Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest list etiquette.

Being on a guest list is great.  You get to save money, you feel cool, you may not get patted down, you may have access to an otherwise sold out event, or you may get to cut the line.  If you are the guest looking to be put on a list, you need to be very selective on who you ask, how to ask, when to ask, and why do you deserve it, before you ask.  If you are the promoter, you need to ask the same questions or else you will have this massive guest list, and lose money because you were too nice.  Here are some guest list faux pas.

Don't assume you are entitled to a free entry just because you know the promoter, or someone involved.  You also should not assume you are entitled just because you are famous or a popular player in the "scene".  Also, just because you were on the guest list once, does not mean you are on it every time from now on.  You may be on the permanent list to a promoter's monthly party, but not to their big one-off event.  Don't show up assuming you are.

You are not on the list just because you did them a favor, or worked with them in the past.  If you used to (or currently) tickle their balls and gobble their cock (or vagina), it doesn't mean shit, unless they tell you so.  You're a booty call, and you can pay.

Do not wear out your privilege.  If you ask to get in to every single party for free, not only does the promoter feel like you are using them, but it also shows that you don't care to support their cause, which can be a huge slap in the face.  If you haven't contributed to the party in any way, or helped raise awareness and attendance, then the promoter is basically just losing money on you.  If the promoter is letting 30 people in for free at a $20 party, that is $600 out of his pocket.  Granted, many of those people probably wouldn't come anyway unless they got in free, but the promoter doesn't always see it that way.  You should be appreciative of their gift and realize they are losing money by doing you this favor.  Never act like you deserve it, and thank them each time, period.

You should always give to receive.  If they put you on the list, the least you could do is blast it out on facebook or something.  Especially if you're famous and have an extensive reach.

If you ask to be on the guest list, show up.  It is so rude to ask for something, then not even have the courtesy of showing up.  Try to get there before 11pm too because sometimes they may forget to tell you that the list closes at a certain time.  It is also good to be there by 11pm just to show them that you actually want to support them and their whole event, not just watch the headliner then leave.  Also, if the event is really cheap, like $5-$10, don't even ask to be on the list.  Just fucking support them you cheap shit.  

Most people do not like the feeling of being used.  If you are not really a close friend of theirs, and you don't really hang out, try to either get to know them better first and build a relationship, or just be very selective on what events you ask for.  No one wants a mooch friend either, so try not to abuse their kindness even if you are good buddies.  You have to realize that most promoters are cool with hundreds of people and they sometimes have to make hard decisions on who to chose for their guest list.  Don't take it personal, or think they don't like you.

Don't give their door person shit either just because you are not on the list.  There are many reasons why you may not have been put on there, and it is almost NEVER the door person's fault.  If you piss off or belittle a staff member like the door person, who the promoter trusts enough to watch all their money, and has a strong relationship with, you are burning a bridge and will seriously offend the promoter.  Just be patient and text the promoter.  It was probably just something minor.  Many times a promoter will forget a tiny thing like adding you to a guest list, when the weight of the entire event is on their shoulders and they have 50 other big things to handle.

If you got in for free, the least you can do is buy a drink or two.  Sometimes the promoter needs the bar to make money so they can hit their bar guarantee, or maybe they are paid a bar percentage bonus.  Never ask the promoter if they have extra drink tickets for you.  This is so rude.  Most of the time they are barely given enough to cover the performers, let alone you.  They will probably want to slap you if your greedy ass asks them for a free drink on top of the free admission you just got.

You may be on their permanent guest list, but if you haven't shown up to one of their events in a long while, it is a good idea to text them ahead of time to let them know that you will be showing up.  Sometimes they may forget that they put you on the permanent list, or there is a new door person that doesn't recognize you.  It is just a common courtesy that I personally like to give.

Sometimes the promoter can't let you cut in line, and even though you are on the list, you may need to wait.  Don't be a dick.  Just wait in line and have a nice conversation with someone.  You aren't missing anything, and it looks really good on your character to be patient and not act too cool to be among the general crowd.  

I can't stress this last one enough... DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO ASK!  The promoter has way too much to do than to deal with your last minute procrastination.  You should try to ask no later than 4 hours before the event.  The day before is even better.

On the other end of things, if you are a promoter, who should you give tickets to?

The day of the event is here, and your phone, email and facebook are blowing up with people asking to be on the list.  It is in your best interest to not be too stingy, and add some people, but if you are too nice, you can hurt yourself and lose money.  Sometimes you can open a floodgate just by saying yes to someone once, because now they may ask you every single time.  Give em an inch, then they want a mile.  It's not true for everyone, but a lot of times it is.  

Many promoters want to give guest list spots to people they can benefit from.  I say that is ok  as long as it pertains to the event.  Not just because they hook you up with cocaine or pussy.  It can be hard because my personal instinct is to want to give out my guest list spots to the fans who support the most, but if you let your main supporters in for free, you run a very high risk of losing a good amount of money.  What I have narrowed it down to is always adding my crew, then maybe a dozen people that directly helped me with that event, then a few people that always put me on the list to their parties, so it is always an even exchange.  

I know it sucks to be a fan, standing in line, and seeing all these industry people always getting in for free.  Believe me, I kinda hate the whole networking and schmoozing thing, but if you really want to start getting in for free, maybe you should try to negotiate something with the promoter.  A lot of the time they are open to having an extra set of hands to help them.

Sometimes there are last minute factors in a promoter's budget that do not allow for an extensive guest list.  If you have last minute budget constraints, then it is best to lower the amount of people you'd put on the guest list, rather than increase the price on your paying supporters (if possible). Sometimes, someone decides to throw an identical party on the same night as you, at the last minute, after you've been promoting for months.  This can destroy you and you will need to either forego a guest list, or create a "half price" guest list.  

The main lesson for guests is proper communication and curbing your sense of entitlement.  The main message to promoters is to not allow yourself to be stepped on, and be selective.

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