Home > finals > Music venue owner uses editing skills to promote artists, shows

Music venue owner uses editing skills to promote artists, shows

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Eli Mardock, owner of Vega music venue.

By Jessica Levtsenyuk
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Not everyone who longs to become a touring musician becomes one. Not everyone who hopes to get a degree succeeds. Not everyone who wants to open a music venue opens one.

But Nebraska native Eli Mardock has done all three.

Born and raised in Fremont, Nebraska, Mardock has had a passion for music his entire life. After high school, he enrolled as a journalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but the formation of his band “Eagle Seagull” in 2004 got in the way of finishing his degree. When the band broke up in 2010 after touring in the United States and Europe, Mardock enrolled at Doane College and finished his degree in public relations.

Instead of getting a job in the field he studied, Mardock had his eyes set on opening a music venue in Lincoln’s Haymarket. In 2013, he opened Vega.

On top of running his business, Mardock built his own website, designed posters and updated various social media platforms, all while getting connected with performing artists. Little did he anticipate that his courses in editing and marketing would make an appearance in his day-to-day life and help him engage his viewers and followers.

From a complex, full-service website, Mardock switched things up when he realized that many people don’t have the time or interest in digging through pages to find the information they need.

“The site is really simplified now,” Mardock said. “The landing page has an image, branding logo, calendar and contact information. It’s almost like social media; you click on something and boom it’s right there. Not a lot to dig through.”

Editing plays the largest role when it comes to marketing to viewers on the website, through Vega Facebook page updaes or in posters  Mardock designs If something is not worded correctly, spelled correctly or designed well, it can alter the viewer’s desire to attend a show or share an upcoming event with his or her friends.

“A lot of it depends on the artist. If it’s an artist that doesn’t have a lot of awareness, we would market that more to draw interest in the show,” Mardock said. He makes sure that he keeps his posts interesting and engaging by not using the same descriptive words when promoting an artist or event and by matching the tone of the band. As an example, he doesn’t want to describe a hard rock band as soft and mellow.

Along with social media updates, graphics and posters must follow the same editing practices. It’s necessary to use images that match the style of the band and check that there are no mistakes in the information on the posters.

“Thankfully, mistakes are pretty rare,” Mardock said. “Sometimes I’ll get the day of show or price of show wrong on a poster, but generally someone says something to me before they get out the door.”

Mardock’s advice for future journalists, business owners and designers is to keep updated with social media algorithms because of the constantly changing way social media lets people connect with one another. And keeping content interesting is essential.

“It’s possible to keep a story or post short, sweet and relevant at the same time,” Mardock said. “If you have too many words, it’s easy for people to stop caring while reading.”

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