By Terri Cotta
In this section of our tips series on promoting Muay Thai, we will look at different options for the actual event.
Choosing the right venue date:
Let me give you a classic scenario of a wrong date. You have done everything to promote your event, you've printed thousands of flyers, got a mention on the radio, even got a spot of advertising on local TV, the venue you have chosen is perfect, you even gave your event a name "Halloween Havoc!!" what could go wrong? No one turns up, Disaster!
You find out that there are hundreds of parties going on all around you. It sounded good at the time, but people are used to doing the same things every year, so choosing a date that has a party atmosphere is usually the wrong date. You are better to choose the day before this type of fun time. Check to see if any people are having any parties in your area, and see if there are any public functions in town, even check the movie theatre, you'll be surprised at how many people will choose to see a movie that has just been released than to go to your event.
Remember that in summer time, though the weather is great and everyone from College, University and schools are on vacation, students nearly always end up going on vacation themselves. An idea is to choose a venue where you know they'll all be, or somewhere near to the area. Check to see when the religious and public holidays are, and again it is far better to choose days before these holidays then on or after.
Couldn't find the venue:
One sure failure for most events that I have been to is that the promoter forgets to advertise the actual venue it's self. What I mean by this is most times people who come to events are out of Towner's coming to support one of their fighters etc. Well, if you don't have a big enough sign for them to see outside the venue, then you have more chance of them driving right past. The idea of a banner made for this form of promoting your event now becomes apparent, but most events are held at night? so what do you need for them to see? Lights!! Make sure that the venue you have chosen has easy access to an electrical socket, bring plenty of extension cable and a good outdoor light. Also advertise that fact the there is parking available (if there is).
Keeping the price affordable:
As is often the case, many promoters try to copy others who are already in the business of promoting. But when it concerns Muay Thai entry feels should not be too high in the beginning. This is because the sport is still new, therefore has to prove it's self to the audience. If you over price the entry fee, you may not get the public to come to your next event. Keep the price low to begin with. As you get a following, you can then increase but at a very slow rate, so as not to alarm people. This will also allow you the option to increase the entry fee if you have special events or championship fights coming up. You have to allow the public to gain trust in you and your promotions if you wish to continue.
Free entry for children under-age:
Also an idea of children under the age of 10 will be allowed in free if accompanied by an adult. Many people forget about kids when it comes to events, remember this, mom and dad might want to come the event but they may also want to bring the kid's. Now if the cost of entry is for example $15 dollars and a family of two adults and two kids have just got to your door, well that has just cost the family 60 bucks! You will have more chance of them turning around and going to Macdonald's than to spend that much money. Its far better to get $30 dollars than no dollars at all.
Reduced entry fee for the handicapped:
And what about the handicapped! did you make space available for them? They may have an interest in the sport too and many people in wheelchairs etc, just might want to see your event. Reserve an area for them near the ring, get some of your staff to be able to assist them at the door. If no one comes who is handicapped then you turn the space in to standing room etc. Don't forget to advertise the fact that you have space for wheelchairs on your flyers and posters. If they have made an effort to get to your event, its only common courtesy to give them a little discount, besides they are bringing their own chair.
Believe me, if people see this type of effort, then you will be surprised at the kind of turn out and support you might have. A person in a wheelchair is nearly always accompanied by a friend.