A Day in the Life
A promoter’s life is never dull. Working with agents, venues
Getting the word out about the show takes up just as much time. Promoting a live event has changed considerably over the past decade or so. In the past, a promoter’s advertising job was to distribute and post-concert fliers, buy radio air time, and depending on the scale of the show, rent billboards. The goal was to get in front of as many potential concert-goers as possible, likely only a couple of times before the show.
Flash forward to the digital age and now the majority of efforts are via social media channels and email. Promoters have to be consistent, persistent and understand where their target audience is on the various digital channels. Advertising is less about posting a static poster and more about engaging with the audience to create an experience that builds up excitement and hopefully inspires them to share the event with their followers.
No matter the type or size of show being promoted, professional promoters need some help. Technology can only do so much if it’s not integrated and used. Thankfully, event promotion tools are finally available to give promoters some help.
Event Promotion Tools Bring Efficiency
The live music industry is not immune to the consolidations occurring across the marketplace. National concert promoters have their ears to the ground and their eyes on local venues and promoters. This can make the independent venues and promoters a little nervous, particularly if they’re not able to compete.
Technology is leveling the playing field for some, giving independent promoters a fighting chance to go head to head with the big guys. For example, Eventbrite recommends independent promoters not only promote events “on the sites and apps where your fans spend their time, but also allow smooth, direct ticket sales there.” That means fans should be able to see a post on Facebook and click right then and there to buy their tickets – without having to manually navigate to the ticketing website.
Event promotion tools should also enhance your productivity. The more time spent on manual tasks, the more time is lost building relationships with artists, agents and influencers. The key is to automate as many of the event promotion tasks as possible and to use a solution that integrates as much data as possible to eliminate redundant data entry that can lead to mistakes. It’s much more efficient and accurate to connect the various systems used in promoting a live event so they “talk” to each other, sharing data and presenting you with a comprehensive view of what’s going on at any given time.
Don’t Let Budgeting Be Your Downfall
One of the biggest mistakes event promoters make is improperly budgeting. While you may work tirelessly to promote a show, are you taking enough time to create a comprehensive budget before the event you’re promoting? The goal isn’t to break even. It’s to make a profit. If the budget is off or if you can’t say no to your artists or agents, you’re going to be in trouble.
IDMMAG.com suggests doing the following when working on a budget:
- Work with a forecast field (what you expect to pay) and an actual field where you can put the final amount paid per cost of each expense
- Get written quotes for everything you can and use these figures, do not thumb suck.
- Constantly revisit your budget and adjust for unexpected expenses (there always are).
- Add at least 10% of your total budget as an ancillary cost to give yourself a little leeway.
An event promotion tool that integrates the financial piece of your business can be a lifesaver when it comes to creating and tracking budgets. The functionality may enable you to create templates so you don’t have to start from scratch with each event. By building detailed budgets and linking your ticketing platform, you can see sales in real time. You should also be able to track your expenses and reconcile ticket sales, giving you instant, real-time visibility into show status with breakeven, marketing return on investment (ROI) and net sales calculated automatically. That’s right – automatically, without you having to input data and calculate data in a spreadsheet.
Even better, your team members can see this same data from their mobile devices at the same time. With all of the financial data in one place and updated automatically in real time, promoters don’t have to worry about their budgets, sales or reconciling them. The data is right there in front of them any time they want it.
What Do Event Promotion Tools Look Like?
The best event promotion tool will, as we said, connect the various systems you use every day into a single, integrated solution that you can access from a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. After all, a promoter is rarely just sitting at a desk all day. You need your solution to be as mobile as you are, giving you the ability to communicate, schedule, negotiate and book a venue with a few taps on your mobile phone.
A legitimate solution will likely include capabilities for both you, the promoter, and venue owners, even enabling you to work collaboratively from the same solution. As such, you should look for things such as calendar management to manage holds; offer management to keep track of offers; revenue and expense tracking to give you detailed and big picture views of where money is coming and going; settlement management and reporting for accurate payments; and collaboration tools to keep track of all of your communications between team members and stakeholders in one place. The collaboration tool should also have a built-in approval system for confirmations, challenges and other issues that may come up.
All of these features enable you to see everything at once from one source. This saves you time and the frustration of having to go back and forth between systems to check on statuses, input data and verify tasks have been done as promised. The main point of an event promotion tool is to bring all of the pieces together into a streamlined solution that helps you do more in less time.
The Good News for Indies
In 2014, global event promotion giants owned the ticket sales, cornering 70 percent of the market at a whopping $3 billion. It seemed for decades that the big promoters would eliminate the independent promoters. But, despite all odds, indies have been able to survive, even thrive. How? According to Billboard, “by producing festivals, allying themselves with artists and smaller venues in large markets that are beyond the bandwidths of the majors.”
By developing strong relationships with venues and artists, smaller promoters are actually gaining business. There’s a sort of groundswell of support for the independents. Everyone wants to see the underdog win and there’s something about keeping events more local or regional. Those relationships, however, require constant nurturing. Promoters can’t afford to miss or lose a message from a venue. They can’t take too long to book a show. They have to work hard and fast for their artists and agents and the only way they can do that well is with technology.
Promoters who use an integrated event promotion tool often say they are able to do so much more in their day and enjoy doing it. Instead of being tied to a computer, they can enjoy their shows with confidence that all of the tasks required to put it on are taken care of and visible from their mobile device. This is a huge leap for promoters, helping them get into the ring with big-time promoters who already know the power of technology.