If you have been paying attention to my blog since last spring you will know that in 2014 I decided to become an event curator. I may be childless but Obscura is totally my baby. I created Obscura because a few of my homies were looking for some publicity in the form on press coverage and blog articles. Although they were, and still are, some very talented people, I didn’t feel like they had much of a story. I still wanted them to get some shine so I decided to put on a small Hip-Hop concert and had them perform. I added a few other local favorites and bam! Obscura was born.
A hefty amount of folks filled up my local Anarchist community center where I held the show. This left me feeling really powerful and thinking maybe I can do this again and make a thing out of event curation. Well it goes without saying that I decided to put together a second installment of Obscura. The turnout was even greater than the last. Despite not putting together a press release for Obscura, media got wind of the show and I managed to get a little pre and post event coverage.
Over the years I have been to a large amount of local and independent shows and events. Some were packed wall to wall, while others pretty much flopped. I began to make mental notes about what I believed to work for the event and what didn’t. Now I am going to share a few tips with you guys on how to make sure your event brings an impressive turnout.
Facebook really isn’t the wave anymore, though I still love it. How else will I keep track of the people I never actually talked to in high school or debate bigots about what a woman is allowed to do with her body. Regardless, all of the hip kids have moved on to Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. But somehow Facebook event pages are still alive and kicking. Facebook is a great tool to connect you with people with whom you have similar interest while keeping you in touch with all the homies that you have know for a while. The event pages help you target people in your area who you likely already know would be interested in what ever kind of event you are throwing. Quick Tip: Its always a good idea to take at least 50% of people off the number of folks who said that they were attending.
As I mentioned, Facebook use is on the decline so it would be foolish to have that as your only means of contact with potential event goers. The internet is also home to sites like Eventbrite and Ticketleap which are websites that allow individuals to create events and invite people via email beyond. Eventbrite is really good when your target demographic is not big on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Just like Facebook, Eventbrite helps you keep track of the people who plan on attending and stores their information so you can invite them to future shindigs. One of my favorite things about using Eventbrite is the fact that it allows the event curator to sell tickets. When you know how many people purchased tickets, you get a better idea of how many people are actually going to show up. Selling tickets through Eventbrite also enables the curator to give an added incentive to potential attendees by providing them with an early bird special.
Depending on the scale of your event, nothing beats and good old fashioned press release. If you are projecting a turnout in the hundreds, with notable acts, major publications will likely want to know about it. For those who don’t know, a press release is a concise summary of your event. It includes the name, date, location, and time of your event. It is also wise to include the fine details like who will be performing, who’s art will be showcased, the story behind the event, and the cover charge. Media outlets will use this as a foundation for pre and possibly post event coverage. It is totally a great idea to send these press releases out to bloggers as well. Many of us are constantly looking for new content to put on our sites, and your event might be the perfect fit. Heads up, if you plan to invite out and media personality or journalist of any caliber, know that it is customary to wave their entry fee. Essentially, they are doing you a favor, and it is always nice to have a favor returned.
If feel like I have been talking a lot about incentives. Well quite frankly incentives are good, like really good. There are dozens of events going on everyday in major cities – there is so much to choose from. But what makes your event any different from the rest? What can you offer that is going to make people want to leave their cribs, commute to your venue, and pay to get in? Consider offering drink specials, door prizes, raffles, or even giveaways. Make it hard for us to say no. Make us feel like we are going to miss out if we don’t attend.
I plan to bring back Obscura on April 4 of 2015, this time around I will make sure to not promote on just facebook and instagram, but to include press releases and incentives as well. I hope to see some of you guys there.
If you have any other ideas that would help create an awesome turnout at an event please share them in the comments. If you like what you read make sure to share it on your social media. Thanks in advance.