If you’re planning on taking a show up to the Edinburgh Fringe festival this year and haven’t got a clear marketing strategy I have written a few last minute tips to help you draw the punters in. Similarly if you aren’t a performer you can use he advice in this blog to generate interest in your small business or charity. Whether you’re an aspiring comedian or owner of a savoury crepe stand the key is to sell sell sell.
HAVING A CLEAR GOAL – “THE ELEVATOR PITCH”:
This is a marketing term from the states, the idea being that you should be able to describe your show/ product to a complete stranger in the time it takes to take a short elevator journey. The key is having a concise blurb for your show. The last thing you want is to have long convoluting sentences with little punctuation where the meaning and point of your bio is lost completely amongst unnecessary extra words nachos gymnastics feminism. Better still why not take this advice literally and spend a couple of hours each day during the Fringe riding up and down in the lifts of some of the high rise flats on the outskirts of the city? Here you can pitch your show and engage with potential audience as well as see a different side to Edinburgh. Initially you may need to use your initiative to get past the intercom system; one possibility could be to pose as a home help or carer. I would advise against entering anyone’s individual property and certainly wouldn’t advocate washing or bathing an elderly person just to promote your show but once inside the building there are certainly promotional avenues to explore.
USING LOCAL MEDIA
Promoting your show on the local radio or in the paper can be a great way of generating a buzz whilst at the Fringe and most stations will have a contact email address. However, competition can be fierce and coverage is often limited. Do not fear. Why not phone up with fictional travel information and subtly include your show details?
Eg “There seems to be a backlog of traffic approaching Guthrie Street, there has been an accident outside The Mash House where Josh Pugh’s “Too Soon” Showcase is running from the 6th until the 17th at 22:20. A women is being cut out of a Vauxhall Safira as we speak, Police have confirmed that you can still enter the Mash House from the Cowgate entrance by the university.”
Similarly column inches can be like gold dust. Try out the problem pages:
“Dear Deirdre, I think my boyfriend is cheating on me, we went out to see Josh Pugh’s “Too Soon” Showcase (22:20 @ the Mash House) and were treated to a fabulous night of entertainment. He is a wonderful comedian but my boyfriend seemed aloof and distracted throughout. When we left the venue, he was continuously checking his phone, even whilst driving. He really wasn’t himself and ended up crashing into a Vauxhall Safira just outside the venue. Should I confront him or is it possible that he was just affected emotionally by Josh’s performance?” Jenny – Edinburgh
Or how about the Eulogies?
“RIP Sandra, taken too soon in a Road Traffic Accident outside Josh Pugh’s “Too Soon” Showcase. Gone but never forgotten. A gripping show, 4 stars.”
Is it a solitary confused man stumbling into your show on his way to the toilet? Or is it a one man conga bringing the good times?? Don’t think about the people that aren’t at your show think of the ones who there. Don’t waste time dwelling on those that haven’t turned up. I said the same thing to my sister when she proposed a toast our dead Nan on her wedding day. Be thankful to those that have turned up, especially those who brought John Lewis vouchers. Keep people having a good time and your good vibes will spread like a well mixed crepe batter.
Have a good Fringe.