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5 things that make the perfect publicity poster for your show

The posters that you advertise your show with can make a real difference to the overall uptake of tickets and attendance at your amateur theatre performance. This is your chance, before the show is even cast, to give the audience an impression of what the show will entail and the style it will be performed in. Most importantly though, it will be many peoples first impression of the show and first impressions last.

1. Crystal Clear

Lots of people say the most important thing is that that posters must be ‘eyecatching’ but I disagree to an extent, it’s actually more important that the poster is clear. If a potential audience member can’t see the name of the piece, the dates of performances and any other vital information they won’t be able to remember the name of the show to buy tickets for. Of course, then being eye-catching is important. It’s worth thinking about how your poster looks in different lights, for example, does the readability degrade if you see it in the evening where things are much darker?

2. The Devil’s in the Detail

On a theatre poster, it’s essential to include all of the detail the public needs to book for the show but I see lots of amateur theatre posters which include too much detail to the point where you can’t actually read what it says. I think the key list of details you need is:

  • Name of Producing Company
  • Name of Show
  • Tagline for Show
  • Writer of Show (If Relevant)
  • Composer of Show (If Relevant)
  • Dates of Production
  • Box Office Telephone Number
  • Box Office Website Address
  • Information email address
  • Reviews of previous shows (if you have them)

If you can include this information in a way which doesn’t make the poster feel cramped or poorly laid out then your setting your show up well to sell tickets.

3. Designed to be Great

A good way of ensuring your poster gets noticed (and liked) by the public is to make sure the design is modern and reflects the show well. This might mean taking some atmospheric costume-shots of the cast or having a clever illustration for the poster. Either way, it’s worth considering employing a professional designer to produce the poster in ‘ready to print’ specifications. The prices are probably cheaper than you think, mine start at £25 per poster (subject to specification) and the professional edge can really make the difference between selling tickets and losing audiences. It’s something that’s often neglected by amateur theatre groups but it’s well worth getting right. Take a look at my portfolio here, I offer bespoke designs as well as ‘ready-to-go’ posters which I adapt for your group.

4. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Publicity

If you do have extra room on your poster, it’s worth thinking about including quotes from one or two reviewers (even if these are just audience members) as often a review can convince the public to go and see a show because they fee that it’s been personally recommended to them. Also, don’t be afraid to shout about praise you’ve received. You deserve it!

5. Read All About It!

Last but certainly not least is the distribution of your posters. Stick them everywhere there’s space! Some examples of where you can ask to put up posters is:

  • Tourist information centres
  • Cafes & shops
  • Community centres
  • Libraries
  • Social media pages
  • Car windows
  • Busy places
  • Supermarkets
  • Nearby your venue!

If you can get your poster out and advertising your show, you’re sure to get some great turnouts for audiences and they’ll come expecting a slick, professional show.

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