Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Planning a Successful Event - Part 4: Promotion, Promotion, Promotion

Back in the day (about 10 years ago in New York City), we passed out flyers, hand to hand until we were about to pass out. When I think of how often the streets became littered with a long trail of flyers I got printed, I think to myself, what a waste! Not only was it a waste, but it took every ounce of self-control I had inside of me, to keep from picking up the trail of my money that was lying on the ground in tossed flyers. We passed out thousands of flyers, but the reality of the situation was the flyers meant more to me and my crew than the recipients. Even then, before a facebook, we spent hours of meeting time trying to figure out what we could do to make our events more successful.

Email Blasts
After we starting having events on a regular basis, "The Gospel Talent Showdown", we started building our own database of attendees and gathered as much information as we possibly could about them. I have a little story I tell people all the time about how I built my email list - by borrowing email contacts from people who were affiliated with Christian organizations and were known for sending out announcements and revealing all of the addresses of the recipients. I would literally sit in front of the computer from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and copy thousands of email addresses. After a few months, when we sent out an announcement, the whole city knew and then it started to spill over to other areas of the country as people started coming into New York to participate in our event. The point I'm making here is, let's not forget how effective email blasts can be when they are going out to individuals who have an interest in what you are doing. Please don't forget to ask the recipients to share your announcement with their friends. If you notice, anytime you join a new site these days, they're asking you to include the email addresses of your friends to invite them to their site.

Facebook Cover Photo
With the new Facebook format, it's impossible to miss what a person is promoting because the banner/cover photo at the top of their page is so prominent it screams, "LOOK AT ME ALL THE WAY UP HERE!" Please use this to your advantage. Keep your event in your visitors' faces. Ask your friends if they would be kind enough to post your flyer and/or banner on their page. It would be best to ask a group of friends to do it on the same day to make your campaign more effective.

Create a Youtube Promo
You don't have to hire a camera crew to come up with something short, simple and effective. I recall a few weeks ago I saw someone post a Youtube link in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, promoting a bus ride. I thought it was cute when the gentleman said, "Join us for a glorious ride of Shopping and Shouting. Amen!" It was catchy. Be creative and have fun. It can be 2-5 minutes long. If you don't have a video camera, upload some pictures to Windows Live Movie Maker (which is free) and some music and then upload it to Youtube.

Posters
I don't like having my flyers thrown away. And although it has never come down to me getting into a fight about it, I'd like to keep it that way. Lol! I LOVE POSTERS! Hijack someone's window in their business for your poster, ask if they would be willing to do it for free, then offer some money. What's $5 or $10 dollars going to do to you after you've already secured your sponsorships for your event.

Twitter
I'm guilty of not harnessing the power of Twitter until recently, but let me tell you; please don't be a fool like me and ignore it. People appear to be more willing to share small bits of information than the entire novel you may have written on your page. Brevity can save you. Be witty with your wording and get your "Twit" or "Tweet" on! This has nothing to do with planning an event, but yesterday I posted this tweet, "I'm in a different "grind-set" nowadays. Keep grinding, no excuses. Thank God for supernatural strength when I'm worn out."  People loved it and started sharing it immediately; so please, get the creative seasonings out and let the marinating begin. When everything is in place, start COOKING!

Graphic Design
How can I share your flyer and I can't read the type on it? You got a lot of people on there, but I can't make out the faces. They might as well be flies on a dark night. Think about it----you making more work for me because now all my friends are asking me to tell them what's on YOUR flyer. Your flyer represents you and your company. If it looks mediocre, then maybe your event is going to be boring and not worth the admission fee you are requesting.

Look, I am sorry to keep you hanging, but I will have to continue this post later. My other duties are calling. When I come back later on this evening, I will also include contact info for my artists out there who are looking for more exposure.

Until later, stay Blessed.
Love Arielle a.ka. Determinator1

Monday, April 2, 2012

Planning A Successful Event - Part 3: Sample Sponsorship Letter

Whew...it has been a long time since the last post! We've got a lot of positive things going on, but I had to get back to what I promised we would do before doing anything else today. (And Lord knows there are a lot of other things to do). My prayer is that this post is shared by many who have the desire to improve the event they are already hosting, or fund an event they know would not be possible without partnering with organizations wanting to make sure their brand is visible at your next function.
Description of Your Event Example: On Saturday, July 21, 2012, Heaven Sent is having a CD Release Party at Faith Temple Baptist Church from 3-6 p.m. and we are inviting YOU to be a sponsor of this wonderful gathering. Faith Temple Baptist Church is located at 11 Heaven's Circle, St. Louis, MO. The cd is entitled, "Swaggerific with Christ" and is the group's sophomore album release. This awesome 15 track cd features guest artists, Dina Shaw and Kendra Lyle on track #3 entitled, "Give It All to God". Guest appearances will be made by Deitrick Haddon, Canton Jones and Mali Music. Immediately following the performances, cd signings will take place along with a Praise Party in the lower level of the church. This event will be taped and will air on KCME-TV in Anaheim, California on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 9 p.m. (Somewhere in here, be sure to include how many people you are expecting to attend).

Organization or Group Background Information
Heaven Sent is a Contemporary Gospel/Holy Hip Hop group consisting of 7 members (I'll let you list the names of your group members here) who have been ministering through song and rap for over 7 years here in the St.Louis area and across the country. In July 2011, they were the special guests on the same ticket as Kirk Franklin when he appeared at the St. Louis Convention Center and in December 2011 they collected over $10,000 in donated cash and toys for inner city youth around the city.

Closing
Your contribution will help make this event a huge success. Please refer to the attached document to review the different types of sponsorship levels offered. We will be following up with you on May 22nd to make sure you have received our package and ask if we can count on your support for this event.

Attachment Including Sponsorship Levels
  • Gold Sponsorship - Includes Banner displaying your company name and logo and placement above the stage (will be visible throughout the television broadcast), 8 tickets to the show, V.I.P. reception before the event, your logo with a link to your site on our homepage for one month, your logo on our site, your logo on our flyer (20,000 will be printed) and an opportunity to address our audience in a 2-3 minute presentation.
  • Silver Sponsorship - 6 tickets to our show, your company's logo with a link to your page on our site's sponsor page for one month, your logo on our  flyer (20,000 will be printed), once our show has aired, we will upload it to Youtube and include your company's name in our credits.
  • Bronze Sponsorship - 2 tickets to our show, your company's logo on our sponsorship page of the webiste and on 20,000 flyers. 
There are other things you can include with your sponsorship proposal. Keep in mind, once the money starts to roll in, you can really offer more than what you may be offering in the example I am using here. Ultimately, whatever you offer will be paid for by the sponsors. You can run commercials, include email blasts, advertise on your Facebook page. Create a commercial on your Youtube channel. What you do and how you do it is up to you? Whatever you do, make sure your offer is attractive, has value and makes sense to your potential sponsors.

If you run into a snag with the writing, reach out to us. This is definitely one of our company's specialties. For further details about additional services, please visit: www.UGTKONation.com or you can call or text 214.779.2097

When we return, we will start to get into event promotion. You will need to make sure you have covered all of your bases to have a successful event.

Everytime we close out our posts we try to include information of ways to expand your ministry. Right now, I'm including some DJ contact info to you so you can get some spins of your latest project. The Terry Price Show ajohnson@ugtkonation.com (Be sure to include "The Terry Price Show" in the Subject Line - at the time we are accepting mostly Holy Hip Hop projects) , Jonathan Moore (accepting all genres for WLUV Radio) - j3llc2010@gmail.com , Dunamis Live of the Fishbowl Network - dunamis.live@yahoo.com , DJ Dre - 67865djdre@gmail.com and Gospel DJIsaiah