How to Be a Promoter: Career Information by Specialization

May 08, 2021

Ever gone to a 'big' party where hardly anybody showed up? Chances are, the venue and organizers skimped on promotion. Promoters use their education and organizational skills to play an important role in the success of an event.

Essential Information

Promoters focus on creating awareness of a particular product or service such as a musical group or club. If working on promoting a band, the responsibilities could include such items as obtaining venues, advertising events, and setting up and taking down sound equipment. No formal education is necessary to become a promoter, however experience is important. An aspiring promoter should select a specific area such as a local band to focus on to begin this career. A person best suited for this field usually has an outgoing personality and doesn't mind working long hours.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Related work experience
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 6% (advertising and promotions managers)
Annual Median Salary (2020)* $133,460 (advertising and promotions managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A promoter works to draw attention to products, bands, clubs, or parties. Most of the work that is available for promoters is found in the areas of music, club and party promotion. In May 2020, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $208,000 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $68,940 or less per year. The BLS reports employment opportunities for advertising and promotions managers are expected to grow faster than the national average through 2028. Sources differ on education requirements. The BLS states that a bachelor's degree is required for most positions, and preferred degrees include advertising and journalism. According to 'The Princeton Review,' however, no undergraduate or academic degrees must be obtained before becoming a promoter. In either instance, the following real-world steps will help aspiring promoters move ahead in the field.

Step 1: Specialize

Choosing an area of specialization will help you focus your efforts and work toward success. Music promoters work with bands to ensure that their concerts and gigs go smoothly. The duties of a music promoter include booking a venue, securing advertising, finding an opening act and renting sound systems. Club promoters take an existing venue and work with party and music promoters to fill it with exciting concerts and events that will bring in the targeted audience. These individuals might also be tasked with setting up sound equipment, erecting a stage or performance area and/or stocking the club with proper drinks or food.

Step 2: Start Small

Many successful promoters recommend starting on the smaller scale of a local area to become acquainted with the job. For example, targeting a college campus and studying the student population can be a great first step to becoming well-known in your area. Club and party promoters could target venues around the college campus and music promoters could find local bands and talent to begin promoting.

Step 3: Understand Your Crowd

Promoters must be very socially active. Confidence, flamboyance and the ability to sell oneself as the energy source which will make a band, club or party successful is absolutely essential. Part of obtaining this self-confidence is learning to understand the target demographics for the promotion. Charm and the ability to truly hear what the client and others are requesting will serve a promoter well.

Step 4: Realize the Associated Risks & Costs

Making it in a career as a promoter takes a lot of personality and hard work. It is a very high-risk and high-stress job. The up-front costs to the promoter are quite large, as the bills for sound systems and the headlining act go to him or her first and then get passed on to the band. Because a long list of things that could go wrong exists and any one thing could end up being what 'breaks' the event, it is also wise for a promoter of any type to have a back-up plan.

Due to the fact that it is such a high-stress and high-risk profession, only about 25% of all people who become promoters stay in the industry, according to The Princeton Review. Most move on to become part of the support network as public relations agents, advertisers and booking agents.

Step 5: Build a Network

Most promoters swear by building a network of people who are reliable resources. This network consists of public relations personnel, booking agents, advertising professionals, musical talents, venue managers and even other promoters. Promoters of one type often collaborate with other promoters in order to achieve the perfect event or events. When this happens, it creates a win for all involved. Promoters should enjoy the social aspect of working with other competent individuals who understand the nature of their jobs.

Most promoters completed a related bachelor's degree from which they developed important skills such as communication methods, marketing, and visual arts. Successful promoters often start with small jobs and have a good understanding of the financial requirements and risks in trying to reach their intended audience.

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