Comedy Outliers: A Million Ways to Deal With Venue Changes!

CO29final-normal fontGuest post by Brandon Collins and Mike Brown of  Comedy Outliers. They offer advice to comedians and performers on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

We Heard You.

We Listened.

We’re Back.

Those were the first three sentences in our first email we sent to our mailing list after the third showcase we held at Webster Hall. Based on the feedback we had received from our followers and our overall experience as producers, we came to the conclusion that our partnership with Webster Hall just wasn’t a good fit. The most difficult part about this revelation was that we had told our audience that it was essentially our new home AND we would now be changing the location of our show for the third time in less than six months. After a successful run of two years at Lilly O’Briens, producing a show for Yelp NYC and getting several guest appearances on popular podcasts we were hitting some rather rough speed bumps when it came to securing a new venue.

These things can happen and while it’s most important not to panic, there’s a few other things you should keep in mind as well:

1. Be optimistic and come up with an action plan! We followed up with our audience to let them know that we understood that they were not happy with Webster Hall as a venue and that we took their views to heart. We also knew that people appreciated our previous location at Lilly O’Briens in downtown Manhattan; a venue that was so random that they felt cool to be in the know about this unique event that took place every month. In the search for a new home, we knew we had to find a venue with owners that would not only be supportive of live comedy but would give us the ability to run the show the way it had always been successful.

2. Keep engaged with your audience! Using our weekly podcast and Twitter account to keep in touch with our following was crucial in making sure they knew about the changes we were making.

3. Don’t be afraid to admit when you made a mistake. We were initially very excited and proud of the opportunity to produce shows at Webster Hall. However after our first two shows, we realized that the venue didn’t quite understand what we were doing with “Comedy Outliers”. Our audience weren’t thrilled with the environment and as producers we found ourselves lost among the many other shows that the venue hosted. The decision to part ways with Webster Hall wasn’t difficult even though we didn’t have a secured new venue at that moment. We had to do what was best for our brand.

4. Be excited about the new changes! Finding a new venue required a lot of emails, phone calls with various managers and hitting the pavement to scope out potential venues. Finding the Wooly was a great success! Not only is it located only a few blocks from our old stomping grounds in downtown Manhattan but the manager is a strong advocate for the performing arts and really gets what “Outliers” is about. In our recent advertisements and promotion we have vigilantly expressed our excite about this “reboot” to our show with the new venue.

As a producer, there will be many successes peppered with a few setbacks. You have to be willing to adapt and show your audience that you are humbled by the experience. If they see that you’re doing your best to give them a great experience, they’ll come back and support you!

 Comedy Outliers’ next show is at The Wooly (11 Barclay Street) on Saturday, June 28th  at 7pm. The show has a $10 cover with no drink minimum. Buy $5 advance tickets if you enter code: “BPT”!  You can also support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website.

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Twitter 101: How to use Twitter to promote events

Fundraising

The Internet is riddled with social media platforms that have changed how and why people engage with content. As you prepare for your event, Twitter can be an incredibly useful and affordable tool for event promotion. With purposeful planning, strategy, and commitment, you can build buzz for your outstanding event in no time! Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Start early
The awesome thing about Twitter is once you Tweet about something, it is instantly captured by whomever is online at that moment. This allows you to talk about your event multiple times without annoying or spamming your followers or potential attendees. Social media management tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck allow you to schedule posts in advance. Utilizing these tools will allow you to design a solid Twitter promotion plan a month or more before your event. For a more detailed overview on how to use Hootsuite take a look at this article by Cosmic Doggerel.

Say the same thing, differently 
While Twitter’s structure allows for more repetition, you should always try to write variations of the same Tweet. Here is an example of a Tweet about an event: “#Seattle: Don’t miss out on amazing #music from @GreatArtist1 June 7th, #FREE http://ow.ly/bnWhz.” Compared to this variation: “Support your local #indie #music scene & listen to @GreatArtist1 6/7, #Seattle, free http://ow.ly/bnWhz.” Notice the slight differences in wording and order. Your event is special and unique, so find ways to talk about it differently and draw new attention to it!

Give love to get love 
The secret behind a truly special Twitter campaign is sharing! Virtual word-of-mouth is made easy with “retweets,” “favorites,” and “mentions.” By tagging bands, organizations and venues involved or related with your group, you are opening the line of conversation to all of their fans, friends and customers. Promoting others on Twitter only helps your chance at getting exposed to friends of friends of friends! You inadvertently build a strong network of supporters while helping neighboring colleagues!

Hint: It’s always good to retweet or support the projects of others in your area or industry while promoting yours. If you help them, they’ll be more likely to help you.

Start a trend with hashtags 
Twitter allows you to create any hashtag (# symbol before a word or phrase), to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. If enough people engage with that hashtag you can get your Tweet trending in your area, the country or even the world! Short and intuitive hashtags generally get the job done. For example, #SXSW works great for the South By South West music festival. #SFFilmFestival is also good for any film festival in San Francisco. If you’d like to get your event trending in a particular way add your unique hashtag to all tweets going out about your event. i.e. “Huge comedy extravaganza with free booze & live music! #BoozeCom2012.”

Hint: You can easily host giveaways and contests on Twitter by having people answer a question or tweet you with a specific hashtag. This is a great way to boost sales closer to the event while building buzz.

Don’t forget to link to your event 
You’ve hooked someone in with your awesomely crafted Tweet, now you can turn that interested party into a paying customer! Don’t forget to post a link to your purchasing site to close the deal.

Hint: Social management tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck have link shorteners built into their interface. This will give you more room to talk about your event.

Want more detailed information on how to promote your events and manage your presence on Twitter? Check out our free resource guide for quick tips, examples and definitions here. Looking for additional help with your event promotion plan? Feel free to email us at:Promo@BrownPaperTickets.com or call (800) 838-3006 (Option 5). We’re here to help!

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5 tips for hosting a low-cost community arts event

Situation: You’ve been asked to plan a community arts event. It needs to be hugely successful, but you have little-to-no budget. Impossible? We don’t think so!

Solution: By networking with fellow members in the arts community, presenting your event to neighboring venues and businesses, and building a team of partners eager to support your cause, you are bound to succeed! Utilize these 5 simple tips to help get your community arts event, or any community event, off the ground (and running)!

1. Choose a location that will benefit from increased traffic flow. If it’s a place that’s near and dear to your heart, even better.
A venue with power, running water and restrooms is best as you won’t need to rent the infrastructure separately. If you can establish why your event will be beneficial to the venue, it’s possible that you can co-present with them and may not even need to rent the space. Never hurts to ask!

2. Pool your resources.
Clearly define your cause and share with others. You will be surprised at how easily you can pull together a team of local volunteers who are willing to help in the planning process. This may be one other person, or several people who have different areas of interest and skill sets. Establish a common vision of what the event will be so that everyone is on the same page.
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Sell more tickets on Twitter: Five ways to turn followers into ticket buyers

You know you can use social media to sell tickets online. If only you knew how… It’s easy! Here are five simple things you can do to turn your Twitter followers into ticket buyers.

This post was first published in the Brown Paper Tickets newsletter. Get more articles about hosting successful events by subscribing here.
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Event Tips >

Sell more tickets on Twitter: Five ways to turn followers into ticket buyers

You know you can use social media to sell tickets online. If only you knew how… It’s easy! Here are five simple things you can do to turn your Twitter followers into ticket buyers.

1. Say exactly what you want.
Posting information about your events on your Twitter feed is an excellent start. Increase the number of conversations by saying exactly what you want people to do. For example, instead of simply posting “Excellent blues show tonight at the Red Door!”, try “Buy your tickets now to tonight’s excellent blues show at the Red Door!”. (Of course, remember to include the link!) This makes it easy for your followers to know that you aren’t simply posting nice-to-know information, but are asking for action.
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Event Tips >

Sell more tickets on Twitter: Five ways to turn followers into ticket buyers

You know you can use social media to sell tickets online. If only you knew how… It’s easy! Here are five simple things you can do to turn your Twitter followers into ticket buyers.

1. Say exactly what you want. 
Posting information about your events on your Twitter feed is an excellent start. Increase the number of conversations by saying exactly what you want people to do. For example, instead of simply posting “Excellent blues show tonight at the Red Door!”, try “Buy your tickets now to tonight’s excellent blues show at the Red Door!”. (Of course, remember to include the link!) This makes it easy for your followers to know that you aren’t simply posting nice-to-know information, but are asking for action.

2. Don’t always talk about yourself. 
Have you ever been on date with someone that talked about themselves the whole time? You know how easy it is to tune them out and how unlikely it is that you will ever spend time with them again. It’s the same on social media. If you are only talking about your events, people are going to get sick of you and stop paying attention. We like to follow a loose three to one rule. For every single self-serving post, we post at least three more times about things that have nothing to do with us but that our followers may be interested in. These other posts can be links to industry articles, funny pictures, shout-outs to people we admire and so on. Need help thinking of more things to post? Call Sarah in Event Promotions at (800) 838-3006 option 5. She’s a whizz at helping people come up with interesting content. (For free!)

3. Link! Link! Link!
Buying tickets to your event should be effortless. Don’t make your interested followers have to hunt around or search for your event. Every time you mention your event, include a link where people can buy tickets. Don’t just link to the Brown Paper Tickets home page, but directly to your event page.

4. Give tickets away.
Buzz is beautiful. The more people talking about your event, the higher the demand for your tickets. You can get people talking by offering a couple pairs of tickets as giveaways on your Twitter feed. Make it simple. For example, ask people to RT (retweet) your event link and say why they want to go. Then choose the winner from the RTs. By sacrificing just a couple pairs of tickets, you can get more people talking about your event to their friends and followers, reach a bigger audience and fill even more seats. Plus, free giveaways train your followers to watch your feed closely. No one wants to miss a freebie!

5. Use tools to make your life easier.
Perhaps you don’t have eight hours a day to sit and play on social media? Shocking! No worries. There are tools you can use to make your life easier. Online tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck allow you to schedule out posts in advance. This means you can spend 15 minutes in the morning writing all your tweets for the day, then be done with it. You can also use these tools to quickly see who’s talking to and about you and respond easily.

Hear something helpful? Click here to tweet this articleand share with your followers.

Want one-on-one guidance to help you sell more tickets on social media? 
Call our Event Promotions department at (800) 838-2006 (option 5). We can go over your event specifically and help you generate more ideas for early ticket sales.

Need help getting your Twitter feed to appear on your Brown Paper Tickets event? 
Please call our Client Services department at (800) 838-3006 (option 3). Our team is standing by 24/7 to help with all your technical and account questions.

 

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