In this article RCM Founder, Mark Knight considers how escaping the day to day to reflect on the bigger picture can provide new direction and focus for bands and artists. It’s time to plan your band retreat.
The off-site annual planning meeting is a key fixture in the calendars of many big companies and brands. It’s a deliberate plan to step out of the day to day and look more holistically at the direction of travel. Is the business plan working, or even still relevant? What and who needs to change in order to continue to grow as a business? Netflix famously did this, with their founders getting away each year to consider whether they were best placed to continue to lead an ever evolving company. This introspective assessment ultimately resulted in co-founder Patty McCord voluntarily leaving the company, recognising her skills were no longer in alignment with their focus.
Here at Right Chord Music we like to draw on learning from the brand world and consider how they can benefit the band and artist world. The art of reflection seems particularly poignant, there is a clear value in a band retreat.
Here are five reasons why getting away is so important for future growth of your band or artist career.
1. Shifting from defense back to attack
In our day-to-day lives it is easy to feel like we are running to stand still. As an unsigned musician it often feels like the to-do list is never-ending, especially if you are trying to balance music with a full-time job. This inevitably means the immediate focus is on defense. How can we avoid screwing up? How can we keep those plates spinning? The benefit of a getaway is it gives us a chance to step out of the day-to-day and consider the bigger picture. What is your plan of attack? Your long-term vision? And crucially what are you doing to get there?
2. Change of Scenery
Having a change of scenery is a proven way to drive fresh energy and forward momentum. It’s amazing how refreshed and reinvigorated you feel after a break from your daily routine. Party Houses, a website where you can rent houses for special events in the UK, is a great place to start. You can find your perfect location for a writing retreat, bonding session or strategy meeting. You could even use a house for an intimate acoustic show. They specialise in large group accommodation across the UK.
3. Increased productivity
In your day to day environment, your time can be constantly interrupted with emails, meetings, phone calls, messages, children and pets. But the deliberate act of getting away allows you to escape the hurly-burly of daily life. This allows you to increase your productivity and focus. As a musician this could mean the chance to write new material, look back through your previous notes, demos and sketches or could help you plan your next single, EP or album release.
Work overload decreases productivity by 68% in employees who feel they don’t have enough hours in the day to complete their tasks. (Source: Cornerstone)
4. Improved relationships
Spending quality, uninterrupted time with colleagues or band-mates can help forge bonds and strengthen relationships. There is nothing like a shared experience to cement a friendship and fuel future small talk. It’s also a chance to get back to remembering why you created a band in the first place, reconnecting with each other is important, especially if time together is often limited to rehearsals and practical conversations about logistics.
5. Improved understanding
Getting away also provides an opportunity to look at your current marketing and planning and critically review what is working, what isn’t working and how things could be improved. If you are looking for inspiration and stimulus to fuel a debate, check out our other marketing articles. Alternatively we recommend checking out or our sister agency Major Labl, they provide a range of services to help musicians critically review and optimise their website and social media presence. Remember if your music marketing is not resulting in more plays of your music, it’s not working.
It’s time to take a step back, get out into the sunshine, hop on a train, load up the van and come back stronger, with a clear plan.
Words: Mark Knight