Getting the Word Out
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Use all of the media available to you to get the word out about your event
On the cover:
Sonia Ochoa demonstrating a flamenco-Bellydance fusion in China. Flamenco is an artform native to the Spanish regions of Andalusia, Extremadura and Murcia. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping). (Link) ©2016 Aaron Stipkovich
How to Advertise Your Event
There are many costly ways to advertise and get the word out. You can take out ads in newspapers and magazines, as well as on radio and TV. You could rent advertising space on the sides of buses, on bus stop benches, and billboards. I suppose you could even have an airplane trail a banner, or wear a sandwich board, or many other creative means of advertising.
However, there are other low cost ways to get the word out as well, such as making and delivering door hangings, or mailing and handing out flyers, postcards or posters. There are many community bulletin boards at grocery and music stores, community centers, colleges, libraries and other places. (Keep flyers and pushpins or tacks in your car to post when you see bulletin boards. You will also want to check for notices or bulletin board posting rules.) You can also bring flyers to other entertainment or dance events where they welcome these to place at a table for such. You can ask dance instructors if they would mind you sending them a batch of flyers to hand out in class. Ask local businesses or sponsors to allow you to post or hand out flyers in their stores or offices.
There are also many free venues that you can use to get the word out that are very effective! There is always word of mouth, for starters. Talk to as many people (not just dancers) as you can, and ask that they spread the word. Post it on your dance site, as well as the sites of those who are performing in the show if they are agreeable to that. There are many belly dance event listings all over the web, including ours and even mine.
There are also many “Calendar Events” listings on Facebook and others that are sponsored by city tourism or info sites, independent entertainment or community sites, and all-encompassing upcoming events lists hosted by individuals or organizations in an annual or monthly format. These can easily be searched on the web. Facebook is a main source for events these days. Additionally, you can join Facebook or on-line “groups,” or send out a newsletter on a distribution list.
Then, there are these same types of listings in newspapers, local magazines, and community events listings on tv and cable channels. Almost all of the time, these formats are free to the community. These are ones to take advantage of, and you should send your event and contact information in as soon as you have set your event date. Many times, these listings repeat on a weekly or monthly basis, and the multiple exposure is good. You can also contact local newspaper and magazine editors to give them an “story of interest” to consider for their arts or entertainment pages.
As you can see, there are a myriad of ways of getting the word out. The more people who know about your event, the more people will attend your event. Advance notice is really important, and using a variety of ways to get the word out is most effective. Consider your budget, your time-frame, your geographical area, your intended audience, as well as timing of other events. Best of luck!!
Nizana El rassan, Contributor: Nizana has been involved in Middle Eastern dance for many years as a performer, instructor, event producer, troupe director, emcee and published author. Nizana's main dance style is American Style Cabaret with Egyptian influences, but she also performs folkloric, tribal fusion and other fusion styles. She has studied with a variety of wonderful teachers over the years as ongoing instruction is important to her, and she takes workshops and/or classes as often as she can. Nizana has attended... (more...)