This was one of my best ideas. Have your band host your own Year End Poll This should be started the mid-October. While this may seem premature, you will see once Halloween comes and goes, the year FLIES by. A local magazine in my area always has a vote for your favorite issue. It’s a big honor to get your fans to vote you the best in Cleveland (where I live). Being a musician, I stole that idea to use in the future. I posted my first ever Year End Poll in 2001. We have the fans vote on their favorite clubs for food, dance floor, staff, best drinks, etc. In addition we ask for favorite song, worst song, favorite band member (be careful with this one) favorite band that is NOT my band (for networking) etc. We also ask where our fans wish we would play that we are not currently (to get leads on clubs) How we use this:
The Fans Win
We randomly select a number. Last year it was 15. The 15th person to reply to the survey won a free T-shirt and a gift certificate to a restaurant (you have to give them a reason to participate). They feel we care about them as we are asking for their input. The fact the winner actual one something for nothing just thrilled this person. They had never won anything, and they couldn’t believe that they had been chosen. We announced his name in the newsletter, and had a fan for life.
The Band Wins
As you need their e-mail address to tell them they won, it’s an easy way to grow your mailing list. You will get some feedback on your set list (on whatever your are asking about). When the voting is done, present each club that wins in their category a framed certificate with the Bands logo, and URL. Chances are they will hang it on a wall. You can print out something on the computer, and put it in a cheap $2.00 frame and it will look good enough to hang (everything looks so official behind glass).
The Club Wins
They get free promotion on your site. Be sure to announce the contest at the 4th quarter gigs so the next few months each club knows the contest is going. They get a certificate if they win (which is free promotion for you), and who is the club owner going to call if someone cancels? Oh look there is your number on the wall on your plaque.
Spinning Poor Results
Last year (much like this year) we waited late to start this, and we didn’t get a huge amount of response. So when you announce the winners, express the results in percentages. It looks so much better to say you won 66% of the vote instead of you got two out of the tree votes. If you have no integrity, you can always rig it so every club wins something, and your favorite fan wins the prize, but then you’ll burn in hell (and who wants that?).
No Web Site?
I would recommend even if you DO have a web site to create some form of paper version of this promotion. You could always have the form printed and pass them out at gigs, and have them collected in a ballot box on stage. This way you can get the input from those who are computer challenged. This idea along with a tutorial on setting up the poll using Front Page is included in my book How to get Your Band Out of the Basement (and Keep them Out of the Asylum).