers, etc. Tell them about your act and ask for referrals. Reciprocate by recommending them when you get a gig. You might even offer to pay them a commission.

6. Attend a local meeting of Meeting Planners International and pass out promo kits.

7. Contact conventioneers directly. Either the chamber or the CVA should have a report of who has booked conventions in town. Those lists often include the event planner that is handling the event (sometimes local, sometimes not). You may have to pay for the list.

8. Contact the banquet sales department of hotels that have event and convention rooms. Sometimes they act as the event or wedding planner.

9. Put on your own showcase in a nice venue for event planners, wedding planners, photogaphers, caterers, engaged couples etc. Do this once a month and watch your calendar fill up. Schecule these on an off night like Monday nights.

10. Always ask for a letter of recommendation from the vendors you’ve worked with or alongside, as well as the people who actually ran the event. Use these when contacting new prospects.

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.