Mark Elliott, Manager of The Watchers.
I’m a big fan of live music and have been gigging and collecting since I was a kid. For the last 10 years I’ve began promoting on a small scale to help push local music as the North East was often missed out by touring bands. I was nearly always losing money as a promoter but I didn’t mind as I treated it like a hobby more than a business.
Through promoting I got to know a few local bands and when one band one in particular was looking for a manager, they thought I fitted the bill. I had no direct experience as a manager but I did have a great deal of enthusiasm for music, and having worked in a managerial position elsewhere, I took on the position.
Why did you sign up for MMBE?
I knew about Generator as I had already been coming to seminars and learning about putting on events and listening to the talks they put on because I worked as a promoter. Through a little more research and by contacting the likes of Business Link etc, I found out about the MMBE course. I knew this would be highly important if I was serious about what I considered ultimately to be a change in career (if it went well enough), and so I signed up.
How has MMBE helped your music career?
The course went into detail on almost every aspect of the music industry and brought in some fantastic professionals to share their experiences. Not only that, but meeting other people on the course allowed me to make more excellent local contacts. These people all took the business seriously and wanted to be successful in their chosen areas, which were wide ranging within the industry (performers, producers, managers, teaching, marketing etc), and the course was relevant to us all. We still keep in contact and have set up social network group in order to share continued experiences and good practice now that the course has finished. The main tutor for the course, Mark Hobrough was superb, always willing to help in any way, and as someone who has worked on many different levels within the industry I found his experience and input invaluable.
Through working and completing the MMBE course, I have now taken The Watchers to another level and we have greatly improved our contacts and ability to market ourselves. Everything from a building a business plan in order to move forward, to what sort of content to have on our revamped website. On top of that I feel I am now able to look at consider avenues of income not just by managing the band, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the course, it has given me some sound knowledge to help progress within the music industry.