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9. The Promotion

Once you’ve decided on the theme, venue and date of your event you’ll need to begin looking at how you’re going to promote it.

Let People Know

There are myriad different ways you can let people know about your ball, but ensure you have the basics covered before re-inventing the wheel or coming up with unique and exciting ways to sell tickets.

  • Get tickets printed for your event. If you’re at a university, ask your box office or union shop where they get theirs done. If you’ve not got access to these facilities, try googling or look in the yellow pages for local printing companies. Some ball organisers choose to use wristbands for tickets – while these might be cheaper to produce, consider whether they’ll be in keeping with the event and how well they will compliment the carefully chosen clothes of your guests.
  • Set up a facebook event telling people about the ball, how they can buy tickets and the deadline for buying. Invite everyone.
  • Set up an online store where you can sell electronic tickets to your events, again, your union may be able to assist, if not, google.
  • Design some simple flyers and posters and distribute them.
  • Do shout-outs in lectures and classes, put notices on the whiteboards (and a note for it not to be erased)
  • Word of mouth is the most effective and cheapest form of advertising. Give people tickets to sell and reward them with a free ticket / bar tab etc. for themselves if they hit sales targets

Creating Hype

To make your event a sell-out, you have to create hype. Hype is the buzz about something – you want to give people curiosity and expectations. Promote the entertainment at the event heavily – let people know if there’s going to be an ice-scuplture, or photographers, or a rock band etc.

Run competitions where people can win the tickets as prizes, this makes the tickets more desirable and the effect on overall ticket sales is worth the sacrifice of a few free tickets.

Why not trying using a bit of secrecy so people will be guessing about the event and talking with their friends? For example, keep the venue a surprise.

Tickets & Guestlists

It’s inevitable that some people will lose their tickets, show up without tickets or even try and use fake tickets! Make a complete guestlist you can give to security and tick people off (numbered tickets can help in this respect). Also, take along a float so you’ve got facilities to take payment from people who may turn up without tickets.

To Eat or Not to Eat?

If you’re having a sit-down meal at your ball, are you also offering tickets which don’t include the meal for a reduced rate? For example, you could have some tickets that specify an arrival time of 7.00 pm & have the provision for a meal and another set of tickets which specify an arrival time of 9.00 pm & only allow access once the meal is over.

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