Richard Branson on How Music Can Save Your Business

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From Entrepreneur:

Here are a few lessons we have learned along the way:

1. Help people to donate time as well as money.
When you are planning your event, think of ways you can involve the ticket buyers in a more meaningful way than simply by promising to donate some of the revenues to charity. If you offer concertgoers opportunities to volunteer, your event will have a much greater impact on your community, making it more memorable.

2. Make it your own.
Look at ways to make the event unique — perhaps by leveraging your deep connections to the community or highlighting your partnerships with charities. Think about concerts that you have attended and what you’d like to do differently using your company’s best talent.

With V Festival, we decided to offer a different format than other festivals. Most festivals usually book lots of bands for an hour’s work and fill one site, but we realized that we could entertain twice as many fans by holding two festivals in one. The logistics took a lot of work, but V is held at two parks simultaneously. Both venues share the same bill: Artists perform at one location on Saturday and then the other on Sunday. (This great idea came from Jarvis Cocker, the lead singer for Pulp, which just goes to show that you should always welcome proposals from all sources.)

3. Reach for the stars.
Booking a big star would energize your team and sell tickets. If you don’t have a big budget, try to think creatively about how else you can attract performers — perhaps by highlighting the great location you’ve chosen or by explaining why this event is particularly suited to the performer or band you’ve targeted. While superstar singers won’t play everywhere, you might secure top talent by positioning your event as a unique occasion.

4. Invest time and money and reap the rewards.
Allow your staff to organize the event during their normal workday, and if you can, invite customers and others to get involved, too. This may put a strain on your resources and require some creative management, but you will be surprised at the payoff. Some of the ideas that work well at the event will be adapted to other areas of your business, and such events are an excellent way to develop brand awareness in new markets.

There’s nothing more energizing than a great song with a catchy beat. Integrating that into your workday is sure to make people smile, often making work feel more like play.

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