3 November 2014

The show must go on! The BIG list of show promotion tips.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts I've been involved with musical theatre groups for around 10 years. During this time I've been a cast member, committee member and have helped out backstage. However, one thing stays the same - whenever you're involved with an amateur musical production there is always a huge need for the cast (and everyone else involved) to promote the show, and drive ticket sales. Without the huge budget that many West End productions have, this can sometimes be really tough, and pretty stressful for those at the heart of the organisation. 

That's where this post comes in - it does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a big quick-fire list of ways to promote your amateur theatre production. Most of them are free, and a number of them are fairly simple to implement and can result in a huge boost in awareness (and ticket sales yahoo!)

Here we go...

1. Have your posters designed well and put them up in local, high traffic areas at least one month before the performance. Tip: offer shops A4 or A3 and they're more likely to put one up depending on what they can fit in their window. 

2. Keep the visual style of your posters consistent across any other advertising: social, web, press adverts etc. 

3. Create a Facebook event for your performance and encourage cast members to 'invite' all their friends/family. 

4. Submit your event to any local 'news' sites, a really good one in Lanark is Lanark Life. 

5. Submit for free to WOW247 

6. Add information about your show, images, videos & press releases to your local S1 page - here's S1Lanark.

7. Submit your events to you local 'whatson_____' website, they send out weekly newsletters! Here's Whatsonlanarkshire.

8. Submit details of your event to amdram.co.uk - a site specifically dedicated to all things amateur dramatics!

9. If your group is a member of NODA, make sure you're listed on their website's What's On page.  

10. Write a press release for your performance giving background to the show, key details, a bit of background about your group and any other interesting facts. Send it to local media, bloggers and the websites I mentioned above!

11. If you have budget available consider advertising in your local paper. They will tend to offer discounts if you take multiple ads, so consider placing a series of ads in the run up to the performance. 

12. If the venue of your performance has a website make sure your event has a listing on it. If they can share it on their social media channels - even better!

13. Advertise in other local production's programmes to attract a captive audience who you know should be interested in other shows. 

14. Get social and set up a Facebook & Twitter channel for your group, if you haven't already! As with point 1, keep all your channels branded and change your Facebook cover image to promote the show. 

15. Encourage cast members to change their profile picture to a graphic advertising the show. 

16. Consider paying to increase the reach of your Facebook posts or tweets. On Facebook this can be done for as little as £3!

17. Take over your local high street with a media day! Dress up in costumes from your show to get noticed, hand out flyers and if possible get the soundtrack playing on a boombox or sound system. 

18. Invite local media/bloggers along to your dress rehearsal to photograph & write up a review of the show ahead of 'curtains up'. 

19. Put on your directors hat and create a short promotional video. Capture footage of rehearsals, talk to the cast & production team!

20. Share 'behind the scenes' photos of rehearsals, costumes, set with your social media audience to continually build awareness of the show and give people a little teaser of what to expect. 

21. Encourage people who see your show to leave a review or wall post on your Facebook page, or gather comments via a guest book. You can then share these socially the next day to continue to drive ticket sales throughout show time!

22. Make sure details of your performance are on the homepage of your website!

23. Advertise your event with posters & flyers on tables at any fundraising events your group holds. A good idea is to have a simple 'What's on' A6 flyer that you can easily update & print in black and white for each different fundraiser or gathering. 

Phew, that turned out to be quite a list - and I'm sure I've probably forgotten something. If you can think of anything that's worked for you please comment below!

Thanks for reading, 

PS. Lanark Amateur Musical Society's next production is Our House in March 2015 :) 

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