Jazz Night Experiment Brings in New Customers

On 6 October, Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen performed for the community of Faversham, Kent. The Old Brewery Store hosted the legendary jazz man and his band. Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame Ltd, owns The Old Brewery Store and “produce iconic Kentish Ales such as Spitfire and Bishop’s Finger as well as Asahi lager, Sam Adam’s Boston Ale etc.,” explained Derek Smith, Visitor Centre & Old Brewery Store Marketing & Event Co-Coordinator.

50 years as band leader of the Jazzmen, Kenny Ball played his greatest hits, including, “’Midnight in Moscow’, ‘Samantha’, ‘The Green Leaves of Summer’ and ‘Sukiyaki’. These hits and more propelled Kenny and his Jazzmen to the top of the charts and they have remained firm favourites with audiences throughout the world ever since,” according to The Old Brewery Store website.

The Old Brewery Store hosts a wide music programme, which opened last year. “We have been experimenting to see just what mix of music works for prospective clients. This was the first evening of Jazz we have put on,” Smith explained. The venue is normally standing room only, but with hosting a Jazz night, Smith and company had to consider the older crowd that would be attending. “We turned the venue into a seated jazz club – which was certainly different from our point of view,” Smith said.

In order to bring in an audience, Smith used a wide range of methods to advertise the jazz night. The Old Brewery Store took out ads in the local newspapers, posted posters, and handed out handbills of the expected set list of the night. Using direct mail and online advertising were also used to advertise. Smith said that mailing direct to local community members was the most effective way of bringing in new customers. The websites for Shepherd Neame and The Old Brewery Store were used to advertise the event specifically.

Planning any event can be stressful. The Old Brewery Store has been experimenting with different music events, and the Jazz night was just one more chance to bring in more business. Smith said of his experience planning the event, “Difficult to say as this was really a test for us as we are still gauging audience tastes. My advice to anyone organising an event is not to book someone just because you like them–make sure the paying public will to!”

And once the stress of planning is gone, it is finally time to enjoy all the hard work that went in to the event. Smith explained that having a legend playing for them was incredible. “The highlight of the performance was Kenny Ball bringing back great hits like Midnight in Moscow, and Kenny’s son Keith getting a rousing response to his rendition of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’.”

Keep checking The Old Brewery’s website for many more events to come.