The bottom line of any successful live entertainment event is attendance. As a promoter, you will be responsible for filling up the venue and satisfying the stakeholders, which may include the musicians, their management, the venue and the audience. A successful event leaves everyone involved feeling positive about the experience. Leaving those people with a positive feeling can lead to expanding the artists’ audiences and encouraging the venue management to work with you again in the future.
If attendance (and the resultant revenue) is the simplest measure of the success of a promotional campaign, then the most important part of promoting live events is exposure. People need to know about the event before they can attend it. There are many different ways to successfully promote an event in today’s complex live entertainment industry, but they all include two key tenets: knowing your target audience and engaging them. By pursuing a Masters of Art in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management, you can study how to identify and engage your target audience, as well as the different methods you can use to successfully promote your events. Here are five ways successful promoters accomplish their goals.
1. Promotion Through Social Media
Social media has become the most direct way to connect with fans and spread the word about an upcoming event to a specific audience. People learn about new artists through social media interaction, as well as what events are happening nearby, and which ones their friends are going to — whether through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other medium. Developing a strong internet presence is an important part of expanding your potential audience and coordinating with everyone involved in your events. Promoting live events by posting regularly on social media platforms can help you reach as many people as possible — share links to artists’ pages, videos, articles, and the like. Further, taking advantage of social media strategies like tagging artists and venues, using appropriate hash-tags and even employing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques can help develop the viral effect, where your posts get shared over and over, reaching an exponentially increasing audience.
2. Engaging Local Media
A more traditional, yet still effective, method of promoting live events is reaching out to local media. This also involves understanding what sorts of media your target audience consumes. For instance, if you are promoting a jazz concert, you might contact the local jazz radio station about plugging the concert during a show or even having the band or artist do a live in-studio session. When targeting a younger indie-music crowd for a popular new band’s concert, you might pitch an interview to a local music scene blog. TV shows, newspapers and magazines can all help in targeted local promotion.
3. Fan Engagement
It may seem like common sense, but engaging fans is key to a successful entertainment event. In addition to reaching your audience through social media posts and local press, you can also use social media to offer free ticket giveaways and other means of fan engagement — and you can encourage the artists to engage their fans directly, posting about the event and responding to comments and posts. This creates a personal connection that promotes fans’ investment in both the artist and the event.
4. Physical Promotion
Hanging posters and passing out handbills in the area where the event will take place is also a time-tested mode of promotion. Just make sure you know the local rules and regulations regarding flyering and public space advertisement.
5. Word of Mouth
Perhaps the most important part of promoting live events is to get people talking about them. If you get one local music scene influencer excited about the event, chances are he or she will pass the word on to many others. Anybody whom others consider a source of information on local events can be a great help, from coffee shop baristas to professors in a music program.
Both modern and traditional methods of promoting live events are integral to the success of these events. By earning an online M.A. in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management you can master these and other promotional tools to become an effective part of the live entertainment industry.
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