How to Throw A Killer Release Party
When you have a bunch of people in one room, it’s an amazing promotional opportunity that you definitely want to take advantage of. But there’s more to it than just performing and partying. There’s multiple ways that you can truly capitalize off of this event to ensure that you’re getting the most out of it.
This article is not about how to throw the event. If you need to learn about what goes into throwing an event on your own, check out our complete guide to putting on your own show [hyperlink].
This article is actually about how to get the best results when throwing these events.
Check out the following suggestions:
Include a Free Download of Your Project With Every Ticket Sale
If you want to give fans an incentive to come to your release party while also getting more ears on your music, you can either give them early access to your project (if you’re release party is a few days before your project drops), or you can include a free hard copy (or download card) for everyone who buys an advanced ticket to your release party.
You can do this by either uploading your project to Soundcloud privately and sending out a private link via email to everyone who RSVP’d to the event. You could also purchase digital download cards to hand out at the event.
set up a merch table at every show
Setting up your merch table is the key to making sure you’re leaving the event with cash in your pockets. If you don’t have a merch table, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to let your fans support you. However, just having a merch table isn’t enough; you’ll need to know how to run it properly. We have a few suggestions for you:
The key is to have someone else running your merch table (a trusted friend or someone from your team), that way you can sell merch before, during and after your performance and you won’t have to worry about leaving all of your merch unattended while you’re on stage.
You should be collecting email subscribers at your merch table. You can get fancy and have an iPad laying on the table with your subscribe form pulled up, or you can keep it simple and have a pen and pad where people can put their name and email. To entice people to subscribe, you can give everyone a free sticker if they give you their email, or you can even give some sort of discount (like an instant 10% off merch if they subscribe).
Give people incentives to buy from you. This actually goes along with the last bullet point but if you give someone an incentive they are more likely to spend their money on you. So for instance, just like having someone write down their email for an instant discount, you can also get them to like your Facebook page or follow you on Instagram and Twitter on-the-spot for a discount.
Sell Merch Bundles. Bundling a hoodie with a t-shirt or a t-shirt with a hat for a discounted bulk price is an amazing way to entice people to spend more money and buy more than 1 merch item. So for instance, if you’re selling hoodies for $45 and Tee’s for $25, you can bundle them together for $60 (so they’ll save $10 if they buy them together). You can also bundle your music with your merch (for instance, if you’re selling hard copy CDs for $5, you can include a free CD when someone buys a hoodie).
Take LOts of Photos and Video
You should have a photographer and one or two videographers come out to shoot the entire event. That way, you can post a video recap on your YouTube (plus a 1 minute recap video on your Instagram) and have a ton of pictures to post to social media after the event. By showing everyone how awesome the release party was, it’ll make others who didn’t attend want to attend next time. Bonus: It’s also great to include performance footage in your press kit when sending it out to venues for potential bookings.
South Jersey artist, Mir Fontane, does an amazing job at posting recaps of his shows and events. The video above is one of the performance recaps he posted from his stop in Washington D.C.
Take Photos With All your Fans At the Event
While you’ll have a photographer capturing the event, you’ll also want to take as many photos with your fans as possible. This will encourage those who came out to the event to post about it on their social media. Ask them to tag you so you can repost all of them and shout out your fans.
To encourage your supporters to take pictures, tell everyone to meet you at your merch table for a photo at the end of your performance.
Use a Unique Hashtag for Your Event
This leads us to our next point which is to use a unique hashtag for your event. While you’re on stage, you can tell everyone to use that specific hashtag when posting about the event on social media. We used to throw an event called, “Philly Sound Sessions,” so we would encourage attendees to use the #PhillySoundSessions hashtag when posting and tweeting about it. This also makes it easy for you to find those photos and videos and repost them to your account.
Send Out A “thank you” email to attendees
You should have collected email RSVP’s while promoting your event. Don’t just forget about those email addresses. You should always add them to your mailing list so that you can send them updates moving forward. You should also send out a “thank you” email to everyone who RSVP’d to your event. This makes fans feel special, which encourages them to continue to support you and promote you to their friends.