The Crawdaddy Club: Making History, Again
On March 2nd, 2012, the historic Crawdaddy Club Richmond reopened its doors. Many great names in music began their career at the venue. Among these were The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and The Who. Mike Rivers recently shared his experience of promoting and organizing the relaunch of the iconic club.
Great Promotions Don’t Have to Be Expensive
“I would recommend that others follow my example by using every possible avenue for free PR,” Mike told me. “Do everything yourself, but use others’ expertise in areas that may be difficult for you.”
Mike suggested bringing in the council when appropriate. Tickets were made available through the council website.
For Mike, a strong marketing effort meant broadcasting news of his event through a number of mediums, “In terms of marketing, I did a huge amount of PR with local press and radio, worked closely with the local council, who put the event on their website and promoted it by internal and external newsletter as well as distributing 800 flyers of the 1000 I had printed.”
Mike shared his message on the Internet via Facebook and MySpace where he could reach wide online audience. He shared information about the club, as well as before and after photos of the event. “I also used my contacts to get a mention on national radio. I invited the mayor and a high profile councilor to open the event and some well known music names to raise our profile…. The event was covered by the best read local paper pre and post event.
The local radio station recorded an interview with me and the band.”
Mike’s takeaway message? “Treat the marketing effort as the MOST important part of your event without losing sight of the organisation of the event itself.”
“Tickets were sold online via the council website and wegottickets.com as well as by email and personal contact with friends. I also encouraged the band to promote sales via their website and fan base. Although the majority of tickets were sold online, I used the tickets for personal and ‘on the door’ sales.” Mike made sure that tickets were available to attendees through a number of different methods. This made it easy and convenient for individuals with different buying habits.
All attendees received physical tickets, Mike explained, “I also exchanged computer printed ticket confirmations for paper tickets on entry and put the first hundred stubs into a draw for a free CD and a band signed event poster.” Everyone who purchased tickets, online or in person, was eligible for a prize.
A Good Night and a Great Start
“The best part was the buzz that was created with a number of people who used to attend the club back in the sixties coming along and having a great time. We were also very pleased to have Bill Wyman, an original Rolling Stone, as well as Elmer Gantry from Curved Air/Velvet Opera come along, with Elmer joining the band on one number.”
Get the council involved if appropriate as well as local media. Have good quality flyers and treat the marketing effort as the MOST important part of your event without losing sight of the organisation of the event itself. Treat your customers as individuals and listen to feedback.