Every promoter wishes for a successful event, be it a concert, a live performance, a club night, a warehouse party or a major festival. After all, promoters spend considerable time and money to plan and execute events of all sizes. Yet sometimes, despite these efforts, there are instances that the events end up being a disappointment. Of course, there are some that failed because of circumstances beyond their control. In many cases though, such failures were a result of promoters not knowing the intricacies that make events successful in the first place.
After 12 years working in the nightlife industry, including organizing and being directly involved in hundreds of events ranging from club nights to festivals, we have identified four key reasons for event failures. And for any promoter looking into promoting an event in the future, this is a must know.
Some promoters think their events will be successful if they just invite friends on social media and hope for event announcement and buzz to do the rest. In reality, it’s hard to consistently rely on friends and organic buzz to fill up your venue. Instead, promoters ought to plan and execute solid marketing campaigns that properly promote the event.
How to address it: Think beyond your friends and start building a loyal customer base. Make an effort to track those who buy tickets to your events and save their individual profiles. Use affiliate links to track which channels bring in the most traffic. Access to such information will give you a better idea of what works, who you can rely on the best, and discover a reliable network that you can rely on every time whenever you have an event to promote.
In the past we have covered important tools such as social media tips for successful events, e-mail marketing campaigns, building event websites that actually sell tickets, the important of business plans and even how to price your events correctly.
Sadly, many promoters fall into the trap of giving away too much stuff for free. Things like free tickets, free drinks, free VIP access, etc. The moment you begin giving guest list spots away like candy is the moment you set a precedent that is hard to recover from. Those people will no longer be expecting to pay when instead they should consider supporting you, their friend, and the movement you represent by buying a ticket. We are not advocating for zero guest lists, as it is entirely ok to take care of friends and industry peers, but do not allow this to get out of control.
How to address it: Of course, promoters can wiggle some room and provide some freebies, but this should not be done all the time and it should be offered to just a very select few. Otherwise, it decreases the value of the event and conditions customers to expect discounts or freebies in the future. Simply consider the demand and supply relationship of your event when deciding who to guest list and how big your list is going to be.
Few promoters use tools to collect valuable insight on their events. These tools are helpful for promoters to accurately determine key information such as attendance, age and gender demographics, how soon in advance, people buy tickets, at which price level, etc. Knowing such information is vital to determine how successful the event is, what worked and what didn’t. Not to mention, this information serves as a blueprint to ensure continued or improved success when executing events in the future.
How to address it: Use a ticketing system that collects data in the background. Use and analyze all data provided through your social media channels. Consider using other channels to collect data from your target audience, including platforms that collect e-mails and other demographic information in exchange for ticket contests or giveaways.
Perhaps the gravest sin for promoters is not realizing that they’re actually running a business. Promoters who fail to see this end up taking things for granted, not bothering to gather data and formulate strategies like other businesses do and failing to keep the necessary communication and organization to ensure successful business, all of which is a shame because, with all the resources being spent and the aim of gaining revenue, event promotion is not unlike running a business at all.
How to address it: First and foremost, realize that the event execution and promotion that you do is a business. This should change your perspective and will be a motivating factor to ensure not only the success of the event but also earn revenue in return. Having a business-minded mentality for event promotion allows you to run your events professionally, increasing your chances of success.
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