Encore Blog

Introducing: The New Musician Matching System

We all remember our best gigs.

You step up on stage, look out into the expectant faces of the audience, and begin to play. Your nerves shrink away and the music comes naturally, effortlessly, and everyone’s listening intently to every note you play. You draw your first song to a close – silence – then, the crowd goes wild. These are the moments we musicians live for.  

At Encore, our mission is to create more of these connections between talented musicians and the people who want to book them. So back in 2015, we launched an innovative alerts system that matched you with clients who had requested quotes based on your instrument and six basic genre tags.

Since then, the variety and volume of enquiries coming through Encore have dramatically increased, and our system was struggling to categorise requests ranging from mariachi bands to Elvis impersonators.     

One of the most common pieces of feedback we received from musicians in 2017 was that the job alerts you were receiving weren’t relevant enough. 

Something needed to change.

The New Matching System

We’re completely overhauling how we match customers with the specific type of live music they’re looking for, and to do this, we’re asking you to tell us a bit more about yourself and your ensembles.

The biggest change is an upgrade of the tags we use for sending your job alerts.

We’ve added tags for groups, tags for the different event types you perform at, and drastically improved the variety of genre tags you use to identify your unique musical skills.

We’re also gathering some new information with the update which will be used when we come to redesign your profile pages in the next month or so.

You can start updating your tags now here: https://encoremusicians.com/settings/tags

What’s changing

In order to do this, we’ll be moving over to the new matching system in 3 phases. Here’s the plan:

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Upgrading your job alert settings

After analysing thousands of group and musicians profiles and client enquiries, we’ve designed a new method of tagging jobs which will ensure you only ever hear about the jobs most relevant to your skills and specialisms.

Here’s a rundown of what’s changed.

Which profiles do you want to receive alerts for?

First, you’ll need to select whether you want to receive alerts for your individual music profile, your group profile(s), both or none.

Upgrading existing tags: Instrument tags and Location

We’ve polished up our instruments list to contain a finite number of instruments. We’ve done this to ensure that we can accurately match you with the search terms our customers are using. Some musicians weren’t receiving job alerts in 2017 because of typos in their tags – this will no longer be a problem!

We’re also now asking for a more specific location information to help us send you the most relevant alerts.  

instruments

New Group tags, primary contact, and line-ups

To help us send relevant alerts to groups, we’re asking for a group’s primary contact, their line-up options, and we’ve added a list of the most common group types as tags.

Expanded Genre tags

After looking through profiles and job pages from thousands of musicians and clients, we’ve expanded our genre list to cater for all musicians from the broadest all-rounder to a specialist in Bavarian oompah music. Bear in mind if you want to hear about a wide variety of jobs you’ll need to select a broad genre like “Classical” or “Pop” even if your specialism is a sub-genre “Opera” or “Soul”.

genres

New Event type tags

We know some musicians would prefer not to hear about jobs for certain event types, such as cruises or theatre shows. With this new tag you can define exactly which types of event you want to perform at.   

Showcasing your specialisms: Primary tags

Primary tags enable you to mark yourself out as a specialist in a particular instrument, genre or event type. This information will be displayed when we redesign your profile page in the coming months and may be used to help determine your ranking within our search page in a later update.

For example, if you’re a classical concert pianist, you can mark yourself as being different from another piano-playing multi-instrumentalist, by selecting “piano” as your primary instrument tag, “classical” as your primary genre tag, and “concerts” as your primary event type tag. Learn more about them here.

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Other skills

We’ve added a section allow you to display your other musical skills, from improvisation to musicology. Though this won’t affect the job alerts you receive just yet, we have plans to use this information to help showcase your musicianship to clients in the upcoming profile updates.

Important info: VAT, Venue requirements

To ensure we’re always billing you and your clients correctly, we need to know if you are VAT registered. Customers often have questions about what you require to perform at their event, so we’ve added a “Venue requirements” section to your account. This new info will help them understand exactly what you can provide, and will speed up the negotiation process.

requirements

Getting to know you

One of the challenges of running an online platform is that, without the possibility of easy face-to-face communication, it can be difficult to understand the people who use it. At the end of the form, we ask a few quick questions which will help us understand the diversity and representation of our community. This will then be used to help ensure that Encore is inclusive and welcoming to all musicians, and to counter age or gender discrimination that sadly still exists in some areas of the music industry.

Tag – you’re it

This update was built based on your feedback, so we’d love to hear what you think. Fill in this form here if you spot anything you think we could have done better:  https://goo.gl/forms/KsYr0QRTQgkzi9yW2.

 

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An artist’s impression of the Musician Matching Update

 

 

Jonny Venvell

Encore Community Manager, singer, oboist, jazz gig goer.

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Any event. Any style of music.

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