HOW THE MET PHILADELPHIA GOT BOOTS ON THE GROUND

Word-of-mouth is the biggest part of fan discovery, but it isn’t always online

The Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia’s recently restored Live Nation venue, reopened its doors after a massive transformation at the end of 2018 as a state-of-the-art venue, kicking off the season with a grand opening that had Bob Dylan on the marquee.

The venue, a historic landmark in North Philadelphia, was originally built 110 years ago. After operating as everything from the site of radio broadcasts to a church, it eventually closed its doors in the late 1990s. Two decades later, the Met was in need of a new owner with a big vision and some TLC.

In December 2018, after undergoing a $56 million renovation, The Met emerged with a killer lineup — Bob Dylan, John Legend, Mariah Carey and more — but like many new venues they needed help spreading their name in order to be rediscovered.

Starting from scratch, the Met took a grassroots approach to promotion over the summer of 2018 to drive buzz around their opening and generate excitement in the region. In order to do this, the Met worked with SocialLadder to build promotions from the ground up. Street teams and grassroots marketing groups were deployed in the Met’s nearby areas, putting boots on the ground in the pulse of their neighborhood.

With SocialLadder’s help, they were able to recruit and mobilize these teams, create accountability in the field, and track all activity from one system. This resulted in the creation of an actionable network of ambassadors that could be leveraged year round, and a full room opening night and beyond.

met

The #1 reason people don’t attend events is because they don’t know they exist. Here are our 3 tips for having a successful street team to cut through the surrounding noise and get your events on your neighborhood’s radar:

  1. Make reporting easy
    • Team reporting is important data, but its collection shouldn’t be a tedious task; make this simple for both your team and yourself.
  2. Keep your goals attainable
    • Assigning tasks that are both fun and realistic will keep your team engaged and motivated
  3. Fans of your venue are your strongest advocates
    • Identify your top fans – the people who know your venue best – and activate them into promotional voices

Keeping the Momentum Going Post-Event

Everyone knows the importance of building momentum for an event, but no one likes to talk about the importance of  keeping the momentum going after an event has passed. We have created a guide (below) to help you maintain your momentum post-event as well as keep your ambassadors engaged.

 

Utilize Social Media!

pexels-photo-433617A great way to sustain momentum  is to update your social media. You can do this with posts about key takeaways from your event or reliving your favorite event moments. The former is especially important if your event was educational in nature.

By posting industry-related content on your social media and blog, you keep the conversation surrounding your event alive. You also showcase the value of your event and your organization as a whole to potential sponsors, future partners, and your general audience.

We all know everyone has a favorite moment or highlight of an event. Posting about these moments are a great way to boost post-event engagement and even drive sales for recurring events. You can post all of your photos on your Facebook page and then highlight your favorites to incorporate in your Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday weekly hashtags on Instagram and Twitter! Attendees make the best storytellers so encourage them to share their highlights as well. 

Since not all of your attendees or supporters may follow you on social media, send out an email reminder with links to all of your pages. This will remind everyone of the great time they had at your event this year, as well as encourage those who were unable to make it to RSVP to next year’s.

 

Hold a Press Release or Q&A

Free publicity? Yes, please! Hosting a Q&A discussion session helps keep your brand fresh in everyone’s mind. It’s a great way to learn about what you could do better for next year as well, and can help you garner more ambassadors. Similarly, holding a press release to talk about your event is an important part of keeping your brand visible to the general public. Even if it’s only through free distribution networks, a press release will help get the word out about your event – showcasing its success to others and encouraging them to buy a ticket for next year’s event.

 

Start An Ambassador Program Early

This is probably the most important way to continue the momentum surrounding your event. As soon as your event ends, start planning the next one. This doesn’t mean you have to start selling early bird tickets right away; start off by getting together with the planning committee and debriefing. Discuss logistics of the event: what you thought went well, what you thought didn’t, and any ideas on how to increase sales and boost attendance. The sooner you begin planning, the sooner you can map out your engagement goals and reach out to current ambassadors as well as recruit new members.

 

Following these guidelines will not only ensure that you have a strong group of social influencers that are getting the word out about your event, but it will also increase the success of your next event!

 

 

Mirayda

 

Mirayda Martínez is an intern at SocialLadder. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Computer Science at Swarthmore College, as part of the class of 2020, and is a member of the the Swarthmore Track & Field team. She loves going to parks and petting any and all kinds of dogs, as well as rock climbing.