the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

How to Get 100 People to a Show: Slashtipher Coleman's blog Twenty One Hours

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Artists and Facebook: Send an Effective Invitation
".... I get tired of seeing lumpy artists lumping around at their poorly attended events because they didn't take the time to do the things I suggest. "But I sent out a press release," they say. "And I sent out facebook invites," they say. " click on link below to go to his blog directly - great read !
Slashtipher Coleman from his blog Twenty One Hours
Reality Check
Here is a break down of how a typical local event of mine is usually filled.
This is based on a target audience of 100:

Posters around town = 1
Craigslist or other on-line calendars = 1
Advertisement in Local Paper = 2
Calendar Listing in Local Paper(s) = 4
My Space Invites = 5
Article in Local Paper = 7
Facebook Invites = 10
Handing someone a postcard invites = 10
Teaser contacts = 20
E-mails to fans = 40
Total 100
Reality Check Marketing Chart

You’ll notice that some of my marketing efforts bring in more audience members than others. Each though, is equally important in the larger picture of your career, so never choose one over the other. The way venues are filled really hasn’t changed much since the beginning of time. It’s still done person to person. People you’ve won over will come to your event and people they’ve recommended will come as well. It’s the rare audience member who is usually adventurous enough to try something new after seeing one ad in the paper. A tourist might have this mindset, but a typical local audience member won’t.

You'll notice that my Facebook Invites are in the top 4 of the ways I bring people into my events. It used to be extremely easy. I could send a Facebook invite and at least 10% of my invitations would show up. Now, though the Facebook invite is another beast altogether. You have to work for it because 1) Facebook is now like a website on steroids and each page is filled with more and more information. 2) In the past 6 months the Facebook invitation has changed immensely.

If you want to bump your invites up a level, here's what you have to do. Anyone that sends you a maybe. You'll need to follow up with them. A personal message in their in-box is best. Make it personal. Tell them why you think they'd like it, make a basic emotional appeal and be honest. I know what you're thinking. Your thinking "OMG, if I have to go through all that work to get people to my event it isn't worth it!"

If an event is important to you, you should do whatever you need to do. This is basic Sales 101. I get tired of seeing lumpy artists lumping around at their poorly attended events because they didn't take the time to do the things I suggest. "But I sent out a press release," they say. "And I sent out facebook invites," they say.

When event attendance is important to me I'll not only send out personal invitations to my entire e-database of 6,000, but I'll also make phone calls. If I fill a 200 seat venue with $15 ticket buyers who will most likely purchase additional items such as CDs, DVDs and T-shirts at my shows and more than likely come to future shows, is it worth it to spend 8 hours doing this kind of work? You betcha'.

-Slashtipher Coleman

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Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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