The Trials and Tribulations of Marketing Contemporary Dance: Ideas
January 11 2016
So you have your channels all set up and ready to go but you’re feeling creatively drained? Not to fear, our partners have brought brilliant ideas to the table to get your creative juices flowing
* Match the marketing to the audience. Although the emphasis nowadays is on online channels, this doesn’t necessarily reach the segments of audiences that will actually buy tickets to your events. A bit of hands on marketing doesn’t hurt - nothing beats face-to-face, so if you’re trying to entice a new group, go to visit them if you can. One partner tapped into the dance student market successfully by creating a four day promotional pass allowing students to take classes with professionals and then watch a show by the same professionals who were performing at their venue.
* Variety is the spice of life. Shaking up the formats of your events can maximise the audience’s exposure to dance. One partner included a public exhibition of 6 of their artist’s work, providing context and behind-the-scenes insights to the performances taking place. Another hosted a “mini festival” of 3 different performances in one night where audiences could buy tickets in individual or discounted packages. Yet another ran a successful filmmaking competition alongside their festival performances to boost reach and develop new audiences. The latter particularly worked in reaching new audiences (filmmakers and film fans) and creating an extra body of work that could be used in future promotions of their events. Several partners have used unusual city locations (museums, food markets, even stables) to stage site specific promotional performances to reach new audiences.
* Is print dead? In this tech savvy world we debated the ROI on print materials. Often costly, time consuming and with a shorter life span than online forms, many of our partners opted to focus their resources on other forms of marketing. This wasn’t a case of putting all eggs into one cyber basket however. One partner used it’s multi-talented team to create their own super suave in house magazine and distributed it with a well-known cultural magazine.
* After the show it’s the after party. It’s not just about getting the punters in we want to keep them keen on dance too! Sometimes the simple things are best as a couple of our partners found; an effective method to get new audiences talking about dance was inviting them to “wine n chat” post show discussions.
And all of this is just a snippet of what we covered. There’ll be plenty more trials and tribulations to come, but with greater collaboration and communication between organisations, we can play a bigger part in putting contemporary dance on the map.