Sunday, August 23, 2009


We are sold out for the Hula Hotties event on August 27th.

I know what you are thinking: Sold out? Wait a minute: How can you be sold out? You don't charge for these events, do you?

No, we don't charge for these events. Everyone is welcome. We encourage members to support our host establishments, but any donations are completely voluntary.

The thing is, Hula Hotties has 25 seats, and we have 25 reservations: Thus SOLD OUT!

So, what is it about Hula Hotties that has so captivated our members?

1) Hawaii -- Mostly we play Tin Pan Ally music, but Hawaii is an indelible part of ukulele music. And to have a Hawaiian Cafe open in Dallas is pretty much irrisistable. Isn't it?

2) Schedule -- Usually, our group gathers on Saturdays or Mondays. For this event, because of the restaurant's scheduling, Thursday was the date. You wouldn't think Thursday was such a hot outing night, but then we have some members who are stretched to attend our regular times. They may have flocked to this quickly, just because the day of the week is better. I think there's a scheduling lesson to be learned here.

3) Open Mic -- Not every jam session has an open microphone. We have a mix of performers, some who flock to center stage, and some who are shy. But for those who like to lead, the Open Microphone is not to be ignored. Meanwhile, we also have members who have less interest in playing and more interest in listening. For those, the more-polished songs of the Open Mic are good fun. We purposely don't make every jam have an Open Mic segment: We want it to be special, and for Hula Hotties that appears to be a contributing factor.

4)Food -- Oddly, although the focus of the group is ukulele play, the more varied the restaurant menu, the bigger the turnout. We actually have a Thai place scheduled in the near future. But the allure of Hawaiian food, just because it's different and new, undoubtedly plays a part. We have learned through trial and error that moving to different restaurants is very good for attendance. In the past, when we have settled on one particular venue for awhile, the attendance dwindles. It also means we have a wide rotation: We don't repeat a restaurant more then once every 6 months. We are fortunate to be in an area that has the highest number of restaurants per capita in the country!

5) Momentum -- I don't know how much this plays a factor, but we just finished a huge house concert with Bayless and Bernson ( ) -- The popularity of the concert may have spurned additional interest in this event. We also have Herb Ohta, Jr. coming in September -- ( ) -- This may have helped with Hula Hotties, too. Ride the wave. Gain enthusiasm. An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

Love to hear your thoughts on this phenomenon, too. Here's a link to the event so you can check it out -- Just don't plan on attending! (Although you can still be placed on the waiting list!

1 comment:

  1. Mark, I think a major factor in the growth of the club over the past ten months and the increase in enthusiasm is the emphasis you and Kathy have put on educating beginners. You've made it so comfortable for every type of beginner to step forward and get started without worrying that they don't know enough. Not only does that help the beginners, but it helps intermediate and advanced players as well, in my opinion. I think of myself as intermediate, and when I see the beginners getting instruction, it often exposes me to some lessons or tips I failed to pick up along the way. So I get a new chance to learn them.