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Hal Davidson, Veteran Festival Producer Suggests Old & New School Promo Tips
Promoting for 35 years, major festival and concert promoter mixes tried and true promo techniques with new technology.
Sounds simple, but the common fact is that most promoters become complacent and rely heavily on their electronic (tv or radio) or online promotion to cover the task of selling out that venue you are risking huge investments on. "In a time of efficiencies and need to do more, it’s not enough to rely on anything by itself. Learn to push a strong and targeted marketing mix." says Hal.
Good promoters know the virtue of a good media mix, but with the present spotty economy, going back to the most ancient form of promotion besides word-of-mouth, flyers/ posters done well, is now essential to loading up those gross impressions at a low relative cost.
“The Cost Per Thousand (CPM) value to reach your target customers using flyers and posters is incredible. When you consider that a minimum of 3 people read your mini color flyer, to reach 30,000 of your targeted potential ticket buyers for .008 cents each means we all need to do more of it and better!” Davidson said.
With all of the promo choices out there, your overall event marketing budget can become diluted fast. Flyers and posters help you target a geo-area, and with regard to flyers, walking right up to the type of people who look like your customers and handing them a flyer with a smile saying: Have you heard about our music festival? is effective.
Davidson advises to, “move fast through the crowd realizing that you have a limited time to get around to as many possible in a targeted gathering. It’s not a time for long conversations or to make new friends, it’s a marketing opportunity. Use a backpack to carry additional flyers, because you never seem to have enough."
Promoter Davidson also states, "promoting at events, do not hand huge stacks to people on the spot who ask to help. Hand them 20 and your business card, (You do have cards with you?). Tell them to email you to get more flyers AND posters, that you only have enough for the event. If they email you back, sign them up as a paid or volunteer worker to promote with you. Just making them go through that one step filters out the helpers who can’t really help at all.”
“The more structure in your street promos, the more effective they become. Don’t ever leave large stacks on counter tops in physical locations. If someone takes them all or a kid just trashes them, you just lost valuable promotion material.", Davidson added.
The idea is to keep coming back to or keep mailing back to that store. Even better, keep a complete database with contact name and phone number, email address of every location you promote in. Each location can become an important part of your promoting network.
When placing posters in windows, use 2-way tape or blu-tac (a repositionable adhesive silly-putty type goo), to place the posters, but place 2 posters back-to-back so store patrons AND people walking by can see the poster.
The most popular flyer is a ¼ page, 2 sided, color, UV coated, professionally designed flyer. Print 500 for your local fair or 150,000 for your major music festival. Cost is about $120 for 5,000 flyers. You need to provide art or they will do it for a fee.
For flyer or poster design, take a look at livemusicart.com. The most popular size poster is the easiest to ship 11x17, (100 for $125 or $310/ 1,000 at rushflyers.com)
“Promoters just hiring a street team and not managing one themselves is lazy. The best idea is a combination street attack like the one Davidson commanded when promoting LIVE AT THE ZOO in South Australia recently.
He mixed contracting 3 different promotion agencies, primarily to post posters in city store and restaurant windows. Each street team contractor had geographical sectors, and types of businesses they had set up promotional deals with. Otherwise you don’t get into that location.” Davidson said..
He also said “We ordered posters and flyers 5 times with 5 different versions as we brought on many big name Aussie bands. We used about 100,000 flyers and 1,500 posters. In addition, we used our online worker and volunteer application process to recruit an army of independent street teamers all over the country”. We also mailed flyers, posters and 2 free tickets to hundreds of music stores and head shops." Royce said.
Making virtual flyers/ posters available online from a button on the home page of the festival web site was also effective, Davidson also hired independent, part-time street promoters. Volunteers placed flyers and posters in their micro-local area in return for a festival ticket.
"It's now a competitive edge to have highly effective street teams." Davidson also said, "mixing in new texting promotions, email campaigns and other SEO principals along with traditional radio, billboards, promotional tie-ins and effective public relations, in total will provide good coverage to the target audience. If you do all of that, you have the magical marketing triangle”.
Davidson added, "newspapers are just not a good investment any longer. too expensive for a one time shot to too broad an audience, and newspaper's online editions mean little in the full perspective"
Hal's books, HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS and HOW TO PROMOTE Simplified have detailed and updated modern techniques for running your own poster and flyer effort to promote, with just about every other detail of promoting concerts and music festivals.
Hal's been promoting concerts and festivals since 1975 and is now a festival consultant. See these incredible books and other promoting resources at www.concert-
About concert-promotions.com and Hal Davidson: A web site dedicated to providing the best information available on the practical application of concert and music festival production and promotion for the modern promoter. Ethics bound, The Original HOW NOT TO PROMOTE CONCERTS & MUSIC FESTIVALS explains what to watch out for and what to do. Step-by-step promoting instructions. The 2012 Edition is 374 pgs. + Forms CD.
Page Updated Last on: Sep 24, 2012