Using Data in Your College Event Programming

Picking the right artist for your campus can seem like a daunting, intimidating task. You want to make sure that you are picking someone that will fit your campus culture and would draw a good crowd. Picking an artist is a little more complicated than saying “we want a well known pop star for our fall fest” or “campus really wants to see more DJs, so we’ll just pick one”, there is a lot of pre-planning that goes into that process.

There are some steps that you will need to take in order to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck. First off, you’ll need to decide what kind of event you’re looking to do, are you looking to do comedy, music, or a speaker? After that decision has been made, you’ll want to take an objective look at the budget you have for the event so you can look for artists within that budget. Regardless of the size of the show you are going to want to do some research on that artist, this comes in a lot of different varieties, but we’re going to focus on the importance of using data when picking an artist.

 Data. Not generally what we think of when we are picking the next act to come to campus, but it is an incredibly important step. It’s the reason Spotify can create your daily mixes, it’s the reason that Netflix knows what movies to suggest for you. Data is everywhere, and it’s imperative to use it when looking for what artist to bring to your school. There are websites, like Next Big Sound (www.nextbigsound.com), BigChampagne (www.bigchampagne.com), and FMQB (www.fmqb.com) that do the data analysis for you, they can help you see who is up and coming, who is coming out with new music, and many other things so you can pick the best artist and get them for the best price you can. If you catch a smaller artist before they make it big then it may reflect very positively on your campus in the future, and you can save a significant amount of money. An artist can jump in price in just a matter of weeks. A good example of this is Jon Bellion, one hit song can increase an artist’s price significantly. A little research in the data analysis of the music industry could have helped you see that Jon Bellion is an up and coming artist and you possibly could have booked him before All Time Low dropped.

It is possible to bring quality artists that your school will enjoy without having to break the bank to bring the biggest name in that genre. Data will help you be more strategic when it comes to artist selection so take the time, do the research, use the data, and it will pay off in the end!