How to Become an Event Promoter
An event promoter, commonly called an entertainment promoter, is responsible for marketing and creating interest in live events such as concerts, festivals or games. In other words, an event promoter is a salesperson. A promoter generally works as an independent contractor for different businesses rather than for a single company or organization and may jump into the career without any training or experience.
Study business and marketing.Although a bachelor’s degree isn’t necessary to begin a career as an event promoter, the knowledge gained from studying these fields may prove to be beneficial.If you plan on attending college in the future or have already enrolled, consider majoring in these subjects to give your resume some impressive credentials, especially if you aspire to handle large-scale events for prominent clients.If you haven’t the means or desire to pursue a four-year program, sign up for individual courses or seminars at your local university, community college, or online.
- Such well known institutions as Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and MIT offer free online resources, including podcasts, lectures, videos, assignments, and more.
Seek employment at events.A bachelor’s degree may look impressive on your resume, but gaining hands-on experience outside of the classroom will better prepare you for the demands and logistics of events and promotion. First, settle on a particular area of entertainment that appeals to your interests. Then apply for a job at any level of appropriate events. Don’t worry about fancy titles just yet. Whether it is entry-level or higher, use your position as an inside-view of the inner workings of events.
- For instance, if you are interested in promoting Dating Nights, seek out employment with caterers, bartenders, DJs, venues, or any other company that is frequently hired by one or more promoters for such events.
Pay attention to the whole event.Once hired, focus on your specific job to the extent of performing it successfully and earning a reputation as a reliable worker. But keep your eyes and ears open to every other aspect of the event, regardless of how far removed it is from your personal duties. Before you branch out and become personally responsible for promoting events, use this opportunity to witness how events succeed, how they fail, and how they overcome snafus.
- For example, say that a catering company has hired you to wait tables at a Dating Night. On the day of the event, the various people hired (the DJ, the bartenders, the decorators, and your boss, the caterer) realize that the promoter has booked a venue that is too old to adequately provide enough electricity for everyone’s equipment. Even though you are only a waiter at the moment, note what solutions you and others may come up with to resolve this on the spot, as well as what could have been done beforehand to prevent this crisis.
Pursue advancement.Whether you started out as an entry-level position for a caterer, music hall, or promotion company, start moving upwards. Seek managerial positions or any others that require leadership and competent handling of multiple responsibilities. Since an event promoter may be responsible for hiring and overseeing multiple people for any one event, gain the experience and confidence required to do just that within your current company. Apply for positions that will help you develop the following skills:
- Strong communication, both written and verbal, plus negotiation skills.
- The ability to effectively organize resources, finances, and time.
- Creative problem-solving.
Network.Seize every opportunity to meet others who work in the same industry in some capacity. Make contacts now to carry with you once you branch out on your own.Ask for phone numbers, emails, or social media info of people who have proven themselves to be reliable so you can reach out to them when you are ready to hire people yourself.
- Remember that your own job performance will be remembered by these same people. Whether you are a bottom-rung employee with less than glamorous duties or a team leader juggling multiple responsibilities, be sure to excel at them to cement your reputation as someone who gets things done.
Setting Yourself Up for Business
Research the cost of throwing events.As a promoter, you may be responsible for financing events yourself,so find out how large of a budget you will need. Form a list of all vendors, venues, and other service providers you will need to hire for each event. Create three hypothetical events differing in size (small, medium, large) and then contact each company on your list to ask for quotes for each size. Determine which events you can afford on your own and which will require additional investors.
- For example, with concert promotion, you will at the very least need to pay the talent, book a venue (which may or may not provide its own sound system), and advertise the show. If you are promoting a small “underground” show featuring unknown local acts, you can book a stage at a small club or bar, rent a sound system if needed, and rely on flyers and word-of-mouth for advertising. But for more prominent acts, you may also need to hire security, cover transportation and room accommodations for the talent, book larger, more expensive venues, and much more.
- To play it safe, always plan on spending more than the quotes given in order to protect your personal profit in case unexpected costs pop up along the way.
Hire a lawyer.Although having a lawyer on retainer is not strictly necessary to start a career, consulting one in the beginning will help protect you from future costs due to unseen legal entanglements. At the very least, discuss local, county, state, and federal laws and regulations that bear directly on the sort of events you plan, such as any licenses or business registrations that might be required on your part. Also familiarize yourself with what constitutes a legal contract in order to avoid future liabilities.
- If you plan on regularly employing a lawyer, be sure to factor this cost into your overhead.
Register your business.Local laws may determine exactly what classification your business will belong to.Whether you are the sole owner or partner with someone else may also effect which business entity you choose.Consult with your lawyer or use the internet to conduct research on which business entity is right for you. Classifications include:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company (LLC)
Advertise!Unlike event planners, who charge clients for expenses plus fees to cover their profit margin, event promoters often rely on attendance and ticket sales to recuperate expenses and earn pay for all of their effort.So make sure people attend your event! Depending on your operating budget, do as much as possible to get the word out. Methods include:
- The internet, especially through social media
- Advertising in print (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
- Flyers and posters
- Radio and television ads
Know your demographics.Aim your advertising efforts at the appropriate audience. Don’t waste precious time and funds by, say, promoting a country-and-western act on a radio station that primarily plays R&B! At the same time, don’t limit yourself to the obvious. Know which demographics overlap so you can spread the word across the widest possible spectrum of interrelated interests, even through forums that, at first glance, seem to have little in common with the event itself. For example:
- Say you are promoting a concert featuring all-female punk bands. Use obvious methods to advertise it, like radio ads on stations that play punk music and flyers and posters at bars and venues that host punk shows, as well as record stores. In addition to that, though, think outside the box. Drop off flyers at tattoo parlors and vintage clothing stores. Blanket local colleges and skate parks with the same. Advertise through magazines and websites dedicated to feminism.
Network your heart out.Seize every opportunity to make contacts. Whether you meet someone on a professional basis or in passing, think of them as an extra mouth that could potentially get the word out. Always have business cards handy to pass along, and ask for their contact information in return. Keep your initial meeting light and friendly with a simple hello and introduction to avoid coming on too strongly. Then follow up with a more detailed email of how you hope to foster a working relationship later on.
- Say you promote sports events, like boxing. Although a bar owner or bartender may have little if anything to do with the world of boxing, they can be a valuable asset in terms of advertising if the bar in question happens to be a sports bar!
Build a solid reputation.Promoting events is a risky business, and events may fail due to any number of reasons, some of which may have been preventable with better planning, while others, like the weather, are beyond your control. Should you face setbacks and disasters, be professional, regardless of the circumstances. Earn the trust and respect of talent, vendors, and other business contacts so they remain willing and excited to work with you in the future.Your own success depends on them, so present yourself as someone who is not only competent and driven, but responsible enough to accept blame when it is due.
- For example, say that, as a concert promoter, you have hired a sound-system technician who turns out to be utterly inept at their job. Even though handling the sound system was not your specific job, hiring a competent technician was. Assure the talent, venue, and anyone else involved with the show that you will certainly never hire the same technician again, but stop short of dumping all the blame on that person. Doing so may create the impression that you are more worried about appearing faultless than actually getting the job done.
QuestionDo you need a certificate to promote comedy events?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDepending on your location, you may need to register as a business entity, but certification is most likely not needed if you are operating on your own. However, if you are seeking to become an employee for a promotion company instead of an independent promoter, they may require this as a qualification.Thanks!
Do I have to establish a business to become an entertainment promoter?
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