Kendra Kelso, a Student Activities buyer also present at one of the national NACA conferencesexpressed similar needs by stating, “
We look at what our students are interested in more than what we’re interested in. Because it has to apply to the whole entire school, so we have to take all that intoconsideration.
”The decision makers at the Student Activities Office look to please everybody at once. How do you dothis? A solid mix of covers, original content, and stage presence.When Brian Gardner of Mary Williams University in St. Louis was asked what he looks for whenappealing to a large variety of students he said, “
As odd as this would sound, since you're talking about unique, it's covers. An artist who is showcasing, if they open with a cover, mix in an original, close witha cover, they're the ones who are the most memorable and do the most business. I would say peoplewho try to force the issue on their own music when they're showcasing makes it a little harder toconnect with..”
So how do you get into the good graces of the decision makers in the Student Activities Office? Youhave to be creative and consistent without being intrusive and annoying. It's a fine balance, but it'sdoable. However, before you go cold contacting the Student Activities Offices of your nearby collegeinstitutions, you need to make sure you have a few things in place first and a lot of it has to do withyour online presence and people's ability to connect with you.Katie Reising says, “
If the price was in our range, I typed them into Google, and if they had songs oniTunes or songs on Google that you could listen to without paying for it, then it was huge.
”When it comes to reaching out to the college demographic, an online presence is absolutely vital toyour booking success. Tom Kessenich from Snakes Alive remarked on this same subject by saying,“
It's a whole different genre. It's a college setting. You have to tune into their level. One of the things you'll find if you stop by here is people love to be on Facebook and Twitter.
”The first step before trying to get into the college market is establishing your online presence. This ishow the demographic works – they will always search for you on Internet before contacting you. So,let's go through the following checklist.
This is step number one. It's a web 2.0 world and these kids grew up on it. Without a website, you areimmediately rendered unrespectable and out of touch when it comes to anyone operating in the collegemarket today. If you already have a website, make sure it has blogging capabilities and that you blog atleast once a week. We'll get into the importance of that later. You also need to make sure that you havea video gallery of any music videos you've played or live performances that have been filmed and puton YouTube.If you don't have a website, don't worry. It's not that difficult to create one these days. There are avariety of open source programs available that help people build websites like you would create a paint-by-number picture. With very little guess work involved, most of these design engines arecompletely free and they look spectacular.The following is a list of website building resources that will help you create a site quickly andefficiently.