A GUIDE FOR A SUCCESSFUL CONCERT
• TOOLS FOR SUCCESSFUL CONCERT PROMOTION •
If you are hosting a concert, the key to success is to promote, promote, promote. Utilizing every available method of communication to get the word out will ensure that your concert is well-publicized and that you have the largest crowd possible.
When you are promoting a concert, you may have months to plan or you may have weeks or days. Depending on the situation, you can still find a plan to promote your concert effectively, using multiple methods to insure that you have reached the largest number of people with your message.
Radio is one form of advertisement you cannot afford to forego. People may not always go to their email or read the newspaper or check Facebook regularly. But in their car, listening to the radio, they’re a captive audience to the advertisement the radio broadcasts. Many listeners are loyal to a station, especially gospel stations. Take advantage of this and advertise on radio.
Even if you pick up a concert date on short notice, having even just two or three days of radio coverage will make a big difference in your crowd attendance.
Many radio stations offer “Community Bulletin Board” or “Church and Concert Update” announcements and spots for FREE. Take advantage of these! These spots air frequently and are often something a listener will pay special attention to. BE SURE that the information you provide to the station is complete! This sounds obvious, but many times stations have incomplete information and didn’t have the answers to questions people are asking.
- - the name of the artist(s) performing
- - the name of the church or other venue
- - concert start time as well as what time doors will be opening
- - admission information (i.e. ticket prices, whether a love offering or donation is requested, etc)
- all other relevant contact info for the event
Ask about some live mentions—they go a LONG way! If the DJ is mentioning the event often, it keeps it in front of people. Several weeks ahead of time, if a concert is mentioned once per show, it gets people interested. The week of the concert especially, if it can be mentioned once or twice per hour, the results can be tremendous.
This is one of the very best ways to advertise your concert, because, like e-mail, it’s free! And it reaches a lot of folks. You can post a photo of the group, list all the details, and tag pertinent people on your friends list and reach an enormous audience. This has become the fastest-growing way to inform people about events in recent years, and you can promote multiple times, including each day and up to the day of and even a few hours before the event. Also, most every group has their own Facebook page. Work with the group to promote your event at least two-three weeks prior to the event date. You can also, for a small fee, do what is called a “sponsor” of your post that will reach many more people.
There is still merit in good old-fashioned posters. Select the highest-traffic areas to place them. Ask permission first–always! Grocery stores, restaurants, discount and department stores, gas stations, convenient stores, and Christian bookstores are the best places to start. Post 3-4 weeks prior to the event, if possible. If you don’t have that much time before the event, still put them out there. People will see them and come out to your event because of them.
Advertising in the local paper is another great way to get the word out. People do still read the paper, or they wouldn’t be still printing them. Newspapers are also accessed on line at an astounding rate. Advertise at least two weeks before if possible, and if you can work out a two-week run, that would be even better. People won’t attend what they don’t know is occurring. Many times if you purchase an ad in a local paper, they will also run a story free of charge, so make sure you submit a short essay-type article and photo with your ad. You can compose a story using the group’s bio, press materials, photos, etc. Many newspapers have special free space for church and religious events. Take advantage of their generosity!
Hopefully, these things will help you have a successful concert promotion on any level–the ticketed event or the church concert.
If you cannot utilize every method above because of budget or time constraints, use the ones that are best suited to your advantage. If you have a great radio station within 30-60 minutes of your venue, this has to be a must in promoting at whatever stage you’re in. But if you don’t, you may choose to invest in more posters and local newspaper ads. If you need help in planning a promotion plan, contact the group your hosting, their booking agency, or someone you know who has hosted a concert before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!