Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Famous & wealthy celebrities for years have owned nightclubs or hosted exclusive party events as you can see from this list, but there is an increasing trend of entrepreneurs collaborating with different venues in order to expand their current brands into the party/events industry; this can be day parties, brunches or nightclub events but it is clear there is opportunity to host parties (especially after the past few years we have had with the pandemic). So if you are interested in becoming a professional promoter for a party or a club then you’re in the right place. There is no one answer on how to be good at this game. Different marketing strategies will come into play for various types of events and clubs.
However, you will find some tips helpful regardless of the category. For instance, finding out the type of events popular in your area and targeting the audience appropriately. Another must-have on the checklist is social media presence to expand your audience reach. You could also work with local businesses for cross-promotion.
But before we go into the details, let’s see what the starting point looks like.
The party promoting industry is highly competitive. With that said, standing out is important. So how do you do that? You begin by working on your soft skills.
Make sure you’re always creative, outgoing and organized. These three characteristics will help you build the drive to do everything else. They will also get you going when it comes to networking and building contacts in the party and club industry.
After all, PR is a big thing. As a promoter, you would be relying on club owners, DJs, and other professionals to pull off successful events. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have fun because you would need to have the perfect life-work balance to become successful.
What does a club promoter do? This a common question as the job can be very hands-on and vary from event to event.
So mindset is the first step as you will be required to get your hands dirty, I've seen party promoters help staff at the doors with tickets, to then serving VIP tables on the same night. The next step is knowing what exactly a club promoter does and their responsibilities. The general responsibilities are as follows:
Generating interest in a nightclub and filling it with patrons on the nights that it is open.
Making sure people are having a good time once they’re at the event/inside the club.
Marketing the club via various channels – offline and online.
Coordinating special events or guest appearances.
Working with the club’s management to come up with a theme/event idea for the night.
Making sure the venue is set up before the doors open (setting up drink specials, staffing the VIPs, decorating, etc.)
Apart from the above, the job role might be slightly different depending on the position. So here are three types of promoters – starting from the lowest position to the one on the top!
Street promotion is simple. You stand near the venue or the club. Then, you reach out to people who have walked past the club or event. This method works great if the main goal is to get as many attendees as possible.
Image promoters play a 2-in-1 role of a nightlife host and a brand ambassador. Their main goal is to bring in people that match the vibe of the event. These types of promoters get VIP treatment and are employed for bringing in a highly fashionable demographic.
Head promoters are the ones that are highly compensated. As the name suggests, they are responsible for managing sub-promoters that have a smaller following than them. They often have direct connections with celebrities and other highly important figures.
An article by Always The VIP delves into this further by explaining where you can source the different types of promoters and on average how much it could cost/or you would earn for these services. Bear mind you could be doing all three for one event.
There are many international club promoters who are famous for their ability to get people into the clubs they represent. They have extensive networks of people who they can contact to get guest list spots or table reservations. So when starting out and aiming to reach international level it is important to constantly network.
Richie Akiva is known as the King of New York nightlife and the CEO of the Butter Group. 10AK, The Darby, Up&Down and Butter are prominent names for New Yorkers. His knack for attention to detail makes him stand out as a businessperson and prominent head party promoter. In one of his recent interviews, he says, "I always keep my promise" and this is why personal branding is important as he makes sure he always delivers to all his guests. it is not simply guests who will frequent a particular venue but attracting a loyal clientele that attend all of Richie's parties wherever he is hosting. You can read more on Richie by clicking on the below image to access the Forbes article.
Types of promotion
Social media accounts and creative content for a long way. Have an event page up, share it with followers and encourage them to do the same. You can use as many platforms as long as the outreach and results are turning out fine.
Create a flier with all the details of your event and then distribute it in strategic locations. For example, you might put up fliers in local coffee shops or on campus notice boards. Many clubs even partner with other organizations or go on campus drives to promote them to a wider audience.
Finally, word-of-mouth is always a powerful marketing tool. Nothing speaks more than referrals from people who have already had the experience. Make sure it goes in your favour by spreading the word about reviews (online and offline), taking surveys, and so on.
Brands are built through the hard work and dedication of promoters. They work tirelessly to create an image that will reach new markets and attract customers. And so, promoters can create their own brand too. By having a recognizable brand, you’ll enjoy a couple of benefits. Here are a couple of opportunities that will come your way.
1. Charge more for your services.
2. Get bookings at better clubs and venues.
3. Attract better sponsorships.
4. Build a loyal following of fans who will support you and help promote your brand.
5. Stand out from the competition and become the go-to party promoter in your city or town.
All in all, you will have a more professional outlook. Remember that branding is about identity so keep in mind the type of parties and clubs that you’d want to deal with. So, if you’re in the food industry, make connections within this market. I have highlighted the below brands in particular because I have seen the growth and expansion over the years. These brands have hosted various nightclub events, to day parties and brunches; eventually becoming internationally recognised throughout Europe. I have seen them collaborate with well-known club venues, working with local councils, attracting high net worth celebrities, hosting party weekenders and hosting festivals. The growth of these brands has been amazing, you can click on the images below to have a browse of what each promotion has to offer, the various branding and the marketing strategies.
So always be in an enthusiastic, creative and have an organised mindset if you want to be a successful party promoter. You should start by planning and organising your events well in advance. Use social media and collaborations to spread the word and make sure to give your guests a good time. There are ups and downs when promoting a party such as: licenses revoked for incidents that may be out of your control, very demanding VIP guests, short staffed, not reaching the minimum bar tab agreed with the venue owner, inadequate inventory, local competition or shortfall of guests. It can definitely be stressful, so you have to be resilient and prepare yourself for some dark days when things do not work out smoothly.
Use job search websites to search for a relevant club promoter position. Alternatively, you could also get an invitation from the manager or another head promoter. And remember to always look professional, so brand yourself and give your best. You’ll go a long way with a little hard work and dedication – I have certainly seen university/college students go from handing out event fliers on the street, to then hosting their own events. So follow the tips in the post, do your research and why not get started today? Feel free to send me a message about your favourite events and why they stand out to you.