This has been a thorn in our side (team Amanda Palmer) for years. We’ve spent a lot of money and time on this - and I know first hand from talking to other creators (even outside of music) that this is a pain point for them too. Lots of creators have IRL events - concerts, conferences, cons, etc. where they have tables and booths and signs and are trying to get folks to sign up.
For Amanda Palmer’s USA tour, we had a dedicated table in the venue lobby staffed by two (and sometimes three) people - myself included - to answer questions and help sign up patrons. Eventually we also offered an exclusive patron-only merch item (an enamel pin) that patrons could wear at the show to identify each other. This also helped entice people to sign up to Patreon. We used a QR code that directed to a link to our $1 tier and encouraged people to sign up using their own mobile devices (because in the past, we’ve run into security/fraud issues having multiple people create accounts on one singular device/IP address).
This worked for iPhone users, mostly. Most Android users didn’t have a QR reader app and so for them, we had to write out our Patreon URL for them to enter in mobile web. The wifi or cell service at these various venues differed from place to place, so often it would take 3-5 minutes for each person to go through the sign up process. Very tedious and time consuming, especially with limited time before the show started/after the show ended.
We also enticed sign ups by giving new patrons a letter Amanda signed that welcomed them to the patreon which was dated and labeled for that specific venue (“thanks for signing up on April 20th at the Beacon Theatre, in New York” type of thing).
The most crucial part of this was having Amanda announce this table from stage. The times she did, we got lots of sign ups, the times she forgot to, we didn’t have as much.
In San Francisco, a member of patreon’s product team shadowed us to see how we were doing this, and actually pitched in to help us sign up patrons so they saw exactly where our pain points were, what was working and what wasn’t.
So. Yes, this is an issue for musicians and for other creators, and we’ve been in touch with Patreon team directly about this, they’re aware of this need and to my understanding are working to figure out some solutions. I don’t know if and when anything will be rolled out, but it is helpful to know that they see how we’re trying to accomplish this feat: signing up patrons at in person events - and are asking questions to help answer the ultimate one: how do we do this effectively? what product solutions can help?