After the Mayor of Holland Nancy DeBoer and others on a Talk of the Town radio said they did not approve of drag show coming to Holland, the show’s event tickets sold out, filling more seats than ever before. What exactly happened? And what can event planners learn from this?
The Michigan Drag Brunch Show is exactly what it sounds like – a drag show at brunch. Attendees get to enjoy brunch food while watching drag performance. Mayor DeBoer expressed disapproval of the show on-air, encouraging residents who disapproved not to attend, as disapproval and low attendance could call the event off.
“I have never been to that type of event,” the mayor said. “It’s just not the kind of event I would attend.” In response to one commenter’s disapproval, the mayor expressed concerns over the show’s values, saying “There’s a whole variety of values now that we didn’t, we didn’t deal with, you know, 50 years ago.”
“Stay away,” another caller said. “If they don’t get any crowds for something like that they won’t come here.”
However, these comments seemed to have the opposite effect: Within 24 hours of the mayor’s radio appearance, the event sold out. How? And why? Let’s take this the Michigan Drag Brunch as a case study, to see what exactly went right.
- The Show Got the Right People Talking
In Holland Michigan, one of the biggest local influencers, if not the biggest, is mayor DeBoer. Love her or hate her, most of the Drag Brunch Show’s potential customers were listening. Once the mayor talked about the Brunch Drag Show, news of the show was on everyone’s lips. The takeaway is that the more people talking about your event, the better. Not everyone has to be saying good things. That’s fine. People who don’t approve of your event aren’t your target demographic. However, if your event is on everyone’s lips, your target demographic is sure to hear. The success in ticket sales is also due to unwitting influencer marketing. Like in Holland, if your event can get people with a following talking about your event, you’re ticket sales will skyrocket. Actively out to influencers who your target customer listens to, even if they’re not necessarily in your niche. This will help create a serious buzz for your event.
- The Show had a Clear Brand Message and Audience
One of the biggest criticisms of the Holland Drag Show was that their ‘values’ did not align with the values of the city of Holland. How could that explain ticket sales? The answer lies in branding. The Holland Drag Show events had a clear message, and potential attendees could get a very clear idea of not only what they event was about, but what the culture and atmosphere of their events would be like. Make it Unique. Make it fun. Make it brunch with us – their simple mission statement of fun and unique, niche performance comes through in all the show’s media. Their site explains in bold letters that they produce “Sunday-Fundays,” with a Facebook and Instagram featuring boatloads of party emojis, pictures of drag performers, and promotion of LGBT non-profits in their mission. They even tagged the mayor in these posts! And on their shop page, attendees can buy hilarious shirts reinforcing this carefree, confident attitude, with messages like She Doesn’t Even Brunch Here or Resting Brunch Face. The Michigan Drag Race was unapologetically them, with confidence, youthful energy, and commitment to carefree atmosphere in everything they did. Sure, this may not appeal to everyone living in Holland. But it doesn’t have to. The show’s clear brand weeded out anyone who would be otherwise uninterested while hitting their target demographic hard. A clear, decisive mission statement and voice to your event announcements and information can be an incredible way to separate your event from the crowd and boost ticket sales.
- The Show kept Technology Personal
The Drag Brunch Show is nothing else if not extremely human. First, the show kept an active mailing list and support email, where an actual human being would answer individual questions and queries, usually with a dash of their iconic voice.
Second, they engaged with customers and potential customers on social media. Like, a lot. The show would like and comments on viewers post, doing their best to provide authentic interaction. They also told a story with the pictures they posted, sharing information about performers that pulled on their audience’s heartstrings.
Last, the Drag Brunch Show sold tickets directly from their website. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal. Plenty of business and event planners sell tickets through event software like EventBrite and Ticketmaster. But expert event planners like those behind the Drag Brunch show know that these popular ticketing sites often hurt SEO, brand, take big chunks of ticket revenue, and promote competing events to attendees. The Drag Brunch Show realized how incredibly important their brand, their message was to ticket sales. Frankly, it was all they had going for them. By choosing a “whitelabel” software, the MI Drag Show was able to keep tickets sales, FAQ, and customer data in one place, traffic going directly to their site instead of sites like EVentbrite. And it was the MI Drag Race’s site, their message, that ultimately sold tickets. Selling directly from their site also simplified things for customers, many of whom were not particularly tech savvy and may have been confused with a redirect to a prominent event software’s website.
As an event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, marketing, securing venues, and delivering an unforgettable experience for attendees. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!
- Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
- aggregate all of your customer data in one place
- Keep 100% of your ticket sales
- Sell event tickets online
- White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand