3 Concert Promotion Tips for Small Music Venues

Chicago has dozens of legendary music venues, from historic joints like the Hideout, the Green Mill, and the Empty Bottle to larger spaces like Metro, the Riviera, or the Aragon Ballroom (the “Brawlroom” in former days). Places such as Schubas, Lincoln Hall, Kingston Mines, Jazz Showcase, and the renovated Epiphany Center for the Arts ensure that great music is everywhere in Chicago.

Whether your place is in Chicago, if it doesn’t have the history or the track record of the storied venues of the Windy City, you’ll need to advertise. Here are three concert promotion tips for small music venues that can help you build audiences and keep them coming back.

Create Buzz

Update your website, and keep all your social media accounts current with new content added daily. Post video content on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and build a community of support on each of these platforms.

You can also offer opportunities to sign up for email newsletters and announcements on your website and follow through with regular communication.

Within your target audience, make knowing about your venue and upcoming shows a badge of honor for cool, in-the-know influencers. You can ask them to follow your venue online and recommend upcoming shows to their followers.

On your mission to create buzz, you should also consider creating a podcast featuring bands that will appear at your venue and interviews with influential music writers.

Finally, announce upcoming concerts at breaks in shows. You have a captive audience that might listen to a few seconds of promotion for future events.

List Locally

Every city has a local weekly that lists events for the upcoming weekend. Make sure your shows are in it. Send press releases with your schedules to local radio stations and news outlets. Consider offering discounts or two-for-one tickets for people who enter a code from your ad or listing.

Your marketing may be mostly online, but you’re trying to get people to come to a physical venue. That means your building is itself a marketing platform. Investing in digital signage can pay off, making your venue a local landmark with changing messages about upcoming shows and events.

Give Away Free Stuff

Incentive visitors to share their email addresses by giving away freebies, such as T-shirts, branded glasses, mouse pads, or other inexpensive tchotchkes. Everyone loves free swag, and people will come back if they think they can have more of it (up to the limit of your budget, of course)!

Work with bands you’ve booked as promotional partners. Together, you can make the most of each other’s concert promotion tips for small music venues.

Check out more great articles here!