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Convention Center Gigs

Tone Taster

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I have thought about this market for a while, but am not sure how to tap into it.


How does it work?


Do the corps set up the date w/the convention center, then the conv ctr has booking agents, who in turn, book the bands?


So, if one wished to start a conv ctr working group, would they have to find out which agents have dibs on the conv ctr?




could you just print up some cards and pose as an agent w/ a "new" agency in town (but not reveal that you are a musician, because they think we are scum), and promote "one of your acts" to the conv. ctr?


What makes this thing tick?

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Well, when you think about it and put yourself in the organizer's shoes, they'll want to go through an agency.


An agency is going to weed out the crap bands and hire the bands that are going to give the customer (in this case, these are mostly corporations and their representatives) what they want.


So, if you're a band and you're trying to book yourself into multiple convention center gigs, your best bet is to work with an agency that is already working with the convention center.


Call up the promotions/events director at the convention center and see if he/she will give you the name of the agency they use. Go to that agency and find out what they need to put you on the roster.


That's what I'd do.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Every corporate/convention gig I have played has been organized by an event planning agency. Who in turn subcontracts everything, including our band through our agency.

Ask around you will probably start hearing the same names frequently. Talk to people in catering companies, magicians, impersonators, sound companies, other bands. Don't expect the other bands to be real forthcoming though, there is only so many gigs to go around and they are generally the best paying, by far.

Get with a good agent!




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So what is the overall vibe of conv ctr gigs?


One kybd member here posted, that it is pretty non-responsive for most of the time the band is up there.


So what do you play? More Instrumental stuff like Kenny G or Booker T / Fourplay, etc. . .?


Then the post continued in that, once the bosses leave, they get a little loose and start dancing.


So is it the last set that people get loose or 2 sets?


Do you do 45/15's for 3 or 4 hours?


So what type of stuff for the "loose" set?

Top 40/Dance, 70's disco/Funk, R&B/soul hits?

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We generally play our most varied material in the first set. We go from 1940's to 2000's. Swing to rock to country.

We have found with the right material you can get people up dancing right

We usually do 2 long sets followed by a shorter third set.




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Another vote for getting an agent. It's practically the only way in.


Some of them are horrible, you play in the background while 2000 doctors walk the convention floor looking for next magic pill.


Others a great. People are out of town, away from their wives and co-workers and really let loose.


We do a specialty 60's rock act so we generally get booked for ones which cater to an older crowd.


It's definitely worth looking into. We get approximatly 3 to 4 times the pay for two hours than we get for 4 hours at a club. It's great work when you can get it.


A Lifetime of Peace, Love and Protest Music


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