Hosting our next house concert (part three)

Since my previous posting (part two of this topic), I’ve wanted to write about our two concerts in Amsterdam but got snow-balled into audience development for a second concert we decided to host as a result of the sell-out of the first.

Ironically the second concert, call it “extra concert” or “warm up concert”, precedes the “sold out” house concert of Saturday 3rd October. That it sold out in 3 or 4 days gave me great confidence in getting a second house concert underway for Thursday 1st October.

Monument House Concert Series Utrecht Netherlands

Monument House Concert Series Utrecht Netherlands

But Thursday is not a Saturday. People have to work on Friday. My friend’s lovely home is not my home. Time and location do matter. Finally, just because the Saturday concert sold out in 3 days (with the invitation sent only 2 weeks before) doesn’t mean that a second concert on a Thursday will sell out or at all.

No one from my original mailing list responded after the announcement of the extra concert. I had to work at it. How do you get people to come to a concert on a week night, at the same price (10 euros) minus all the goodies (no photo exhibition, no supporting acts, no guitar duo) at another location (not a monument house next to a peaceful canal)?

  • I sent a second e-mail to my Rotary Club members.
  • I sent a second e-mail to those who had not responded and those who had declined my first e-mail invitation
  • I told my friends and acquaintances about the sold-out concert and the extra concert
  • I wrote personal e-mails to those who would enjoy such a concert
  • I stopped by a friend’s home to tell him about it
  • I posted the invitation in my Linked-In groups
  • I invited my friends on Facebook.

I talked about the extra concert, invited people I met, and brought the invitation flyers (in English and in Dutch) everywhere I went, including a presentation on Lean Six Sigma, our duo concerts in Amsterdam, my Rotary Club meeting, and the train ride between Leiden and Utrecht.

I even contemplated cycling to friends’ homes to invite them personally. Who could refuse me in person?

In short, I was obsessed with filling up the house of my friend who generously agreed to stage the concert on Thursday 1st October for classical guitarist Derek Gripper, who arrived today from South Africa. I wanted it to be sold out just like the first one. I wanted her house to be packed with people.

One Linked-In member wisely wrote, “Perhaps it’s not meant to be a full house.”

Perhaps not. The third “Duo for Export” house concert in November 2007 was an intimate one with the former owners of my grand piano. It was a contrast to the packed concert earlier in the day. But then, every concert is different. Why should all be standing room only?

Tomorrow evening, on Thursday 1st October at 20:00, the audience will be the lucky dozen who get to enjoy a truly intimate, candle-lit concert with the classical guitarist and composer, Derek Gripper. After all, he did agree to a “warm-up” concert.

Monument House Concert Series:



Filed under audience, planning, venues

2 responses to “Hosting our next house concert (part three)

  1. Pingback: Hosting our next house concert (final part) « Concert Blog

  2. Pingback: Invitation to a house concert: capacity and revenue management « Concert Blog

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