The second encore may be over, but your true fans still aren’t quite ready to leave. They want to linger a little bit. Some will chat with the friends who came to the show together. Others will re-hash all the details of the show with their best friend. But most will meander over to your merch table to meet up with your band and browse your swag. Are you making the most of this golden time?
Merch is one of those beautiful places where promotion meets profit. Not only are you making money from selling your band’s merchandise, but you’re also doing a lot to get the word out about your band. At your merch table, you turn true fans into promoters. Here are some tips to get the most out of your merch table.
Have a Helper
Some of the prime time for people to come check out more about your band is during your set, and directly after while you’re packing up equipment. Enlist a helper to man the table. Sometimes you’ll have someone traveling with the band who can help with this. Other times, it’s smart to have some outreach, especially among your social media following, to have someone sign up to volunteer and be part of your band’s promotional efforts. If you ask, you’ll be surprised to find that there are usually plenty of people willing to help.
Get clever with your design. It doesn’t have to be just your band’s name. Have a symbol or logo. Use song lyrics. Create a mood and feeling that expresses your band’s vibe effectively and make an image that your fans will love to tout. Remember to switch it up regularly, too. Your best fans have already bought your first t-shirt. They’re happy to get another, but they don’t want the same old design.
Have Variety at your Table
Your table should have more than a t-shirt and an EP. Be ready for fans who only have five bucks in their pocket. Surprise people with something that they weren’t planning for at all. Think about having free stickers and fliers for everyone.
Our favorite swag, of course, is the stuff that’s promotional: shirts, tote bags, and pins. But go past that. Sunglasses, earphones, water bottles, and guitar picks can all contribute to making your merch table a great finish to the show.
Decorate the Table
Having variety at the table will go a long way towards making it a place that people want to come and linger. However, decoration is the other part that will draw people in. Light up your table with some twinkle lights or glowsticks. Make the most of a display wall, or a couple interesting features around the table. Think of your table as a store window and do what you can to draw people in.
Have Quality Merch
Quality merchandise says a lot about you. It lets your fans know that you’re classy, that you’re quality, and that you’re in this for real. A soft t-shirt that feels and fits great makes the difference between a garage band hodgepodge and a force to be reckoned with. Additionally, the higher-quality your gear, the more likely your fans are to wear and use it often, which will help with your visibility.
Make Personal Connections
This is your chance to make a real connection with your fans in person, one on one. Make the most of it by asking honest questions. Follow up with people that you’ve made contact with before or after various shows on social media. People build loyalty through personal connections, and it’s a way that you can double your impact when you only have one night in a town.