How do you get people to come to your show? As an artist or songwriter, knowing how to promote an event is extremely important. Whether you choose to use a promoter or do it yourself, you need to know how it all works.
Promotion is crucial for the successful running of an event. If the promotion isn’t carried out effectively, it’s unlikely that you will engage with, mobilise, and grow your fan base.
If you’re planning of effectively promoting your live music events, then we have plenty of tips to help you find the best ways to get people to come to a show and the 7 best ways to get people to your live music event.
How do you promote a gig? Gig promotion ideas
Knowing the best ways to promote your shows is hard, but there are some creative ways to promote an event below.
Following these tips will assist you in knowing how to promote an event:
- Plan your promotion
- Use social media
- Utilise local media
- Reach out to bloggers
- Promote physically
- Promote through word of mouth
- Create hype
Promoting live music events
#1 Plan your promotion
Once you’ve got your event booked and ready to go, it’s time to start on the single most important part of the promotions process – planning!
Allow a few weeks or months to promote your event. Always give enough time for people to make plans and ensure as many people are aware of the event as possible.
Advanced tip: Try to think about your concert promotion as part of a bigger picture. If you have a big gig coming up, you might want to have some music, like a single or an album coming out to go along with it.
You might even want to have a full campaign to promote your gig. Focus on ‘giving back’ to people – they’ll be much more receptive to your content if you bring value to your audience.
How to promote a music tour
This is another example of thinking about promotion as part of a bigger picture.
If you’ve got an entire tour coming up, think about how far in advance you’ll want to promote the tour. If it’s multiple dates, you might want to consider promoting months in advance (rather than just weeks in advance).
Gather your materials together in plenty of time and you’ll have the space to plan what promotional content is going out and when.
If you’re looking for how to actually organise your event, check out this article here:
Use social media
#2 How to promote a concert on social media
In 2019, social media has become one of the most direct ways to connect with fans and spread the word about an upcoming event to a targeted, specific audience.
People learn about new artists through social media interaction, as well as what events are happening nearby. They also see which ones their friends are going to — whether through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other medium.
Developing a strong internet presence is an important part of expanding your potential audience and coordinating with everyone involved in your events.
How to get someone to come to your event
General tips: A general tip is to promote live events by posting regularly on social media platforms.
Taking advantage of social media strategies like tagging artists and venues, using appropriate hashtags, and even employing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques can help develop the viral effect. Your posts can get shared over and over, reaching a huge audience.
Social media is free – it’s easy and a lot of people have it. Make an event on your social media platforms and invite everyone. Make sure it’s shared by anyone involved – this will spread the word.
Social media becomes useful again during the event too; keep updating your social media throughout the day as it will attract people who may not have decided to go.
Encourage other acts at your event to also post about the event as their fans may come along too.
More on how to promote your music here:
How do you promote a music event?
Instagram stories: Utilising Instagram stories is a great promotional tool that’s brand new to 2018-2019. Get all of the support bands and acts (including yourself) to film a short video of the other bands sound checking and then performing.
The best thing about Instagram stories is that people can tag you in their story. You can simply add that post to your story and people viewing your story will only see the content of you.
How to get people to come to your event
Think about what you’re going to do before, during, and after. Follow up the gig by thanking fans on your social media, by emailing them or by text. You always want to be planning in advance for your next show. Building this rapport with your fans is a great way to, essentially, start promoting your next event.
When it comes to promoting your event before, during, and after, upload pictures and videos of your event on your social media sites. This shows exactly what exactly happened at previous events, and what people can expect from future events.
Stagger them out. Don’t release them all at once, and pre-announce that you are releasing the stage pictures from last night. Also, get your fans to tag themselves in the pictures so they feel involved in the event.
Check out these promotional tips specifically for Instagram here:
How do I get more people to come to my show?
Contact or post on websites or forums. There are lots of listing websites such as Gumtree that you are able to add your event to.
Use the mailing lists obtained during before the event to promote your upcoming event. Mailing lists are underrated in 2019. If you have a long list, this is great because it means you have direct contact with your fans.
Social media like Facebook and Instagram actually limit the reach of your posts because they want you to pay to boost your post. Mailing lists don’t have this. Every email you send will be read by the people you want to target (as long as they read their emails).
Final tip: Don’t neglect other social media sites such as Twitter or Snapchat. The more you can get your message out on, the better.
If you’re considering putting on and promoting an open mic event, check out this article.
How do you successfully advertise an event?
#3 Utilise local media
A more traditional, yet still effective, method of promoting live events is reaching out to local media.
This also involves understanding what sorts of media your target audience consumes. If you are promoting a jazz concert, for example, you might contact the local jazz radio station. You might want it to plug the concert during a show or even having your band or artist project do a live in-studio session.
When targeting a younger indie-music crowd for a popular new band’s concert, you might pitch an interview to a local music scene magazine. TV shows, newspapers, and magazines can all help in targeted local promotion.
Pro tip: Local media are often cheap and free! Contact your local newspapers and radios, they may be able to offer you space for an advert.
How do I get magazine contacts for promotion?
The easiest way to do this is by getting a media list from the venue. If you’re just getting started performing live, you probably don’t have an extensive list of contacts for the local press.
The venue booker will often have a list ready to send to bands who are touring from out of town, but they can just as easily send that list to you too.
How do you attract crowds to your event?
You want to make sure that your gig is listed in all the local concert calendars, but you also want to see if you can get other kinds of coverage. This can include previews in the newspaper, interviews, or a spotlight on a locally focused radio show.
If you contact them 2-3 months in advance of your show, you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting some media attention. You’ll also have an easier time getting big exposure.
Creative ways to promote an event
#4 Reach out to bloggers
How do you promote a music event?
Nowadays, online blogs are a great platform for musicians to promote their upcoming shows. It gives a second-hand opinion on what a band or artist is about.
It’s brilliant for something called ‘social proof,’ which means really proving that you are a legitimate band to your audience.
Many online blogs are run by big companies so they’re hard to get featured on (unless you’re a big artist), but some are run by independent local curators who would love to feature what gigs you have coming up.
Drop 15-20 of them a message. A lot of them won’t respond, but some of them will. The more you message, the better your chances, but always make the emails personal to each specific blog.
How to promote a show in another city
Since they’re online, you can use blogs to promote a concert somewhere far away from your home town.
Proving to your audience that your music is worth talking about will give them faith that you’re a good artist.
There’s so much more info on specifically how to get featured on blogs here:
How to promote a show
#5 Promote physically
Before the event, put up posters and distribute leaflets. You’ll need to make sure you have directions up around the event (on the day) and also on routes to the event. That way you give people the opportunity to pop in and see what’s going on.
Make sure to create a good concert poster that’s eye-catching. Spamming the neighbourhood in posters won’t guarantee a big audience for your show, but it does help with awareness and promotion for your act. If your poster is good, you’ll be in with a better chance.
Doing all of this also gives you a start on visual branding, which will help with name recognition later on. It reinforces the minds of people who’ve already considered going to your show that it will be a good event.
Just be sure to follow any local laws regarding hanging posters/fliers in public places. If you can’t put them on telephone poles, ask the staff about bulletin board or window space in coffee shops, or music stores.
How to promote your show
Creative ways to promote an event (during the actual event): Have posters up which include your social media links and the next gig date, which ideally will be already organised.
Have leaflets on the tables and bars again which also include your social media links and/or the next gig date. Ideally, this will have space for people to add their details too like a mobile number or email address, for you to contact them about future events.
Flyers are a good way of making sure people still have an interest in what you’re doing, even when they’re leaving. Getting someone to hand out flyers to everyone as they leave can help to promote any future events you have.
If you want to sell out your show, make sure to check out this article.
How can I promote my event for free?
#6 Promote through word of mouth
Word of mouth is a really effective form of promotion. Engage with your friends and fans and get them to spread the word about your event.
If you get one local music scene influencer or industry person excited about the event, he or she may pass the word on to others.
If that person has previously been a reputable source of information on local events, it can be a great help.
When you’re looking for other free promotional strategies, specifically for your music, check out this article here:
How can I promote a concert with no money?
Spread the word yourself! Tastefully mention your event to as many people as possible. Think creatively about how to do this, and think how you would like to be approached if someone else had an event that they’d like you to come to.
Don’t forget to get feedback on your event and promotion strategies. Getting feedback is always a good way of seeing what was good or bad about the event. Ask your fans for feedback, thank them for it, and let them know you will bear it in mind for future events.
How to convince someone to attend an event
#7 Create hype
The best thing about creating hype is that you don’t even have to ‘convince’ people to come to your event.
A great way to create hype is by holding contests over Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This can be for concert tickets, merch, special content, or anything else. After the contest is over, draw the attention over to your upcoming gig.
Teaming up with artists for a contest is also a great way to achieve organic attention. By doing this, you’re creating a larger network of fans through bringing both artists’ online reaches together.
Don’t forget, create social proof through meeting people in this way. If big names, venues, promoters, or brands are getting behind you, you’ll organically create more hype around your act.
How do you promote an event successfully?
Most importantly, engage with your audience! If they have taken the time to come and see you, come out before, during and after the event and thank them. Drop into the conversation the next gig you have or get them to follow you on Facebook or Twitter.
We hope that you feel inspired and ready to promote your next gig. If you have any interesting tips on how to promote events, we would love to hear about them in the comments below!