If you’re serious about throwing parties, you should start your own crew or promo company. This guide will show you the process of starting your own event promotion company. This doesn’t cover the legal aspects of starting your own business, which will have to be a separate article.
Be sure to also check out the Resources page for tons of extra ways to build your brand.
1.0 Find a Name
The first step in creating your promotion company is to find a suitable name. When choosing a name, there are a couple pitfalls that we’ve fallen into that you should avoid. Name recognition is a powerful tool. Once you choose a name, it’s tough to change it because people won’t recognize your new name and may not go to your party, so it’s important to get a good name the first time around.
First, don’t choose a name based around the genre of music you plan on focusing on, unless you plan on starting a new crew for every music fad that comes by. If you choose a name based on genre, you could be alienating a large group of people who won’t go because they don’t like that particular genre.
Second, don’t choose a name based on your location. You might eventually expand and you’re name won’t make sense in another state or city.
If you choose the name “Atlanta Dubstep Family”, it’s going to be difficult to throw a Trance party in Florida.
2.0 Create Social Media Accounts
The next step is to create your social media accounts. You’re best off creating them all at once and linking them together right off the bat so everyone can follow all your pages at once instead of having them slowly tickle in.
The crucial ones to sign up for are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. Soundcloud is another good option if you have artists you want to occasionally feature. These are the sites that most people use and where most of your effort should be focused.
While you’re creating the sites, it’s best to be consistent with your URLs so it’s easier for people to find your pages. It should look like this if possible:
3.0 Create Artwork and Branding
Artwork is one of the defining characteristics of your brand.
Because artwork can make or break your brand, you should get the branding right the first time by hiring a professional graphic artist who specializes in electronic dance music branding.
4.0 Find Funding
If you plan on throwing events, you should have a funding source lined up so you can afford larger deposits for upfront costs. The best funding is if you can provide the money yourself.
If you can’t afford it yourself, try to find friends who can front you the money. You should guarantee the money back, plus an agreed upon return. Anywhere between 5%-20% is normally a pretty fair return. The return mostly depends on how much they’re giving you and how long it will be until it’s paid back.
Always draw up a contract when borrowing money. It protects them if you refuse to pay it back, and it helps you if they come back saying they gave you more than you actually borrowed. Make sure you include the amount borrowed and by which date the money is to be returned in the contract.
5.0 Create Website
For a quick website, I would recommend you use WordPress and a cheap hosting site. You can expect to spend about $100 in startup costs and $5-10 a month for hosting.
Most basic packages have WordPress included, but check the features to make sure your plan has WordPress. Here’s a couple decent quality hosting providers:
Choose a domain name that fits your company. .COM is the best URL extension for your company, but you use a different one if you need more options.
After you have your hosting, install WordPress from your host’s app directory.
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, so here’s guide on how to use WordPress.
Some things you can include are:
- Event schedule
- Info about your company
6.0 Create Facebook Group
The quickest way to organize your staff is by putting everyone in a Facebook group so you can organize them. You should post about once a week with assignments for them to complete. You can use these promo tasks to assign promotion tasks as well as distribute promo materials like profile pictures, cover photos, and more.
Set some ground rules to discourage them from posting random things in the group. If they are posting things in on the page, your assignments will get buried.
7.0 Find Staff
Promoters are your main staff who will get people in the door of your party. It’s their job to exit flyer at parties, send Facebook invites, and blast the party on all social media. You should choose people who have a reputation for going to a ton of parties and being able to attract a lot of positive attention. If they attract a lot of negative attention and drama, this will reflect on your promotion team and will turn off potential party-goers.
It’s always good to have a couple photographers or videographers on your staff. If you can get some quality photographers who will shoot your party for cheap, keep them around and get them to all your events.
7.3 Door Staff/Ticketing
Your door staff should be very trustworthy people who don’t necessarily even like the music. They will be handling a lot of money, so you need to be able to trust them. The door staff need to be dedicated to the job so they don’t walk away, so it’s best to hire friends who don’t care about the music, rather than volunteers who are there to party.
It is beneficial to put a couple local DJs on your staff who will play for cheap in return for constant bookings. You should choose quality DJs because sticking a bunch of terrible DJs on a lineup won’t do you any favors. Being selective about talent will help you in the long run.
8.0 Setup Group Messaging
After you have your staff, create a group message with all of your promoters. This will be used to delegate weekly/daily tasks to the promoters so they can always be on top of the current tasks. The rest of your staff don’t necessarily need to be in the main group message. You can create a separate group conversation for each event that includes specific people like door staff, photographers, and artists to give them pertinent information.
It doesn’t matter which application you use, be it Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, etc, as long as you use it efficiently. As with the Facebook Group, set ground rules about excessive unrelated messaging and encourage all private conversations to be held somewhere else.