Tips on Successful Concert Promotion

Word of Mouth

1. The most important thing you can do is to start a "word of mouth" campaign immediately.

2. Get on the phone and call as many churches as you can and ask them to put the concert on their calendars. Ask if you can send posters to put up in their church to advertise the concert. THIS IS VERY EFFECTIVE AND HELPS GET THE BUZZ GOING. DO THIS RIGHT AWAY. The support of churches and youth pastors is vital. Call them, bug them, and mail them!

3. In the meantime, you want to have all your posters and flyers printed including a picture of the group, stating time, date location, and ticket price. Send them to the churches you have already called. You will also need the flyers to send to a mailing list of previous concert attendees, churches and bookstores. This leads us to the next step, which is bulk mailing. This is the lifeblood of a successful concert.

The Promotional Countdown

14 weeks prior to the concert.

1. Make arrangements to do a direct mail campaign. You should try to mail to 3000-5000 churches and individuals in order to saturate the market. If you do not have a substantial list for your area, call us and we will help make arrangements to get you access to one.

2. It is vital that your mailings arrive at least six weeks prior to the concert. When sending a mailing of this size you can get a bulk rate discount. Use your churches non-profit permit to get the lowest postal rate possible. You must give the post office substantial amount of time to ensure your mailing arrives on the determined schedule, remember, bulk mail usually takes at least three weeks to be fully delivered.

3. Set up ticket sales at bookstores and churches. List them on your promotional materials, inform all outlets that you will pick up the receipts and excess tickets no later than the day before the concert. Inform your stores that even if they sell all their allotted tickets, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should they tell their customers the concert is sold out unless you personally tell them so.

4. Have your tickets printed. (Often the cost of this will be absorbed by a local business in exchange for using their logo on the back. You might even work a deal whereby the ticket stub is used as a discount coupon for their customers.)

5. Contact the local Christian radio station about advertising. Get rates and ask for discounts and special promotion policies. Explore all public service announcements

12 weeks prior to the concert

Distribute all promotional materials and tickets to outlets. Be sure to get receipts and carefully log ticket dispersal so a proper accounting can easily be made when you settle.

6 weeks prior to the concert

1. Recruit or hire crew to help with concert (load-in, ushers, ticket takers, load-out).

2. Send announcements to all free publications (activities calendars, church bulletins, newspapers, radio, TV, cable shows, schools, youth programs, etc.).

3. Your mailing should have arrived by this time. Check with people on your list to see when they received theirs.

4 weeks prior to the concert

1. Start Christian radio advertising. You should buy 60-second spots to run four times a day Monday through Friday for at least four weeks prior to the concert. Also, have the station do a ticket give-away (about 10 pairs per station) and offer tickets to the station employees.

2. Artists radio interviews should be scheduled and approved by this time.

3. Make arrangements for counseling materials to be available and plans for follow-up counseling. Check with local pastors who might be available for the evening or to disciple and counsel as part of your follow-up efforts.

3 weeks prior to the concert

1. Send press releases to the religion and entertainment editors of all local newspapers. Keep them short and to the point with a name and number to call for more information

2. Check tickets every three days. Redistribute tickets if necessary No outlet should be allowed to run out of tickets if other outlets still have them.

The week of the concert

1. Be sure that all ticket monies and/or tickets are picked up from the outlets no later than the day prior to the concert. This will give you enough time to make an accounting of all tickets sold at advance and group rates. Group rates will not be applicable at the door nor should any tickets not already paid for be held at the door. It is not uncommon for people to call ask you to hold 30 tickets, and then not show up or appear with just a few people.

2. If you have not already discussed arrival times and last minutes details with artist’s road manager, call him to confirm appropriate arrangements.

3. Be sure to have hotels reserved and prepaid in the artist’s name. There is often confusion at the desk so be sure that artist’s name is correctly spelled out, and if possible, a confirmation number is assigned and given to the road manager.

4. Have meals or food money (per Diems) arranged?

The day of the concert

1. Be sure that your crew will be there at the pre-determined time. The hall manager should have the building open and ready for set-up

2. Brief ushers and staff on their duties at least two hours before concert time. Be sure they are aware of the fact that due to recording contracts, no tape recorders or video cameras are permitted in the hall without written approval of our record company or management. Photographs are not permitted.

3. Meet with your road manager to cover details on set-up and load out as well as sound check, etc.

4. Have tables set up at the rear of the auditorium and several people available to help with sales of records and T-shirts etc.

5. Have an expense record sheet completed (door sales can be added following the concert) and receipts on hand so you can settle up quickly if percentages are involved.

6. Meal(s) for artists and crew

7. Prayer time with artists, crew and counselors usually takes place an hour or so prior to the concert. Doors usually open to the public 30 to 45 minutes before concert time

8. Pass out mailing list cards to get the name and address of all that attended so you can send flyers to them in the future.

After the concert

1. Please be sure that enough crewmembers are present to help artists with load out

2. Send thank you notes to all volunteers and counselors

3. Pay all your bills

Other Important Promotional Ideas

1. Pass out flyers at other Christian concerts that are before your concert

2. Get local business to sponsor the concert by putting there name on all advertising in exchange for cash or free hotel rooms, etc.

3. Telemarketing (calling every church) is free and very effective

Other Facets of Effective Concert Promotion

Research: Always asks questions, gather information, meet people learn more about your market.

Quantity: Enough has to be done to let all potential attendees know of this event. Many avenues must be pursued to make sure no stone is left unturned.

Frequency & Distribution: If you wait until the last six days to bombard the market, it is too late. People plan their "free time" weeks and months ahead. Must give your audience plenty of advance notice.