Making the most of your merch stand

Designing your own merchandise and seeing that first t-shirt in print is an exciting experience, but making sure to get the most out of your merchandise can be tricky. Here Joel and Rowena from Check Mine Merchandise services give you the low-down on merchandising:

“So recently we’ve found we’ve been giving the same advice to a number of up-and-coming bands, so we thought we’d share it with everyone. A lot of this is common sense, we figured seeing it spelt out can help you remember to do it at your next show.


We feel one of the things that independent bands can most benefit from is advertising and exposure. Each time you sell a t-shirt, you get paid to have someone else promote your band for you! If you are a supporter, you get to show your support for your favourite band. The human body is the most valuable piece of advertising real estate we have, and every fan that wears an artist’s t-shirt is actually advertising for them for FREE and with PASSION.


Tell your fans that you’ll be there to chat after the gig! It’s far better than just announcing that you have items for sale. Offering the chance to speak to band members will generally give you a few extra sales per show, which could be crucial. If you’re planning on giving out free CDs at your show, hand some out to those in the front row and announce that people that missed out should come to the merch stand.


Music is all about connecting with people and touching them. Most people are careful who they let touch them, so you should be mindful about the image you are projecting. What I’m trying to say is that although it’s tough being in a band, it’s better to talk to your fans about your music rather than your mortgage. It might not always feel like it, but as far as most people are concerned you’re living the dream. Give them an experience they can buy into, make them feel that even though you are going to be ‘the next biggest thing,’ they can still get close to you at this early stage of your career.


Everybody likes a deal. If a CD is £5 and a cap is £5, why not offer both for £6? That way whoever is buying your CD is tempted to buy the cap aswell and then becomes a walking advertisement for your band.


I do love seeing bands that make the effort to try and collect email addresses, but I was recently informed of easier ways of doing this. The problem with leaving out a clipboard is that you end up giving yourself extra work by having to add each name individually, trying to decipher people’s hand writing. Use your technology! I use Mail Chimp as my mailing list provider, and they have an iPhone app that lets you add email addresses wherever you are. I’m looking forward to the day I see someone collecting email addresses on an iPad, I think that would look so slick!

Right, that’s it for the moment… you can find more thoughts and tips on merchandising as well as tutorials on how to design your own t-shirts on the blog>>

In need of Merch? Head over to Check Mine to start designing online now. Check Mine offers a virtual merchandise shop, which provides an excellent way of selling merch without having to invest any money, and gives you a chance to test your designs before you decide to print them!  Or:

For more info see or contact or sign up to the newsletter to stay informed about great competitions!”


About surfacefestival

The Surface Festival is a European live music event. We are a festival of new music held throughout Europe in aid of discovering and promoting new talent. Surface Festival 11, is working in association with Zimbalam, Marshall,, Last.FM, Ashdown, Planet Waves, D'Addario, PMT, Tama, Zildjian, Shure, Univibe, Dominic Nicholls Photography, Guitar Nation, Ibanez, Band SEO, Quite Great P.R., Ritter, Sziget Fest, Jumbocruiser, Gig the Nation and Oxjam to develop alternative ways for band and artists to gain exposure and develop their fan base. 2011 In 2011 events will be held in cities throughout the U.K. and Europe. For band and artists that reach the final stages of the Festival, both Surface Festival and our sponsors will award with prizes and opportunities in excess of £100,000.
This entry was posted in Music, Music Festivals, Music Promotion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Making the most of your merch stand

  1. Lesley CMO says:

    We hope that this was informative. Let us know if you’ve got any other tricks or tips that have helped you at the merch stand.

  2. Hi Lesley, theres been a great response from bands taking part in Surface. Thanks for providing the press release.

    Surface Festival

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s