Creating an audience for your arts event

 

First Steps

Consult the Brandeis Events Calendar to see what spaces might be available and to make sure your event does not conflict with any similar events.

  • Define your event. Come up with a creative and appealing title and description. 
  • Clarify the content. We don’t all know the difference, for example, between the chorus and the chamber choir. Keep your description short and lively. 
  • Who is your target audience? Define who would be most interested and likely to attend and consider how to reach your core supporters. You may want to invite a department, program or club to co-sponsor the event to broaden the circle of interest and enthusiasm.

Getting the Word Out

Once you have confirmed your date, time, and location, submit your event announcement to:

  • the Brandeis campus calendar
  • your mailing list
  • news@brandeis.edu, with a link to your event page (preferably not Facebook or other log-in pages).
  • the Brandeis Student Union for their weekly announcement email to the undergraduate student body. 
  • Assistant Provost Alwina Bennett for the weekly e-mail to all graduate students
  • Director of Student Activities Stephanie Grimes, to be included in the weekly email to all undergraduates
  • Your academic department. Ask your program administrator how to do this. Consider offering faculty, staff or students a free/special/discount offer to generate interest and goodwill.
  • Departments and programs with related interests. Consider inviting them to be a co-sponsor to help ensure their participation.
  • Arts clubs. The clubs center lists officers to whom you can send an e-mail for wider distribution.

Creating Buzz

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get people to attend your event. If everyone is talking about it, then it must be something worth attending. A preview in The Justice, an e-mail blast, flyers and posters will all help inform people of your event and get people noticing, but how do you get people to talk about and attend your event?
  • Try a nontraditional approach to marketing your event. Create a short "preview" performance and tour the campus. Perhaps a group sings in the dining hall or a human statue appears in the campus center. The unexpected will get people talking.
  • Give away free tickets to the first performance to increase word of mouth. Get your friends to recruit an audience for you by letting them experience the event firsthand.
  • Distribute promotional items that either create excitement about your event or brand your event. These items don't have to be expensive or extravagant, just creative. What is unique about your event? What makes it stand out? Get a campus "street team" together to distribute these free gifts around campus.
  • Is there a social aspect to the event? Free food? Can you hold a pre-show or post-show reception? Can you co-sponsor a night with a department or club?  Audiences are craving a reason to get away from the computer screen and interact with other live humans!  
  • Build alliances! It can't be said enough that working with other groups, departments and organizations will get more people involved and spread the word.

Reaching the Media

  • Have you written a press release describing the event? Look at news stories by the Office of Communications for guidance.
  • Ask the news specialists in the Office of Communications to help you get the word out or to find an appropriate outlet for an op-ed piece. Contact Debra Filcman, (781) 736-4212, filcman@brandeis.edu
  • Have you notified The Justice or The Hoot? E-mail your press release or a description to the arts editors and suggest an interesting, unique and newsworthy perspective on your event.
  • Have you notified WBRS, the campus radio station? Write a short public service announcement and send it to psa@wbrs.org
  • Is the event a photo opportunity? Will it be useful to have a record of it for future use on a website? Consider creating a press photo for advanced marketing and media use. The Justice may be able to run a photo if it can't offer you full feature coverage.

Creating Printed Materials

  • The Office of Communications produces professional brochures, invitations, posters and other printed materials. If you would like their assistance in promoting your event, complete the online Project Request Form. On average, projects require six to eight weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the work and the current workload of the office.
  • If you are creating your own posters or flyers, please follow the guidelines in the Brandeis Identity Manual.

Distributing Printed Materials

  • The Copy Center, located in the basement level of the Usdan Student Center, can distribute flyers campuswide or advise you on stuffing student mailboxes. Please call 781-736-4530 for more information.
  • Have you contacted the student arts clubs? They maintain mailboxes on the second floor of the Shapiro Campus Center. The Club Center website also lists a contact person for each club.
  • Who are the key opinion shapers, faculty and administrators you want to invite? The president? The provost? The dean? Even if they are unable to attend, they will be interested to know about your activities.
  • To post flyers in the Shapiro Campus Center and Usdan Student Center, you must get them stamped at the Shapiro information desk. Your flyer must include a recycling logo.
  • Goldfarb Library maintains bulletin boards of arts information in the Creative Arts Library.
  • Can faculty help? Is there a specific class that might enjoy attending? Is this event significant enough that you want to request a class announcement or ask the faculty to distribute flyers? Search the Faculty Guide to find professors in related areas.
  • Can Community Living help? Ask your CA about organizing a group from your residence hall to attend your event. If your event is not free, offer a group discount.