Paint Party Fundraiser Marketing
There is no 'I' in TEAM!
Marketing your paint party fundraiser is a team effort between Painting on the Prairies, you and your fundraiser support team. It takes more than just us to make your paint party fundraiser a success. It will take more than just you. The more people you can get involved in promoting and selling tickets to your paint party fundraiser the better!
Paint parties have been the hottest fundraiser in Manitoba for the last couple years and are still going strong. Yet, with the abundance of paint parties competing for peoples’ attention and the ever-lowering price of attending them, it is becoming more of a challenge to sell high priced fundraiser tickets. Have no fear! Painting on the Prairies is here with all our best strategies for cutting through the social media noise and making your party stand out both online and in person.
Tips for marketing your Paint Party Fundraiser
Tip #1: Choose Your Date Wisely
Avoid summer, holidays and long weekends.
Sometimes clients think that if they pair up a paint party with a special occasion or a break from school that it will sell more tickets. However, in 3 years of experience I have found this does not usually work out because people are busy with family and friends on holiday long weekends. Also, in general, summer time has lower attendance because of vacation time and weekends at the lake, not to mention all the fantastic festivals and outdoor activities we have so little time to enjoy in Manitoba!
Fall and Spring are best.
Instead, try booking your fundraiser in the Fall, well after school has begun or in the early Spring, after the Christmas crash is over. I see a steady increase in attendance from September to mid December and then another upwards curve from March to June. If you do want to coincide with a holiday, try having a themed painting the week before the holiday, this is a great idea around Halloween or Christmas and in the week or two leading up to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Tip #2: Don't Get Trapped by $$$
What I mean by that is, due to the recent popularity of paint parties, people expect that they can charge whatever they want for tickets and the masses will come! While this was marginally true in the first year or two, when paint parties were brand new to the area, the truth is that these days it is getting harder and harder to sell high priced paint party tickets because there are so many options out there vying for peoples money.
I am going to level with you, in my first year doing paint parties I sold 60-80 tickets for a fundraiser for $45-$55 dollars a person no problem! However, in the last 6-10 months I have seen a steady decline in ticket sales at that price point. Currently the fundraisers doing the best ticket sales are in the $30-$40 range because the average cost for a regular paint party ticket has dropped from $45 to $30.
I know that may be disappointing to you since you were hoping this would be your big money maker of the year but don’t give up on the idea yet! I have taken this market change to heart and have totally revamped Painting on the Prairies pricing for fundraisers to make sure you can still make up to $18 per person*.
Ultimately it is better to sell 40 tickets for $35 than 20 tickets for $45 and if your price is more inline with regular paint parties it won’t be a hard sell.
(*Depends on canvas size, ticket price and number of tickets sold)
Tip #3: Custom Paintings Inspire
Have a custom painting designed for your paint party fundraiser! If you truly want your paint party to stand out as unique, I would be happy to come up with a brand-new painting based on your ideas or concept! I recently did a custom breast cancer painting that I just adore and would love to do something inspired by your cause for you!
If the painting for your party resonates with your supporters and is something they haven’t seen before they are sure to want to be one of the exclusive few who get to hang it on their wall. This is a great marketing strategy too, let people know that this painting was created especially for your event and it will the first time anyone gets to paint it! A piece of art that inspires others to support your cause will be an easy sell.
Please keep in mind that if you send us images of paintings that you like we will never copy another artists painting as we respect the copyright of the work. We can however use it as inspiration to come up with our own version based on the theme.
Tip #4: Don't Underestimate Posters
Print the paint party fundraiser posters I send you and post them everywhere you can. Community centres, your office, around the neighborhood, and local bulletin boards. We rely on social media so heavily these days we sometimes forget the impact that physical posters can make but the extra effort you put in to do this will reach people that you might never connect with online.
Also, do not use the posters as a Facebook or Instagram post (more information on social media marketing follows in tip 6). There is way too much text on them to make them good social media posts and will get ignored and buried by the algorithms that decide what gets through to peoples news feeds.
Tip #5: Sell Tickets the Old Fashioned Way
I offer online ticket sales for your paint party fundraiser, but highly recommend you take advantage of the tickets I provide you with to do your own ticket sales. Direct- marketing is still one of the best ways to sell tickets and the face-to-face approach makes a huge difference. Here are a few tips to maximize your own ticket sales and make it easy:
- Give tickets to several people from your team or organization: the more people promoting it to their friends and family the better! (Make sure each ticket holder has a registration sheet to keep track of sales).
- Keep the tickets and registration sheet on you at all times so that you can easily get them into the hands of your supporters.
- Consider carrying a float with you in case you need to make change.
- Make sure you talk about it everywhere you go and have a picture of the painting on your smartphone or a large print out to show people. People respond to enthusiasm and emotion, if they connect with you because you believe in your cause they are more likely to open their wallet.
- Have a location that you can use to sell from? Put up posters and make sure everyone knows where to pick them up, what types of payment you will accept and between which hours they are available.
Tip #6: Be Social Media Savvy
Finally, on the subject of social media, lets tackle that challenge! I will provide you with images sized and optimized for Facebook and Instagram or your website. They will have minimal information on them in terms of text because social media platforms prefer image heavy posts with little to no text and you will add the important details to the body of the post. Use these as you please but remember that social media is ever evolving and it is getting harder and harder to get your information and message out to people. Gone are the days when we could create an event or make a post and sell out all our tickets in a couple days because it was in everyone’s news feed. This is because Facebook and Instagram prioritize posts from friends and family over business in news feeds.
The way to combat this is to post on your personal page and ask your friends and family to comment, react, and share it or make their own posts from their personal page. I will also add your paint party to Painting on the Prairies Facebook Events (unless you request to keep it private) and it is fantastic if you react and share the event to your personal page and have as many other friends, family and team members to do the same. Don’t forget to use the ‘invite’ button on the event to individually request your followers to join us!
Did you know that if you ‘react’ to a post (‘heart’ or ’emoticon’) rather than ‘like’ it (‘thumbs up’), Facebook will rate it higher than other content and push it to the top of peoples news feeds? We need your hearts and emoticons people!
If you promote it through a business page, be aware that the “organic reach” will not be as high and you may need to pay to promote it. I encounter the same challenges on our own Facebook page and while we do our best to optimize for reach and we will do a paid campaign for your event to increase its exposure, it is you and your fundraising team’s personal social media presence that will be the difference between the event being widely seen or not. The more people in your sphere of influence posting and commenting about your paint party and sharing the Painting on the Prairies Facebook Event the better.