Occasionally I get emails from house concert presenters who have an upcoming show with a shortage of RSVPs. They are looking for help or advice for a last minute promotional push to get their numbers up for a healthy turnout.
Note that these following suggestions are even MORE helpful if you don’t wait until a few days out.
Let’s make sure your emails are persuasive.
What makes this artist special? What do you love most? Have you communicated that in an email to your list?
A lot of hosts fall into the habit of “just the facts” when announcing their shows. I find it makes a difference to give them a sentence or two about why this show might be special.
Example: “Aaron’s CD has been the most played music in my car for the past six months. I think you’ll really appreciate the lyrical depth and musical groovy-ness of his music. It reminds me of Peter Gabriel.”
THEN give them the details and how to RSVP.
Brainstorm to get a few more names and emails on your list.
Not everyone picks up the habit of collecting email addresses and interest from people they meet. Is your dentist on your list? Who else have you met lately?
If you don’t have the habit of adding to your list each time you meet new folks, then schedule a regular brainstorm session every month or so. OR, wait til just before you get into panic mode on your concert with light RSVPs. 8^)
Personal calls and emails to key folks.
Remember that some of the people on your list are actual friends that you care (or used to care!) about. Maybe pick up the phone? “Hey I was about to invite you to this special concert I’m hosting, but I figured I’d give you a call and catch up first. How are you?” Re-kindle the friendship, THEN offer to send the invite email. You might even confirm the email address if they’ve been unresponsive in the past. “Is this your best email?”
Ask for help!
Your existing RSVPs can be nudged to invite some friends.
Don’t beg and plead (yet)… people actually like to be helpful. And NEVER be a downer about your numbers. You want to inspire people to attend, and you want them to look forward to future emails. If you establish a pattern of panic and sadness, people will start to tune you out.
So include a special note in your reminder email “we have a few open seats left for this show… is there someone you know that might enjoy joining you for this special concert?”
At Listening Room Network, we help venues and house concerts promote their events to each other, as well as our private community of fans. You can join us and list your events at www.ListeningRoomNetwork.com
What is some advice you’d give to a host who wants to add some last minute RSVPs? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll update this post.
And remember, don’t just announce… persuade!
“This concert is a special one because…”