Make Your Merchandise Work For You — Merch Table Essentials

Its not the easiest thing to make the most of your potential and efforts as a band. Its often a dirty word to associate with music, but there is business that needs to be done to make sure you are being properly rewarded for the creative work you are doing. Whether playing the biggest rooms across the country or just starting out at your local haunts, there are things you can do to maximise the return you can get from your Merch and promo items.

Give yourself time

A cardinal sin of getting your merchandise working for you is not giving it time or attention. You can’t roll into a venue last minute, set up on any random table and see results. Make sure you chat to the venue manager or staff in a new space and see where the best spot is to set up. Give yourself a block of time to arrange your displays, to sort though the stock you have and make sure you haven’t got anything missing or anything extra you forgot about. And at the end of the show, stick around until you know there will be no more curious customers, you can’t make a sale if you left as soon as the lights came up. Then take the time to count everything back into the boxes, I promise you will thank yourself at the next show.

Have Patience

Every fan is different and they may want different things out of their particular transaction. Some people want a smooth quick and efficient transaction, others might want a chat and to feel part of the whole event. You also have those who might have had a few too many happy hour specials and want to spill a rum and coke on your table and ask if they can have something for free. Whether you are on the stage or behind the merch desk you are still representing the band and being able to be flexible with those around you will make for great experiences for everyone.

Be prepared

The only sort of person more expert than MacGyver in creative uses of blu-tac, coat hangers and Duct Tape is the veteran merch slinger. There is nothing worse than turning up to a venue and finding a sign saying you can’t hang things from the wall, or that there are no available tables except one that’s chest high, circular and drenched in beer. Having a full kit of display options will save your life time and time again, multiple colours of Tape, Blu-Tac, Dress Pins, Blank Paper, markers, Pens and a cash box are your bare minimum. Whatever else you want to take is up to you but never underestimate how frequently you will have to get creative.

Screen Printing & Band Merch by Make Merchandise

Provide options

Not everyone is the same and having a variety of options is crucial to make sure you are maximising your potential sales. Understanding your audience will help a lot in ordering the right colours and sizes of shirts and merch for you, but there are other ways to go. I have seen Tote Bags, Dog Tags, Mouse Pads (yeah, probably not in 2019 hey), Mugs and so much more. Give people something they can use and remember the night with. You can only have so many black shirts in your cupboard (or so my mother told me as a teenager) so maybe what your fans would really love is a Stubby Holder or a scarf.
P.S — Nobody has cash anymore. Invest in a portable eftpos terminal or chat to your merch provider to see if they can supply one for your next tour. Any time you only take cash, you are leaving sales on the table and having fans go home without your brand emblazoned on a bit of merch they will wear or use regularly.

Have fun

Whether you are pushing to headline stadiums or at a friends party, you are there to have fun, so enjoy the opportunity to meet people, have a joke and make a connection that may be cherished to both your fans and you. Take risks with your merch and see what works, you never know what could be your best seller and the next shirt in someone’s wardrobe.