Looking to host your own open mic event? We don’t blame you. An abbreviation of the phrase “open microphone,” open mic events are a great way to attract new customers, engage old ones, and make your establishment a more popular hotspot for the local community.
One of the great things about this type of event is it can be as grandiose or as low-key as you want it to be. You can host an open mic even if you don’t have a stage. Whether you own or manage a pub, bookstore, coffeehouse, rock club, or bar, almost any type of establishment can host one and enjoy its benefits.
If you’ve never organized one before, allow us to get you quickly up to speed on how to plan and market your very first open mic.
Let’s get started!
What Kind of Open Mic Night Are You Looking To Host?
Before you start marketing your event, it’s important to decide on the type of open mic night you want to have. While you can have an anything-goes kind of event, you’ll still need to decide on what types of performances you want to showcase.
Your decision will depend on the type of business you have. If your venue is a bookstore or a coffeehouse, you may want to showcase poetry readings. Restaurants might find bands playing cover songs more suited for the families who dine there. A bar, on the other hand, might prefer solo musicians and comedy acts.
Think about the customers whose business you want to retain and the kind of customers you want to attract. Consider these factors as you plan your event.
Once you’ve decided on the type of open mic night you want to have, you can further narrow down the type of performances you want. You can decide on what kind of music, comedy acts, and poetry to feature so that you can better target your audience.
Give Your Event a Name
“Open mic night” is pretty generic so you’ll want to brand your event with a name. Think of something catchy yet descriptive enough so people will know what to expect at your event. This will also help attract the types of artists and performances you want for your open mic.
Get Your Collaterals Together
Now that you’ve identified the type of open mic night you’ll be hosting, it’s time to get your marketing materials together. Consider the types of collaterals you’ll need. Here are some suggestions:
You can put up posters in key locations like your establishment and other places where your customers normally go.
Flyers are a bit old-school, especially since many marketing activities take place online, but you can still hand out flyers a week or two before your event.
Social Media Graphics
Flyers may be optional but in this day and age, marketing on social media is a must. It’s where your audience and performers are.
There are tons of social media networks out there but you should consider promoting your event on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Get your image sizes right by consulting this article.
You may not have the resources to put up a website solely for your event. However, if you already have a website for your business, you can easily add a page or some copy to announce it.
Once you have your announcement and the right details posted, Facebook and Instagram are great ways to lead people to your event page. Twitter is ideal for event updates.
When designing your collaterals, you’ll want to maintain a consistent look and feel for your event. This makes your marketing campaign more cohesive, polished, and memorable.
Some ways you can do this are:
- Incorporating the same design elements across collaterals
- Ensuring that certain copy remains the same, e.g. event name, any slogans you use, and the way you write the time, date, and address
- Maintaining a consistent visual execution of your theme
Templates: A Shortcut for Event Promotions
Even the most laid-back events will need organizing, coordinating, and planning. While some may have the budget for an event organizer who can do most of the legwork, local businesses with limited resources may choose to plan their own events themselves.
After all, one of the reasons many hold open mic events is because they don’t cost much to host. One of the few expenses you’ll have is designing and printing your collateral. However, there’s a way for you to avoid this cost as well.
Here’s an often overlooked and underestimated tool: online templates. You can do all of the marketing activities mentioned in this article without hiring a graphic designer.
Aside from poster templates, you’ll also find templates for flyers and social media templates online. This allows you to save time and money on creating your own collateral while still having professional-looking materials.
Do sites charge you for online poster makers? Not necessarily. Some will but there are also sites like PosterMyWall that provide a free poster maker and customizable social media graphics at zero cost. Even if you choose to subscribe for more features, the cost is very reasonable compared to hiring a graphic designer to do the work for you.
Doesn’t poster making require technical skills? Great question. You can easily avoid this problem by choosing services that provide intuitive and navigable interfaces. For example, PosterMyWall’s templates can be customized with drag-and-drop elements. It doesn’t get simpler than that.
From Planning to Open Mic Success
Putting these planning and marketing tips to use will set you up for a successful open mic. Your event will be a great way to engage your customers while giving local artists a venue to network and showcase their talents.
Once you host a well-attended and open mic event, you may decide to make it a regular occurrence in your establishment.
If you have other ways to promote your event that we haven’t covered, share your tips and experiences with us in the comments below!