How do you reach those who have never been to your house concerts? Those who are not on your mailing list? Other than word of mouth or some accidental discovery of your concerts or performances they would have no idea.
How do you tell them? The luxury of face to face persuasion is an offline phenomenon. It’s one to one, unless you are fortunate to speak in front of an audience. If it’s not your right, you can’t just blurt it out. After my yoga class yesterday, I had to get permission from the teacher to announce my invitation. And even so, it did not get the reaction I wanted.
One way to attract newcomers to a concert series is to extend personal invitations. A personal invitation is one that directly speaks to a person, i.e. an e-mail customised for communicating to a particular person. It’s more compelling to respond to a personal e-mail than one you know is addressed to recipients of a mailing list.
Here are some examples.
Dear somebody whom I’ve met a few times in passing, someone who lives nearby:
Hopefully this will begin our cyberspace correspondence. I’d very much like you to experience our house concert series, which we’ve extended to other places to increase performance opportunities and exposure for musicians….The host, who lives at this 100-year old Dutch house, is a very interesting project manager, yoga practitioner, and vegetarian, among other international things. The harpist, who played in my final composition exam concert last year, is known for her enthusiasm and virtuosity for the concert harp. It’s also great way to meet other professionals and music lovers who live in the area. I am sure you and your wife would enjoy it as others have at previous concerts.
Dear somebody in my Linked-In group who is based in Utrecht:
I’d like to invite you as a fellow member of the XXX Linked-In Group to a house concert in central Utrecht. It’s a chance to meet offline and enjoy live music of the highest quality, mulled wine and other hot drinks, and home made cakes and special pies. After the one hour concert, we stay and chat. I’m always amazed at the new connections that are made. For more information, please visit the website with PDF links.
I suppose, like restaurants, you have to go to experience it. No words, audio clips, video clips, or e-mails for that matter will describe the atmosphere and feeling of a house concert.
PS I am on the mailing list of several house concert series that I’ve been to or played at. Such a mailing list keeps growing with each satisfied house concert attendee and their referrals. Indeed it seems the most logical and efficient way to communicate to those interested in future house concerts. Future topic: how to put together an effective mailing list.