I recently met Olly Murs again at his latest album signing in Cardiff and with so many people talking online about how they missed out on the opportunity because they weren’t aware. Therefore, I’ve decided to list some of my top tips to make sure you get the best out a signing event.
1. Sign up to newsletters and programmes
To make sure you’re the first to know about an event, you need to sign up to all the relevant newsletters and programmes. For example, if you are a fan of Olly Murs or Little Mix, you need to sign up to their newsletters which you will find on their websites. There are also some great services where you can get priority access to exclusive events or tickets/wristbands which are available to you before the general public. I’m a member of ‘Pure HMV’ which is a loyalty programme with HMV. You use your card to collect points at every purchase (both online and in store) and you can spend those points on money-can’t-buy items, including priority signing wristbands rather than actually paying for the wristband.
2. Ticket or first come, first serve?
Most signings I’ve been to are ticketed/wristband which is usually bought online, but occasionally there are ‘first come, first serve’ events, meaning you need to be dedicated in travelling to the venue as early as possible. If it’s ticketed, find out when the event goes on sale. On some occasions, you may be asked to go in store to preorder the book/CD/DVD and that purchase means you will get a free wristband to the signing. You need to try and get in store ASAP from the announcement. Sometimes there are specific dates you have to go down to the store and others are again first come, first serve from the moment the announcement is made (which was the case for the latest Olly signing and to my pure luck, I was 2 minutes away from the store!) If the ticket is on sale online, then you need to find out when they go on sale. Get the retailer’s website loaded in advance in two tabs. Two tabs higher your chance of getting tickets, but you absolutely need to be like a hawk, keeping an eye on both tabs because one will be further in the queue than the other.
3. Speak with the retailer who are holding the signing
Whether you go in store to talk to the staff or just tweet them (there’s a high chance they have a Twitter account for each store or a general customer service account), find out as much info as possible. Ask how much of a crowd is anticipated, find out if selfies are allowed, etc. Just ask as many questions you may have in advance so you are fully aware on the day.
4. Arrive early
One way or another, you’re going to have to queue. So, make sure you arrive early. Some people do the waiting hours in advance, meaning they’ll be closer to the front of the queue when the doors open. Arriving early does mean you’ll still be waiting, but it means you’ll be getting your turn earlier than others.
5. Respect the staff
They are there for your safety and protection. I know sometimes they seem a little bossy and you can occasionally get one who is a bit of a control freak, but please just listen to what they say and ask of you because it makes the situation easier on everyone.
6. Don’t bring extra items for signing
You can only get the one item signed, which is the CD/DVD/Book they are promoting. I’ve seen some parents in particular bring a bulk of merch to get signed for kids, family and friends but there’s just no time. Remember, there are hundreds of people to get through so you need to just have the one item.
7. It’s quantity, not quality
Usually, that saying is the other way around, but in this case it really is more about quantity than quality, meaning they need to get as many fans in for the signing as possible and you won’t get to have a great amount of time for a full blown conversation or anything, so please don’t get upset or annoyed. I’d love to have had a natter with Olly Murs, Tyler Oakley and the like, but it isn’t possible. A light chit chat is usually possible, you know – “how are you?” “hope you’re well!” “Love you lots” and all that, but this isn’t a coffee date, sadly.
8. Get your phone ready!
Most days, you can take a selfie at signings or a security guard will take a photo for you. You need to make sure there’s enough space on your phone to take a photo and that it’s ready on camera mode because this makes everything run smoothly and efficiently.
9. Leave the signing area ASAP
The security need you to move from the area ASAP because there are lots of people that need to be able to get the signing done and leave. Please try and move as soon as you can so the system works like a conveyer belt with no hold ups.
10. Disabled? Ask for help!
If you or someone who is with you is disabled and is unable to walk (ie: in a wheelchair or on crutches), make sure you liaise with staff ASAP. If you’re in store before the event purchasing the tickets, speak to a member of staff to ask for advice. No worries if you aren’t at the store in advance, though, just arrive in plenty of time and speak to the security guard as they’ll be happy to assist you.
I hope these tips come of use to you. Do you have any tips for signings? Comment below!