Dos and Don’ts for playing Corporate Gigs

Corporate and private gigs are a great way to generate extra income. Whether you’re an established act with performing experience or want to create a specific band for these types of gigs, there are many dos and don’ts when entering the world of corporate events.

This is a guest post by multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and top rated AirGigs pro Katie Marie

I have been playing corporate shows for over 15 years and had to learn the hard way, so you don’t have to!

Assume Nothing

People who book musicians for their event often have no idea about even the basics, so assume the person you are talking to has literally never delt with live music in their life. As an example, I showed up to a gig one time and after being shown where I was going to play, I asked where the power outlet was, to which they replied, ‘oh, you need power?’. It seems obvious to us, but these people often have no idea what performing musicians need. Be clear and tell whoever is booking you everything you will need.

Show Up Early

Give yourself plenty of time to load in. It only takes me about 10-15mins to set up, but I like to arrive an hour before my start time in case I run into any issues beforehand. I also like my host to feel as though I’m not rushed and that we can talk about the plan for the evening such as start time, set lengths etc.

Clean and Clear Stage Area

The stage area should be clear of any bags or cases. All cables should be wrapped neatly, and everything should look professional, including you. Always wear appropriate attire for the occasion. Show them you belong at their event.

Always be Polite and Accommodating

Communication skills are key to making these types of events run smoothly. Always let your host know that they can come to you if they need anything at all, including turning the overall volume down. If this happens, don’t take it personally. You are there to serve. Most of these events are for people to mingle and you are creating a cool atmosphere. Always be polite and accommodating. These types of gigs often require you to be flexible, which is one of the reasons why you’re charging more money.

You Never Know Who is Listening

There have been so many times where I have played one event and it has led to many more, either from the same company booking me directly or someone else who happened to be at the event and loved my vibe. Often it seemed as if no one was paying attention, but they obviously were. You just never know. From the moment you walk through the door, you are advertising yourself to everyone in the room. You most likely won’t be allowed to display any promo materials, but you should always have business cards in your pocket ready for when someone asks about you. Don’t miss that opportunity, it’s a chance to make more connections with the right kind of people.

Take Photos and Video

It’s a good idea to grab some photos and video of you playing at corporate events so that you have content to show people who are looking to book you. It’s reassuring to them that you have experience playing these types of gigs and showing them visually is the best way to do that.

Have a Diverse and Familiar Song List

Most likely, people are going to want to hear familiar songs. Make sure you have classics on your song list that cover multiple eras and always be open to suggestions. If the same song keeps popping up, learn it. I’m constantly adding new songs to my repertoire, so that I can read the room and play music that suits whatever age group I have in front of me.

Take Everything with You

I had a couple of very informative experiences last year. One show I asked for a chair, and they didn’t have anything vaguely suitable, and another had no water available (I know, weird but true). So, my new mantra is to take absolutely everything with me, including water and my own chair!

Leave it as You Found it

The stage area should be exactly as you found it. No set lists, empty water bottles, broken strings, or dead batteries should be left behind for someone else to clear up. It’s your responsibility to make sure the stage is clean and tidy. It may seem small and insignificant but trust me, people notice.

Facebook Comments