The smaller the band, the more they rely on live music venues.
While successful acts have an easier time mobilising a fanbase it can be very hard for an up and coming band to fill a venue.
Ideally, a small venue can find at least 30 people for an unknown great band at any time.
It is not enough to invite cool new bands to your stage.
As a venue, if you are working with new talent you have to do all you can to make sure there is an audience on the night of the show. That is why it is important that venues actively invest in audience development.
You should scout for potential audiences the way you scout for new bands.
- What does your audience look like?
- What is it they need that you can offer?
- How can you build a better relationship with them?
When you are trying to deepen your relationship with your audience it is crucial that you understand where they live. Not (just) physically, but in terms of where they get their information.
The conversation you have with your audience begins way before you are trying to sell the first ticket.
Audience development is the key to growing your small venue, both in terms of vistors and in terms of artistic styles.
If audience research sounds like boring marketing babble, try and look at it like this:
Most music venues have an explicit love for the bands they book.
Then why would you not want to show the exact same interest in the audience that comes to see them?