Top Tips For Planning Your Event

Thinking of putting on an event for Make Music Day 2021 but don’t know where to start? Then look no further. Here are some ‘top tips’ from event organisers who presented at the Making Music co-hosted virtual meet-up in March.

Sharon – Making Music

Sharon has been supporting Make Music Day for many years, her top tips for a successful event are:

1. Plan early and get in touch with your Council – let them know what you 
are doing and chase them up about permissions to perform in public 
spaces (and be prepared for the paperwork!)

2. Get in touch with your local tourism office or similar – they are best placed to promote the area you are in and may help you promote your event. They might also help you out with venues – persuading them to host an event or pointing you in the right direction to supportive venues. 

3. Collaborate – Find other groups to work with as it can help you make a bigger event and attract a bigger audience

Jenny – Egham Choral

Last year Egham Choral hosted an open rehearsal for Make Music Day, here are some key bits of advice from Jenny on how to host one yourself:

1. Welcome people on the ‘front door’ and ask people for their contact details as they arrive – you can use these to promote future events to people who are happy to contacted by you. 

2. Information – give out some information about your choir and you might want to photocopy music sheets to hand out too.

3. Refreshments – everyone loves a cuppa and a cake, give your guests a little treat!

Download Jenny’s slides from the meet-up here.

Les – Musicians Coronavirus Action Ilkley

Les was a part of last year’s Care Home’s Window Serenades initiative both on Make Music Day and beyond. His top tips for doing you own window serenade are:

1. Good communications with the care homes – Make sure you have a key contact, that they are expecting you and that there is enthusiasm from the staff for the event to go ahead. The residents and you will then get the most out of the event. 

2. A good place to play – Recce the location if you can beforehand to check out where you can play… and remember, you should try to have somewhere undercover to perform in case the sun isn’t shining!

3. Flexibility – Be prepared for musicians cancelling due to illness and other things, that the weather may not always be on your side and that your audiences may vary as well. Also, keep your eye on current COVID-19 restrictions and make sure you are abiding by them. 

Download Les’s slides from the meet-up here.

Priya – Quaggy Community Choir and Shiela – Grove Park Singers

At the UK-wide meet-up hosted by Making Music, Priya and Sheila shared with us some of the past activities they’ve been involved in with for Make Music Day and some plans for 2021. To help you get started with your own planning, they suggest you should:

1. Do parallel planning – In the age of COVID-19 it is always good to have a back-up plan if you are planning an in-person event, therefore if restrictions tighten then you can still go ahead with the digital/online plan.

2. Go live if possible – This adds excitement for the audience and creates a bit of an extra ‘buzz’ for performers. You can also get feedback and response in real-time. 

3. Ticket and risk assess – Restrictions permitting, in-person performances can be achieved even with COVID-19 still about. To make sure you are running a safe event, do a risk assessment and think about things such as physical distancing and limiting ‘touch/contact points’. You should also ticket the event so you are sure you have a manageable audience size for your venue.

Download Priya’s and Sheila’s slides from the meet-up here.

That was some tips from some people who have ‘been there and done it’ before at previous Make Music Days and with those snippets of advice, it’s time for you to start prepping for your event on the 21 June 2021!