After nine months of being open, the Fitler Club’s community engagement team was struggling to find the right mix of weekly entertainment for it’s savvy members. They needed uniquely engaging experiences to create a buzz and further drive membership. “Nothing seems to make them look up from their drinks. We need something to ‘wow’ them,” the team shared with us. The Fitler Club team counted on Indie-Life to create sustainable weekly programming that didn’t cut into their annual events budget for large-scale ticketed concerts.
We began by meeting with various decision-makers—five in all—to understand what they saw as the reason their bar and lounge entertainment was not hitting the mark.
Over several weeks, we also had candid, in-depth conversations with floor and bar managers, wait staff, and bartenders to help us understand guest behavior.
The key takeaway: The members and their guests were too diverse in age and background for any one band to please everyone. As the Fitler concept itself is relatively new to Philadelphia, their membership pool continues to shift.
To fit the client’s programming needs, we curated three original event series designed as plug-and-play solutions that could fit into their events calendar as needed. Each series is a package complete with talent, audio production, management, and marketing content for their website, newsletters, and social media—eliminating the constant burden of mining and booking bands and DJs.
“We definitely saw an uptick in our bar sales based on our day-to-day, night-to-night activities. The people who attended the live music session loved it and spent money, bringing in business we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” said ____________ Albert Butler
By working closely with the client to understand their challenges, we developed an unexpected, strategic solution that fit all of their needs. We drew from our longstanding relationships with accomplished musical talent to help the Fitler team create their own house band, featuring Eugene Roberts, music director for John Legend and Snoop Dogg. A major benefit to the new, exclusive house band was that it streamlined audio production, which the Fitler Club had previously left in the hands of the talent.
To help the internal Fitler team with event logistics, we created a textable graphic which was essentially a stripped-down version of a “run-of-show” or “advance sheet.” This greatly improved communications between the engagement team who developed and promoted the programming, the floor managers who implemented it, and hospitality staff who directly experienced and addressed the members’ delights or discomforts. Since signage in guest areas was a no-no, we advised the reception desk to announce the events as they greeted members upon arrival. Members were appreciative of being made aware of the evening’s attractions, as opposed to having to wonder or ask.
Members returned for the bi-weely event, bringing other members and guests. We engaged the crowd by allowing song requests and a few Fitler members with musical skills were invited to “sit-in” with the band, creating a truly unique, interactive experience. We love to see a good programming series turn into a repeat ritual for clients and their audiences. “The musicianship and the singers were top notch, performing songs that were popular and attracting a consistent crowd that would sing, dance or just groove along. It was electric.”
House band?!!… eww. If that conjures images of garage bands belting out cover songs in a beer stenched hole-in-the-wall club, we’re with you. But think again… The secret?