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Q & A with Jason Carney, Executive Director of the Phoenix Film Foundation

Brown Paper Tickets has some really fantastic decades-long relationships with event organizers. For example, we’ve partnered with the Phoenix Film Festival for more than 13 years now! Today we sat down with Jason Carney, Executive Director of the Phoenix Film Foundation to pick his brain about the Phoenix Film Festival.

Briefly describe your business.

JC: We produce the Phoenix Film Festival each April along with lots of movie goodness sprinkled throughout the year.

Describe your culture in 5 adjectives.

JC: Fun, quality, organized, cool, professional.

What gets you excited about your work?

JC: It’s easily the opportunity to bring films to audiences that they may not see anywhere else. And more specifically when the filmmaker is in the house. It’s a great energy.

What types of events are important to your business?

JC: Events that bring artists and film lovers together. There’s such a sense of community that develops when you bring folks together that have such a passion for film events.

How many years have you been using Brown Paper Tickets?

JC: We’re coming on 13 years with Brown Paper Tickets.  I’m a little hazy on how it all came together. I’m pretty sure we can blame Sten. Other than roller derby there wasn’t really anyone in town using BPT but once we started it was awesome to see lots of other organizations start using it. Every year new ticket companies pop up and contact us but we profess our love of Brown Paper Tickets and tell them to move on.

What advice do you have to businesses in your industry when it comes to events?

JC: Be organized and prepared for your artists and audiences. They are why your business exists, so you owe it to them.

What do you love about your local community?

JC: How much they trust us to bring them quality films. We have folks that show up at our event without really knowing what they’re seeing. It shows me that they’re confident in what we do.

What was the most memorable/wackiest/funniest/most successful (you can pick!) event you have put on?

JC: The most recent was a screening we did at this year’s Phoenix Film Festival. We were screening a great documentary about guide dogs called “Pick of the Litter”. When I showed up at the theatre at 8am there were about 25 guide dogs waiting (with people of course) just outside. It was the ultimate shock of adorableness to my system. Super fun!

Are you a movie buff, or interested in screening or attending films? We can help with that. Remember that Brown Paper Tickets offers 24/7 Event Specialist Assistance, as well as a dedicated Promo team to help with your social media and marketing efforts.



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Easy Tweaks to Make Your Event Page Professional and Pretty

Hosting an event on Brown Paper Tickets? Congrats. Creating a visually compelling and informative event page is a key factor to selling out your event.

Before you create your event page, the first thing to do is brainstorm various aspects that are important to highlight. To do this, consider events that have attracted you in the past.

Were they visually appealing? Did the description spark interest and intrigue? Take what inspires you and translate that into your event creation. Along with a clear and compelling event name, you will want to create a compelling event description and short description.

  • The short description will display in search results, in our weekly event mailing list and third-party event calendars. It is a summary of your full description with intriguing aspects of your full description.
  • Give potential attendees all the information they need, so they have no lingering questions that could delay ticket purchase.
  • Highlight what attendees should expect, and the unique aspects that set your event apart from similar events.
  • Use bullet points to display key information so the information is easy for readers to scan.

Add a visual component next. Do you have high-quality images of the artist or event flyer? If so, upload it onto the event itself; this will further polish the professional look of your page. Feature the artist you’re promoting by uploading recent live performances, artist interviews, or anything relative to the performers and the event. Think about the possible attendees that have never heard of the artist and display any work that you think highlights the artist best. To make a bigger impact, upload the material into the event description to appear full frame so that everyone can gain a feel for the genre, style, and sound. Unsure how to post a YouTube video full frame?  This simple tutorial has you covered.

You can also use basic HTML coding to hyperlink artist’s websites, social media pages, or relevant interviews or articles. This can also help boost your presence and improve page ranking on search engines such as Google.  You can see exactly how things will look on your page with our tutorial here.

Now, let’s talk about sales incentives. Buyers often wait until the last minute to purchase tickets. Offering an incentive to those who secure their spots early on can jumpstart your sales and give you an idea on “where you are” in promoting your event.

How to incentivize attendees to buy early:

  • Create a higher day-of or door price
  • Have early bird pricing or tiered pricing that rises closer to the event
  • Offer priority seating or entry to the first ( x ) people that secure tickets

To tie up all loose ends on your event page, you will want to link your Facebook Event and Twitter account to your Brown Paper Tickets event page. Linking everything will allow for a smooth transition for possible attendees to further get a feel for your event and performers.

You can further boost your search engine ranking by implementing basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. That way, when people search certain key terms, they’ll easily find your event. Avoid copying and pasting. Vary your event description from one site to the next—search engines don’t like duplicate content, so use different descriptions wherever you list your event. Make sure you add keywords—if you’re hosting a theater or music event, add “music” or “musical” or “”theater” to help your event appear in search results. But don’t jam your descriptions full of these terms; use them naturally. Read this post for more event-related SEO tips and techniques.

Once you have everything up and running, keep that momentum going. Think about how you are going to announce and present your event on social media. Check out these 10 Crucial Steps to Announcing Your Events on Social Media.

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