Meeting clients at coffee shops or restaurants is fine. We can show them ipads full of colorful uplighting photos and gig log videos. But today’s entertainment consumer is savvy and, often cynical. It takes more than snazzy pics and vids to set yourself apart from the competition. I think our entertainment client meetings should reflect our creativity and ability to engage an audience. In our meetings, clients are our audience. Everyone knows that first impressions are vital and If we can’t entertain or interest our clients right away, we’ve lost an opportunity to impress them. We’ve got to find ways to demonstrate right away that we are great entertainers.
One of the music groups I have sung with for many years is a contemporary a cappella group called Partners in Rhyme. When most people think of a cappella groups they think of barbershop quartets. This is no barbershop quartet. One of the most effective ways of selling ourselves is actually performing live for prospective clients. Because the group doesn’t require any set-up or electrical power, we can do that easily. One of our favorite things to do is walk into a bar or restaurant and ask the bartender if it would be OK for us to sing a song. Most of the time they look at us like we’re crazy but with skepticism reluctantly agree to let us make fools of ourselves for a minute. There’s nothing better than the looks on their faces when they hear the unique arrangements and blend of voices and their customers ask for song after song! More often than not someone in the place books on the spot, asks for business cards or at the very least buys us a drink. I love to try and impress my entertainment clients in the same way. Nothing sells like on the spot, instant gratification.
So how can DJs make client meetings more creative and entertaining?
If you work out of a brick and mortar office, make sure the meeting environment reflects who you are and what you do. At our offices at Jerry Bruno Productions here in Cleveland, we’ve taken painstaking efforts to create as much of a “wow” factor environment as possible. Our meeting room features 2 large screen TVs mounted on uplit trussing units for viewing of our band and DJ videos. the entire room is uplit and we have a gobo projector with our company logo focused on a wall. The oversize prints we had made of some of the musical artists we represent just arrived and will line the walls in the room as well. We can even set up an actual DJ rig so they can see what skirting, lighting and gear trends are hot in the wedding business. As soon as clients walk into the room, they can see the effect we can create in a room and immediately get excited about similar possibilities with their events. An actual uplighting and trussing display is so much more exciting than photos and can make the sale easier. Many of our clients come into our offices only thinking about booking a DJ or one of our bands. By showing them first hand some of the other elements that can take their event to the next level, we’ve created great up-sell opportunities.
But what if you don’t have an actual office? Here’s where your creativity can really kick in! If you regularly hold meetings at your local coffee shop, would they possibly allow you to put some uplighting units around the restaurant to display during slow hours or off days? If you have a regular weekly gig at a nightclub, it could be fun to set up some lights and trussing during the day and invite potential clients to meet you there (depending, of course on the condition and appearance of the club). Maybe a trade of services could be worked out with the local rec center, VFW hall or another club so that you could hold monthly or quarterly open houses in an all=purpose or conference room that you have set up just like a wedding reception. Volunteering MC & DJ services can reap unexpected results sometimes. You could then schedule meetings in one hour increments all day long in the room. Wedding vendor group events happen all the time. This could be another version of something like that, but the focus would be on your services only.
Here in Cleveland, we even have a unique business called Your Dream Day Cafe, which is sort of a wedding services boutique that can make office space available for different wedding vendors who may not use offices of their own. Your Dream Day Cafe vendors can have access to meeting rooms to use (and display) as they see fit. Vendors even have access to other resources there like a wedding resources library, refreshments and other administrative services.
I’ve said it before….DJs are some of the most creative people in any business. The point is to use that creativity to think beyond an ipad over a cup of coffee. The possibilities really are endless for creative client meetings. After all, you’re trying to convince your clients their guests will be blown away by your entertainment at their events. Why not start from the very beginning and blow them away now?
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