Creating an audience for your arts event
If you have reserved your space through Conference and Events Services, the theater department (Spingold), or the music department (Slosberg), your event will automatically be posted on the Brandeis Events Calendar.
- 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.
- When defining your event, consider the creativity and appeal of the title, which is different from the description: "Gallery Tour" vs. "Inside View" or "Gospel Concert" vs. "Lift Every Voice!"
- Clarify the content. We don’t all know the difference, for example, between a chorus and the chamber choir. Keep your description short and lively. Use lots of exciting, extraordinary, exceptional, dynamic, diverse, sexy and sensational adjectives!
- 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.
- Once you have confirmed your date, time, and location, send a "save-the-date" by email, Facebook and Twitter. Include a link to an event homepage so those thinking about attending can find additional information.
- Submit an announcement to email@example.com and include a link to your website or a Facebook page or event with all the details.
- All-campus e-mails to students are known as "broadcast messages," and are sent from the Student Union to the student body. The Student Union secretary often sends out two announcement e-mails per week. They usually go out on Mondays and should be submitted by the previous Friday. To submit an announcement, visit the Student Union Web site.
- Assistant Provost Alwina Bennett sends a weekly e-mail to all graduate students; and Director of Student Activities Stephanie Grimes, to all undergraduates. If you send them information about your event, they can include it in their weekly e-mail.
- Contact your department or program administrator about sending an e-mail invitation to the whole department. Consider offering the arts faculty, staff or students a free/special/discount offer to generate interest. This builds goodwill as well as your audience.
- Have you sent an e-mail to departments and programs with related interests? Creative Writing? Sociology? Shakespeare? African American Studies? etc. Consider inviting them to be a co-sponsor to help ensure their participation.
- Have you contacted the student arts clubs? The arts clubs center lists club officers to whom you can send an e-mail for wider distribution.
Buzz, or the "word-of-mouth effect," 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. An article 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 first hand.
- Distribute promotional items ("swag") 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 can distribute flyers campuswide or advise you on stuffing student mailboxes. The Copy Center is located in the basement level of the Usdan Student Center. 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. At the club center website you will find a name for a contact person to whom you can send an e-mail.
- 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 Residence Life 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.