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Are you a graphic designer? Have you worked in social media marketing or been educated in social marketing strategy? Do you know what google data thresholds are? Maybe you do, but don’t feel bad if you don’t - being in the entertainment industry, your skill sets are likely to be in organisation, hospitality and people management. They probably aren’t in peripheral event production, like poster design or web analytics.
If you are one of those rare cross-skilled unicorns, feel free to read on. And when you’re done, please email us the recipe for your secret elixir.
For the rest of us mere mortals, creating successful events now means being proficient in all these areas. Managing the event on the day is your expertise, but in the promotion phase there’s event artwork to design, website landing pages to build, web analytics to track your event traction, and ongoing updates to communicate to your attendees. And if you don’t know how to do all these things yourself, you better get studying… now!
Just joking. That used to be the case, however thanks to the world wide web we have now dawned a new age of translating complex concepts to simple, understandable and useful information. And the most important part - everyone can do it!
In essence, the increasing sub-specialisation of our world means that there are now purpose-built tools to address each of your requirements. Terrible at drawing? No worries - watch as you use Canva to design the slickest, most eye-catching poster you’ve ever seen. Don’t know the difference between a USB and KFC? That’s OK, you don’t have to - Google analytics can explain how your event and webpage activity is tracking in simple terms. Time poor and sick of updating your website? Same! But the Muso widget isn’t.
Below we will give you a quick summary of some of the relevant tools you could use to promote your event. And if people are confused about how you became so skilled overnight, don’t worry. We won’t tell anyone your secrets.
Cost - Free available; Pro = $165/yr; Enterprise = $230/yr
Canva is a game-changer when it comes to design. In a similar way, providers like Squarespace and Wix have demystified web design, Canva has taken the technical knowledge out of graphic design, leaving you with intuitive tools to design anything you like. It’s built to provide design templates for everything from Instagram stories to logos, t-shirts and labels, and has an extensive range of helpful information, tips, tricks and design principles.
The free subscription will get you access to 250,000+ templates, hundreds of design types (i.e. social posts, label design, etc.), and thousands of free imagery and graphics to use in your design. The paid versions provide more design functionality (like what you might find in Adobe apps) and provides more focus on brand development. If you are looking to build a brand visual tone from scratch you may need to consider paid subscriptions. However, if all you need are single pieces of collateral, such as event posters and social posts, the free subscription will be more than enough.
Cost - Free available; Starter = $42/mth
Hopin specialises in events. They want to help make planning and executing events easier, both in the virtual and real worlds. They offer a range of services, however perhaps the 2 most important are their “Virtual Venue” and “Event Marketing” tools.
Virtual Venue allows you to create virtual events for up to 100,000 members, with the ability to build in event reception pages and mid-event breakout rooms. You can add polls, quizzes, Q&A’s and other engaging pieces to keep your screen bound audience bound to their screens.
The Event Marketing tool is a landing page builder. So, when you are hosting a big event and want to tell everyone who comes to your website about it, this is your go-to. It will allow you to introduce simple ticket purchase into the page, with added functionality to manage your attendees ongoing - including to issue refunds, manage waitlists, and change ticket information easily. Plus the page builder itself is easy to use, with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
Cost - Free available; Google Analytics 360 = $150,000 (nope, not a typo)
Ok, let’s address the elephant in the one bedroom apartment. Yes, the paid version costs $150,000 a year. No, you probably don’t need it. It’s designed for large businesses who get 10 million + hits on their website a month, need instantly updated knowledge of their website performance, and crucially, can afford it.
So what does it do? Google analytics is a website tracking tool designed to help you understand how people interact with your website. It can show you info on users (are they new or returning?), pages per session (how easily are people navigating your site? How much time do they spend on it before exiting?), bounce rate (are users leaving your site too quickly?) and plenty more.
Google analytics is the line of communication between your users and you, where they can tell you (through data) what parts of your site are working, and where opportunities may lie. For example, you might notice via the “source” tool that most of your users are coming via social… perhaps it’s time for you to put together a social media marketing budget to capitalise on this momentum?
Cost - Free for the next 6 months
Prior preparation prevents p*ss poor performance, but sometimes even the best laid plans can go awry. Ok, enough epithets, but it’s obvious that event planning can contain an element of surprise. And when you do need to reschedule because the rehearsing drummer’s stick throw ended in a poked eye, Muso is there to help.
An easy to install plugin, the Muso promotional widget will connect your Muso calendar with your website, automatically communicating any changes, updates, and information about your gig which your audience will need to know. All you need to do is log the changes through your Muso calendar (the same one you used to book the gig) and voila! The new gig details are updated in turn on your website.
Plus, the widget is a great promotional tool for anyone scrolling through your site looking for venue info, food or drink menus, and of course upcoming shows!
Realising your Jack(ie) of All Trades potential
So there you are - 4 tools which can help you feel like the web version of the perennial Gene Kelly. Or whoever our modern day triple threat is… Jackie Chan?
Used in sequence, these individual tools could be used like this: Use Canva to design your event poster, which you then use on your Hopin built landing page.Then, analyse how your landing page and website are performing using Google Analytics, and promote it all using the Muso Widget on your website’s main page.
Of course there are many more steps you might take in your event production, and chances are there are web-tools for them all. These are a quick selection of some you might find useful, and which we feel will empower you to create the best gigs you can. Because that’s what we care about - live music events for artists and venues alike!