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She Said Yes! World’s Cutest Ticket Proposal

unique-proposalTwo love birds, one ticket stub, so many shows…

Brown Paper Tickets has ticketed just about everything, but this is our first engagement.

Jamie Clark and Mike Altman went on their first date to a concert, and kept all of their ticket stubs from the following events. Mike says it just made sense to add another stub to their collection—this one for his proposal.

After Mike realized Brown Paper Tickets was located near his work, he walked over and chatted with our in-house representatives. Our fully custom bulk tickets are only $.10 each. We set up Mike with a custom ticket with Jamie’s name on it, and he was on his way.

The Big Night

Mike gave Jamie tickets to hold on to under the guise that they were for a concert that night. She stashed the tickets away, not realizing that there was anything special about them. Just another concert – another night.

On their way to the show, Mike asked Jamie to check the ticket envelope to make sure he grabbed the right ones.

“As I was opening the ticket envelope, I was trying to think of a joke like ‘Uh oh – these are tickets to the New Kids on the Block!’” Jamie said. “Then I was really confused and surprised when the first line I saw was ‘Jamie Clark, will you marry me?’ on the ticket.”

Jamie jumped up and down and accepted his proposal, before he could even get down on one knee. After the excitement, they continued their date at a comedy show. Although, she said she didn’t catch all the jokes as she was “doing backflips in [her] head.”

The couple is currently on vacation in France, enjoying their engagement and starting to plan their wedding. We are so happy for them, and thrilled that we could play a little part in their love story.

Join the fun. Wish the couple well and share your creative proposal story in the comments.

News >

Planning Your First Festival? Start Here

Festival-Event-PlanningHave you spent winter dreaming up a summer festival – but you’re not quite sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Festival event planning may not be the easiest item on your springtime to-do list, but with a few basics, you’ll be on the road to success in no time.

1. Determine Your Festival’s Audience

When planning any event, start with the audience—who will be in the crowd? Consider their age range and other demographics. Creating an audience persona or having a general idea will help you decide how to market, where to host the event, and countless other details. For example, you wouldn’t want to have a family festival at a nightclub, but if you were having a three-day music festival, a nightclub may fit your needs. Keep your target audience in mind throughout the planning process.

2. Festival Budget Breakdown

Budgeting isn’t the fun, creative part of festival event planning, but it is imperative, especially for larger events. Decide how much you can spend on performers, vendors and venues before going into negotiations so you don’t sink into debt.

Consider how much you will want to charge for your festival and how much your attendees – going back to your target audience – would want to pay. You may want to consider early bird or group pricing to help encourage early purchases and help out attendees who cannot afford the general ticket price.

3. Location, Location, Location

Location is one of the most important aspects of festival planning. Will your festival take place in an urban warehouse or in a farm field under the stars? Be realistic. Look for a space that’s easy for the masses to find and get to. Check out the parking and/or public transportation situation. Consider the location of bathrooms, the festival entrance and exits.

4. Book Talent

In the initial stages of festival planning, whether it’s food, music, art, or all of the above, determine your goal and start reaching out to groups or individuals you’d like to feature. While you can keep some mystery about the main event, you will want to confirm it before too much time goes by, as most people will wait to hear what it is before buying in.

5. Festival Security

A frequently overlooked key to festivals is a dependable security team. Many companies exist exactly for this reason – to make your attendees feel safe and protected. Brief your security staff on how you want them to act in various scenarios and where you want them to be.

When interviewing a security team for your event, you’ll want to not only look for a team that can protect and enforce regulations, but also serve a certain amount of hospitality to your guests. You want your security staff to be approachable, not oppressive.

Other qualities you will want to look for in a festival security team:

  • Medically Trained
  • Familiar with your ticketing systems and best practices
  • Prepared for large or small scale issues – from natural disasters to fence-jumpers
  • Up to date on local and state laws

6. Food

If you are hosting a food and beverage festival – you likely already have the food all planned out. However, if you’re hosting an event that isn’t cuisine-centric, you’ll want to make sure that you have options in place for your all-day attendees. If you are serving food you will want to make sure you have the appropriate permits in place before your festival begins.

A booming trend across the country is food trucks – and festival event planners are taking advantage of their popularity. This food solution is also often more affordable for you and your attendees, and can provide a more eclectic food selection than a traditional catering service. As food trucks contain everything they need within the truck, you will likely only need to provide a place to park and trash services, which makes for an easy setup when dealing with remote or outdoor events.

7. Organizing Your Promotional Efforts

Promoting a festival is a long-haul marathon – from announcing on social media to creating a brand on Instagram and doing direct media outreach. Create a calendar, plan ahead and set deadlines for each promotional marker.

Sharing is caring. Comment below with your best festival and event planning tips. How did you do it?

Event Tips >

The Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Press Releases for Events

WritingPressReleasesPress releases (often called media releases) are a great way to disseminate information to the media for them to use in a variety of different ways, including for interviews or in-depth articles. Writing a press release sounds daunting, so we’ve got you covered with a few tips. If you have any additional questions, you can always reach out to our promo team for support.

1. Target your audience

Focus on the audience you want to read your press release. It helps to target certain media outlets and adjust your writing to fit them. For example, you wouldn’t want to write the same press release for Seventeen Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

If you are struggling to find media outlets, think back to your target audience: where do they find their information? How do they get their news? Seek out these publications or media outlets.

2. Before you write your press release

Define your unique value proposition, the golden nugget of your event. Additionally, pick out a few flashy facts about your event. Is it the first of its kind? Do you have any well-known performers? Have you won any awards in the past? Do attendees get free swag? What exactly is notable about your event? List all the details you can think of, and keep your unique value in mind when writing.

If you are having trouble targeting these superlatives, read our in-depth piece on attracting press coverage.

3. Writing your release

To start, set up your formatting correctly. Create a letterhead, with your phone, email and full name. To indicate that your release’s information is ready to be distributed, add “For Immediate Release” below your contact information. If you don’t want anyone publishing the information in your release until a future date, write “For Release on (date).”

Next, you’ll write the title of the release, which should be short and to the point, followed by a one-sentence-long, italicized subtitle. Once you’re finished with the title and subhead, begin the body of your press release. Check out our example to see the best way to format your release.

Write in a journalistic voice—not like advertising copy, but more like a newspaper. Rely heavily on provable facts. Most media sources will want to be able to pull quotes or descriptions directly from your press release. Some may even publish it directly – so check it for general grammar as well as professional tone.

The first paragraph – known as the “lead” paragraph – should include a hook. This is what brings the reader in and excites them about your event. Try to show, rather than tell them about the event as it will be – what can attendees expect to see when they arrive? What is going to surprise them about your event?

Highlight the “golden nugget” early to keep interest. Additionally, try to address as many of the “five W’s” (who, what, when, where, why) as possible.

The second or third paragraph usually includes a quote from the spokesperson of your event or brand. This quote highlights why you are doing your event, or why it is special.

Feel free to use bullets within the release as well to break up the paragraphs and highlight important information, such as performers, caterers, the program’s schedule, and so on.

When you write your final paragraph of your release, circle back to your value proposition and include where to find more details about your event. Include a link to your Brown Paper Tickets’ event page, as well as your contact information. Press releases always end with three, centered italicized hashtags (###) to signify the end of the release. If you have a mission statement for your event or company, put it under the hashtags.

4. Proofreading

Making sure your release is written well is very important. Most journalists use AP Style  and editing your release in accordance with this styleguide will get you far. Have a co-worker or friend read over the release and spot errors or typos. Also, our promo team can help edit and revise and boost your press release and make sure it is up to journalistic standards. Additionally, once you get your release polished, the promo team can curate a media list specifically for you and your event.

5. Distribute

The next step is to send out your press release to media sources, curated by our promo team or your personal contacts. You will want to make sure you customize each email to each media outlet, specific to them, the language they use and the editors you’re writing to.

Got any press release writing tips? Share them below in our comments section.

Event Tips >

5 Simple Steps to Attracting Media Coverage for Your Events

Throwing your first event? Looking for press attention for your established events? Either way, media coverage builds fans and boosts revenue.

Here are five simple steps to attracting media and press coverage:

1. Identify Your Objective Value Propositions

Value Proposition describes an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers. In the realm of promoting your event, you will want to find the “golden nugget” of your event, i.e. your event’s value proposition. To help you find it, ask yourself these questions:

What is it about your show that makes new ticket buyers want to spend their hard-earned dollars?

What makes your event worth the price? Ticket at any price, but the higher the price, the more you will need to justify value.

The answers to these questions are what will attract press to cover your event and ticket buyers to your show. Add your unique value propositions to the event title, description and headline of your press release.

Find Your Superlatives

Superlatives can raise the value of the event. Brainstorm, research and highlight your event’s objective (not subjective) superlatives. Journalists rely on facts, not opinions, so your event superlatives must be provable.

Examples of objective superlatives:

– Award-winning performers (specify award and date received)
– Largest or only event by any measure? Any metric can be used to make the superlative accurate, but you have to be able to back up your claim in one sentence. (Examples: Biggest beer tasting in _____. First film festival in ___ . The longest running theater in ____. )

The press won’t be able to use the following superlatives because they aren’t provable by objective measures:

Most fun
_____ -est of its kind

2. Identify 5 Target Media Outlets

Ask or poll your fans what media outlet they read or watch regularly. The answer is more and more likely to be a blog, a newsletter, a social media outlet, or other non-traditional media. This is good news, as many non-traditional media have shorter deadlines and more spots for stories.

Gather your fan’s responses. Then take out media outlets that do not influence your local market because locals are more likely to buy tickets to your event. The remaining top 5 on this list are your targets.

3. Localize to the Largest Community Possible

Localize your event to create an attractive angle for the press to cover. Readers and viewers have more interest in what happens to people and places they know.

Add a location name to the title of your event and choose the largest community possible (i.e., the Northwest Beer Festival would attract more news value than the Bellingham Beer Festival).

However, if the smaller place of localization generates greater interest, use that. For instance, a Hollywood burlesque festival could sell more than a Los Angeles burlesque festival because of Hollywood’s caché.

How to do it
Get the hometown, neighborhood and professional high-resolution headshot for every performer in the event, and write an email to the appropriate reporter at his/her neighborhood blog (if it’s in your possible attendee coverage area) to alert them about the “hometown girl/boy done good story” with your event as the hook.

4. Make Your Pitch Picture Perfect

Media outlets need good visuals to get clicks, likes and shares. Find a photo or video that shows this visual aspect of your event. Keep in mind that media outlets typically won’t publish a photo or video unless it’s G-rated.

How to do it
Invest in professional headshots as well as at least one performance photo, all in high resolution.

If you are producing a show with multiple performers, ask them for headshots as soon as you book them for your show. You don’t want to lose a story because you don’t have photography ready.

Television stations aren’t likely to use promotional videos with music, graphics, credits or logos embedded over the video. Hire a videographer to get natural sound, close-up footage to maximize your media coverage.

5. Submit Free Calendar Listings

You have a great localized value proposition. You have an enticing event description and pitch subject line. You included at least one eye-catching visual. Time to get the word out.

Calendar listings are the low-hanging fruit of the publicity world. They are easy to get and almost always generate ticket sales (as long as you have successfully done steps 1-4).

Submitting a free calendar listing for your event is simple. Newsletter, blog or even The New York Times, every publication has an event listing. And you can be part of it if you complete the first four steps and closely follow event submission instructions.

How to do it
Take your new top five media outlet list. Go to the online events section for every special interest group, blog or media outlet. Search for “how to submit an event” and follow the directions. If you can’t find it, send the press contact a short email that describes your event. Ask the publication if they would write about it or include it in the topics they share with their community.

Boom. Your event is now listed on every single one of your top five media targets websites.

Editorial teams frequently look at their calendar listings when assigning stories. Therefore, this effort increases the likelihood of an additional, more in-depth story. There are many ways to amp the press for your event. But these basics ensure that the press you get goes further to help you achieve your goals and reach new levels of success.

Event Tips >

6 Essentials to Pack for DragCon (Hint: Leave the Shade at Home)

DragCon_DragConNYCPackingDragCon NYC is this weekend, and we’re here to make sure that you don’t get left in the dust (…or rather, the glitter). During all the hustle and bustle, our LGBT event specialist Victor shared some tips for getting ahead of the stress.

Visit Victor and our New York crew at vendor booth #423. There will be giveaways, swag, and lots going on. Follow us at @BPTNYC  to find out when to race to our booth and get in on the giveaways.

Essentials for DragCon NYC

1. Badge and Lanyard
The earlier you get your badge the better. Make sure you have your printed ticket or download it on your phone to receive your badge. DragCon suggests getting your badge early on Friday to skip the lines on Saturday morning.

2. Memorabilia to be Signed
Do you have some favorite merch from your favorite queen? Want to make a gift even more special? Bring it along for that signature it’s begging for. Most performers’ booths will have signing opportunities that you won’t want to miss.

3. Comfortable Shoes
While heels may be the cherry on your outfit’s cake, remember that you will be on your feet, walking all day with little rest. Bring a pair to switch out, just in case.

4. Charged Phone and Charging Cord
There will be selfies a plenty. Arrive with a fully charged phone, and bring a charging cord so you don’t miss any photo or social media opportunity. If you are on SnapChat – scroll through and make yourself over with our Brown Paper Tickets’ DragCon filter.

5. A Reasonable Size Bag
While you may want to pack everything and the kitchen sink, remember, if your bag is much bigger than a purse, it will not be allowed past registration. Pack your day bag light, and leave room for the fun giveaway items you may pick up along the way. Luckily, the eyelashes we will give away at our booth won’t take up much room.

6. Love
Leave the shade at home. DragCon is a self-proclaimed “lovefest” and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

DragCon starts Saturday, September 9 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, NY. More information can be found here.

See you soon!

Arts >