It's one week before your concert and the venue isn't even close to being sold out. You have no budget, no new ideas to increase ticket sales, and you're pulling your hair out. Sound familiar?
Enlist the help of your chorus members with this 7-day concert countdown challenge and increase your ticket sales in a flash!
Designate a Member Engagement Cheerleader
You're going to need to designate a member engagement cheerleader; someone who is going to keep your members motivated and help them step up their ticket sales game. This member is going to set up the following seven challenges, communicate the instructions to your singers, give them specific daily action items, and keep them pumped!
Day 1: The Battle of the Sections Challenge
The Battle of the Sections Challenge is a competition between choir sections in the week leading up to the concert. Prizes will be awarded to the winning section and the individual who sells the most concert tickets during that timeframe.
The competition rules should include any parameters such as start/end dates, tracking information (check with marketing and IT teams on how to set up), and anyone who is/is not eligible (sometimes board members/staff might not be eligible).
Craft an email or create a video to be sent to all chorus members. It should clearly list the competition rules, prizes for winners, and should show excitement! Throughout the week, keep sections updated of progress. "Sopranos taking the lead with 20 tickets sold!"
Prize Examples for the Winning Section:
- Pizza party
- Losing section bakes cookies for the winning section
- Losing section has to place crowns/sashes on winning section and bow down to them in all their glory
- "Section of the Season" trophy/plaque
- Group t-shirts
Prize Examples for the Winning Member:
- Gift card
- Future concert tickets
- Membership dues waived
- Food (cake, treats, etc.)
Day 2: The Facebook Invite Challenge
If your chorus has a Facebook page, there should be an event created for your concert (if not, that is the first step). In a written or video email, send them the following instructions:
- Go to the Facebook event page and indicate you are "Going."
- On the same page, click "Share" and "Share in News Feed." Create your own personal message or copy/paste sample message below.
- Back on the event page, click "Share" and "Invite Friends." In the new window on the left, select the friends you want to invite by their geographical location. Then choose "select all" or select names individually and click "send invites." Please invite a minimum of [ENTER NUMBER] people.
"Friends and family - I will be performing in a concert with [CHORUS NAME] on [DATE] at [LOCATION]. The concert is worth attending because [ENTER REASON]. Please support me by purchasing tickets or sharing this in your News Feed!"
NOTE: For those who do not have a Facebook account, ask them to copy the concert details in an email to their local friends.
Day 3: The "Show Your Face" Video Challenge
Ask your members to take a video of themselves talking about the concert. Send them sample questions to answer and decide on a time length (under one minute is most effective).
- Why should people come to this concert?
- What is your favorite part in the music and/or lyrics?
- What is unique about this concert?
- What should the audience expect from the performance?
- What feeling or mood will the audience experience the end of the performance?
Sometimes members are nervous about videoing themselves or are concerned about the quality of the video they can produce. With these simple instructions, anyone can make a decent video:
- Choose a neutral background
- Avoid loud noises
- Use your smartphone (landscape on a stand) or a webcam
- Look your best
- Smile and show your personality
When your members are done with the videos, have them sent to the chorus's social team which will use the videos to promote the concert online. Ask the chorus members to also share on their personal social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Periscope, etc. This content would also be great for a written blog!
Day 4: The Social Group Posting Challenge
The are over 600 MILLION Facebook groups and over 200,000 Meetup groups in the world that were specifically created to bring together communities of people with similar interests. Search the following terms in either platform to find various communities of choir and music nerds:
- [CITY] Concert goers
- [CITY] Music/Choir/chorus lovers
- [CITY] Choir/chorus singers
- [CITY] Choir/chorus directors
- [CITY] Classical music/jazz/gospel/barbershop/[YOUR GENRE]
- [CITY] Events
- [CITY] Events Calendar
- [CITY] Live Music
- [CITY] Concerts
After the search, create a list of the Facebook and Meetup groups that you found fitting the description of your target audience. LinkedIn and Google+ communities/groups are options as well. Divide the list among certain member leaders and ask them to share the concert details to their assigned group(s).
For all other members, ask them to think about the groups they are involved in. Do they have a group of co-workers, other choir friends, school contacts (parent or student), reading clubs, workout buddies, etc.? Then ask them to think about how they communicate with these friend groups. Is it via Facebook groups, email distribution lists, Meetup, text, other social channels, physical bulletin boards, etc. Ask each member to post an invite to their group friends with a group discount code (if available) to at least one of these communication channels.
Day 5: The Chalk Challenge
Grab some chalk and head outside for a day of creativity! Ask your members to create chalk designs advertising the concert. *They can go into town squares, sidewalks near the venue, or anywhere in their own neighborhood.
Ask them to draw anything that relates to the theme of the concert and include concert name, date, location, and ticket webpage in their messaging.
For an extra boost, have the members take pictures of their designs to post on their Instagram accounts or other social channels. Remind them to tag the chorus and include a link to the ticket webpage!
*Have members contact their local governments to avoid any permit violations.
Day 6: The Reminder Challenge
Everyone could use a friendly reminder! Two days before the concert is a great time to do this. At this point, most people know their schedule and can gauge if they will have enough energy to go out. Some people might have procrastinated or have even forgotten all about the event.
Have chorus members share a reminder about the concert on their social news feeds.
"Hey everyone, the concert is tomorrow. Will I see you there? [LINK TO TICKETS PAGE]"
Remember all those friends invited via the Facebook event page? Ask your chorus members to personally follow-up with 5-10 of their invitees who have expressed interest in attending but have not purchased tickets.
"Hey [NAME], are you still interested in coming to my concert? Let me know if you are coming so I can say hi after the performance!"
Chorus members can make their posts more engaging by posting photos or videos of themselves rehearsing, getting their attire ready, or showing their own excitement for the event.
Day 7: The Last-Ditch Leafleting Effort Challenge
On concert day, if there are still seats to be sold, have your members take an hour (perhaps over lunch break or before call time) *leafleting around the venue or the community. This might encourage a few people looking for something to do that evening to purchase tickets!
*Have members contact their local governments to avoid any permit violations.
After the event, thank your members for their active participation. Announce the Battle of the Sections prizes in-person and in front of the whole chorus to keep them motivated for future challenges!
Good luck and please let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Tori Cook is the former Director of Sales & Marketing at Chorus Connection, an active board member of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium, and a soprano with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. In a past life, she was the Music Director of the Harborlight Show Chorus and President of Chorus pro-Musica. When not making music, she daydreams about adopting a golden retriever puppy and scuba diving to exotic locations around the world.