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TRADE SECRETS ABOUT CONCERT TICKETS RADIO GIVEAWAYS
by Mark Lapidus

I was watching our afternoon guy do a live remote broadcast from a Paul McCartney concert outside the stadium when I saw the concert promoter approaching me. This was completely uncharacteristic because I had never seen him approach anyone. People were always approaching him.

He was chewing his unlit cigar as he said to me, “Kid….(this was 20 years ago)… Kid, how would you like to give away twenty thousand tickets to tomorrow night's show?” I looked behind me to make sure he wasn't talking to someone else.

“Excuse me,” I replied. “Did you say twenty thousand tickets?” He nodded. “To Paul McCartney?” I stammered.

He looked at me like I was complete moron and said, “Yeah.”

I replied affirmatively. He gave a snort and as he walked away, he said over his shoulder, “Good. Try to figure out how to give 'em all away by 4 pm tomorrow to people who'll really use them.”

Of course, it hadn't yet hit me that handing out ten thousand pair of anything takes time. In fact, I still hadn't gotten my brain around why he wanted to give away so many tickets that until a few minutes earlier had been worth so much money. (The answer is at the end of the article.)

Let's examine a few unique ticket giveaways and discuss how you get tickets to events when ordinary sources aren't offering them to you for free.

There is no substitute for a close relationship with people who work in the concert, sports and entertainment industries. It's these relationships that enable you to pick up the phone and ask, cajole, and sometimes beg for tickets. Also important is having close relationships with people in the ticket-brokering business. Ticket brokers always have tickets!

Fortunately, concert promoters nowadays often put shows up for sale months before they happen so you have plenty of time to plan out tactics. I'm not going to waste time here outlining how to execute normal promotional trades for tickets. It's the out-of-the-ordinary — tickets to sold-out shows, front row seats, blocks of seats, or suite tickets — that are the difficult moves.

Blocks of tickets: Want to give away a bunch of seats together to one office or a special group? You'll likely have to settle for nose-bleeds, but don't let that stop you. If you make it sound cool enough on the radio, there are many people who would want to win them for themselves and their pals. Maybe it's an “Eagle's Nest,” or “The Mile-High Club.”

When you've got a prize this big, you'll be able to bring more promotional muscle to the table — perhaps an on-air promotion which lasts a week, instead of the standard weekend or ten-second announcement during an ordinary weekday giveaway.

Another nice angle is to auction the block off to the highest bidder with the money going to the artist's or team's favorite charity. Note: When negotiating this deal, ask for more than the block of nosebleeds.

For a longer promotion and greater voice on your station, you can angle for a pair of front row, or a meet-and-greet after a game or performance.

How do you nail a suite for a game or show? Wheel and deal! Obtain a list of suite holders from your friend at the venue or ask around your business community. You've got something many suite holders want: air time. Have them give you one Suite Night.

What do they want? Trade them commercials. Cover their product on a talk show. Do a news story. Do a webstory. Give them access to a DJ to host one of their events. Give them autographed items they can use for their pet charity auctions.

What's the deal with ticket brokers? They're legal in many cities and have become so common that even teams and concert promoters often do deals with them. They want access to your airwaves. You want tickets (many of which they're stuck with at the last minute) that are sold out to the public. Work out a plan that makes you both winners!

No luck with brokers? Try your listeners! The message boards on your website are great way to do trades with listeners. Got plenty of tickets for one show and not enough for another? Let's make a deal!

Since you've read this far, you may be curious as to why anyone would give away 20,000 tickets to a concert. An artist may require a promoter to use “best efforts” to fill every seat in the house. Secondary reasons are purely financial.

If a promoter knows he can't possibly sell the seats, he may at least wish to generate greater parking fees ($20 times 20,000) or concession fees (2 beers/2 t-shirts per person equals a gazillion dollars). Tickets equal money, one way or the other!

This article appeared in Radio World newspaper and is reproduced with permission.

© 2010 by Mark Lapidus
marklapidus (at) verizon.net

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