STEPS FOR DEVELOPING A LARGE SCALE CONCERT AT SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY
Prepared For: Peg Johnson Prepared By: Kayode Fatoba
IVOW’s STEPS TO MAKING A LARGE SCALE CONCERT AT SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY Through the lessons learnt from our past experience as well as other students who have tried doing the same initiative without any sort of direction, iVOW has created an outline of the processes for putting on a large scale concert at Simon Fraser University. Failures become stepping stones to success only if learning goes along with failing. You fall seven times and stand up eight. Hopefully this document will be a skeleton to aid individuals and other organizations also organizing something as we have done. Holding a Concert isn’t a difficult task, although, it can be tedious and catastrophic without proper planning and support. Time is also critical as well. The first step is to breathe, you can do this. Here are the Checklists we have Developed. once you’ve read over this and feel confident, then you are ready. 1. What does a concert involve 2. Prior to deciding a concert 3. Finding the artist 4. Catering to the artist needs 5. Estimating the audience 6. Venue 7. Security/Insurance 8. Sponsorships 9. Publicity 10. Ticketing 11. Brochure/Website 12. Identifying the MC and the presenter 13. Signs to the concert 14. Stage decoration 15. Volunteering 16. Food arrangements 17. AID Merchandise 18. Collecting feedback 19. Gift for artists 20. Other tips
WHAT DOES A CONCERT INVOLVE 1. What type of concert will you be putting together? the type of concert and artist performing will determine the ethnography of the attendees, so a big decision on which artist to invite is tremendously important. 2. How will you cater to the needs of the artist 3. Size of Audience - (A rule of Thumb, It is always good to plane big because it can always be downgraded) 4. Auditorium, Sound and Light Arrangements. Parking arrangements at the venue. This includes, Possible Power Inquiries, Schools System is not made for concerts (a Generator would have to be brought in to Power the event) 5. Payments, Budgets, ( Sponsorship) 6. Advertisement [ Very important; you can have Miceal Jackson come and perform and will not get an audience without proper advertisement) - designing and printing posters, flyers, ads, banners and choosing the right locations to distribute, lecture room speakings, Renting The Peak Stand creating web sites or web page for the event, email listing, Facebook, Twitter, Vancity Buzz, Radio, Free Give Aways, High schools, Street Promoters, Slow Preview of what is coming up as the days progress. 7. Ticketing (printing tickets and sale of tickets before the event date, and box office on the day) - We Suggest using Ticket master http://www.ticketmaster.ca/customtickets [best Quote] 8. Forms, to be signed reducing liability, from Companies involved in event. Everything should be documented and Stored(Getting the content ready, and handling the technical aspect of making a brochure) 9. Find MC For the Concert. ( Acts and Host must fit Concert atmosphere, lively, energetic, able to move the crowd; Imagine a Rock Concert with a Pastor as the MC) 10. Signage- Directions - (From Residence, to Cornerstone Leading to the Event destination, Also Volunteers would be part of this as they would be able to usher people who are unable to read the signs) 11. Stage ( Decorations, Safety precautions, Elevation, Convocation Mall is a great place as it reduces the need to rent a platform) 12. Volunteers and Volunteer Team Leaders ( How Will the communicate, Method of accounting for Volunteers and differing them from attendees, Procedures to ensure their safety and Proper training to assure they can properly and coherently facilitate the safety of others in case of any emergency- Speaking to Director, Environmental Health
& Safety (Apollonia Cifarelli)Environmental Health & Safety or Lawrence Reeson From MACS, who have outline of the school, although we have also included detailed outline of the Convocation Mall and some of the Evacuation planes we used for our event) 13. Food - Very important, for the performers, volunteers, attendants and even yourself.
a. For the Attendants we suggest using catered services, it will eliminate the need for you to get a Food Smart certification, as well as lessen your list of task to take care of. b. For Volunteer Pizza and Drinks is always a very good way to go, has Veriety, Very Filling and Cheap c. For the Artist, unless specified they wouldnâ€™t mind whatever is provided as well. Although presentation will keep them coming back. 14. Revenue - Try to Maximise the revenue by other measures, other than ticket sales, i.e T-Shirts, Bottons, e.t.c. 15. Event Feedback, (Can be done both during and after event, ways can be developed by youself) 16. Store all Receipts, (good booking is very important) 17. Gifts for the artist, Volunteers, Sponsors, and Organizers PRIOR TO DECIDING A CONCERT After looking at all the things listed above, Create a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) Analysis. Info on what it is can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis This will reveal any holes that can affect the success of the event. Rule of Thumb is to go ahead with the event when the strength greatly outweigh the weakness
POSITIVE/ HELPFUL to achieving the goal
INTERNAL Origin facts/ factors of the organization
EXTERNAL Origin facts/ factors of the environment in which the organization operates
Strengths Things that are good now, maintain them, build on them and use as leverage Opportunities Things that are good for the future, prioritize them, capture them, build on them and optimize
Cited From : http://rapidbi.com/created/SWOTanalysis.html
NEGATIVE/ HARMFUL to achieving the goal Weaknesses Things that are bad now, remedy, change or stop them. Threats Things that are bad for the future, put in plans to manage them or counter them
Remember that all this steps should be written on paper for a proposal, so that businesses and Individuals feel confident in donating and sponsoring the event. FINDING THE ARTIST This is an important step because the type of artist chosen can sometimes decide the fate of the event. Make sure they are of a good level of name recognition and have something to do with the sort of event you are putting together. Affordability also limits the sort of artist that you can get because as one of our problems was failing short of balancing the artists performance fee. - if it is a small concert however, artist can be found at the university, and weeded through auditions, as we did for the dinner part of the event. CATERING TO THE ARTIST NEEDS professionalism will determine whether this will come back, so it is important to treat the artist with respect and show as much hospitalism as possible. All would be done to fit your budget. ask for the needs or the artist, and try to get it done as much is in your capabilities. Make sure the artists has enough time to do a soundcheck before the concert begins, this makes sure that all the technical glitches are taken care of. ESTIMATING THE AUDIENCE Using the SWOT analysis, you can safely plan for the amount you think might show up for the party. SFU has a population of 34,162 according to recent Wiki, but unfortunately, you might not be enabled communication with all of them, but through mass advertising you can assume they might be part of your potential attendees. Selling advanced tickets assures how many people to plan for and Gives you numbers to work with, as well as a financial offset. Remember about thinking big because this numbers should be flexible enough to downgrade or upgrade estimation. It should not be fixed because life doesnâ€™t work the way we plan out on paper. i.e. although the maximum capacity of an elevator might be 10 people, you can still fit 12 in it.
VENUE Decide on a venue which can accommodate your expected audience. Convocation mall is a great place because it fits all the criteria for a perfect venue. The size however if its not a
big concert might change because a big space would show a lack of attendee. This should be able to hold, equipments, volunteers, performers, has washrooms, although it can be ordered, entrance and exit. In the case of the Convocation mall, Fencing will be needed, meaning the emergency exits would need to be marked off and manned by volunteers. MACs is available to help you with this design to make sure it follows health and fire safety and standards. Space should be able to sustain all sorts of weather i.e. rain snow, noise level. SECURITY AND LIABILITY INSURANCE Work with the University’s University to Build this event and they will use their expertise in letting you know how much security you need for the event, what levels they need to be and also how much they cost. You will need to purchase Liability Insurance for the event. and this can be done through SBC insurance if the SFSS is unwilling to provide their excellent insurance to you. Simply make an appointment with one of the representatives and go there with your event proposal just as you have been doing with the sponsors and other people involved with the event. SBC Insurance Information:http://www.sbcinsurance.com/ If your event will have alcohol, then it means you need a beer garden or Liquor Licence. There is a form and steps to obtain those things in the SFSS, this will increase your cost though, although at the same time might generate some income to help you break even for the concert as well.
SPONSORSHIP All of the things we are speaking of should be part of a proposal that you can distribute to other organizations, individuals, and businesses so that you can get a help with the event. Make sure the folder and package is designed professionally. Approach Companies, ask to speak to the manager, and show them your mission statement and highlight ways they can help, either through your outlined budget or a letter in your package that is personalized to show exactly what you need from the companies. Sponsorship can be ‘in-kind or cash’. Show them how they benefit, i.e. advertisement on the flyers, websites, and banners at the event and much more. Sponsorship can result in the success or failure of the event. one exerted advice when asking for sponsorship is:
“the strategy I generally use when I’m asking for something I want is to pare down the request to something that seems reasonable - something I think I can get a “yes” for. Apparently that instinct may be incorrect. If instead I were to ask for something huge first, I would activate the weapon of “perceptual contrast”. If I were to then ask for what I really wanted it would seem small, reasonable, and trivially easy by comparison.
A corollary principle is that once you have already agreed to something large, additional items that are added seem smaller by comparison. Sales professionals use this technique to sell you options and accessories to large ticket items you have already purchased.” Cited from http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:hQURwKI-DgJ:www.takebackyourbrain.com/2007/the-psychology-of-persuasion-perceptual-contrast/ +in+psycology%2Basking+for+something+big&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca PUBLICITY This is of colossal importance. If everything is done right, your event will be extremely successful. Some key things to know: Know the Target Audience for the concert: Publicity vehicles: Internet, TV, Radio, Newspaper ads, Web Sites, Newsgroups, Flyers, Posters, Banners, SFU’s Mailing lists, SFSS Clubs Listings, Residence, all the other Houses on the Mountain as well as off the Campus, if advertising isn’t restricted. The more avenues the better.Assign Volunteers to specifically work of polluting the area with information about the event. Collaborate with other people and organizations as well as speak to your sponsors to advertise the event in their mediums and social networks as well Publicity locations: Try to make the advertisements professional and get permission on what you put on it. Security will be on board to help with the check marks of this as well as confirmation from the SFSS and Residence with their individual stamps. TICKETING Ticketing ways are up to you. Make sure to use all possible outlet on campus to sell the tickets, SFSS, SFPIRG, table in AQ, Convocation mall, Residence, Renaissance Cafe, and Even Online through ticketmaster Credit Card convenience. BROCHURE/WEBSITE After confirmation that the event is ready, Put everything on a website of brochure form outlining the performers, with possible links to hear their products, what to expect in the event, what the event was about and much more. This confirms to the attendees and ticket purchasers that everything is going according to plans and does not give them any reason to worry. - This part affected us because a lot of people held off buying their tickets till the last day because of lack of surety that the event was going to happen.
IDENTIFY THE MC
Choose a group, or a person with great skill at public speaking. It is advised to pick someone from Simon Fraser University because the attendants can properly bond with them.
SIGNAGE TO EVENT Signs are very Important for the concert and all of the place where the signs need to be should be outlined before the concerts date. It should be Clear and visible from bottom of the mountain(where the Simon Fraser Board is) to Cornerstone . Make sure that signs are visible to people driving on the left and right lanes as well. Volunteers should be walking around to make sure it is still up and to direct people if incase wind or something removes the Poster. STAGE DECORATION There are a lot of stage companies that one can go with to bring the equipment needed. The one we used for the event was Rocky Mountain Productions. They are very professional and know what they are doing. http://www.rmps.ca/site/, this does not mean you can’t research yourself to get other companies that would give you better quotes. Decorate the event as you please, but do not let it seem empty and also make sure to highlight the title of the concert as well as Addition of backdrop, Fencing e.t.c to make the stage a visibly different and secure location for both the artist(safety)
VOLUNTEERING Volunteers are the backbone of the event and ensure the success of the event. The rule of thumb we found is 1 volunteer for every 10 people. The amount of volunteers thus depends on the amount of attendees you are expecting. Work with the SFU Security ( Jason Morlin) and he will happily help you with what kind of volunteers you definitely need and help maximise your volunteer amount to make sure the important things are covered.
FOOD ARRANGEMENT Depending of if you get funding from the SFSS for the catering service you might be able to have the food tab taken care of for the volunteers and artist. Since we doubt they will take care of the attendees it would be good to call some catering services to come and sell their foods at the event. (First you must ask SFU Chartwells to see if they want to do this because SFU’s contract says they are primary in the consideration of campus catering). If they say it’s alright to go of campus then you can. There about 8 on that website, although I’m sure you can get more. http://www.eventective.com/Canada/British+Columbia/Burnaby/Caterers.html
MERCHANDISE Put it outside before people go in so it captivates their attention, have volunteers walking around with the things being sold, and even wearing it themselves as well. Depending on how much time you have, ordering shits and all of those things might be possible through Ulife. COLLECTING FEEDBACK : Have volunteers in the crowdgather polls about the enjoyment of the attendees and performers and rate or add their comments of things to add or make better. This can be posted on the website with the pictures after the event. If this event is a fundraiser, the volunteers can also go around during the event to collect donations and pledges. GIFTS FOR ARTISTS Seemly obvious, but you need to budget for the artists who took time out of their busy schedule to come and make the event what it is because without them, there would be no show. Other tips: ● Assign well defined roles for volunteers. Have teams working on activities and assign a coordinator for each activity. ● be eco-friendly, try to use what you need paperwise ● do not spend enormous time on decorations and colour motif. ● bookkeeping is important: meaning different place for ticket , merchandise, food, beverage sales accounts. ● social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Overheard SFU, SFU group, Vancity buzz, radio station, school newspaper i.e. ThePeak...etc., school website for advertisement. ADVERTISING IS EVERYTHNIG! ● Network with other groups. i.e. discounted prices for help or advertisement. ● Look to build long term relationships with SFU community: cornerstone shops,Universitycity condominiums, High-schools etc. ● treat the artist with respect and courtesy and with high esteems ● Time efficient. ● contribute to what we were able to start by adding your new found knowledge to it and making it even better.