Part Two Strategies for a Profitable Weekly Karaoke Night
In part one of my blog on “Strategies For A Profitable Weekly Karaoke Night”, I talked about the basics on the setting up of successful weekly karaoke night. If you missed it, here it is Part one
In part two, as a Vancouver DJ / KJ who has seen and done a lot of events, I will give you some practical ideas on things you can do to ensure your regular karaoke night builds into an energetic and profitable night for your venue.
Ok, you now have a realistic idea of the basic things you need to change your venue from a sleepy little place to one where karaoke lovers can come to sing and drink the night away…so how do you do that? Well, just remember your Karaoke host ( KJ ) is not your main marketer. I am amazed at how many venues just expect people to come if the hire a KJ. Sure, there are things a karaoke host ( KJ ) can do, like being engaging, putting your karaoke night on their face book page and letting friends and their contacts know about the karaoke night, but the main marketer is the owner or the management of the venue.
The obvious… no one is coming to your karaoke night if they don’t know you have one. Put out things like table tents on the tables of your establishment all week long, every week, letting people know about karaoke night. Big banners and / or posters with big lettering. I mean big…not dinky little A4 size posters. A big sandwich board out in front of your venue all week long, every week, is another visible advertising option. Put it on your marquis. If you got big screen TVs, put it on them as well. Put it big on your face book page and website and post consistently on the karaoke night. If you are downtown, think about capturing all that foot traffic walking by your establishment by having someone at the entrance who is friendly and chatty handing out a coupon for a free beer, or something, if they come in and sing. Talk it up…make it something people don’t want to miss because your establishment is a happening place for karaoke.
Your bartenders and staff also need to be supportive and also co-marketers of the karaoke night. Friendly and supportive staff can go a really long way to making patrons fell comfortable to come in and sing. Make your patrons feel welcome. Get the staff to encourage them to sing. One thing you can do is to have the staff let the customers know about the karaoke night and if a customer expresses interest in coming out, print up a complimentary free beer coupon for the most entertaining singer of the night redeemable if signed by the KJ. One pub that I work with does this and the KJ chooses who wins and then signs the coupon. The pub gives the KJ a limit of redeeming five coupons a night with a code only good for that night. It works quite well.
If possible, make the first hour family friendly. It is a unique way to promote your karaoke night. Another neighborhood pub finds this an effective way to have people come in the door. The families come in for supper and then stay for a bit to let the kids sing karaoke. It is a good way to get the karaoke night started and patrons are often surprised and supportive of the kids. Often mom or dad are singing with their children or taking video and pictures. Who is to say the moms and dads won’t be back with friends at a later date. Just another way of getting the word out.
The placement of your karaoke host ( KJ ) is important. They should be front and center where the sound is distributed throughout the room. Not off to the side or down in the back of the room by the bathrooms…seriously this is where one manager put the karaoke host at their venue. A great feature to have is allowing the KJ to plug into a big screen TV that is preferably behind or beside them. Karaoke audiences love to be able to see the lyrics as the singer is doing their song. If you have Asian patrons, or want to attract them, this is a must. The big screen facing the audience also helps to keep them engaged in the karaoke as well as encouraging more people to come up and sing. Those in the audience who are on the fence on coming up to sing will start singing along in their seats if they can see the lyrics. They will be testing the waters so to speak from the safety of their table and once they feel comfortable, more often than not, a group or individual will come up and sing. This one feature alone will definitely encourage more people to sing.
Another feature that will encourage your patrons to sing and keep the good singers coming back is a nice sounding PA with a good floor monitor. Patrons who are interested in karaoke want to sound good, especially the ones who can sing. If word gets around that your establishment has good sounding equipment, it will get around the karaoke community fast.
Finally, keep your karaoke night fresh with theme nights, competitions , fundraisers. Nothing slowly kills a karaoke night like the same thing every week. Contests can be run over a 6 week period and if you get a few sponsors to donate prizes… it will make it really exciting for everyone. If you are really serious about your karaoke night, become a world karaoke championship karaoke venue. Yes, there is such a thing. Take a look Karaoke World Championship Canada, How To become a qualifying venue
Like anything else, an awesome weekly karaoke night at your venue is only limited by your imagination and desire. Also like anything else, you will get out of it what you put into it so if you are going to do a weekly karaoke night you might as well do it right. As a KJ / DJ in Vancouver who has seen many karaoke nights come and go swiftly…don’t let yours be one of them.