Friday, April 8, 2011

Anniversary Posters are Ready!

Remember I said I had a cool idea for my 10th anniversary show? Well I did it.

With the help of a parent with graphic design skills, we created a "Growing Up in Dance" poster for our students to customize with 3 photos of themselves growing up as dancers.

The theme of our recitial is of course "Growing up in Dance" with a garden backdrop from Backdrops Fantastic. (I can't wait to see it) So, in keeping with that theme we created a poster with three large flowers with the center of the flower blank (insert photo). When done the dancers will have a keepsake to hang in their bedrooms and remember how much they love to dance.

I wrote a cute little poem that runs up one of the flower stems. It says, "From my first little sprout to my long straight stem. I'm a dancer now and that will never end."

I hope they enjoy customizing their posters. We are going to display all 220 of them at the show in the entrance. I'll take a picture and post when I can.

Feel free to use this idea in your own studio. I'll let you know how it's received by the parents and students. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

If you need a printer/designer my friends at Kramer Printing in Madison, Wis. can work with you from anywhere in the USA.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Are you on hold with the costume company?

If you've been on hold more than 20 minutes with a costume company this season raise your eyebrows!

I thought so. It's frustrating that after all these years some companies with a long history of costuming still can't get enough people on the phones during recital season. I'm not naming names because I do respect the companies that help us dress our dazzling dancers, but I do hope they read this post!

Being on hold is managable, you put it on speakerphone and do some other work while you wait, but it's really not a great way to do business. There are many phone companies that could work with costume makers to route calls, staff up and give them some advice. So, to all those costume companies reading this --- please call your local phone system provider and get some free advice!

There is a lesson here for all of us business owners. Understand what the phone experience is like from your customers point of view. Do your phones get answerered on time? How does your on hold music sound? What does your voice mail message say? How do people answer the phone? Call yourself and check it out.

Take some time and work with your local phone provider to find out if there are new technologies you can use as a small business owner. There are many new solutions such as VoIP that are affordable and flexible -- call the local phone company for help and free advice.

Getting ready for the big show. Recital time.

It's recital time. Dance teachers across the country are working hard this time of year making sure their year-end recital keeps students (and parents) coming back for more. I know you are all old pro's at this, but it's important to remember to work ahead so you have time at the end for the "little extras" that make the recital work as a marketing tool for you.

Don't forget to do some PR:

Send out a press release to your local paper(s) and local radio station if you have one.

Schedule "Break a Leg" posts on your Facebook page.

Consider inviting media to attend picture night or dress rehearsal to get some good pictures for that press release.

Radio stations are often forgotten, but a pair of tap shoes can make a create audio story. Think about it! Call the station and offer to do an interview about Dance. (National Dance Week makes a good reason as well, but tie in your own show too.)

Take out an ad for special anniversary years to recognize your staff/students/community for their support. Remind your local Chamber of Commerce (hope you are a member) that your event is coming up and to add it to their newsletter.

Write up your comments now, so you don't forget to say all the right things at your show.

Pick out your own outfits/shoes etc. You don't want to look like a tired out dance teacher at the performance. Dress up! Market yourself. (At my school I've made a tradition of getting some "cool shoes" the girls all wait to see which high heels I will wear. )

It's important to remember that the entire recital experience is your opportunity to "sell" your program to your existing parents and also to new ones. That critical word of mouth marketing can only happen if you give them something great to TALK about!

Break a Leg!

Releve' Dance Poster sample

Releve' Dance Poster sample
sample of poster