Whether you are putting on an art show, playing a rock show, or premiering a film, getting the masses together for an event is key to getting people talking about you and your art. But getting people to an event is difficult. I’m going to break down a few ways to garner a larger, more excitable audience.
Create Marketing Materials Behind the Event (Fliers & Trailers)
After the usual party planning is in motion and the date and venue are locked in, you’ll want to begin making marketing materials. You’re an artist, so make your fliers and trailers for the event stand out. They are direct representations of your art and what people should expect from the event. Don’t just make one flier or one video for the event. Make as many as you can muster and post them consistently and constantly leading up to the big day. Ask your friends to repost a flier to their social media platforms to access their networks. Think about who is involved with the event. The venue, the other artists, the caterer, the rental house. Do any of them have social media or mailing lists? Ask them to repost or email out about the event using your cool marketing materials.
Create a Facebook Event and Eventbrite
Create a Facebook event and an Eventbrite page so that all the information is readily available upon a cursory search. Use these links to contact the people you want at the event, whether it's media or special guests or just friends and family. These pages make it simple so that you don’t have to repeat answers to questions like “Where is it?”
Putting the Event on Local Calendars
You’ll then want to contact local websites and media that have calendar sections. Often times you can submit your event to the calendars for free. They will either put them directly into the event feed or approve them individually. Think about how you find out what to do in your city every week. Is there a website or a weekly email with happenings you get that helps inform your decision-making process? Ask them to include your event.
Go old school and print out some flyers, but be strategic in where you place them. Think about your audience and where they hang out. If you are putting on an art show, ask to put a flyer up in the venue you’ll hold it at in advance and all the other art galleries in the vicinity.
Invite the Right People
Next, you need to craft a guest list and I’m not talking about inviting your uncle. I’m talking about inviting people in the arts that are respectable in your community. This doesn’t mean you should invite Jeff Koons to your art show because you think he’d like it (although if you have his contact information, it doesn’t hurt). I’m talking about local big fish in a small pond scenario. Think about who you think would enjoy your show. Message the artists in your community via social media to join the event. No hard feelings if they don’t show or respond, but you have nothing to lose. If they come and like your stuff, you might have just gained a powerful ally.
Facebook Groups/Meet Up
Go back to Facebook and search for groups and pages with similar interests as your own event. For example, you are putting on a film premiere in Atlanta. Search ‘Film Lovers in Atlanta’ or ‘Film Festival Atlanta’. Go to those group’s administers and ask kindly if they’d post about your event on the page they manage. The same applies to MeetUp.com. If your event is ticketed, to sweeten the pot, offer an exclusive promo code as an incentive for posting.
If you have a mailing list, this is obviously the time to send out the news about your event. Incentivize these people with free tickets for the first 10 to RSVP.
If you have money to spare after all that art you just made and paying for a crazy event, now is the time to put it to work with paid hyper-targeted advertising. Think about where your target audience resides (are they Facebook people or Instagram people?) and put an ad out targeting people you think would love to be at your show. For example, you are putting on an art gallery show in San Francisco. Typically your audience is 12 to 28-year-old girls because you paint Disney princesses doing R rated stuff. Facebook and Instagram allow you to target your city with a mileage radius, an age, sex, and by interests. Set it for San Francisco, 30-mile radius, 12 to 28-year-old females that love Disney and tattoos. Even if they don’t show at the event, they might convert to followers and in the future even customers.
For under $100 you can target specific keywords and geographies to relevant news sources, not only putting your event in more places, reaching more people, but driving up SEO for your websites and views on video trailers. Using PRWeb, they make it easy to put together a press release that has the potential to reach over 1,200 websites.
There are a lot of people in your field that don’t know about you and a party is an easy way to get people to come and discover you. Make the most of the opportunity and contact everyone.
Blaine Fuller is a nomadic artist currently residing in Los Angeles working at Bell + Ivy as their content marketing specialist and manager.