You did it!

You booked a perfect artist, the advance is well underway, and you got the artist to agree to a “meet and greet” with your planning committee. Perfect! Everyone is so excited. But why was it so hard to get the artist to agree to the meet and greet, and why were they hesitant to take individual photos with every person? Why are they just pushing for one group photo? Are we getting ripped off?

The answer is no, you are not getting ripped off. It’s not anything you did. Meet and greets are all too often AWKWARD for artists. In addition, rough travel schedules can also make meet and greets hard to commit to. Artists and tour managers don’t want to over-promise and then under-deliver.

So how can you get an artist to agree to individual photos? How can you prevent an awkward meet and greet and keep everyone happy on both sides of the equation? We have a few tips:

 

Plan ahead 

Have a plan for the meet and greet and share it with the tour manager. The more prepared you sound, the more likely they are to agree to a longer meet and greet. If you want to do individual photos, state how many, have a backdrop in mind, have one photographer who will take all the photos, and give them an idea of how long it will take. Your goal should be to get it done in 10 minutes. I know that sounds fast, but you can easily get through a group photo and 30 or more individual photos in that time, if executed properly.


No Selfies 

Sorry, but this is best practice. Your committee will be disappointed. Everyone wants their selfie with the artist but having one photographer take all the photos will not only ensure a certain level of photo quality, but will make things run MUCH more smoothly and efficiently. Fumbling with dozens of cell phones is very awkward.


Prep onsite

When the tour manager arrives, show them the space you have picked out, introduce them to the photographer, and show them your plan for managing a line. This is all part of presenting a well-organized plan. Don’t forget to share your vision with all the people participating in the meet and greet. Be very clear with them about when and where they should arrive, how to line up, explain the format, tell them no selfies, and have a table or somewhere nearby for people to drop off jackets, purses, or anything else they don’t want in the picture. Do not bring the artist out to the meet and greet space until all your participants are ready and lined up or grouped up for a group photo.


Make it private 

Make sure this meet and greet happens in a space away from the general audience. If you have a backdrop, try to position it in such a way that only the people taking their photo at the moment have a direct line of sight to the artist. Otherwise, people will be snapping photos with their phones the entire time, which is very distracting for an artist and takes away from the person getting their photo taken at that moment.


Make noise 

The most awkward moment of the meet and greet is usually when the artist arrives. They walk in, everyone gets nervous, and the room falls silent… Instead, when they walk into the room, cheer! Thank them for coming! Say welcome to our city/campus/venue! Music in the background is even appreciated (as long as it’s not too loud).


Designate a leader 

Choose one leader to facilitate the experience. This is someone who shakes the artist’s hand as they step into the room, introduces themselves, shows the artist where to stand, and ushers people up for their turn. When people are excited, they sometimes hesitate to walk up to the artist. Gently nudge them along with kind words and encouragement and a smile. Keep the line moving. If you are taking group photos, help people bunch up quickly and efficiently so the artist can just jump in and out of the middle. If your group photo is first followed by individual photos, facilitate the group photo and then ask everyone to quickly form the line while you have the first individual or two ready to take their photo. That way there is not a long pause where the artist is standing there waiting for your line to form.

To sum it up – EFFICIENCY and ORGANIZATION are absolutely vital to preventing awkward meet and greet moments. ENERGY is also important to prevent a quiet and tense room. Being organized and prepared will definitely get an artist to agree to more, and keeping things moving will help everyone be more respectful of an artist’s time. It is okay for everyone to be excited about meeting an artist, but it is important to give everyone a good experience.

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]