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How To Promote And Prepare For An Event
Concert Rider

How To Promote And Prepare For A Concert Or Event

Planning and promoting a concert or event is an intricate endeavor. Preparation is easier with a detailed plan in place months ahead of time, if possible. The following is a guide to help maximize the success of your concert or event.

Getting Started

1. The most important thing is to start a word of mouth campaign immediately.

2. Call as many churches as possible and ask them to put the concert on their calendars. Ask if you may send promotional posters to be put up in their church to advertise the concert. This is very effective way to spread the word about a concert or special event. The support of churches, pastors, and their staff is vital. Call them, remind them, and email them--respectfully.

3. Have all your posters and flyers printed including a picture of the group, stating time, date, location, and ticket price. Send them to the churches you have contacted. Flyers should be sent to a mailing list of previous concert attendees, churches and bookstores.

The Promotional Countdown

14 weeks prior to the concert/event

1. Commence a direct mail or email campaign. You should aim to mail 3000-5000 churches and individuals in order to effectively reach your area. It is vital that your mailings arrive at least six weeks prior to the concert or event. When sending a mailing of this size you can get a bulk rate discount. Use your church or organization non-profit permit (if applicable) to get the lowest postal rate possible. You must give the post office substantial time to ensure your mailing arrives on the determined schedule; bulk mail usually takes at least three weeks to be fully delivered.

3. Set up ticket sales at area bookstores and churches. List them on your promotional materials, inform all outlets that you will pick up the receipts and excess tickets no later than the day before the concert. Inform stores that even if they sell all their allotted tickets, under no circumstances should they tell their customers the concert is sold out unless you personally tell them so.

4. Have your tickets printed. Often the cost of this can be absorbed by a local business in exchange for using logo on the back. You might even work a deal whereby the ticket stub is used as a discount coupon for their customers.)

5. Contact the local Christian radio station about advertising. Get rates and ask for discounts and special promotion policies. Explore all possible public service announcements.

12 weeks prior to the concert/event

Distribute all promotional materials and tickets to outlets. Be sure to get receipts and carefully log ticket dispersal so a proper accounting can easily be made when you settle up.

6 weeks prior to the concert/event

1. Recruit or hire crew to help with concert (load-in, ushers, ticket takers, load-out).

2. Send announcements to all free publications (activities calendars, church bulletins, newspapers, radio, TV, cable shows, schools, youth programs, etc.).

3. Your mailing should have arrived by this time. Check with a sampling of people on your list to ensure receipt.

4 weeks prior to the concert/event

1. Start Christian radio advertising. You should buy 30-second spots to run four times a day Monday through Friday for at least four weeks prior to the concert. Inquire about a station ticket give-away (about 10 pairs per station) and offer tickets to the station employees.

2. Schedule artist radio interviews.

3. Make arrangements for counseling materials to be available and plans for follow-up counseling. Check with local pastors who might be available for the evening or to disciple and counsel as part of your follow-up efforts.

3 weeks prior to the concert/event

1. Send press releases to the religion and entertainment editors of all local newspapers. Keep them short and to the point with a name and number to call for more information.

2. Check tickets every three days. Redistribute tickets if necessary--don't allow outlets to run out of tickets if other outlets still have more.

The week of the concert/event

1. Be sure that all ticket monies and/or tickets are picked up from the outlets no later than the day prior to the concert. This will give you enough time to make an accounting of all tickets sold at advance and group rates. Group rates should not be applicable at the door nor should any tickets not already paid for be held at the door. It is not uncommon for people to call and ask for thirty tickets to be held and then show up with far fewer attendees.

2. If you have not already discussed arrival times and last minutes details with artistís road manager, call him or her to confirm appropriate arrangements.

3. Be sure to have hotels reserved and prepaid in the artistís name. To avoid confusion at hotel registration, it is important to ensure that the artistís name is correctly spelled out and that a confirmation number is assigned and given to the road manager.

4. Arrange for all meals/per diems for artist and crew.

The day of the concert/event

1. Be sure that your crew will be there at the pre-determined time. Ensure that the building will be open and ready for setup.

2. Brief ushers and staff on their duties at least two hours before concert time. Be sure they are aware of possible restrictions on photography and sound and video recording.

3. Meet with the road manager to cover details on setup and load out as well as sound check.

4. Have tables set up at the rear of the auditorium and several people available to help with sales of CDs and other merchandise.

5. Complete an expense record sheet (door sales can be added following the concert) and receipts on hand so figures can be settled quickly if percentages are involved.

6. Provide meal(s) for artists and crew.

7. Prayer time with artists, crew, and counselors usually takes place an hour or so prior to the concert. Doors usually open to the public 30 to 45 minutes before concert time.

8. Pass out mailing list cards to get the name and address of attendees for future event mailings.

After the concert/event

1. Please be sure that enough helpers are present to assist artists with load out.

2. Give or send thank you notes to all volunteers and counselors.

Other Promotional Ideas

1. Pass out flyers at other Christian concerts and events in the weeks preceding your concert or event.

2. Seek opportunities to have local business owners sponsor your concert; in return for signage displayed at a venue or logos printed on flyers, some businesses may provide financial support or valuable consideration such as hotel rooms or advertising time.

Remember--a successful concert or event requires much advance preparation and careful planning. Always ask questions, gather information, and meet people to learn more about your market. Be sure do your work ahead of time! If you wait until the last six days to bombard the market, it will be too late. People plan their activities weeks and months ahead of time. Be sure to give your audience plenty of advance notice.

We wish you the best in your efforts--please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how to prepare for your concert or event.