How to promote your night/gig/event online

This post accompanies a short talk I gave at a conference for Student Union Events Officers, arranged by CID Music. I spoke about about how to use social media and online tools to promote events.

My talk was only 20 minutes long so I rattled through many of the websites and services listed below – this post is for further infomation and in place of notes.

The talk and this blog post have been written to apply particularly to music events but most of this will apply to promoting many other sorts of event.




Your mailing list is one of the most important tools you’ll ever have for promoting your night.  Build it and look after it.  Here are a few tips:

  • BCC all recipients – making everyone’s email addresses public will not make you popular
  • Have the same info online and give a link to it in the email (this should be on your own website but at the very least try using Posterous)
  • Learn the opt-in rules
  • Don’t send images with no text
  • Don’t spam – be sparing with how often you send emails out
  • Don’t waste peoples time – it’s an email, not an essay.  Make your information clear and easily digestible
  • Remember that many people will get your emails at work – don’t make them have to unsubscribe
  • Give an easy way to unsubscribe (this is a must)
  • Consider the costs/benefits of using a paid service like Campaign Monitor

Listings (general and Birmingham specific)

At/after the event

  • Take photos, put them on Flickr
  • Take videos, put them on YouTube (TubeMogul) and Vimeo
  • Give reviewers/photographers free entry in return for a review/photographs (see Birmingham Live)
  • Set up tagging conventions and tell people about them


Further reading

Subscribe to New Music Strategies (do you use an RSS reader yet?) and browse through the archive, especially:

Also have a read of this Wired article on how to promote your band on MySpace.

The lovely folk at Colour have written a long post on how to promote a gig, both online and off. It’s well worth reading – they actually do this stuff.

Your suggestions

I’ve been far from comprehensive.  Using each of the above is a blog post/talk in itself but the intention was to get people started. What did I miss?

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.

10 replies on “How to promote your night/gig/event online”

  1. Hiya Chris, just thought of another one and it’s too long to tweet!

    How about a printable version (white background) of the lineup with times? I’m currently mucking about in Word with the table I copied from the Gigbeth site because I don’t want to waste ink.

    I did a similar thing with the Supersonic lineup because I didn’t want to carry a big programme around.

  2. I like that. Obviously it applies to festivals more than the one-off nights. In fact I might do a separate thing for festivals, rounding up all the good stuff that came up in that CiB thread a while back.

    Nice one, ta!

  3. This is a great resource, thanks Chris. When we started Colour a couple of years ago the prospect of getting the attention of our target audience was a little daunting and while it feels like we’ve come a long way, it’s critical to keep on top of emerging platforms and sites.

  4. Hi Chris,

    I Just wanted to bring our new site to your attention: is a web app that aims takes the pain out of listing and managing your event’s details across multiple websites and social networks. Right now we support listing and updating of events to: Eventful; Facebook;; Songkick; Twitter and Upcoming, with more being added all the time.

    Beyond just making it simple to list events online, we also want to make it easy to manage these multiple profiles and listings by providing the means to post updates to fans and attendees across all these networks.

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