Last week I posted Part 1 on how to promote your roller derby bout from 6 weeks before to 3 weeks before.
2 weeks before: We have coordinated the skaters to go out in groups to put flyers into shops, pubs and bars around Leicester. They have volunteered to be in “teams” of around 6, most will be on foot but 1-2 in each group will be on skates. I’ve sorted the venues into groups that are close to each other and each team gets a group of venues to visit. They will put flyers in each venue on their allocated flyer shelf (and try to give them a decent slot where the flyer can be easily seen). If anyone in the venue seems interested in what we’re doing then they’ll chat to them and maybe give them a flyer.
We have to be careful with flyering as we need to have a license to hand them out to the public in the city centre and if we are found to be doing so we can be fined, especially if the flyers are dropped on the floor and are causing litter. The good thing is, we don’t need a license to put them into pubs and bars as long as they are on the designated flyer shelf.
The flyer design includes a voucher for £2 off the door price – everyone loves a discount voucher! Our door price happens to be £2 more expensive than the advanced ticket price so anyone using the voucher will just pay the same amount as the advanced ticket buyers.
In this week we will also do a press release and send it to our contacts at local newspapers and websites. This should generate links and things to promote on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook in the build up to the event.
At the beginning of this week we will post on our forum to encourage league members to help with bout promotion. We ask them to use the poster as their profile photo on Facebook, we ask them to share the event with their friends and to make sure they like/tweet/share/reblog any of the press that we receive. We know that the more interest is shown in these articles, the more we can be featured in local press.
1 week before: The final week of promotion is really a last push for people who plan to attend the event to buy advanced tickets. In my experience it is now too late to get new people interested in your event because most people will have already planned what they are doing on that day. So, you need to concentrate on those who have already shown interest by sending out Facebook messages to all the event invitees.
This final week is also when we use Twitter and Facebook to build up anticipation for the event, get people into the theme and promote the “extras” at the event – key raffle prizes or half time entertainment. You may also create some other “hooks” such as friendly rivalry between skaters who have similar names (e.g. Rogue Runner vs Wiley Peyote, Holly Hotrod vs Holly Sheet) or our favourite thing to do is to guess what outfit our mascot will be wearing on bout day.
We often use a hash tag for the event to use on twitter and encourage others to use it too. For Fight To The Finnish the hash tag will be #fight2finnish, we even included this on the bout poster. Reply and retweet anyone who is talking about the event, we also like to follow anyone who mentions us on Twitter.
In the final two/three days we will make it clear that people only have a certain amount of time to buy advanced tickets (state what time ticket sales will close) and only a limited number will be saved for the door. If you can offer a cheaper price for advanced tickets (or a more expensive price on the door) this should help you to push people to buy in advance.
At this point if you’ve had very little interest or ticket sales don’t panic. There is nothing worse than posting in desperation to get people to buy more tickets. Just make sure that after the day you evaluate why your interest was low (too much competition from other bouts, too hard to buy tickets in advance, your price was too high), and what you can do to improve things for next time (HINT: start earlier!). You may find that lots of people arrived on the day and next time you want to focus on pushing advanced ticket sales or overall attendance was poor and you need to work on selling your event as a whole.
On the day: Tweet pictures of the set up for the day and reply or re-tweet anyone who tweets to say they are on their way or sad they are missing the event – keep building up that community around the event.
After the event: Write a review of the event and post it on your website, also do a cut down version for local press and other websites (including DNN if this is really big event). Promote any photographers who came to your event by posting their photos (with credit) on your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – you can even include their pics with your review.
If you can, create the Facebook and website event for your next bout within a week. This will catch your attendees while they are still on a high and they are more likely to share with their own friends. Even if you have no poster or bout name yet just use your league logo and the names of the teams that will be playing.
And the whole process starts again… good luck with promoting your bouts!