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Q&A: Jack Bartholet Talks “Lady with a Song”

When we first came across Jack Bartholet’s show poster for “ Lady with a Song,” on Instagram, we realized two things—red lipstick and peep-toe heels looks amazing with a business suit and Bartholet is someone we should know.

More than that certain je ne sais quoi, he has an impressive resume as both a tenor singer and artistic director. He has joined voices with Our Lady J, The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, and appeared in Rocky Mountain Repertory’s production of Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver. He has also worked as Rufus Wainwright’s assistant.

The next big thing is performing at Pangea’s inaugural Pride festival (June 17-30) on June 27th. If you live in New York or are headed there, get tickets for his show or check out the whole festival.

Several write-ups about you mention that you push boundaries. What should we expect in your latest “Lady with a Song?”

One boundary I push is that I don’t apologize for asking my audience to call me a Lady; A Lady with a Song. In one script draft, I began with an overly wordy preface explaining that by calling myself a Lady I was not attempting to speak for female voices or trans voices. I am a cis-gender gay man and in the speech, I attempted to “get ahead” of potential criticism by explaining that. Fortunately my director convinced me that once people saw me and heard what I have to sing and say, that they’d know “Lady” is simply an affectionate nickname. One that matches some of the silly, femme energy that I bring to the show (and my life) and a title I celebrate. I think the boundary pushing starts there. While I don’t think it’s too, too daring to twirl in a pink petticoat while singing an Ethel Merman song, I also recognize that it’s not necessarily what you might think I’d be doing. I’m not in a suit and tie crooning standards. Without steering my audience into a total sadness, I also bring up some truth that doesn’t exactly provoke a knee slap. 

In one word, what makes a good show?

“Wow!” [the moment you think/feel/say] 

If you had one person, living or dead to share a stage with, who would you choose?

Can I do living and dead?

Let’s say, since it’s nearly World Pride, all hail Judy Garland. Judy would likely be the answer to this question from most gay cabaret singers. Her connection to the LGBTQA community and her icon status are too exciting to name anyone else for me…though her daughter Liza would be equally thrilling. If she agreed to share the stage with me, I’d undoubtedly be upstaged by her monstrous talent and charm, but I’d have shared the stage with one of the world’s greatest entertainers.

Living… I would say my former boss, now friend Rufus Wainwright. I was his assistant for a while a few years ago. I was quickly thrust into the role knowing and respecting who he was and I wanted to do a good job. While I focused on the tasks at hand, I sometimes forgot to stand back and see what an incredible artist Rufus is. The first concert I attended no longer as his assistant was here in New York. I sat in the audience and soaked it all in: what an insanely beautiful, passionate, and unique performer.

He’s done some amazing collaborations and has shared the stage with gads of stars I admire. His voice is so, so powerful. We’re both tenors and share similar sensibilities so I think we’d have fun. 

You seem to promote your events very well… what is your best piece of advice to performers on how to promote their events?

I did a run in January and an encore show in March for a total of four shows. I have only posted four or five times on Instagram and have done a handful of stories. I don’t think you should over do it when it comes to posting promotional stuff. People want to you to be real on social media. I don’t want what I post to be exclusively “Lady with a Song.” I also want to post things that make me laugh, smile and think.

I do my best promotion in person. If I’m invited to an event, I go and I promote my show once I’ve connected to someone. I think it’s good not to be so ultra-branded. You have to believe in your show. Once they do, hopefully you’ll get repeat audiences and word of mouth will spread. (If you’re reading this, why don’t you buy a ticket now?)

You’re performing Lady with a Song at Pangea. What part of performing there excites you the most?

I’m part of their first annual Pride Festival because after my first run of the show back in January, the owners approached me about participating. That’s to say, the two gentlemen who run Pangea [Stephen and Arnaldo] and the whole staff for that matter, are excited about what you’re doing. That makes you feel very supported. They incubate projects and make artistic connections. When I was dreaming up my venue for Lady with a Song, one of the most important things to me was atmosphere. The first show I saw there, [Penny Arcade] I remember thinking how great it was walk to the back of a restaurant to a small stage, to see art on the walls, real candles burning as opposed to fake ones and a thoughtful food and drink menu. Pangea has a cool factor and I like knowing I’m performing in the same room as other artists I respect (Lady Rizo, John Cameron Mitchell, Tammy Faye Starlite).

You participated in a residency at the Orchard Project. What should every artist know before their first residency? 

That’s a great question! I certainly had no idea what to expect myself. After inviting one of my friends, now director Julian Fleisher, to a show I did at The Duplex several years ago I received an invitation to come to The Orchard Project to “cook up a new show.” I had highs and lows in that short, ten-day period. For me, cooking up a new show meant a lot of daydreaming. Listening to and researching new music, getting recommendations, imagining how songs would play out in my mind, talking through these ideas. I beat myself up a little because of all this time spent daydreaming when I looked around and saw other artists cranking out tons of work with their collaborators. Ultimately, I got a lot of ideas out and that was really good.

I’d encourage other people to take whatever space they need to dream up their artistic project and not compare yourself to the other artists around you. There is basically nothing more unhelpful, though it’s very easy to do. I also think you need to ease up on deadlines. While they’re very important, you can’t rush the process. I sat on ideas from my first residency for a year and was lucky enough to return to continue working in a deeper way. Whatever the amount of time that passes in between your ideas and the mounting of your project isn’t worth beating yourself up over. It’s easy to doubt your process and get scared. But it’s up to you to turn that fear around and make big, bold, brave choices. It’s then you’ll discover the joyous moments in your process and you can start to edit. 

You’ve also worked in artist management and festival direction. Do you see yourself returning to those roles?

I always want to work creatively. I love watching artists gain support and making a vision come to life. I started performing when I was twelve and have continued to work in creative spaces my whole life. Working alongside artist managers taught me so much and I do find satisfaction helping to make an artist or a project feel supported enough to share their talents and dazzle the world. Ideally, I’ll be performing a lot more myself…and maybe I’ll need management ;-).

I do have a mind for making things tighter and a number of insanely talented friends, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I used the producer part of my brain more and more. I also have some ideas for a theatre company, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre that I’ve worked with over the last ten years and I’d love to see them come true.

How do you manage the stress that often accompanies life as a working artist? 

Well, sometimes I don’t. When I have gigs to perform on the calendar, I’m a pretty happy camper and when I don’t, I find myself in a common valley wondering if I should ever perform again. If that sounds dramatic, it’s because it is! But, I do meditate and journal. I am extraordinarily lucky to have a supportive husband who believes I should continue to create while freelancing. Friends and family who believe in me keep me positive. I try not to put myself down and sometimes I close my eyes and remember watching people connect with and appreciate my work and that fuels me to want to create more.

I also take comfort in the fact that a lot of people I look up to have the same stress and forge ahead. 

Photo credit: Ruthie Darling

Arts >

Giving Spotlight: Supporting Parents Through Tough Times

CrisisNurseryPhotoThe parent road is a long one with a lot of twists, turns, spilled sippy cups, crushed Goldfish crackers, and yes, amazing scenery along the way.

But life obstacles can send even the sturdiest station wagon spinning. That’s when parents turn to their “village” of family members and friends. But what about those who don’t have a community or can’t find and/or afford emergency childcare?

The Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, our latest Giving Program donation recipient offers a safety net for families experiencing extreme circumstances, such as trauma, domestic violence, or maternal depression—situations that place children at a higher risk of abuse and neglect.

“The Nursery began with a goal to establish a 24/7 crisis helpline and shelter six children per day. Today, we answer approximately 4,000 crisis calls annually and shelter up to 20 children per day, providing over 5,000 nights of care annually to children aged newborn through six,” says Emily Burck, Annual Giving Manager of the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.

By offering parents resources during difficult times, the Crisis Nursery can help prevent extreme stress from spilling over. “We invite parents to come as they are, courageously share their story, and trust that we will partner on their journey,” says Burck.

“The Nursery is a busy place, but it’s full of hope and joy. We celebrate the strength of parents who choose to pick up the phone and ask for help. They remain in control, teaching us what their child does or doesn’t like, how to best soothe them when they become upset, as well as things that make them happy.”

“You ensured my child’s health and well-being when I had no one else to help.”

Sasha was in labor with her second child—she arrived at the hospital with her mother and three-year-old son, Eli. As she had complications with her previous delivery, she needed her one and only support person—her mother, by her side. Sasha and her mom didn’t have friends or family they could call to help. This meant that no one would be able to care for Eli during the delivery.

When she called the Crisis Nursery she was relieved, knowing someone was able to care for her son while she brought her new baby into the world. The Nursery staff even picked Eli up from the hospital so Sasha’s mom could stay with her the entire time.

When Sasha picked Eli up a few days later, she knew how well cared for her son had been during his stay. Her Family Advocate shared how Eli spent his time, what goals he worked on, what food he ate, and how he slept. She expressed so much pride when she heard Eli helped put cups away and stack the chairs. Often, people are quick to point out Sasha’s shortcomings as a parent or how her child is misbehaving. It’s different at the Nursery—her Family Advocate highlighted ways Sasha could support Eli and they celebrated his achievements together.

Sasha learned that Eli slept better with a nightlight, and that he used belly breathing to help cope with stressful feelings. She learned that he enjoyed reading, The Snowy Day and received a copy of it so they could have an age-appropriate book to read together before bed. Sasha laughed when she heard that Eli ate two helpings of broccoli and that all the kids had pretended they were giants eating little trees.

When Sasha and Eli left the Nursery together that afternoon, Eli didn’t just have a new baby sister, he had a mom who felt a new sense of safety, knowing there’s a community dedicated to supporting her family. Something she had not experienced before.

CNGM is an excellent resource for families. The community’s generosity sustains the hardwork they do—you can donate to the Crisis Nursery or if you’re in Minneapolis, volunteer.

Good Causes >

3 Ways to Get Guests Talking at Networking Events

Networking-Games-Business-EventsYou’re hosting the mixer to end all mixers. Everything is perfect—the venue, the weather, and you’ve even managed to sell out. But the attendees are standing on opposite sides of the wall with their faces buried in their phones.

No one is talking. It’s more awkward than a jr. high dance.

The success of industry events, conferences, mixers, and meet-and-greets depends on your guests making connections. If they don’t feel like they made new contacts or added to their circle of colleagues, they aren’t likely to return next year.

No pressure.

 

1. Kick Off Networking Before the Event

Meeting online is easier than in-person networking. Encourage digital interaction before the event.

Have guests register, even if it’s a free event on Brown Paper Tickets. That way, you can estimate attendance, email updates, and guests can have discussions right on the event page.

Make a hashtag and promote it on your event page or if you’re having a larger conference, create a Facebook group. Write fun polls to engage attendees, such as ‘would you rather have unlimited tacos or popsicles at the after party?’

Guests can virtually meet and then do things like form carpools, give tips, or arrange post-event happy hours.

2.  Give ’em Something to Talk About

Be silly, be creative, just don’t be boring. Look for opportunities with your nametags, event signage, booth swag to show off personality and get your attendees talking.

Here’s a swag wheel Brown Paper Tickets made for a booth at DragCon. It captured attention, drew people in, and made a fantastic ice breaker.

For smaller networking events, give space on the nametags for attendees to write something memorable about themselves. This gives shy people an easy conversation starter and a way to remember who they just met.

Example:

Name: Amanda H.
Spirit Animal: Tree Kangaroo

Name: Ron S.
Favorite food: Breakfast meat (any)

Name: Leslie K.
Most likely to: Scrapbook this networking event

2. Optimize the Venue for Chitchat

Set up the venue space in a way that facilitates chitchat. Cocktail-style seating is optimal for the standard meet and greet, because it allows your guests to move about the space freely and is less intimidating to wallflowers than other seating arrangements.

Here’s a standard floor plan for a low-key mixer:

event-floor-plan-networking-events

3. Networking Games

Speed networking
Speed networking is modeled after speed dating—the object is to meet as many people as you can in a short time. Each participant gets a specific amount of time to introduce themselves, which varies depending on the size of the group.

The standard is 3 minutes for each attendee, so if you had 10 attendees, allot 30 minutes to speed networking.

Penny for Your Thought
This one works well for smaller groups. Give attendees pennies (no more than 15 years old) and ask each person to share something that happened to them in that year. Kick it off with something lighthearted and amusing or a career-related anecdote, so it doesn’t get too serious.

Business Card Challenge
Who doesn’t love a challenge? Ask your attendees to collect as many business cards as they can. It’s the perfect challenge for big groups and you can add stipulations to ramp up the fun—such as, you can only exchange cards after a minute of talking.

Bonus tip: go to a few networking and business events before you plan one yourself. Are people talking to each other or awkwardly texting? Take notes on what works and what does not.

Event Tips >

5 Secrets to a Successful Community Arts Event

community-arts-festivalHere’s the scenario: someone delegates you the enormous responsibility of planning a community arts festival. It needs to be wildly successful, but you have little-to-no budget and a short time. You nod and say alright (there’s a reason they asked you after all), but your mind is telling you to run screaming.

You can pull off a rockin’ community arts event, even under such constraints. You just need to get out there and connect with venues, community members, and artists.

Here are 5 tips that will help your event:

1. Find a Venue that Will Benefit

Ideally one that has power, running water, and restrooms (inside), so that you don’t need to rent the infrastructure separately. Before you approach the venues, have a good idea of how your event will benefit the space. They may be able to cut you a deal or even allow you to have the space for free.

The definition of venue has changed a bunch. Don’t overlook bookstores, warehouses, barns, and dance studios.

Watch our webinar on turning your empty space into an event space.

2. Pool Community Resources

Don’t underestimate the human need for passion, purpose, and connection. Clearly define your cause and publicize it. Make flyers, post to community apps and Facebook groups, put up a notice at community gathering spaces in your neighborhood. You will be amazed at how easily you can pull together a team of local volunteers.

Every city and town has talented artists who are excited to show off their work. Establish a common vision, make new friends and pull in their friends.

3. Include a Range of Arts

A powerful community arts event can draw a range of people. Keep this in mind as you book and schedule entertainment. When you include a diverse range of acts and people from all walks of life, you will attract and appeal to a wider audience. Consider posting a call for artists and step outside your own comfort zone to find them.

The term “arts” encompasses a range of activities; don’t limit yourself. You could include magic, storytelling, painting, dance, jump rope dancing, circus arts, burlesque, spoken word. The talent is out there, you just need to look for it.

Pro tip: Set up areas at your event for people to chat, before checking out the show. They’re more likely to stick around for the whole event that way.

4. Find Creative Solutions that Don’t Cost

Investigate your venue space and brainstorm ideas for creative ways to engage with it. You will be surprised at how innovative you can get.

At a community arts event we held long ago, our staff member transformed the black-and-white checkered dance floor into a giant game of checkers. Creativity is half the fun and you’re working with one creative bunch, so use their brains.

5. Invite EVERYONE

Don’t limit your invites. Use the steps outlined in this post on how to announce an event on social media . Tell all of your friends, family, coffeehouse owners, people at your gym, local eateries and shops about your arts extravaganza. Talk to local publications and neighborhood blogs—if you can get listed in just a few of them, you’re all set.

Create an event promo video and post it everywhere. Get listed in local events’ newsletters and finally, ask your friends and family to spread the word.

Have you ever had to plan an event that was outside your comfort zone? How did it go?

 

Arts >

12 Hottest Event Trends of 2019

event-trends_2019Don’t you love the new year? 2019 will be the year of the pig, the year of living coral, the year of amazing events and big moments.

Kick it off right with our annual trends list.

1. Fika

Hygge made our 2017 event trends list and we’re happy to report the phenomenon of knits, candles, and fireplaces is still going strong. Enter Fika – the art of the Swedish coffee break. Like Hygge, Fika is all about the simple things in life—a cup of joe, good conversation and a pastry to go with it. How will this make it into the events’ world? Fika is the perfect theme for networking events and conferences and sounds a lot cooler than “coffee and pastries.”

2. The Ultimate Experience

According to the CWT Meetings and Events report, “treehouses, rooftops, and even islands will become increasingly popular.” Attendee experience is everything and we’re seeing that reflected in 2019 event trends. Instagram use is on the rise and so are “experience” museums. Like the Museum of Ice Cream, the Rose Mansion and the Museum of Pizza (#MoPi). Because of this new er … culture, expect to see more uses of alternative and unusual venues.

If you have a space that sits empty some of the time, check out our webinar on transforming any space into a working venue.

3. Japan

CWT Meetings and Events also reported that the land of the rising sun will be hot, hot, hot in the coming year. Japan will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the 2020 Olympics. Expect a surge of travel to the country and a lasting influence on event trends.

4. Themed Fitness

Goats and yoga. Beer and barre. Super hero 5ks. We’re seeing fitness events up the creativity with themes, beer, wine and/or animals. If it takes wine and mini-donkeys to get us all off the couch, so be it.

5. Wild Edibles

Mushrooms, truffles, fiddlehead ferns. Our Food and Beverage Coordinator reports that people are increasingly curious to try wild edibles. We will see this event trend appear in restaurants, but perhaps even more so at special dinner events and classes. It’s a re-connection to the natural world one plate at a time.

6. Supper Clubs

Many chefs are turning in their starched chef coats for an apron and forming supper clubs. And it’s not just the pros. Would-be home chefs are also hosting secret dinner parties. This is tied to the eat-at-home trend combined with a desire for slower, more intimate dining experiences. The overall appeal is interaction with the chef and other guests.

7. Dietitian-based Eating

With all of the special diets out there, families are looking for a custom meal plan to get them through the week. Those that seek to increase their productivity, stamina, lose weight, live longer, or just feel better are turning to both nutrition and biochemistry to get that edge. Not only will we see an up-tick in fad diets, dietitians and classes will be huge going into 2019. Specialty products in this arena have already started to creep into stores, and we should expect much more to come.

8. Culinary Cannabis

Cannabis, whether for recreation or medicine, will be on the menu in 2019. Legalization in many states has driven a huge influx of cannabis-based food businesses, including culinary schools. Those in the know have touted the health benefits of ‘sticky icky’ for a long time now, but the benefits are now recognized on a national level. We should see a rapid expansion of pot-based products, services, and events. Look out for tastings, pairings, pop-up dinners, and educational events.

9. Artisan Cooking Classes

We will see a rise in artisan cooking and maker classes focused on things like sourdough bread baking, cheese making, pickling, and curing meats. We aren’t talking about any old bread baking. We are talking about test-kitchen quality recipes taught by renowned artisans. With the increasing interest in eating at home comes the desire to eat well at home. This can be largely attributed to both economics and technology, such as home meal delivery services.

These events are popping up both in restaurant spaces as well as homes. Search for cooking classes near you.

10. Hotel Bars

Our friends at the Seattle Metropolitan spotted this event trend. Hotel bars are old-school glamorous. The martinis. The warm lighting. The mysterious guests: where are they from? Where are they going? Whether it’s a ground-floor bar or a rooftop terrace, hotel bars make a fantastic venue and offer exposure to a new, non-local, typically captive audience. Genius.

11. Video Event Promotion

If you want your event promotion to stand out, you got to have video. And no, shaky smartphone clips just won’t cut it. If you’re not a videographer, programs like Slidely can help you put together fun and interesting promotion videos for social media.

12. Chatbots for Event Organizers

Everyone is talking about voice assistants. Chatbots can help wrangle attendees and also assist planners in their own task management. Which is great because event planner consistently makes Forbes’ list of most stressful jobs. “Alexa, make my life less stressful please.”

That’s it for our event trends 2019. What do you predict as the next big thing in events?

Event Tips >

Don’t Ghost: 5 Best Practices for Canceling an Event

CancelingEventsFall and winter events are all sorts of magical. There’s the lighting, the warmth, the comfort food. But the season also brings the chance of inclement weather, the flu, and frustrating travel delays.

If you have to cancel your event, let your attendees down easy. Here’s how to do it right:

1. Contact us immediately

When faced with a canceled event, or even an event that is facing complications—such as icy roads where your guests will have trouble getting in—contact us right away.

We’re available 24/7 at 800.838.3006 or by email. We can help you communicate with your ticket holders and the heads up will help us better answer questions and resolve refund requests.

2. Don’t ghost attendees

You can turn an out-of-your-control situation into a chance to demonstrate above-and-beyond customer service. If you plan to reschedule your event for another date, let attendees know immediately.

Bonus tip: Be sure someone is located at the event location to greet anyone who shows up to the event. Even if you make every effort to contact your guests, some still may not get the message. Walking up to a closed, cold, and empty building is a bummer.

3. Offer another date

It may be easier to reschedule your event rather than cancel it. You can change the date on your pre-existing event page, instead of creating a whole new page. Just be sure to contact us so we can help you sort it out.

When rescheduling an event, craft your communications with empathy. Customers like to know that you feel their pain and that you understand it’s an inconvenience.

Example: Hey there, unfortunately, there’s a big blizzard coming to town and we have to reschedule the Aquarium After Hours event to November 3rd (same time, same venue). We were looking so forward to having cocktails with Riley the octopus tonight and are just as sad as you. She informed us that she would be ready next week. We would be happy to refund you if you can’t make the rescheduled date.

4. Offer transportation options

When the weather is way off but your event is still on, offer transportation options. Email your attendees bus, train, or ride share options. We’ve even seen some event organizers set up carpooling for their attendees.

Bonus tip: Be flexible when it comes to your start time. If it’s raining or snowing cats and dogs, start your show a few minutes late to accommodate slow driving attendees and late-running buses.

5. Make backup plans for your backup plans

Always have a plan A-B-C. If your opening band can’t get into town because of snow, make sure there’s a local option. Keep shovels and gear on hand in case your parking lot fills with the white stuff. Think of worst-case scenarios and have a solution at the ready. The better you are able to anticipate possible scenarios, the better you’ll be prepared to meet the challenges and pull off a successful event, even if the worst occurs.

We’re here, good times and bad, day or night.

Ever had to cancel an event? What are some of your lessons learned? Comment below.

Event Tips >

5 Promotion Secrets to a Packed Holiday Event

Holiday-promotions-eventsTick(et) tock. The holidays are coming up and so is your event. Holiday events require special love because there is a lot of competition (we’re looking at you Nutcracker), but you can use the season to your advantage.

Here are 5 holiday promotion strategies that will get your attendees lining up to buy those tickets.

1. Have a Black Friday ticket sale

Sure, Black Friday (Nov. 23) is kind of divisive, a little bit scary and definitely over-saturated with sales, but you can use the day to your advantage. More and more, people are gifting experiences instead of material goods (think: tickets vs. TVs)—so Black Friday is the perfect day to give a special discount on tickets. Add a discount code to your event that is valid only on Black Friday, then post your code on all of your social media accounts.

Here’s how to add discount codes to prices—you can always call us if you run into trouble.

2. Partner with restaurants

’Tis the season for gorging. Turn your single event into a special night-out. Partner with restaurants near your event to offer a “set meal” as a part of a ticket bundle. The eatery chooses the meal and sets the price. You add the cost to your ticket price and offer the package on your event page.

Now, not only do you have an attractive night out for event goers, you’ll have double the promotion, as the restaurant will promote it to their followers.

3. Let kids get in free

School is out and families are looking for events and activities. They will flock to your event if the brood can get in for free. Contact schools and ask them to insert a promo into their newsletters or post a flyer on their bulletin board. Submit your event to family newsletters like the Red Tricycle.

4. Add a giving component

The holidays put everyone in a giving mood. Find a local nonprofit or cause to partner with and bundle a donation with a ticket level or collect donations at your event. Not only does this offer cross-promo opportunities and compel attendees to spread the word, you can contact local press and ask them to feature your event.

Plus, giving back is just a good thing to do.

5. Talk to our promo experts

We have a knowledgeable and creative promo squad, waiting to help you with your strategy. Our team can explain the best social media tactics in minutes, talk you through setting up a holiday Facebook campaign and help you boost ticket sales. All of it is free — just email our promo team to set up a consultation.

Sharing is caring. Comment below with your own promotion ideas. What has worked and what hasn’t?

Event Tips >

Your Complete Guide to School Event Ticketing

Homecoming or the big game, assembly or the drama club’s production of Romeo and Juliet, it’s almost time to set up fall and winter school events.  With school soon in session, your to-do list is miles long, but getting your school event ticketing in order now will save you time later on.

Our guide will teach you how to set up and promote fundraisers, dances, recitals, theater and more.

Online ticketing school events streamlines the process and keeps all your events and tracking in order. Our system is free, fair and flexible–we have 15 years’ experience working with schools and can help meet your district’s specific needs.

Already convinced and want to get started? Email us.

Free Seating Charts

Before you begin setting up your school events, we wanted to make sure to tell you that we now offer free unlimited seating charts. This is amazing news—you can easily set up assigned seating on theater events, recitals, band concerts and more at zero cost. Seating charts help organize groups, allow you to designate accessible and special seating, plus give parents with parties peace of mind.

If you’re interested in seating charts, when creating your event select that you would like to have assigned seating and one of our reps will contact you to guide you through the process.

Get Schooled in Event Ticketing

Before you create your event(s), you will need to create a Brown Paper Tickets account. That way, you can save your progress as you build your event page.

When you first set up your account, you will be asked to set your financial settings. These settings determine how you will process funds for events and how you will receive payment. Our payment process is flexible – we can set up direct deposit, check, or processor for you. Before you set up your financial information, it’s a good idea to check in with your district accounting department.

Once you’ve created your account, you can breeze through event setup. It helps to have the following info on hand before you begin:

  • Event Title
  • Event Description
  • Time and Date of Event
  • Price of Tickets
  • Point of Contact for Event Info

When you create your event, it will go to our staff to review and they’ll make sure it’s set up correctly. We offer 24/7, multilingual support (English, Spanish, and French) to both event organizers and attendees at 800-838-3006.

School Events Promotion 101

You will receive an email notice from us when your event has been approved along with your event link.

Now it’s time to get students, parents and the local community hyped about your event. Start with pre-coded links and graphics on the “Linking Page” under “Manage Your Events.” Put links and buttons on your district page, on event listings and on other relevant web properties to drive prospective attendees right to registration.

Other school event promotion tips:

• Set up an event page on Facebook and let attendees know where to buy tickets
• Create a specific event hashtag to increase engagement (#poppinprom #ourtownrules #romeohromeo)
• Post a picture on Instagram from last year’s event to promote this year’s

Additional tips on how to attract teenagers to local arts events.

With the right tools and preparation, you can take the stress out of school events. We’re happy to help in any way that we can, just reach out for assistance. Have a fun, stress-free, memorable back-to-school season.

Event Tips >

Low Ticket Sales? 5 Last-Minute Promotions to Pack the House

Event-Promotion-Selling-TicketsWhat do you do when your event is just days away, but you still haven’t sold enough tickets? Don’t panic. There are plenty of last-minute promotions you can do to help boost sales.

Here’s five great ideas:

1. Email Your List

This is the perfect opportunity to use your incredibly valuable email list. These are people who know and like your events. Many may already be attending, but there’s a good chance a decent portion haven’t bought tickets yet. Send out an email to let your list know the event is happening and ask that they pass it on to friends.

Don’t just send one email and call it good. Re-send the same email to those who didn’t open it the first time. Use words that convince the attendee to buy tickets, such as, “the clock is ticking on your tickets; don’t miss your chance to see So-and-So perform.”

You don’t have to lie. If there are loads of tickets left, use a phrase like “limited quantities available.”

2. Hype It on Social

With the same language you used in your email, use your social media to hype the event. You could even post it with a video. Use Slidely or another service to create a short promo video (very easy) and use it in a paid Facebook campaign for events.

Don’t forget to link to your ticket page.

Pro tip: Ask your close friends and family to help hype your event on their social media. Only do this occasionally, because you don’t want to become THAT person.

3. Post Your Event on Community Boards

It may seem like a waste of time, but posting on community boards can help you sell those last few tickets. People look for things to do in all kinds of places. Post your event to NextDoor, Craigslist, and any other community forums you can find.

4. Contact Influencers and Bloggers

It’s probably too last to get listed in a major printed publications, but bloggers and influencers have the ability to post a few days before. Do your research and make sure that your event is a good match for the audience.

Pro Tip: To incentivize them to write, offer a couple free tickets to give away on their website.

5. Paper the House

If the event you’re putting on is something that you absolutely need to be full for some reason—for instance, to impress sponsors, or for a live recording—don’t hesitate to paper the house. Papering the house is just a fancy way of saying, “give the rest of your tickets away for free.” If the tickets are going to go to waste anyway, why not put some bodies in the seats?

Give stacks of tickets to hotel concierges, baristas and servers. Keep a stack on you at all times and give them away to anyone you feel might be interested. These people could potentially become faithful followers.

Pro Tip: Contact us if you’d like bulk tickets printed ahead of time.

Want one-on-one, completely free, promotion help from experts? Email our promo team.

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Your Brand Is Having a Social Media Crisis – Quick, What Do You Do?

Event-Social-Media-CrisisWe’ve all seen what going viral in a “bad way” means. One bad tweet and then a few tone-deaf responses to criticism and your entire brand gets burned to ashes online. It takes years to build a brand and a few bad reviews to ruin it.

Learn how to prevent a PR crisis and the best way to handle an erupting social media volcano.

Prevent a PR Crisis

It’s far easier to prevent a crisis than rebuild from one. Get your team together and brainstorm worst-nightmare scenarios, the ones you don’t really want to think about. Not only is this a good exercise, you might also discover your weak spots. (For example, if people keep bringing up safety concerns, you might want to take a deeper look at your security plans).

Triple-check all of your communications—are you being inclusive, honest and fair? For a good example of a PR crisis, take a look at the numbers of dislikes on this Pepsi ad. Not only did Pepsi put an insensitive ad out, they made the situation worse by trying to defend the ad on social media.

That’s 59k thumbs down for Pepsi.

Prepare for the Worst

• Set up a crisis communications team. If you don’t have a PR person on staff, include at least one manager, a few people who monitor and a solid writer to craft the message. Have everyone’s contact info in a printed spreadsheet on-hand.

• Monitor all hashtags and handles related to your event. It’s relatively easy (and free) to do this for Twitter in Tweetdeck. Just add columns with your company and event’s name and any relevant hashtags or handles. Check in on it often, especially during your event.

• Set up Google Alerts for your company or event name. Any press regarding your event will be sent to your inbox. You can set up the alerts to come as frequently as you prefer.

• Define crisis and communicate that definition to staff. Is a crisis a few bad reviews or a thousand? Develop a flowchart that matches the situation with your contact list so you know, at-a-glance who to contact, when.

During…

• Your first instinct will be to react and defend yourself and your company. Don’t. Take a minute, breathe deeply and gain composure.

• Get a good sense of what’s happening and what social channels people are using to communicate. Call your team.

• If the problem is not yet fixed, compose a message that expresses empathy and let’s them know it will be soon.

“We understand your frustration. Our team is working round the clock to fix the issue and we’ll have an update for you in 1 hour. Thank you for your patience.”

Damage Repair

Own what went wrong and what you could have done better. Avoid flippancy, negativity, and above all, defensiveness.

Strive to be relatable and mention what you’ll do differently moving forward.

Be human. Imagine that you had to apologize to a friend for a mistake. Your first step is admitting fault, then you talk about what you’ll do differently in the future to try and salvage the friendship. Don’t make excuses or get defensive.

“The Mini-Horse Parade sincerely, from-the-bottom-of-our-gut apologizes for overselling Tuesday night’s Roll in the Neigh performance. We know we disappointed many of our customers and we reacted poorly to your criticism online. We are offering a makeup performance in two weeks for those affected by our mistake. ”

Make It Good

You have to “make it good,” to your customers, but it has to be in the right way. If they had a horrible time, they probably aren’t into the idea of a 5% discount to the next show.

“Looking in the mirror is the best PR advice there is when dealing with crisis situations. It ensures we do the right thing. And right beats spin every time,” said Kim Miller of Ink Link Marketing, LLC. in this Forbes article.

Have you ever endured a social media or PR crisis? Comment below and tell us what you learned.

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