Your name, your club and your position.

Anthea Johnson, Entertainment & Communications Manager at Ettalong Diggers Club

What is your biggest or has been your biggest challenge with the club and your role?

Putting entertainment and shows into a space that wasn’t designed to be ‘entertainment’ friendly. It’s required much adaptable and creativity – and proves to be an ongoing challenge, but we make it work.

What have been some of your achievements or highlights since being at the club?

Bringing live quality ticketed shows into the area. There was a general belief that any ticketed show over $20 wouldn’t sell, however, I believed that people will pay for quality entertainment and this has proven to be the case.

Club Magazine – Even though we are in a social media and internet age, people still react positively to visual stimulation and the club magazine is an incredibly positive marketing tool for all ages. Many clubs have either given away using them or produce small pamphlet style newsletters. We produce a magazine here that is A4 size and some editions have 40 pages. The magazine is attractive, high quality and includes a separate pull out section for kids. The minute it is distributed to households we have a spike in ticket sales of all our shows which proves the success of it. Our club magazine is personally worked on by myself and our marketing manager – so we ensure all content reflects on our demographic.

Is there a piece of advice or something compelling you have learnt that you can pass on to our readers and up and coming managers.

Don’t write off live entertainment – it works. If you market it properly and are consistent and you have the right person booking it in – it works. Many venues/managers have had bad experiences with losing money on shows, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you use an agent or hire someone in-house, that person should know your venue and what your members want. They should work with you. Regular good entertainment will increase your trade and don’t book too far ahead as things are always changing. My rule is 3 months in advance on my free entertainment so I can be flexible and rotate the acts that are more popular. With bigger shows always check where they worked close to you previously and ascertain how they went. I am always happy to give feedback to other clubs and I never hesitate to call a club and check how a show went there. Contracts for shows are not set in stone and are there to be adjusted by you, riders are a privilege and not a right and try and always have a staff member on site for major shows to assist the performers (they like to be looked after and will reward you in kind with your audiences) and it’s important to get feedback regarding the show from a trusty employee. If a show isn’t selling well don’t hesitate to contact the agent or promoter and express your concern and get them to be more proactive. It works in everyone’s favour when a show is successful. Lastly – provide your front of house team with all the information they need on upcoming entertainment on a regular basis so they can answer questions and upsell entertainment.

Outside of the club and your role there. Do you have any hobbies or passions.. tell us a bit about you?

I think I have the perfect role for this industry because my passion and hobby is entertainment! I trained as a professional actor and have always worked consistently in the industry. As a result, I know how it works on both sides of the fence. Most weekends that I am not actually working at the club you can find me in another club wearing platform boots and speaking with a Swedish accent….in my Abba tribute show FABBA!