So you’ve booked your artists, found a venue and now you’re starting to think about getting feet through the door. Whether you’re a seasoned organiser or an events virgin, you don’t need to spend a fortune to create a buzz around your event, here’s how…
1. Establish a Brand
It’s not all about promoting the individual show; your brand personality is important too. Creating a persona around yourself, your team or your venue helps build reputation, trust and loyalty. Design can sometimes be costly so why not spend a few hours on YouTube tutorials, call in some favours from friends or offer free tickets in exchange for help? However you do it, aim your brand towards your target crowd and stand out!
Putting yourself out there and attending similar events to your own can be beneficial as long as you approach the right people. It takes some nerve but a co-sign from other promoters, artists or industry professionals is one way to get a step ahead.
3. Get Physical
It seems obvious and old hat but physical print is still worth its weight. Flyers and posters can be inexpensive if you find a reliable printer or, even better, print them yourself. Just make sure you target the right people and the right places.
Running a competition on Social Media and giving away tickets, merch or exclusive access can gain quick exposure and be relatively inexpensive. Make sure the prize is specific to your market though, otherwise you’ll end up with entrants uninterested in the event and some useless exposure.
5. Don’t Be Shy
Creating an event page, sharing it and frantically clicking everyone on your friend list isn’t going to butter any parsnips when it comes to getting your event out there. Start by asking those associated with the event to put in some effort promoting, online or otherwise. It’s not cheeky to ask artists, photographers and venues for a little help, after all it’s benefiting them too.
Getting media coverage is also gold. Get chummy with local publications and invite bloggers who will usually be game in return for a few free tickets and an AAA pass. On the other hand, some outlets will want payment which, depending on your budget and the usefulness of their audience, may or may not be worth it.
6. The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Starting promotion early is a good way of building hype around your event but don’t overdo it. We’d recommend 1 month of promotion for an un-ticketed event (too much notice can lead to people forgetting about it or losing interest) and a couple of months if you’re selling advance tickets. Advance sales can help you gauge interest and raise funds prior to the event too, while utilising different pricing tiers creates a buzz.
7. Keep People on Their Toes
It’s important to create value in the night and stand out from the crowd. I recently attended a night in London that would’ve been like any other club night if it wasn’t for all the space hoppers, which was a winner for me! (See Oxjam Regression Sessions). Although that might not be relevant to the type of event you’re organising there are interesting and inexpensive ways of getting people excited.
The list of ways to market your event could go on forever so it’s all about trial and error. If you’re methodical, have a clear understanding of the organisation of your event, aren’t afraid to self-promote and you target the right people, you’re sure to get punters through the door.