We’ve talked about all the ways you can engage with your audience online, and that is FanBridge’s primary focus. However, it’s also important to make sure that you give 110% to your fans in person as well. It’s not always enough to just show up. Remember, events are crucial to connecting with audience members, and they will either solidify and build on that connection or diminish it.
Have you ever seen a band live and thought either they didn’t sound as great as you wanted them to, or maybe they didn’t really care about giving you a good experience (*cough* Smash Mouth *cough*)? On the flip side, have you gone to an event that blew your perceptions out of the water, and you respect that person/group so much more because of their talent or charisma? We’ve all had these experiences, and you have to be aware that your audience is going to remember this event either way.
We came up with some simple ideas to interact with your audience at your events so they are sure to have a more positive experience:
I said “simple,” didn’t I? It sounds easy, but it makes such a big difference! Let your fans know that you’re happy to be there spending time with them. Try not to look annoyed or upset. When I met Tegan and Sara, I still remember that Tegan had the biggest smile on her face and was genuinely happy to be meeting some fans. It made the experience better to know that we weren’t a burden on them. Body language can be easy to read, so make sure you know how you’re coming off to your biggest supporters.
Meet & Greet
If your schedule allows (and you should probably make sure it does), host a meet & greet before or after the event. Perhaps you could pre-select winners for a meet & greet, or hang out at the merch table afterward to chat!
Take photos of/with fans
No, you don’t have to take a selfie with everyone. And you don’t have to do a meet & greet to take photos with your fans. Even if you can’t grab a second for a photo with a fan, maybe take a photo of the audience from the stage. I guarantee you they’ll check your Instagram feed later to see if they made it in the shot.
Chat with an audience member
Again, you don’t have to do a meet & greet to connect with a fan. Find someone in the audience to call out to during the show. Maybe someone is holding up a cool sign, or yelled something silly at you. Acknowledging these things will make every show different, and your fans will appreciate that you’re paying attention to the room.
High fives & hugs
High fives are still cool and still memorable, and they take approximately one second.
Find an original way to connect with your fans! There are so many opportunities out there, if you think outside the box! Just look at Tegan and Sara’s #DearTeganandSara. They left a mailbox at their merch table where fans could leave letters and gifts as well as an empty postcard with a stamp so that Tegan and Sara could write back to them!