It’s no secret. The world is in an economic mess. But as a concert promoter, there’s no excuse why you shouldn’t be winning; unless you’re still promoting they way they did 10-20 years ago. Through the good times and the bad, most people still feel the need to go out and have a good time. However, for concert promoters winning is more than ever about going the extra mile. It’s about working harder than ever. In addition, having savvy internet marketing, business, and creative skills may be the difference between winning and losing in this business. The key is knowing how to use all three in perfect harmony and getting help in areas you don’t what the hell you’re doing.
Don’t ignore the marketing power of the internet. Today Myspace and Facebook (to name a couple of social networks) get as many viewers as a lot of the top cable televison channels. One email can reach thousands of people in an instant. Meanwhile, newspaper and magazine readership are tumbling. Any wonder where the cataclysmic shift in concert promotions is going? You guessed it, to the internet. To survive, you need to know who’s writing the music blogs in your town, how to advertise on those sites, how to giveaway tickets online, and how to get concert details, artists interviews, and video links on your local radio stations’ web sites. In addition, concert promoters must also have their own online presence to do some of the same things. Being computer illiterate is no excuse. You can get any teenager to put together your myspace page in less than an hour. Do you have your own email list to blast information about your events? If not, do a little research and find out who has the hot email list in your market. Work out a deal for an email blast, a mention, or a banner ad. Whenever you advertise, mention your web site and start creating your own email database. It’s not too late to get in the game. Here’s a quick and effective way to utilize the video web sites like Youtube. Open a free account and upload your television commercial to their site, so you can post the video or link on other sites.I can go on and on about the use of the internet but I’ll stop right here for now (and save some more tips for a later issue).
Concert promotions is a business. The more you can handle yourself, the less you have to pay someone else to do it for you. That’s extremely important to understand. That’s why concert promoter Live Nation will soon be selling tickets to their events on their own website. By the way, find out how you can sell tickets to your own events online too. If you feel you are great at managing the ground promotion but not as good at keeping costs down or negotiating deals with other businesses, make sure your partner brings some of the skills you lack to the table. You must also weigh how much of a return on your investment your decisions will make because you still might be better off in these tough economic times doing it yourself. Most concerts are not selling out, so base your “break even” point on no more than 60% capacity. Last year I think I said 66% but I’m scaling it back a bit. Resist the temptations of raising ticket prices beyond what you know the market will bear. If you go too high, to cover potential loss of ticket sales, you will probably lose. Instead, look for talent and businesses that are willing to lower their price. Or, put together an entertaining show that you can net a profit within the 60-66% capacity range.
The third point is to focus on creative ideas and concepts that engages the audience. How can you make a basic concert seem like it’s the event of the year. It can be as simple as stating “it’s the event of the year” in the advertising but at some point you will have to do more to seperate your events from the ordinary. If “fantasy is reality,” it’s time to sell the “fantasy.” I consider Don King one of the greatest promoters of all time because he made his fights more than just a fight. The Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier fight at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on October 1, 1975 was one of the greatest of all time. But who could forget the title of the bout, “Thrilla in Manila”? You have to sell the experience of attending your event. Make someone want to spend their hard earned dollars to attend your show. The days of just putting out flyers and buying a few radio ads are over. But don’t be discouraged, just hustle harder. Most importantly, master the ability to communicate the excitement, experience, emotion, and splendor of your event in your marketing plan and the fans won’t disappoint you.
by Kevin Morrison (on Google+)
eJams Entertainment Booking Agency
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