This week was about back-end work with a lot of organizing and creating checklists to organize several processes for my clients. This may sound like the most boring and tedious thing to do, however, I am one of those weird people that like creating checklists, spreadsheets, and step-by-step instructions.
Why do I like these checklists so much? Because I understand that we can’t rely on our brains to remember everything. It’s impossible! I have a pretty good memory, but I wouldn’t be able to handle everything that I do without some way to keep it organized. These lists are a way to ensure everything gets taken care of and nothing is overlooked. And you know what? It also makes you move faster in the process because you aren’t asking yourself, did I ask the band if they can make this date? Did I reserve my flight? Does the presenter know I’m a vegetarian? A checklist in front of you can answer those questions right away and you can move on to what you need to do.
One mistake I made starting out changed everything for me and is the reason why I started developing and creating my checklists. Here’s how it went.
For an upcoming concert, I had thought the entire time that the presenter was covering hotels. When I was pulling together an itinerary for the band a few days before, I realized I didn’t have any hotel reservation confirmations from them. So, I emailed the hospitality contact asking, “Hey, do you have the hotel confirmation numbers? Much appreciated!” His reply? “We didn’t make reservations, it is stated in the agreement that you would reserve and handle hotel.” CRAP is exactly what went through my head. How could I have overlooked something this important?
I checked the agreement again and sure enough, the words were there: Artist is responsible for hotel. No reservations were made and I was struggling for the rest of the day searching to find 8 available and affordable hotel rooms. Sure, I made it happen, but it wasn’t a pretty day and honestly, I could have totally been out of luck. I told myself, I can’t let a detail like that slip away again.
I learned quickly that details for shows get lost in emails and documents (like what had happened to me), so it’s important to find a way to check off what you have done and what you need to do to make sure you’re prepped for every show, every time.
What should you be checking off in prepping for a show? Here’s a list that I’ve developed over the years:
1) Presenter contact name, phone, email and phone day of show.
2) Hospitality contact name, phone, email and phone day of show.
3) Production contact name, phone, email and phone day of show.
4) Contract/Agreement Status – was it sent? Was it signed by both parties?
5) Rider Status – did you send them your rider?
6) Advance – did you go over your tech requirements? Did you send them your stageplot?
7) Soundcheck – what time is load in, soundcheck and when do doors open?
8) Airfare – who’s paying? Have you reserved your ticket?
9) Hotel – who’s paying? Have you reserved your room?
10) Ground Transportation – who’s paying? Who is picking you up and taking you to the hotel/venue/anywhere else? if you’re driving yourself, are you receiving gas reimbursement?
11) If you are driving in, where can you park your car or bus and where do you go to load in?
12) Meals – who’s paying? If you are receiving a buyout, how much?
I know as a musician you KNOW what you need to check off before the show, but with this list in front of you, you can make sure you get the most important things checked off. This is about making it easy and saving you time.
Take a few minutes and build your checklist of what you need to know for every show, every time. Those 10-20 minutes of creating the checklist WILL save you hours, stress and your well-being in the future. Another plus, you can share this checklist with your assistant and they can check it off for you. You’ll feel confident that nothing will be overlooked when delegating the job.
Do you need a checklist for your shows to help you prep? As a gift, I’m offering a downloadable PDF checklist that you can use for your shows. If you’re like me, I like to print and check off these things on paper. If you like to do everything online, I also created a Google Doc spreadsheet that you can use! Click below to get your access today.
Every show is different, so you may need to add or change a few things on the checklist I use, but this will definitely help you start somewhere.
LINK TO AN ONLINE GOOGLE DOC SPREADSHEET CHECKLIST
(Make a copy to your google drive and it’s all yours!)
I hope you find this checklist useful, and if you add anything to it or if you created your own and want to share with me, I’d love to see it! Just hit reply and I’ll be happy to help you build yours. It’s what I do! 😉
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
(Checking off sending you a letter this Saturday),