You own a club and want to have a weekly dueling piano show. How do you start?
1. Well, first, identify your level of commitment to the concept. Many bar owners like the idea, but want immediate results. A dueling piano night needs to be developed, just like any other business. As the word gets out and people start telling their friends, the business grows. In the beginning there may be fits and starts, but if you loose heart after the first slow night, you risk throwing away what could be a very profitable concept because you didn’t give it a chance to grow.
2. Understand that a professional dueling team costs more than most other club acts, but the benefits outweigh the costs if done correctly. A good Dueling Piano team will sell drinks. They will do toasts, drinking songs and keep your paying customers in your club by taking requests, audience participation and on-stage roasts or “call-downs.” Because it’s unique entertainment, it will be a much easier draw than a bar band or a DJ.
3. Be willing to promote and advertise your investment. If people in your community know you have Dueling Pianos, they will come. It’s an easy sell, but you have to sell it.
4. There are ways to set up the show so that it is easier for the entertainers to grab and hold your room. For instance, set up the tables so that none of your guests are facing away from the stage. If the room can be set up so that the piano show is in the center of the room (in the round) that makes it so much easier for your entertainers to stay connected with the patrons. You want to avoid putting the show at one end of a narrow rectangular space. The show will be more successful if you put them in the middle of the long side of the rectangle. An experienced dueler will be able to work with you to achieve a well set up room. Use this resource.
5. The more TV screens you have on during the piano show, the harder it will be for your entertainers to keep the room and sell drinks for you. Ideally all of the TV’s are completely shut off. The worst situation is for TV’s to be on behind the performers or over their heads. This concept is so important and so misunderstood that I think I’ll write a blog post just focusing on this. But for now, limit your impulse to turn on your expensive big-screen TV’s while your expensive headliner entertainers are trying to sell your drinks!
There are many other considerations that go into a sucessful dueling piano show, so consult with your dueling team for guidance. For more information check our Club Consulting page.