The Beginner DJ Blog
The Beginner’s Guide to Club & Party Promoting
This guest post is by Sarah Mosher, a local party & club promoter in Tampa, FL. She’ll be sharing how she got started and some tips on how you too can get into the scene of club promotions.
Have you ever noticed how much going to shows has drained your wallet? $15, $25, and more expensive events can really start hurting if you like to go to parties every week.
You’re already so involved in the scene that you’ve amassed hundreds of friends on Facebook just because you recognized them from that one night, or you are one of those who wrote on the event page: “Add me if you saw me! I was the one wearing the tutu/giving epic light shows/wearing a horse mask/spinning crazy poi!!!”
Almost everyone you have on there is a DJ, promoter, or someone in the scene. Well, here’s how you can take advantage of that.
Any event in the electronic music scene is put together with the help of DJ’s, attendees, and promoters.
Basically, there are the people that put on the party, the people that help fill up the party, the people that attend the party, and the people that provide the music, visuals, and sound for the party. Trying to not go too deep into what comprises these shows, a large amount of work is done by the promoters.Not only is this group in control of the bookings, venue choice, and even the entirety of the party given your position, but they are in charge of bringing it all together.
Some of the Benefits of Promoting?
Promoting has great benefits when it comes to going out. You can save money going out by getting on the guest list and having free entry, you can get paid to promote, and you can make friends in the scene as well as knowing the details of parties all the time.
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I heard about the electronic music scene. I was in high school when I heard some of my friends discussing going to Ultra Music Festival. I had gone and looked it up when I got home, and saw that The Prodigy was going to be playing. I definitely had to go.
Fast forward to the next year. I go to Ultra again, but in between I don’t really get that taste of electronic music that I really wanted. I searched around for some local, smaller events and could only really find 18+ club events.
I found websites like 8up.com, which did show some of the parties that I eventually went to.
I was too scared/young/socially awkward to go alone at first, so it wasn’t until I met someone else in the scene, oddly enough through OKCupid, that I got to go to my first local party.
He taught me who to add on Facebook, what pages to like, and what event pages to join to find out about my local scene.
All I really had to do was add the main promoters and people putting on the event to get the information on more parties than I could ever imagine.
A year later, and I’m in Tampa at University of South Florida for college, finally old enough to get to the 18+ scene. I had connected with a few people in the Tampa scene, and found a group to join to promote for Electric Daisy Carnival in Orlando. It was my first promoting experience, and being naive I ended up not getting anything in the end, since there ended up being no agreement on compensation.
Through other mutual friends, I saw an opportunity to get a job with a legitimate promotions company in Tampa. I explained to them my previous promoting experience, and was chosen to flyer for them. I had the choice of flyering on Wednesday or Thursday, but at University of Tampa, which is about a half an hour drive from USF. I quickly learned that not knowing the area around you and not having a large area to flyer added to the fear of being kicked out for trespassing wasn’t the ideal way to flyer. With that, here are some tips for flyering: whether at a familiar or unfamiliar place, with their permission or not.
The Low-Down on Club & Party Promoting
Sarah has put together an extensive guide on the process behind modern club & party promoting; here’s what she had to say:
Tip #1: Get to know the area.
The first way you can really figure out how to flyer is getting to know the area. Take a walk around. Look at Google maps. Read around to see what parking spots are you may want to flyer. See where your target audience would congregate, and some secluded areas such as benches or chairs they may run off to escape the crowd. Find out whether it is a large area you need to cover or a relatively small area.
Tip #2: Know your target
Knowing who you want your flyer to reach can really help you figure out the best places to flyer. For example, when I had to flyer for EDC Orlando, Ybor was one of the places that I chose to flyer. Ybor city has a lot of clubs, but it’s also one of those “bad” neighborhoods as you’d call it. Aside from the electronic music clubs, not many people in Ybor were very interested in what I had to show.
Having a target specified to you is helpful, but by the area you are assigned it can be pretty much inferred. With my job, I was assigned to flyer University of Tampa. Obviously, one would imagine that the target audience is students. So I found areas that they gathered around, such as residence halls and the school buildings, as well as the student parking lot.
Tip #3: Know how to ninja it
If you’re like me and dislike confrontation with security officers in an area that is private property, including areas in the city that prohibit solicitation, this tip is for you. Knowing the fact that University of Tampa is a private college, I was unsure if I really was allowed there since I’m not a student. It helped to have a friend going there to help me out my first day, who warned me about flyering cars and maybe getting kicked out for flyering. With that, I devised a way to stealthily flyer, and not really get much attention.
One of my ways I like to do it is by bringing around a backpack and looking like a student, while carrying around my iPad in its case and leaving the flyers in there. Whenever I get to a spot I want to put a flyer, I just grab one and put it down, snag a picture while I can, and walk away. The alternative is sitting down at a bench, putting a flyer down, and sitting for a few seconds/minutes, browse the internet on my phone or send a text or two, and open up the camera to get the photo as I stand up and walk away.
Tip #4: Tables, benches, ashtrays = friends
Anywhere visible is a great place to flyer. My target tends to commute around campus, and sit around on the benches. A lot of clubgoers tend to be smokers as well, so ashtrays are a good place to get them to notice flyers. They also like to sit down and smoke, so tables are a good choice as well.
Tip #5: Where to flyer cars
Cars are one of the ways to make sure someone notices your flyer. However, it may be illegal or unfavorable conditions to flyer cars in certain areas. I find that parking garages without security are usually your best bet, in downtown areas or clubbing areas. Flyering cars in the streets isn’t the greatest idea since weather can wear down the flyer and create problems for the owner of the vehicle—I once had a flyer put on my car and left on there for days, it was rained on and dried and left me a nice big white patch of residue glued to my car.
Tip #6: How much to flyer
How much you are going to flyer really depends on the size of the area that you are flyering. USF, for example, has such a wide area to flyer that the ratio of flyers to building will be a lot smaller than how many you would be putting in a smaller area. Obviously, you don’t want to bomb somewhere with flyers and not have enough left for other areas.
Tip #7: Push on Facebook!
The easiest place to promote an event is on Facebook. By copying and pasting the event onto your wall, other people’s walls, and group pages, as well as inviting your friends to go to the event. A fair warning- your friends may not like this and delete you, or block invites from you. But you take this risk as a promoter!
About the Author - Muxx
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