Promoting Your Show

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Promotion is a Shared Endeavour

All public shows are listed on Side Door’s shows page and in our Facebook Events (if you have invited Side Door to be a co-host on Facebook).

However, it’s important to remember that Side Door is not a show promoter - we facilitate the connection to create shows. Promotion is up to the host and the artist.

That said, we’re here to help guide you! Here are a few suggestions to get you started with promotion:

Promotion Timeline

The sooner you start promotion, the better! As a rule, you should announce at least 3 months before the show. People will have time to clear their calendar, invite their friends, and make plans to attend.

Announcing includes all crucial details about the show:

  • Information about the Artist

  • Show Date

  • Show Time

  • Show Location

  • Accessibility

  • Ticket Price

  • Expectations of the Audience

  • A link to buy tickets (which is created automatically if you book your show with Side Door!)

Facebook Events

First things first - Facebook events are a free, easy, and effective way to promote your show. For many artists on Side Door, most of their guests find out about their show from Facebook.

Your Facebook event will be even more successful if you link it to Side Door’s Facebook events page. So, if this is a public show, invite Side Door to be a co-host, so the event appears on our page, as well as yours.

Please note: this will only work with a Facebook page - not a personal Facebook profile. Consider starting a Page for your venue, or talk to your artist about who will make the event. Artists often have a Facebook page already and can be quite used to creating Facebook events!

If you have a private space, you can create a private Facebook event to invite your friends, family, etc.

Setup guide for Facebook events:

  • Follow Facebook’s basic setup guide for a public event

  • Add the artist’s image to the Facebook event’s header.

  • Add a ticket-sales link (use the link to the show on Side Door).

  • Include a short description of the artist (you can copy this from their Side Door profile) and the venue.

  • Include a link to samples of the artist’s work.

  • Include some general info about your venue - it’s helpful for potential guests to hear about things like seating, accessibility, and whether or not you have pets!

  • Post updates in your Facebook Event to let people know what is going on and to encourage ticket sales.

  • GO TO OUR FACEBOOK EVENT TEMPLATE HERE: Facebook Event Template - Side Door

Mailing Lists

You’ll want to start a guest mailing list as early as possible.

Pass a notebook around before or after each show to collect names and email addresses. Our guest list manager allows you to export all the emails from ticket buyers of those who have opted in. You can enter these emails into a free service like MailChimp, allowing you to design and send out mass emails.

Email the list before the show is announced to let them know it is coming! It never hurts to include a YouTube video or streaming link of the artist to entice the audience.

Paid Advertising

Facebook Ads

Paid advertising is an option through the user-friendly Facebook Ads platform, which allows you to run advertisements on both Facebook and Instagram.

In addition to creating ads from scratch, you can turn your Facebook page’s posts and events into advertisements with just a few clicks. Click here to learn more about boosting a post or boosting an event

Digital advertisements through services like Facebook Ads can be useful to boost awareness, but do not guarantee sales.

We suggest mapping out a budget for each show and sticking to it if you choose to do paid advertising. Fortunately, Facebook Ads lets you set strict budget limits for your advertisements, so you can be sure that you won’t overspend.

Other Forms of Paid Promotion

There are many other online platforms that you can create paid ads on - for example, Kiiji (popular in Canada), Reddit, and Spotify are all affordable and easy to use.

Of course, there are also traditional forms of paid promotion like local radio or newspaper ads. These can be effective, but it depends on the publication and how popular it is in your area and with the people who may want to come to your show.

Talk to the Artist

The artist and the host should work on promotion together.

Talk to the artist through the Side Door chat about promotion activities. They may have their own mailing list they’d like to send information to. Or maybe they want to invite super fans.

Curation, Local Outreach

Curate and Connect

It is unlikely that potential guests will know every artist you bring to your space. So try to connect your audience with the artist.

What we mean by this is, maybe the artist supports certain charities while touring, or has a connection to your town - this may involve a little research on your end, but we promise, it’s worth it!

Local Outreach

Local outreach means posters, mailing lists, flyers, local event listings, and good old-fashioned legwork - getting out to other shows in your area!

It’s important to keep in mind that your show’s artist(s) will be hard at work promoting to their core fan-base in your area - your goal is to reach out to people in your area who may not yet be fans of the artist, buy may be interested in coming to the show.

Mailing Lists

Mailing lists allow you to stay in touch with people who came to your shows in the past.

You can create a sign-up form for the door at your next show, then send a message to those folks when you are ready to announce your next show!


Post notices on community boards, local poster boards, and anywhere else that you’ve seen other notices for shows.

Make sure you include all the important details!

Local Listings

Whether it’s a zine, online forum, or any other kind of event listings, it may be worth considering notifying them about your show.

You can even contact local community or college/university radio stations and see if they’ll boost your event on the air.