Guest Author - Dennis Regling
When doing public magic shows, the key to success is great promotion. One of the simplest and most common promotional pieces is the show poster.
However, it is easy to make a beautiful poster that shows all the great things you do and still have an empty auditorium. Unless your poster is created with the right motivation, it will fail.
The poster is not about you. If you can grasp that, you can then start designing your poster. Again, it is NOT ABOUT YOU. It is about what your audience will receive by attending and how they may buy tickets.
As with all marketing, you need to focus on the customers' needs or desires. What is in it for them. The purpose of the poster is to fill seats.
With this in mind, posters should:
• grab attention
• promote your show
• give the performance details
• result in sold tickets
Grab attention: Your poster needs to immediately grab the eye and stop traffic. If no one looks at your poster, no one buys tickets. Use color and unusual pictures. Have a headline that encourages folks to read the rest of the poster.
If the headline is "The Amazing Waldo" or "Magic Show," it will grab little attention. However, if it says, "You Will Believe," or "See A Lady Cut In Half," that might catch an eye. The reader has to ask themselves, "I will believe what?" or they will be shocked by a mental image of a mutilated torso.
Better is an unusual picture. Many magicians of old used caricatures of themselves surrounded by little devils. This shocked the Puritan mindset of the early 1900's. It required a closer look.
Give passerbys a reason to stop and read the poster.
Promote your show: Your poster needs to not only tell a little more about the show, but create emotions and curiousity that motivate the reader to want to see the show. Rather than list the effects being done, describe them in a picturesque manner. "Hear The Roar of The Lions," "See The Magician Cheat Death," "Thrill To The Dance of The Cobra," and "What Is The Secret of Houdini's Trunk?" Make the show something folks feel they don't want to miss.
Give the performance details: Tell the prospect When, Where, and How to attend the show. Show location, show times, ticket agents, and other important details must be on the poster in large letters.
Result in sold tickets: The poster must sell tickets. Offer discounts for advance ticket purchases, use phrases like "One Show Only," or "Limited Seating," to prompt action. You must have a call to action on your poster. "Call Now To Reserve Your Tickets."
These are simple ideas for creating a poster, yet you will be amazed at how many show posters you will see that leave one or more of these elements out.
Remember, design your marketing around the consumer's needs, wants and desires, not around you. After-all it's not about you, it's about them.