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I do a lot of hosting for live music in Second Life, and last night got paid a really great compliment by the singer’s manager. She said “Thank you Sapphire for being an AWESOME host, you totally made this an awesome experience”. The way that made me feel proves that compliments really are even better than lindens!

So I thought I’d write a bit about hosting in SL – what the job entails, and how to be good at it. Or at least, how I do it!

Exactly what a host does depends on the venue. I send notices to two groups before the event, and group IMs to them when the even starts and 15 minutes in. At some venues I’m in charge of doing the event listing on the SL website, putting the artist’s stream in, and turning rezzing on and off so they can rezz their tip jars and fan boards.

After that, the main job of the host is greeting people by name as they arrive, and making them feel welcome. Tell them things like where the dance balls are, or invite them to grab a seat and get comfy, and if they’re newbies sometimes offer help like how to use a dance ball, or make sure their sound is on! It also involves reminding people to tip the artist and venue – often enough to get the tips flowing, but not so often as to be annoying. You might also tell them how to get a songlist and make requests, join the artist’s fangroup or the venue group, and let them know what other events are coming up as the event you’re hosting nears its end.

It’s pretty similar for a club event, except there you’re encouraging tips to the DJ, and might also be telling people how to join a contest or something like that.

Whatever the event, the most important things are being friendly, and responding to the crowd. If people don’t want to chat, there’s no point trying to force it, but you can still encourage some interaction by saying when something’s one of your favourite songs, or complimenting someone on their outfit, or whatever. If the chat is flowing fast and free, join in! And match the mood of the audience in tone.

Some hosts use a lot of gestures for welcoming people, encouraging tipping, etc. I don’t like them so much. They’re very handy when there’s a lot of chat going on, to make things stand out, but they’re unnecessary when it’s quiet. Also, for live music I much prefer to mention the performer by name. So I tend to say things like:

Thanks everyone for coming to VENUE this evening to hear PERFORMER. And thanks for supporting live music on Second Life by tipping him/her generously in his/her tip jar by the stage!

I hope you’ve all been enjoying PERFORMER as much as I have today. Please don’t forget to show their tip jar some linden loving!

At some point I generally throw in and of course the venue and I appreciate your tipping generosity too.

And that’s about it. It’s more work than it sounds, especially if a lot of people are arriving and you’ve got major lag, but it can be a lot of fun (and you can make some decent tips from it!). All it really takes to do it well is to be friendly, welcoming, and interact with the performer or DJ and the crowd.

So, don’t forget to tip your hosts when they do a good job! 😀

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