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From concepting to showtime: The unified marketing approach to filling a concert venue

By: Emily Reitzug

As an avid concertgoer since the days when Klipsch Music Center was still called Verizon, I have always viewed concerts as simply an artist’s performance in front of thousands of people. I never put much thought into how those thousands of people singing along in the audience got there. I would listen to Hank-FM in hopes of being caller number 7 to win tickets to a Luke Bryan concert, but never thought about how the radio station acquired the tickets to begin with. After my time at Bohlsen Group, I have a comprehensive understanding through personal experience that answers the questions I never thought to ask.

This summer I had the opportunity to be involved first-hand with the promotions of all different kinds of events – from concerts to plays to festivals of all sorts. As an events and entertainment intern at Bohlsen Group, I witnessed the process from the conception of a promotional idea, to the end success of the event.

I distributed posters for certain shows and events in restaurants and other hot spots all over the city and I crafted social media campaigns for various clients. I even had the opportunity to help plan and execute a promotion involving thematic costumes in support of a local event, utilizing the best photo opps around Indianapolis that I could think of. I was even able to make a stop by one of the local news stations for a promotional segment. From the initial planning meeting to producing the recap at the end, I got to witness the many pieces connecting together to form a successful event marketing campaign.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of my internship was the creative freedom I was granted on various projects. For example, I sat down and brainstormed a list of cross-promotional ideas for a particular event, trying to think outside the box by pairing unexpectedly complimentary businesses with the event. I didn’t think that my ideas would actually be used. After a couple phone calls and emails, I watched as my ideas streamed on Twitter and Facebook feeds. This left me feeling impactful as an intern, but also with an understanding of how a “maybe this would be cool…” bends and twists and swings back and forth until it fills more and more seats in the crowd.

At a recent meeting, one of my supervisors, Jessica Redden, joked that artists should really thank us on award shows for helping to fill seats at their concerts. There truly is an inconceivable amount of behind-the-scenes work that ultimately makes artists, shows and other events all that they are. Through my experience, I have realized that the client’s success is brought to them by Bohlsen Group’s unified marketing approach at work. Ideas become posters covering the walls of happening places all over Indy, they became hashtags on social media, media pitches turned into radio and TV segments which ultimately all work together to inform, invite and excite people about what’s going on in the area.

The gratifying thing is that I not only had the opportunity to see how these events came to be, but that my hand was involved in the promotions. I was able to help fill arenas in multiple cities this summer through the use of unified tactics – one step at a time.

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