Inside the Honky Tonk Empire: A Conversation with Amanda Banda, Director of Marketing at Billy Bob’s Texas

 

In an era where digital transformation is reshaping every aspect of our lives, the live music industry is not left behind. Innovations in streaming technology, social media, and audience engagement tools offer both challenges and opportunities for artists and venues alike. With live music being a vital cultural expression and significant economic activity, understanding how to leverage these changes is crucial for the industry’s sustainability and growth. What strategies can help the live music sector thrive in this rapidly evolving landscape?

Host Gabrielle Bejarano and guest Amanda Banda, Director of Marketing at Billy Bob’s Texas, discuss actionable insights and forward-thinking strategies that ensure the vibrancy and appeal of live music experiences in today’s digital age.

  • Innovating Engagement: Examining how Billy Bob’s Texas utilizes digital platforms and innovative marketing to create immersive experiences for their audience.
  • Sustaining Connections: The importance of building and maintaining a community around live music, even when physical attendance fluctuates.
  • Looking Ahead: Anticipating future trends in the live music industry, including potential shifts in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and strategic planning for artists and venues.

Amanda Banda has dedicated over 16 years to the live music sector, working her way up from a ticket office representative to becoming the Director of Marketing at Billy Bob’s Texas. Her expertise in navigating the intersection of live music and digital marketing strategies provides invaluable insights into the evolving dynamics of the industry.

 

Gabrielle Bejarano: Hello everyone, or should I say howdy, because we are here at the iconic Texas location, Billy Bob’s, Texas. And I have the honor of sitting here today with Amanda Banda. She’s the director of marketing at Billy Bob’s, Texas. She’s going to tell us a little bit about what makes this place, this brand so iconic and what businesses can learn from it. As I mentioned, Billy Bob’s iconic name, iconic brand. What kind of goes into that, and what can businesses learn from just the tenacity that this brand’s name has had for over 42 years?

Amanda Banda: Resiliency for sure is super important. We’ve all been through all kinds of crazy things, right? In the last five years alone, we’ve had to go through a pandemic. But if you think back to the early days, it took resiliency to stay open during the ’80s and the ’90s and the evolution of music and everything that encompasses being in business. So resiliency is super important. If you can continue to stay on track and just keep mowing through it, you can stay long, have longevity, like we have for 42 years. That says something about business and the resiliency of our methods here.

Gabrielle Bejarano: How do you see parallels between live music as an art form and business?

Amanda Banda: Staying fresh and staying creative are key in both live music and business. Artists need to keep their performances fresh to keep audiences coming back, just as businesses need to continuously innovate to attract and retain customers. It’s about finding new ways to engage and entice people to keep coming back.

Gabrielle Bejarano: Absolutely. And it seems like Billy Bob’s fosters a culture of growth and mentorship. Can you tell us about your journey here and the importance of mentorship in business?

Amanda Banda: I started out as a ticket representative and worked my way up over 16 years to become the director of marketing. The culture here at Billy Bob’s is one of growth, where mentors like Pam Minick have supported and guided me along the way. It’s important for businesses to cultivate growth in their employees and provide mentorship opportunities for them to thrive.

Gabrielle Bejarano: That’s inspiring. And finally, Billy Bob’s isn’t just about concerts; it’s also open during the day. Can you tell us more about what visitors can experience during the day?

Amanda Banda: During the day, visitors can experience Billy Bob’s like a museum. We have a full café, gift shop, and 42 years of history displayed on our walls. Families can come, let their kids run around, and enjoy a meal while exploring our unique venue. We want everyone to feel like they’re part of the Billy Bob’s family.

Gabrielle Bejarano: That sounds amazing. Thank you so much, Amanda Banda, for sharing your insights with us today.

Amanda Banda: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

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