You’ve heard it before, “it’s called the music business for a reason,” and one business practice that will help you meet your music career goals is holding effective band meetings.
We’ve all heard of those infamous band meetings where members arrive late – only to talk (and sometimes scream) about important (and sometimes completely unimportant) matters in a disorganized fashion. Just watch Metallica’s documentary, Some Kind of Monster for a shocking dose of band dysfunction.
By definition, meetings are formal gatherings of people, or committees, intended to update, debate, and solve various business matters. To ensure your meetings go smoothly, check out the following eight easy-to-execute tips.
1. Schedule in advance
Schedule your band meeting in advance at a convenient time for all. This can be done by using helpful tools like Doodle or Meeting Wizard.
2. Choose a convenient location
Be sure the meetings are held in a convenient location such as your rehearsal room. You can also hold “distant meetings” by using Skype, or conference call.
3. Distribute an agenda in advance
Write a clear agenda of specifically what will be discussed in the meeting. Submit the outline to all members in advance so that they can begin to formulate their questions and thoughts and talk among each other.
4. Set a limit
While the length of a meeting is determined by the agenda, try to keep meetings no longer than one hour (two, tops), moving efficiently from one item to the next.
5. Appoint a representative and set ground rules
Appoint one member to oversee the meetings. The leader opens the meetings, addresses each issue one at a time, and offers the members the floor (or right) to comment in an organized, respectful, and efficient manner. Cell phones and other distractions are prohibited from the meetings.
6. Vote on – or table – issues
After an issue is discussed, the representative “moves” to vote on it, and waits for the members to approve or “second” the proposal. Should people feel an item needs further discussion, it can be “tabled” for the next meeting. The point is to keep the meeting moving forward and not let one issue dominate the discussion.
7. Adjourn meetings
The representative must officially close all meetings before members begin wondering off. I have been in countless situations where members start playing games of pool or firing up their amplifiers while others are still talking. And finally…
8. Approve minutes
After each meeting, the representative sends out a detailed email of what was discussed and agreed upon to ensure there are no misunderstandings. Each member must approve the meeting minutes by simply responding with “approved.”
The above methods may seem rather rigid and so un-rock ‘n roll, but remember, a band is a business, and cutting through the bullshit that plagues so many bands is not a bad thing at all.
In fact, should you decide to incorporate your band, your group (or your elected “board” of members) is required to hold regularly scheduled meetings and keep detailed notes (or “minutes”) of what was discussed. Yup, I bet you didn’t know that!
No matter what your business entity, give the tips above a try. I wish that all my bands had! For detailed information on meetings, check out Robert’s Rules of Order. Please also be sure to check out my books at www.bobbyborg.com.
The contents of this post are © 2015 by Bobby Borg BobbyBorg.com. All rights reserved. Not to be posted, printed, or used in any other way without proper attribution to Bobby Borg and Disc Makers.
Bobby Borg Is the author of The New Book Business Basics For Musicians: The Complete Handbook From Start To Success (Hal Leonard) available at www.bobbyborg.com/store. Limited time special offer – get the book, CD, and DVD for only $21.99 (a $70 Value)!
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3 thoughts on “8 tips for holding band meetings that don’t suck”
I have been running bands as the leader and sole proprietor for 30 years. In such a situation I have learned never to have a “band meeting.” It will inevitably lead to band members ganging up on the leader. A much more effective technique is to meet with each member privately and release a consensus email to everyone. Keep non-gig gatherings to lighter-mood social events to promote bonding among members but avoid talking about business!
I find it easy to let everyone put their two sense (ideas) in the conversation and
we all get to choose the rules and regulations.
The ideas are posted and we all choose the ones that work best for the band and take it from there.
The ones that are chosen by everyone in the group get re-posted and they are the ones to live by.
The rules that are considered more important are at or near the top of the list
with the least important at or near the bottom.
It makes life in the band so much easier and if there’s a problem,
the same is done with that and we all come up with answers that work best for the business.
It couldn’t be said or done any better than that and when someone doesn’t comply,
you all need to take the initiative and do whats best for the business in order thrive in it.
The more rules you agree on, the better your attitude becomes.
Now that’s something to think and write about.
The same applies for solo career musicians and that situation is no different from any other group.
Rules and regulations help you become a much stronger person with high / higher standards.
That’s also how some people in this business get to move up the ladder of success.
Being successful is no laughing matter, so if you want it that bad, there’s no excuse for that.
Excuses are for losers only and losers always end up going no where in life.
That is a cold hard fact.
Here’s a reply no one should ever, forget…
Make sure that if you are going after success to use a role model that has chosen
the road that has already been traveled upon and to make sure that the road makes it easy for your journey.
Long story short…
Your decisions have to lead you in the right direction towards being successful and
being successful means getting to have both the pleasure and the learning process
to solve problems and issues along the way with the experience and knowledge you’ve gained.