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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.

Event Tips >

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.

Event Tips >

How to Create Marketing Personas for Events (And Why You Should)

Throughout my illustrious career as a marketing word weaver (copywriter), I’ve heard some variation of this line: My product is for everyone. My young adult fiction novel is for … everyone. My charity 5K is for anyone who can make it.

Where’s that facepalm emoticon?

Whether it’s an event, a product, or a one-act play, start with your tribe, the people most likely to be interested. Lucy, the thirty-something mother of three might not be into your late-night EDM festival, but your start-the-day, wake-up rave with full juice bar? She’s there. (Heck, I’m there).

Find your event’s target audience and create marketing personas so that you’re serving digital content in the right places to the right audience, and also so that you don’t waste time (and money) pursuing those likely to skip.

Start with Current Attendees

Consider your last event. Who attended? What were they wearing? What were they doing?

Were they glued to phones or carrying around moleskin journals? At the events I attend (book readings, tastings of any kind, live music and comedy), most people are kind of like me.

This isn’t to say they have the same physical attributes, but that they are in the same life stage, consume similar media and generally share interests.

Write an Event Questionnaire

Write an event questionnaire to find out more about your attendees and use the responses to inform your personas and your social media targeting.

Ask what region they live in, what interests them, what they read and listen to. Use this info to tighten up your social media advertising. If people aren’t flying to your festival from out-of-state, don’t waste money on a national campaign. Narrow your advertising to within a drive-able range until it grows.

Lastly, be brave and ask what you could do better. Some feedback might feel like a punch in the gut, but resolve to take a “know better, do better,” approach.

The Data Dig

Use insights from your social media platforms to clue you in on your demographic. The data will tell you what region your attendees come from and you can tell what posts are working and what aren’t based on how many people engage with them. Find out what key terms your attendees used to find your events.

Optimize your Facebook event and your Brown Paper Tickets’ event page to include those key terms and definitely try to use them in the title. Blueberries & Rolling Pins isn’t likely to be found in a search, but Blueberries & Rolling Pins Pie Making Class is much more SEO-friendly.

Write Event Marketing Personas

Before you design flyers or write your event description or pick your marketing channels, create up to three personas using your research.

Include standard demographic data, such as age, salary, location. Look for photos in the public domain that match this fictional person. Give them a name and include their values and motivations.

If you’re starting a series of cooking classes for example, marketing personas will help you identify whether you’re marketing to a “Johnny-who’s-never-cooked-before” or “Cheyenne, a whiz in the kitchen psyched to brush up on her techniques.” Or say you’re working on messaging for a music festival—are you marketing to GenX Jimmy or Micah the Millennial? Jimmy is more likely to see your flyer, while Micah would more likely be brought in by your event’s Insta story.

Sure, you might want both to buy tickets, but narrowing down your audience will help define your marketing channels and the language you use to communicate. Pick one persona as your target and the others as your secondary audiences.

Once the persona is created, speak directly to them in all of your social media posts and in your event description. However, avoid exclusionary language–you’re not trying to make people feel unwelcome, you’re custom-tailoring your marketing.

Rely on what motivates your persona (saving money, helping others, escape) and speak to that.

Here’s an example:

Example: Hey moms, have dad watch baby for a change and relax at our spa weekend…

Vs.

Hey, need a break? Come in for well-deserved R&R at a special spa event. The palm trees are a’swaying… 

The first example makes a number of assumptions and doesn’t feel inclusive. The second speaks to what most appeals to the persona (escape).

Run an A/B test to see what messaging resonates better with your perspective attendees.

Keep Interest

Now that you created your persona, keep them engaged by refreshing your content and offers. Make an offer that speaks to their values.

If they’re more budget-conscious, offer discounted tickets. If they’re active on social media, create a ticket giveaway contest on their preferred channel. Consistently post third-party content from websites they’re most likely to read.

What did you name your marketing personas? That’s the most-fun part.

 

 

Event Tips >

The Event Organizer’s Guide to Facebook Live

FacebookLive_forEventsFacebook Live can boost event attendance, grow your contacts and engage followers. According to HubSpot, Live videos experience three times the engagement of traditional videos.

It is a powerful tool for event marketing. So why aren’t more event organizers going live?

There’s the shaky camera angles, dull footage, unreliable Wi-Fi and the possibility of capturing something that went woefully “wrong” during the event. It’s embarrassing if done poorly and the possibility of your brand making the Top 10 Social Media Mishaps of the Year goes up.

But don’t let that scare you. Use this guide to going Live.

Before You Facebook Live…

Test out Live on your personal account, a test account or by changing the settings on your video to “only me.”

Make sure your venue will have a reliable wireless connection.

Use a tripod or a selfie stick. If you go Live spur-of-the-moment, brace yourself against a post or tree and hold that hand steady.

Only use Live if you plan to record for at least 10 minutes. The longer your video, the more people will interact with and “react” to it.

Don’t waste a Live video on snoozefests—awkward interviews, dry presentations, fuzzy, glitch videos. Remember, the first rule of content is quality matters. If it’s not up to par, just don’t do it.

Get close. Sit in the press box or in the front row. Before you start your Live video, assess the lighting—does it seem dark and blurry? Can you barely see the stage? Whatever you see now, will likely look worse in the video.

How to Use Facebook Live

Optional: Write a status update that you will do Live coverage of your event at such-and-such time and date. If this is the first time you’re going Live, consider this carefully – the last thing you want to do is promote coverage that you can’t deliver because of a technical glitch.

Here’s an example: We’re broadcasting LIVE at 9:00 PST tomorrow. If you can’t be there in person, tune in to our Facebook to see our #giantbicyclefest.

Steps to going live:

  • Go to the News Feed and tap the red video icon. If you cannot see this graphic, your wireless is not strong enough to go live.
  • Allow Facebook access to both your microphone and your camera.
  • Write the description of your Live video. (You should already have it in mind. Use your event hashtag). Consider capitalizing LIVE so it stands out in notifications.
  • Make sure the camera is pointing the right way before you tap the Go Live button. You will see a 3…2…1 countdown.
  • You may not see many views at first, but then they will begin pouring in, indicated by the number next to the eyeball.
  • Say hi to your followers commenting on your post.
  • Add a silly filter, doodle or mask by tapping the magic wand at the top.

Got questions about going Live? Contact our promo department, they’re happy to consult you on your event promotions.

 

Event Tips >

You’re Invited: Community Radio Volunteer Fair in Seattle

Seattle radio voluneer fairCalling all radio fans in the Emerald City: on August 20, in honor of National Radio Day, we’re co-hosting a volunteer recruitment fair with KEXP. Discover what LPFM stations are near you, what ones are coming soon, and how they could use your help.

WHEN: Sunday, August 20 | 1-4PM

WHERE: The Gathering Space at KEXP | 472 1st Ave N, Seattle

Participating Seattle Radio Stations

Rainier Valley Radio KVRU-LP 105.7 FM*
RainierAvenueRadio.World (online)
KBCS 91.3 FM Bellevue/Seattle (full power)
KBFG-LP 107.3 FM NW Seattle*
Hollow Earth Radio KHUH-LP 100.3 FM*
SPACE 101.1 FM KMGP-LP Magnuson Park*
OneAmerica Radio KQWZ-LP 106.5 FM SeaTac*
Earth On-the-Air Independent Media KODX-LP 96.9 FM*
Valley KAPY-LP 103.1 FM Duvall/Carnation/Redmond Ridge

Please note: * radio stations soon to be on air

This fair is free, just RSVP here.

Read more about our Doer, Sabrina Roach’s efforts working with LPFM community radio and find out about how KEXP plans to celebrate National Radio Week.

Radio >

No Plans for World Roller Derby Week? Make Some

redcross-blooddrives-rollerderbyPut on your party boutfit. Roller derby turns 82 this year and we’re celebrating in a big way during the inaugural World Roller Derby Week (August 13-19). Join us at two exciting events in Chicago or come out in summer and fall to donate at one of our Red Cross roller derby blood drives.

How much do you know about roller derby? Here’s some trivia: Chicago is the birthplace of roller derby and the sport is one of a just handful invented in the U.S.

If you’re in Chicago (or… need a good excuse to visit), celebrate the big 82 and World Roller Derby Week at these two events.

Celebrate Roller Derby’s Birthday and Birthplace

Happy Birthday Roller Derby. Join roller derby skaters from across the Midwest at Coliseum Park for a skate and cake. Junior derby skaters will serve cake to passersby and we’ll honor original players. Athletes, fans and families from roller derby are encouraged to attend. Sunday, August 13, 12:30-2:00 PM, free.

Time Hop. Travel back in time and into the future at Fleetwood Roller Rink. This jam-packed double-header explores the past, present and future of roller derby. Saturday, August 19, 2-6 PM, adults $15, youth $5. Midwest All Stars’ home teams will play the first game under the classic 1970’s rule-set, while wearing commemorative uniforms.

The second game showcases young, emerging talent from the Midwest JRDA member leagues in a regulation level-three junior game. Artistic and speed skaters will put on an action-packed show at halftime.

Can’t be there in person? Be there in social. Catch the action or give a shoutout at #TimeHop2017.

Nationwide Roller Derby Blood Drives

The 4th Annual Make ‘Em Bleed derby blood drives roll out again this year, in partnership with Brown Paper Tickets and The American Red Cross. They will be going on coast-to-coast and for the first time, rocking the Midwest with a blood drive in Chicago (home of our newest office) on October 29.

Roller derby athletes will offer autographs, photo opportunities and more, making these community service events the most popular blood drives of the year in many of the cities they occur.

Summer is a difficult time for the Red Cross to get blood donations and they could really use your help. Make ‘Em Bleed roller derby blood drives have collected more than 900 units of blood over the past four years–enough to have helped save up to 2,700 lives.

To pre-register as a donor visit the Red Cross, tap “Find a Drive,” and enter the sponsor code, Derby.

There’s still time for your league to join this wonderful effort. Email derbyblooddrive(at)gmail(dot)com if you’re interested. And catch all the inspiration at #MakeEmBleed.

Make ’Em Bleed Red Cross Blood Drives 2017

Wednesday, July 26 (Pottstown, Pennsylvania): Rockstar Roller Derby from 2-7 pm at Ringing Hill Fire Company, 815 White Pine Lane.

Saturday, July 29 (San Jose, California): Silicon Valley Roller Derby from 10 am to 4 pm at Silver Creek Sportsplex, 800 Embedded Way.

Saturday, Aug. 5 (St. Petersburg, Florida): Deadly Rival Roller Derby from 5-7 pm at The Slayground, 4033 35th St N. (donors asked to sign-up here.)

Friday, Aug. 11 (Woodbridge, New Jersey): Dirty Jersey Roller Girls at a time to be announced at the VFW Post.

Sunday, Aug. 13 (Chicago, Illinois): Roller derby athletes from across the Midwest for the inaugural World Roller Derby Week, a public skate-and-cake blood donor pledge event at Coliseum Park, commemorating the public debut of the sport at that location in Chicago in 1935.

Friday, Aug. 18 (Santa Cruz, California): Santa Cruz Derby Girls from 9 am to 3 pm at Santa Cruz Strength, 151 Harvey West Blvd Suite D.

Friday, Aug. 18 (Livermore, California): Quad City Derby Bombshells at a time to be announced at Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Ave.

Saturday, Aug. 19 (Chicago, Illinois): Roller derby athletes from across the country for Time Hop at Fleetwood Roller rink. This bout is also a public pledge to donate event where roller derby athletes will skate in the style that the sport made its debut in Chicago 82 years ago, in 1935. A limited number of tickets are available online through Brown Paper Tickets here.

Thursday, Aug. 25 (Santa Rosa, California): Resurrection Roller Girls and the Sonoma Roller Derby; at a time to be announced at the American Red Cross, 5297 Aero Drive. Both leagues have teamed-up for this blood drive in competition for which league can attract the most blood donor registrants, in competition for the Brown Paper Tickets cup.

Saturday, Sept. 9 (Hollister, California): The Faultline Derby Devilz from 10 am to 4 pm at the shopping center at 580 Tres Pinos Road.

Saturday, Sept. 23 (Poteau, Oklahoma): The Leflore County Maidens of Mayhem from 10 am to 4 pm at the Red Cross Bloodmobile at 1914 N. Broadway St.

Sunday, Oct. 29 (Chicago, Illinois): Roller derby leagues from across the Midwest at from 10 am to 3 pm at The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, 2200 West Harrison Street Chicago, IL 60612.

Sunday, Oct. 29 (Phoenix, Arizona): Arizona Derby Dames from 10 am to 4 pm at 2517 W. McDowell Road, Suite 118.

Saturday, January 6 (Poteau, Oklahoma): Leflore County Maidens of Mayhem Roller Derby Team from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1914 N. Broadway St.

Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 (Tulsa, Oklahoma): Tulsa’s Roughneck Roller Derby from 12 to 6 pm at Rhema Bible Church,1025 W Kenosha St, Broken Arrow, OK.

Saturday, February 10 (Santa Rosa, California): Resurrection Roller Girls and the Sonoma Roller Derby from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the American Red Cross, 5297 Aero Drive.

Saturday, August 18 (Chicago, Illinois): Many Midwest leagues – from 10 am to 3 pm at The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, 2200 West Harrison Street Chicago, IL 60612.

Saturday, August 18 (Romeoville, Illinois): Join roller derby leagues from across the Midwest from 10 am to 3 pm at a location TBD.

 

 

How will you celebrate World Roller Derby Week? Let us know in the comments.

Roller Derby >

How to Write Email Newsletters that Actually Get Opened

EmailNewsletterInvites-Hands-CoffeeEveryone who puts on events shares a terrible fear: what if no one shows up? If you do nothing to promote your event, it’s a real possibility. Email newsletters are a viable promotion channel, especially for those who have fan clubs and mailing lists. Yes, they take a little bit longer to create than the average social media post and (if you have a large mailing list) can be costly.

But a well-designed and well-written newsletter is worth the effort. Increase your open rates and get those RSVPs pouring in. Here’s how:

Grow Your Email List

  • To have a newsletter in the first place, you need a list of email addresses. Check legal requirements in your state for what constitutes spam and follow those rules.
  • At events and trade shows, have a sign-up sheet for your newsletter or a fishbowl for attendees to drop business cards.
  • Place the newsletter sign-up box in the footer of your website’s homepage and if possible, on your Facebook page. Tell potential subscribers what to expect from the list and how often you will email.
  • Include sharing buttons in your invites. That way, your subscribers can easily forward it to friends, which they are more likely to do if there are incentives, such as ticket discounts.
  • If you’re a musician or show producer, give your email subscribers the VIP treatment. Send exclusive access to new music and/or special pricing. DIY Musician recommends that you trade newsletters with another artist or band to grow your list.

Increase Newsletter Open Rates

Confession: my personal email inbox has 2,000 emails and most of those are promotional newsletters. ‘Inbox Zero’ is a losing battle. To get a newsletter invite opened in an inbox as stuffed as mine, you need to use clever copywriting.

  • Include the words, ‘You’re Invited’ in the subject line. It’s clear, simple, direct, and intriguing.
  • Personalize your newsletter invites. According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
  • Write something clever, irresistible, the kind of subject line that begs you to open the email.

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Hurry! Discounted Tickets Inside
Don’t Miss This Event This Saturday at 9:00 PM in Everett

Avoid all-caps, exclamation points, and writing that fails to describe what’s inside. Don’t use words that trigger spam filters, such as “free,” “clearance,” and “guarantee.”

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Pssst… Your Friends Are Going to This
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Take Us to the Shiny Details

Jim Nelson once said, “Never open a book with weather.”

The equivalent for event promoters and copywriters: “Never open your newsletter with a big block of text that has nothing to do with your event.”

Opening lines matter. It’s 2017, age of the flea-size attention span. Make the most important details stand out. Get right to the time, location, cost, and other key details such as parking and transportation. Include a prominent call-to-action button that takes the potential attendee right to the page to buy tickets.

Share your advice. Comment below with your email invite tips and techniques.

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