Quick Promoter Tips on How to Sell Out Your Show

Author : 6AM
November 18, 2016

Quick Promoter Tips on How to Sell Out Your Show


The role of the promoter has changed over the years. That is to say that more often than not, in today’s electronic music scene, DJs and producers are finding themselves doubling up as promoters of their own parties. Starting a label may sure be a way of releasing music, but the real money is in monetizing the label brand with organized showcases and parties the same way some of the most respected imprints have been doing for years. The likes of Cadenza, mobilee, Dirtybird, Knee Deep in Sound, Suara, All Day I Dream and Diynamic are just a few examples that come to mind.

Selling out an event is always the ultimate goal for any promoter, and if you’re already selling out events the idea is to always be able to do it faster than before. There’s industry techniques and skills involved in speeding up ticket sales, especially when you’re battling with small budgets, tough competition or are an emerging brand in an already existing market.

Here are some important tools at your disposal:

FOMO Sells Tickets

Fear Of Missing Out is often such a strong driving force of its own that it can drive most of your event sales without the need of anything else. This is easy to do if you’re armed with marketing material from previous events which you can use to promote your upcoming show with. Videos, photos, testimonials and word of mouth all work wonders in this regard.

Find ways to market your show in such ways that event-goers are themselves letting their friends and social media contacts know that they will be attending. Use contests, giveaways, article/image sharing and other tools to encourage your audience to share their attendance, participation and ultimately, their experience. You can turn your attendees into affiliate promoters, for example, by offering credit for any ticket sales they might get from their friends or networks.

Incentivizing peer-to-peer sharing is possibly the best way to create FOMO alongside using smart marketing strategy to spread the message of your event’s experience from past editions. Organizing flash sales can be another effective way of building up FOMO, driving potential attendees to purchase tickets as they fear that they will miss out on the opportunity once gone. Ensure the period of a flash sale is short and make the discount significant if you want this strategy to be effective.

Create Scarcity

It’s best to start small and work your way up. By creating scarcity you’re increasing people’s fear of missing out (see above) and are setting yourself up for a more fun, memorable party.

Ensure your budget and business plan allow for your event to start small while generating more interested than expected, rather than to go too big too soon ending up with a half-empty dance floor. Create scarcity but never go back on your word: if you issue early bird tickets for attendees that buy before a certain time period, make sure you don’t extend it. Stick to your word.


Provide Value Before You Monetize

Too often promoters attempt to make money from attendees before working to provide them with something of true value. Value will in-and-of-itself translate into revenue, so don’t forget to work that important element into your event strategy.

Some promoters adopt the “freemium” approach, where they provide free access for some but tiered priced tickets for others who want access to more perks. Other promoters simply decide on the simplest and most budget-friendly way to add a unique and valuable twist to their event, aiming to stand out against the competition and win their brand new, faithful customers. Another way you can do this when launching an event series is to provide free entry or free perks when you launch, drawing first-time customers who will then be willing to pay for a repeat or improved experience next time around.

Get Key Market Influencers on Board

This is applicable no matter the size of your event. Letting your target audience know that key market influencers and names in your industry will be attending your event is an essential way of telling them that they should not miss out themselves.

Here are some examples of things you can do to get key influencers on board with your event:

  • Team up with other reputable promoters.
  • Bring on respected labels and artists to support or showcase at your event.
  • Personally invite other venue owners, promoters or artists to come to your event. When important pieces of the nightlife industry come together, the marketing and promotion for the event is immediately multiplied. Cultivate that industry family atmosphere and don’t underestimate the power of a simple tweet or Facebook post from a key influencer announcing that he/she will be supporting your show.
  • Invite news outlets and blogs to cover your event. More often than not they will accept your invitation and repay it with pre-event social media posts announcing their presence at the event.

Cultivate Authority

Use any and all great press and feedback you receive to your advantage. Do not underestimate the power of authority in drawing people to your event: news coverage, Yelp or Facebook reviews or that fantastic unsolicited tweet you received can all be powerful tools in cultivating authority within your market.

If your event or brand has done something brag-worthy, tell your target audience about it!


Be Honest and Build Relationships

This may be one of the most undervalued key elements of a successful nightlife industry brand. Building honest connection with your customers and other industry professionals is important. It established trust and a rapport that will likely continue for many more events to come.

Here are some key things to take into account:

  • Deliver what you promise. If you promote that entry is free before 12am, ensure entry is free before 12am. If you promise free water stations at your festival, ensure they are operational and accessible to everyone. Do not break the trust you’ve built with your customers. It’s hard to regain customer trust if you begin by failing to deliver what you promised.
  • If an issue arises during your or after your event, handle it. Promoters often decide to ignore important issues hoping that it will not blow up in their face later. Social media can work against you if you decide to go this route, as all it takes is one tweet or Facebook post to bring your brand into disrepute.
  • Ensure your social media team understands the importance of customer-relationship, is familiar with everything going on with your event and is able to respond to any complaints, issues and questions promptly, respectfully and with effective action.
  • Pay people. Oh yes, we’re going to go there. If you booked a DJ and he plays for you after agreeing on a fee, pay him. If you sign a contract with vendors or sponsors, stick to the contract. Any time you go back on your word and fail to stick to your promises you’re setting yourself up for negative publicity, failed business relationships and lost customers.

Being authentic and real is key.

You can build that authenticity and respect by using great communication skills, transparency, honesty and by using the platform you’ve created for yourself and brand to do good in your community. Supporting a local non-profit, organizing charity events, giving out freebies, taking the time to really ask your customers about their experience and working to improve your brand based on their feedback are all vital elements to showing that you actually do care. Care and attention to detail are key to building a successful brand, festival or nightclub event series.


Sometimes even great events don’t sell out. Of course lineup, ticket costs, the right venue and even weather condition all come into play to create a successful and/or sell out event.

But if you follow the above pointers you will be a step closer to building a reputable, respected and followed event brand within the nightlife and electronic music industry. And with that comes the opportunity of selling out your shows and doing it quicker and quicker each time.

If you found this article interesting, sign up for our newsletter to learn more and to stay up to date with 6AM’s news and features on the world of electronic music.