How do you advertise?

Tips and techniques of the trade

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How do you advertise?

#1 Post by Naomi » Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:51 pm

I'm a dj at a big outdoor event here in San Francisco ( I've never had to advertise; I walked right into long-running event with a regular crowd. Oh, and it's free - that helps.

Now, I've just been invited to dj at a $6 indoor evening event.

Pluses: wooden floor, dancing at night, Friday night - few competing events
Minuses: small crowd, event only happens once a month in the East Bay

How do you advertise for your events? What do you recommend for someone who's new to advertising?

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#2 Post by Toon Town Dave » Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:33 pm

Good question but it's really a question for event organizers, not DJs. You might get some good responses on some of the Lindy Hop forums. I recall some good discussion on last fall that might help.

As an occasional organizer myself, I've found the best bang for the buck by far is word of mouth, posters (around where your target demographic is) and leaching off other dance groups/events.

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#3 Post by Matthew » Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:21 pm

I've found one of the most important aspects of event promotion to be making sure that people hear about the event multiple times. Tell them WAY in advance, remind them, remind them again and offer a few more details (photos are good), remind them a few days before the event, remind them the day of the event... I've done that kind of thing via the web, and of course, that's for a one-time event, but I think you could adapt it for a weekly one, if that's what you've got.

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#4 Post by lipi » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:30 pm

i think getting someone to announce the new venue at the old ones works nicely -- and leaving flyers for their flyer table.

in concrete terms, get trevor, meg, manu, jesse (or whoever is at the doghouse these days -- i've lost track) to say a few words at swing central, steppin' out, 9:20, and the doghouse -- and announce it yourself at litp. give each of them some flyers, too. idem for the east bay places, which i know nothing about (club verdi? ashkenaz -- is that still happening? lindy on sproul?).

well, and post on swingtalk, of course.

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Bob the Builder
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#5 Post by Bob the Builder » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:04 pm

I’m interested in expanding this topic to “Advertising yourself as a DJ”
I.e. how do you promote yourself to get gigs.
From my experience in the scene I’m in, (Melbourne) I find I have to be very proactive in order to get regular events. This may be just due to the event managers down here. It’s kind of like unless you are “visible”, you’re forgotten about, which has lead to some GREAT DJ’s down here, just not getting gigs as they are not promoting them selves in any way.
It’s not uncommon for me to sent event managers an email every few months, telling them about my availability, but I also find I have to get along to some of the events the managers are at, as some seem nearly to only ask face to face.
I’ve been on the other side of the fence and I’ve been an event manager for over a year, but I think I view how important DJing is, a little differently than some of the current managers. I tended to seek out good experienced DJ’s and book them well in advance.


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Re: How do you advertise?

#6 Post by morte100 » Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:49 am

Naomi wrote:I've just been invited to dj at a $6 indoor evening event.
How do you advertise for your events? What do you recommend for someone who's new to advertising?
Tell us some more about the new venue. Have there ever been dances there? Is it on a night that competes with other dances in your area? Will it be a lindy night? Is there anything that makes it special/unique from other lindy nights in the area? Do you expect to attract existing good dancers or noobs? Will you have a lesson?

Myself, I organize two events: LindyBomb in Tacoma ( and Blues Underground in Seattle. The weekly Tacoma dance I started from scratch - a new venue in a town that had a total of 1 lindy hopper: me. Now it's a reasonably successful night with a fun, integrated scene, but it was a lot of work. I put up posters all over town, put out flyers to neighboring scenes, created a website that gained me strong search engine presence and gave me a great email list, got my listing in the entertainments sections of the newspapers, and encouraged word of mouth advertising.

Blues Underground is a Monthly blues dance I started last year. Because it's a unique night in a strong existing scene, getting the word out was easy and it got big fast. The biggest problem has been making sure people remember when it is - third Friday of every month. I made killer flyers and distributed them by hand to everyone at all the venues in Seattle. This was not a problem since there is no Friday venue here. I would hand out flyers again the week before Blues Underground - again by hand to almost every single person at every venue in Seattle (except the Century since it conflicts with my dance in Tacoma). Now I don't advertise at all any more and the dances pretty much run themselves.

Killer flyers and posters are key in my opinion. I use: and I make eye catching covers with lots of details on the back. If you tell me more about your venue, I'll see if I can make more specific suggestions for your event if you'd like. Good luck!


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#7 Post by Naomi » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:50 pm

The night worked out quite well. The monthly event, Rhythm!, was started by Sharon & Belinda. Now that Sharon's in North Carolina, Lovica has stepped in to help Belinda run it. For more info on that particular venue, check out:

For advertising, I did 3 things:
1. Sent a mass email to a bunch of friends, asking them to come out. Some attended, some didn't. Perhaps a mass email is not the most politic thing to do, but I hid the addresses, and no one told me they were offended by it. I certainly had more fun with friends there.
2. Announced the event at my local event -
3. Relied on the event promoter to produce flyers & other hubbub.

I dj'ed with 2 others, and I had a great time with the first set. Several friends came out, which made the dancing all the better. We actually had quite a good crowd.

As for advertising, it's hard to know that fine line between creating a buzz and making a nuisance of yourself. :oops: