When promoting a concert or special event, the effectiveness of one's street team can be the difference in losing money, breaking even, or making a profit. Wikipedia defines a street team as "a term used in marketing to describe a group of people who 'hit the streets' promoting an event or a product." Their duties include: distributing promotional items and flyers, putting up posters and stickers, and a lot of word-of-mouth promotion throughout community. These foot soldiers, who are mainly volunteers, can be the single most important element to a successful promotion when adequately deployed. Here are a few tips to help you develop and manage your own street team.
The first step is to know and understand the people you are considering to join your squad. This can be achieved by creating a short form for potential members to fill out. Or, you can just setup an initial meeting with each one but be prepared to jot down some notes. The purpose of this is to find out their strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to the duties that will be assigned to them. Find out their level of commitment, likes, dislikes, general availability, and administrative/marketing/computer skills and inadequacies. Look for people with common sense, good judgment, the ability to think on their feet, and some level of expertise or a strong desire to learn. Use this information to place them in a position on the team where their top skills can be utilized. It can also help you determine what new responsibilities you can add to their duties at a later date and who to choose as group leaders.
Keeping the team organized and working together is important. The ultimate achievement is to create one strong and cohesive team where everyone is using their skills to achieve a common goal. As time progresses, some members will acquire new strengths, so keep track of their individual growth. When members grow, your team grows and it's overall effectiveness.
Strong communication skills must start from the top. Clear rules and responsibilities will help keep everyone in the "loop." Each person should understand their duties and the level of commitment that is expected. In addition, create a mechanism where their views and concerns can be expressed. And try to keep as little guesswork as possible out of their assignments. This should minimize any mistakes or mishaps due to participants who didn't know what they were doing. Constantly focus on the objective of each person or group leader and keep everyone in the communication loop.
At some point, certain tasks may become too routine and boring. This and a variety of other reasons could lead to some members losing focus and interest. If such is the case, look for creative and resourceful ways to motivate them and to keep the team spirit high. Recognizing individuals at a team meeting after a special assignment, awarding nice prizes for a job well done, and even a simple thank you email to show how much they are appreciated can go a long way. If something doesn't go well, try to focus on the positive as much as possible. Discuss what can be done differently the next time. And most importantly, be a good cheerleader.
After the event, meet with the team for a final group assessment. Make it an open discussion and ask for feedback or recommendations from the group members. Thank them and then go spend the money they helped you make. No, but seriously. Developing, managing, and maintaining an active/hard working team will consume a lot of your valuable time and energy. But when it is done the right way, you should be able to count the fruits of your labor in hard-earned cash.