terry charles | behind the stage | june 2016
Booking a concert is a process in and of itself and I've touched on that in a previous column. Once the concert is booked though, then what? A lot of moving pieces start to fall into place. At least we hope they do! A concert is usually booked anywhere from two months to six months before the actual concert date. In rare cases it could be even further out.
Once the concert is a done deal we have to figure out a date to put the tickets on sale. When we know the on-sale date we then pick a day to officially announce the event. These dates are agreed upon with the concert promoter. Sometimes the dates are already set because the show could be part of a national tour where all dates are announced at the same time.
The next step is determining how much money will be spent on marketing the concert on sale and how it will be spent. Usually a portion, perhaps 25 or 30 percent, of the overall marketing budget will be targeted early on. If the concert does not sell out, there will be a plan on how and where to spend the rest of the budget leading up to the show.
Aside from the marketing end, there is also a detailed plan regarding the production of the concert. We have event coordinators who get in contact with the tour to find out the technical requirements of the show. Some of these things are discussed before the concert is booked but eventually we'll need to know things like how big the stage needs to be, what the requirements will be for hanging the lights and speakers and how many local stagehands need to be hired to help the show load in and load out. We'll need to know if the show has any pyro. If there will be flames we need to contact the local fire inspector so they can be here to inspect things before the concert begins. Many times, the fire inspector will remain on site for the duration of the show to monitor things.
There is also security to consider. We have a security director who will get in contact with the tour's security person. Together they will talk about the layout of the Resch Center and determine how many security positions they need to fill. Even though they may have a general security plan for the tour, every building is different and that dictates how many people are needed. We hire local security firms that provide people to help with bag checks, metal detection and crowd control among other things. The Resch Center is a Brown County owned building so we also hire off-duty Brown County Sheriff's deputies for concerts and other events so we always have a police presence.
There are many things to figure out before the show comes to town. In addition to technical and security requirements, there is also catering to discuss to see whether we are feeding the band or if the tour brings its own chef and food. If we provide the food, then we have a long list of things to go over. I wrote about many of those details in last month's column. Many people are involved over several months and it's always great to see the finished product on concert night when thousands of fans are having a great time.
Terry Charles is public relations manager for Green Bay-based PMI Entertainment Group. He's all about media relations, publicity and social media for the Resch Center Complex, Meyer Theatre, Green Bay Gamblers Hockey and other events produced by PMI. When not at work, please don't hit him with your car as he runs and bikes around the Green Bay area. You can follow him on Twitter at @TCCharles.