Once you’ve got these ingredients sorted out – that you’re happy with the venue and people that run it, that it provides a decent sound system, has great bar staff and that the management have cut you a good deal – it’s time for your launch party. So how are you going to get the word out to the people? There are various ways that you can promote to the masses. Firstly, the old school way of spreading the word is by getting some good eye-catching flyers printed and distributed. Generally you should give people at least a month’s notice. This will differ on the size and scale of your event. For instance, big festivals and concerts require much more time. However, for smaller scale parties, you should give people at least 30 days’ notice. You should go down to the popular venues that play your music and hand out flyers to punters when they leave.
Think of ways and areas where you can get large numbers of people that may be interested in your event, for example, colleges, universities, cool small trendy businesses and so on; just get as creative as possible and the ideas will come. Maybe you can tap into key ‘decision makers’ and ‘opinion formers’ within local scenes who have a ‘crowd’. Offer them an incentive (such as guest list or VIP entry) to come to your night. This is a form of ‘leverage’: try to get people who will then ‘promote’ and spread the word to their friends.
Making party invitations is also a classic and effective way of bringing people to your party. People always love invites and feel special if you have selected them to come to your event. There are hundreds of companies who create very professional wrist bands, tickets and passes at great rates. If you get wristbands made then consider having your web address on it and the date of your next party.
Many people will have these on all night and will also keep hold of them as mementos. If you’re doing invites, that means some people will get in for free, so make sure you command a good deal for the drinks sales (no less than 12%). Many beverage companies have budgets for promoting their brand. A good venue/bar manager will have strong links with their suppliers so see how they can work with you to mutual advantage to try and secure some free products from the drinks suppliers. Most promoters are now turning their hands to promoting their events online, which is a very good way to instantly access thousands (if not millions of people) around the globe. However, as in many walks of life, focus is needed rather than simply casting a ‘wide net’: it’s obvious that if someone in Japan gets to hear about your event, they will probably not attend your party in London, so make sure you know who you are promoting to. If you have a lot of friends on your email list then it would be a good idea to send a blanket email about your event to them.
Promoting online is extremely cost-effective. Ask your designer to send you the flyer design as a ‘jpeg’ image for you to upload and email around. There are other ways to promote your event online; try websites such as www.facebook.com and www.instagram.com where you can create an event, upload your flyer and info and then invite friends to attend. It’s generally a good way to see how busy your night is going to be and it gets the message out there, FAST. There are some great music forums online already. Go onto Google and type in your preferred music genre (i.e. House music forums) and you will find a whole host of music forums.