First up in our Straight from the Source series is about pre-event marketing. Getting a huge crowd to your show directly affects the success of the artists, crafters, musicians, and vendors there. Naturally, folks who have been in the festival/event circuit for a while have seen plenty of marketing tactics that have worked and those that have failed. Here are some tips that come directly from our very own FestivalNet members on what they hope to see and not see.
- The bigger the crowd, the better! Don't skimp on the promotion part of event planning - not only does it determine the success of your own event, but for everyone who is booked as well.
- Give them promotional materials. You'll want the vendors, artists, and performers booked onto your show to reach out to their own fanbase to drum up more attendees - give them the tools to do so! Put together a welcome kit to send when confirming a booking that includes things like printable fliers, button ads, social media links they can share, etc. Putting a little effort into these materials can really help your bookees help you.
- Don't rely completely on vendors, artists, musicians, and crafters to do their own promotion. While of course they will talk up their own business and products, they need that larger market that you, as a promoter, can reach.
- Make use of social media. One thing that will always make your vendors and artists unhappy is not stepping into the digital age. Let go of those old Penny Saver ads, and start reaching much larger, modern markets by using social media. If you need some tips on getting started, check our newsletter archive!
- Respond in a timely manner. The sooner your vendors and artists know they're booked, the sooner they can start on their own pre-show process of setting up, creating inventory, promoting their spot, etc. Don't leave them hanging by taking too long to respond. Even if they don't fit with your show, and will be rejected, letting them know as soon as possible will give them the chance to book something else for that time slot.
- Put the musicians' names on your fliers. If you're booking bands onto your show, use their fanbase to your advantage! A good musician can draw a loyal and energetic crowd from the local scene. It'll boost not only your ticket sales, but your vendors' sales to attract those fans!
In short, you'll need to really put the 'promote' in 'promoter' to make your show a success for everyone involved. Marketing truly does make or break a show.
Stay tuned for more tips directly from the vendors, artists, and performers who are looking at your event listings!