Some of the most important decisions that help you ENJOY the hosting experience are
- choosing the size of your intended audience, and
- choosing the pace of your series – the number of shows per year.
Often, these choices are not made at all, and hosts feel the pressure to get as many people as possible every time, and to say “Yes” to artist bookings every time they can. This is how you turn a fun hobby into a challenging chore.
First, let’s bust a few myths:
Your shows (DON’T) need to be big to be meaningful.
Small concerts, if well-timed, can be appealing to an artist trying to fill an off-night on the road. Have a look at TenTen – House Concerts Made Easy and in this video.
You should (NOT) say yes every time you can.
The biggest service you can do for the arts is to continue to enjoy hosting for a long time. If you are struggling to promote each show, and always feel behind on promotion, you have to learn to say “Thank you, but I can’t do a good job of hosting you that month.”
A slower pace (quarterly instead of monthly, for example) allows your attendees more time to look forward to shows and the opportunity to reconnect with you. It allows more time for you to network, make new friends, and grow your mailing list between events.
Set yourself up for success!
To feel successful in any field, you have to set goals that are reasonable. Yes, challenge yourself on occasion, but don’t set yourself up for a grind. If you find yourself struggling for audience, you can choose to be smaller, AND/OR you can choose to be less frequent.
As long as you tell the artists what to expect, they can make the decision if your series is the right stop for them this time. You can collect a list of artists that you are willing to host when the time and expectations align. Be OK with the fact that you will not host every artist you like.
But you CAN set yourself up to enjoy every show!
Hosting house concerts is a fun hobby – don’t turn it into a job. — Fran Snyder