I Will Judge Your Book By Its Cover:
Marketing Polish and Presentation

There is nothing worse than shitty flyer design and poorly written marketing copy to ruin a show before it begins. We live in an age of technology, where, if you take the time to look, all of the necessary tools are available to put out at least decent looking marketing and press materials. This goes for your website, social media postings and event pages, flyer design and marketing copy used to promote events to the general public. Use spell check. Don’t steal names or catchphrases from other, more established groups. Find a clean and unique brand identity that works for your and keep your materials uniform to that standard.

I understand that not everyone is a graphic designer, or has the means to hire one. However, there are many sites that offer easy customizable templates for all of the above, so there is really no excuse to put out trashy, cheesy, or shockingly unprofessional work. Take ownership of your role as a producer, and do the work necessary to do justice to this art form. Part of putting on a sizzling event is respecting it, your audience and performers enough to promote it appropriately.

Another important thing to consider is attracting an appropriate audience, and filling your room with those people. You cannot depend on a venue to market your event for you, nor do you need a huge marketing budget to do it on your own. Spread the word through flyer distribution, social media, electronic calendar postings on local websites, physical networking (that’s right – go support other people’s events!), and offer a unique product people will be enticed to see. Everything takes time, but if you do the work and put on a good show, they will come!

If only the top 50% of burlesque shows in the world (that is being generous) are putting out at least semi-professional marketing, then that means the other 50% littering people’s inboxes, windshields and flyer tables are degrading the rest of the industry with their sub-standard material. That may sound harsh in a society so accustomed to awarding people’s mere participation without any show of actual skill or talent, but in a reality actually rooted in reality, it’s a fact.

It is also wise to consider your audience and the caliber of entertainment you are offering when creating marketing copy – referring to your show as a full length burlesque and variety extravaganza when your set list is composed of six solo performers in a small room is simply inaccurate, and does an injustice to your audience and performers. Your marketing should reflect the vibe of your event, and offer information that prepares people for the entertainment you are actually offering. If you think that isn’t enough to get people through the door, then perhaps you should select a different show formula to execute.

I recommend squarespace.com for website creation, and (if you are not sourcing to a local business) gotprint.net for printing flyers and other physical marketing materials.