Please Help! Purely Hypothetical

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Trigger, Feb 24, 2006.


Would you consider using a website to advertise your services or to find a dep?

Poll closed Mar 10, 2006.
  1. Yes

    30 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  3. Maybe

    5 vote(s)
  1. Trigger

    Trigger Member

    Hi everyone -

    I am a student in my final year of uni and I was hoping that I could get some feedback from you on a hypothetical brass band website for one of my projects. If any of you could spare a couple of minutes to answer short questions at the bottom of this post and fill in the poll, I would really appreciate it.

    The hypothetical website would:

    - Allow players to advertise their services as a dep and dates/times available and how much they would expect a band to pay them for their services (e.g. per hour)
    - Allow bands to search this list for a suitable dep
    - Allow bands to advertise their services to the public for fetes/weddings/concerts etc and the fee they would charge

    We all know what a pain it is having to phone around for hours trying to find a dep for a concert/contest because your principle cornet is sick or your percussionist has broken his hand.

    So what do you all think? Would you be interested?

    1. Would you be willing to pay an annual subscription to advertise your services as a dep and if so how much?
    2. Would you be willing to pay an annual subscription to advertise your band’s services to the public and if so, how much?
    3. Would you prefer to use PayPal for these transactions or some other method?
    4. Do you have any other ideas for the site?

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Reading, UK

    Just my tuppence worth...

    Why would anybody pay when they can do it for free on here?????
  3. Trigger

    Trigger Member

    Yes that is why I said it was purely hypothetical. Just trying to do my uni project. Thanks for your response though.
  4. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Reading, UK
    In that case, my answers are as follows:

    1) No.
    2) Maybe..but probably not.
    3) becomes non applicable based on the answers given in 1 & 2
    4) Not at the moment, but if I think of any I'll let you know!
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    near Dublin
    Doesn't tMP already do all this?
  6. marchad

    marchad New Member

    1. Advertising just via tPM is largely a passive experience. I would be willing to subscribe to a service that actively advised me if there were depping opportunities available. I think a subscription of £10-20 per year would be OK.

    2. Bands are generally short of cash and would want to know what they were going to get from such a service. The amount bands charge for jobs is also something they like to keep to themselves.

    3. Paypal is a trusted service and I would be happy to use it.

    4. Other opportunities for the service could be so that it was expanded to include all musical instruments. For instance, I play mainly cornet but would like to do more trumpet work as well as other play in other bands, eg orchestral, quintet and ensemble playing.

    Good luck with your assignment.
  7. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Whilst these are hypothetical questions, I would expect an examiner to establish what background research has already been done to establish the validity of this proposed site against what's already out there. Including that data in your final work might add a few points

    my answers have the above in mind:

    1. No - not for depping with an amateur band. For professional work, it's a networking issue i.e.who you know. Also, as an MU member, I am listed in the national directory and database already (for all the good it does me!)

    2. Not for a brass band - would consider it for a gig band though.

    3. I will use any secure service provided, including paypal but NOT Western Union.

    4. You need to find a USP (Unique selling proposition) for this site - what isn't currently available or could be available at a lower cost.
    Maybe looking at securing discounts with major brass retailers for members of your site or something like that.

    A few areas which are probably left well alone due to over exposure already on the net:

    Brass band forums and chat rooms
    Lists of bands (unless they pay you to be listed!)
    Links to brass retailers - unless you can make money out of that link
    Brass band news - I get all I need already from 4BR and tMp.

    hope this helps.
  8. mardie

    mardie New Member

    Everyone wants something for nothing. If your service were to actively find suitable deps and opportunities then I see no reason not to subscribe. The MU charges £10 per month and publishes its member's list. Most musicians however are not necessarily members of the MU - even a number of high quality players who just enjoy depping for good and bad bands and are happy to pick up expenses where appropriate.

    They key to the success of your assignment in my opinion is that you have to actively offer something. I sign in to tMP a few times a year. If I could register with a site that would contact me if an opportunity to play was available I would happily part with £20 a year for the service.
  9. Year of the Mother

    Year of the Mother New Member

    Southern Bander!
    I think it sounds like a good idea. Having a main website dedicated to finding deps for bands would be really useful. I think tMPs recruitment corner is good, but as other people have said, it is only one area of this site. If a dedicated website became respected in the brass band world, then there is a strong possibility that it could be the central hub for locating and advertising deps/bands. I for one would welcome the opportunity to not have to spend all day on the phone trying to find a player for a concert. I would find it a much better experience if all I had to do was search a website.

    As Andy Wooler said about the USP, surely having access to a list of players up and down the country would be unique. I know I have contacts, but not that many. From a personal perspective I would be willing to travel some distance to help a band out (for a fee), as playing is what I love doing.

    In answer to your questions:

    1. Yes I would be willing to pay £20-£30 annually to advertise myself as a dep. After all, it's not like I wouldn't get anything out of it - hopefully a fee from the band and the chance to play in different bands and promote myself would be good.

    2. Yes I would be willing to advertise my band for a fee of £30 approx providing they agreed. This is a reasonable cost to market the band I think.

    3. Yes I have a PayPal account

    4. No, but will have a think

    Good luck with your assignment.
  10. yes you should earn more than the subscription anyway mabye £10/ £20
    see above
    i have never come across paypal but i would probably prefer to pay by cheque
    advertisment could be sold for;
    the contest reports could be posted up
  11. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Unfortunately, that's not unique I'm afraid. There are a number of sites that have deputies/ gig seeking lists including Nigel Horne's deputies database at
  12. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Just checked that site and to be honest, I find that it is long winded and confusing. A simple website, such as that that has been suggested, would be a good idea. Players willing to deputise, placed in location, instrument, level and cost, would make things a lot simpler. I personally wouldn't pay to advertise my services as I'm not into that. And I wouldn't want to pay an annual subscription to be able to access a site such as the one suggested to look for a player. However, if I wanted to advertise my services then I wouldn't mind paying an annual fee, using Paypal or sending a cheque wouldn't matter to me, either would be fine.
  13. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    I used Nigel's site as an example - there is also the free simpler list in the IBEW.
    Lets's consider the 4 most poular band related websites:

    tMp - already hs a free deputies section
    IBEW - already has a free deputies section
    4BR - would probably allow you a paid advert
    the brass band portlal - already has a free deputies section

    The question is: why should someone want to pay you for a service that is a) available elsewhere for free and b) is likely not to be an end users first port of call anyway.
    Such a site would still need something unique.

    So, for the purposes of your Uni submission, if you were to take IBEW for example - probably the best listing of brass resources anywhere on the net. (so good I'm probably going to abandon band links on my own site and link to IBEW's bands page). If we take 4BR - all commercial links are paid for so the list is not so extensive. Neither site offers YOU, the punter any incentive to follow those links - once you've arrived at a retailer, it's no different to you having searched google.
    Find some way of rewarding the user for visiting your site in preference to 4BR or IBEW and people will start to bookmark it. Then your site stands a better chance of being the one where people go to look for deps as well as discounted merchandise. (this is just one idea of a usp - you'll no doubt come up with others)

    If you don't some kind of usp, then your Uni work will need to explain how you will get your website up there as the defacto source for deps against the competition already mentioned. A survey of tMp members may not be enough to make the case for the site.

    As this is a hypothetical case study, at least you'll not be putting hard cash on the line (I hope!) - I would certainly expect a better mark for this work if you go the extra mile on this. Feel free to pm me if you want any more detailed help.

    One of your questions I didn't answer earlier was that relating to advertising your band for bookings.
    The biggest problem here is that the average booker of a band isn't a bandsman himself so is unlikely to look for your site - having run dance bands for many years, most bookings come from Agents, then word of mouth and finally, a very small % from my band's own website. From my experience as webmaster of Uckfield Concert brass's site, which has been running for nearly 10 years, I have had not one single booking for the band via the web. I think you have a totally different target market for this service that doesn't fit too well with your original concept. Gotta be worth an extra mark for researching then discounting this part of the site!

    best of luck!
  14. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    West Sussex
    Hi Tasha, haven't seen you on here for a while :)

    In addition to the sites already mentioned by the others, there's All of these sites are good in principle but not fantastically easy to use and not very well subscribed - to be honest I think that in itself speaks volumes. If this was the easiest/most efficient way of booking deps, then wouldn't everyone be doing it already?
    Personally, my main reservation is that people on a website can say what they like about their ability - a booker/band then risks them not being up to the job. I would rather book someone I know, or who has been recommended by someone who's judgment I know I can trust.

    so, in answer to your questions...
    1. NO
    2. NO
    3. N/A
    4. NO, sorry.

    Oh, and fwiw, its definitely worth taking Andy up on his offer. Good luck mate!!
  15. Trigger

    Trigger Member

    Hi everyone - I just want to thank you all for taking the time to respond to my request for help. The comments have all been constructive and most useful, espcially Andy's, so thanks very much.

    Thank you very much for your kind offer Andy - I will take you up on it once I have had a chance to go through all the responses properly and organise in my mind where I intend to go next with this.

    Hi there Alex - hope you are well and thanks for your reply. Haven't had much time to be on here at the moment - been a bit of a hectic year in between dissertations and band etc. Hope everything's going well for you and Nigel though. :)
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