This message from organist, Chris Jones offers some really good advice to all you organ societies and clubs out there who may be struggling or looking for new ideas and ways to promote your events. Well worth a read, he writes...
Recently I was offered the position as President of the Orpington Organ Club, Since my appointment I have been talking to other clubs and organists to see how we can improve the situation of our Organ Club world. Here are the ideas I have come up with.
A few months ago I read with interest a letter in Cavalcade about the Sleaford Organ Club, regarding their recent change to afternoon concerts, and how their attendance has more or less doubled.
Moving to afternoons opens up many advantages, first and foremost people who don't want to travel in the evenings, particularly on horrid winter nights can be home by 6pm. Some residential care homes could be invited for an afternoon concert, maybe bringing a few visitors in a minibus, for a special price. Advertising as an afternoon musical concert with Tea and cake, opening up the possibility of attracting newly retired guests to our world. The organist would not be faced with a very late night drive home and as a bonus organ clubs might find the venue they use is cheaper in the afternoon. Clubs could consider Sunday afternoons as these can be very well attended or maybe they would need to consider a different venue or day if that was a problem. Any issues can be overcome and from what I see its a win win situation. Organ societies and clubs need to sell the idea to the audience putting over the advantages and get their members to vote. No good waiting for a special event to change things, sooner than later is the way forward.
Get a mobile number from all your members and Guests then on the morning of the concert send a gentle reminder Text message about the concert. As a bonus if for whatever reason the concert needs to be cancelled, lack of artist, venue, bad weather etc it would be possible to let the audience know in advance. Saving that horrid time having to stand outside the venue letting people know.
As i travel the country I see many Organ Clubs and Societies who are struggling it saddens me, anything we can do to help and promote our organ world has to be good. Feel free to get in touch if I can help further my details are on Organ Fax - CHRIS JONES or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07806 834642 / 01689 874577
All the best
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