Podcasting Tips

Podcast Live Shows 101

Summer is in full swing! And a great way to celebrate summer is to connect with your audience through a live show (or a whole tour!) Live shows not only provide an opportunity for you to connect with your audience, but serve as yet another source of revenue through ticket sales, merch sales, and sponsorships.

This unofficial guide will walk you through everything you need to know before putting on your own live podcast show.

Planning a Live Show

The very first step to hosting a live podcast show is to plan it! There are a number of things to prepare in order to put on a live show including securing a venue, selling tickets, assembling equipment, garnering sponsors, creating merch, and, of course, outlining the episode.

It might sound like a lot, but it’s totally doable! We’ll tackle each aspect of creating a live show in the following sections.

Securing a Venue

An essential step in planning a live show is finding a suitable venue to host it. You want to find a place that’s close by and easily accessible to a majority of your audience. An excellent way to discover where most of your listeners tune in from is by using the Geolocation Performance chart in your analytics. We cover everything you need to know about this specific chart in an earlier blog post.

Once you’ve decided on a city, you’ll want to look for a venue that suits all of your needs. If you’re aiming for a more intimate vibe, check out local bars and cafes to host the event. You might even be able to secure a sponsorship with the venue. Your audience could purchase drinks, food, etc. during the show and potentially become lifelong customers of the venue you chose! A partnership with a local bar, cafe, games store, whatever place, can help you reduce costs and provide great value to the venue. It’s a win-win all around!

You can also go the more traditional route and select concert halls, playhouses, and other similar venues. These types of venues often provide staff for concessions, merchandise sales, ticketing, stage set up, and more. It is important to keep in mind that these places can range a little bit more on the expensive side, though!

Getting Sponsors

Just like acquiring a sponsorship through the venue, you can seek out sponsorship opportunities from local businesses around the venue. What better way to advertise the product than feature it as part of the live show!

If you already have a great relationship with a sponsor, then try approaching them with the idea of your live show. The chance to share their product(s)/service(s) with a live audience is a huge boon. 

Sponsorships can help to cover some of the cost of putting on a live show. So, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to setting up sponsorship opportunities!

Get Crafty with Merch

Selling merchandise for your podcast at a live show is a fantastic way to pull in additional revenue, and give your audience an exclusive souvenir to remind them of the event. You can sell stickers, t-shirts, apparel, posters, buttons, whatever you want! 

You can design the merchandise yourself, or utilize tools such as Fiverr or Upwork to help create some designs. Some podcasters even look to their audience to help them create amazing logos! Seeking help from your listeners is a wonderful way to build a relationship with them, too.

You can easily set up a merch table with your selected items and accept payments through cash or by using software like Square or Venmo.

Touting Tickets

Figuring out the ticket price can be one of the more challenging parts of putting on a live show. As you can guess, producing a live show can be expensive. You’ll want to price your tickets to help cover the costs of the venue and other necessary expenses, but you also want to be careful not to make the price unappealing to your audience. It’s a fine balance!

Prices can typically range from $20 to $60 depending on the venue and your popularity. The good news is that you don’t need to sell out amphitheaters! Selecting a smaller venue can help to reduce costs and make it easier to sell out seats.

If you’re unsure about pricing, then start at the low end. But be sure to keep overall costs in mind.

Spreading the Word

You have the venue, the merchandise, the sponsorships, and the tickets. Now you have to promote the show to your audience!

The most obvious way to share the live show event with your audience is to talk about it on your podcast. Our Dynamic Insertion technology makes it incredibly easy to drop in announcements across your entire catalog. That way you can reach all types of listeners – loyal ones who listen the minute the episode airs, to newcomers combing through your backlog.

Hop on social media to share the date(s) of the live show. Remind your audience in weekly newsletters. Plug the live show when appearing as a guest on other podcasts. Do everything you can to spread the word about your event!

Drafting the Episode

The final piece of the puzzle is crafting the episode that will be the focus of your live show. Recording a podcast live presents a unique opportunity as your audience gets to be an active part of the show rather than a passive listener. Think of ways to include them in the recording such as a live Q&A session, or invite them to share a relevant story, or even play games with them to create a truly unique experience!

Plan in some time for any spontaneous audience interactions. You never know what the show might bring, so build in that extra time to create those impromptu moments!


Putting on a Live Show

Take a moment to pause and pat yourself on the back – you pulled together a live show! All that’s left is to actually put on the live show.

To put on a live podcast show, you need to have your recording equipment ready. Depending on the venue you select, you may have some assistance in setting up the stage. It’s usually recommended to have some A/V and Stage Management staff help to set up for you.

It’s also useful to run a rehearsal to make sure everything works like it’s supposed to. You don’t want to be in the middle of a live performance and have a speaker not work! Be sure to test-record the rehearsal so you can ensure that the equipment is picking up everything it needs to during the real event.

And always plan some reserve content in the inevitable event that something does go wrong during the show.


Wrapping Up

The very final step in hosting a live show is making the content available after everything is said and done. Doing so allows your audience who missed out on an opportunity to join in on the fun. It can also help to serve as promotional material for future live shows.

We wish you nothing but luck when it comes to your first live show event! Drop us a line and, who knows, we may pop in for a laugh or two.