A comedy show is the perfect after-dinner detour, date night, or family bonding experience. An awesome comedian can make audiences howl with laughter, satirize current issues, and tell relatable jokes. A comedy event can even have health benefits for watchers. Research has shown that laughter has many short- and long-term advantages, including boosting your immune system, improving your mood, and reducing stress levels.
Organizing a comedy performance can help you spread the medicine of laughter and offer feel-good entertainment for audiences. Here are Events.com’s top tips for hosting a great comedy show that will delight your audience.
9 Steps For Hosting a Comedy Show
At first glance, organizing a comedy show seems simple. All you need to do is find a funny comedian, right? Not so fast. If you want to host a successful comedy show, you’ll need to consider many factors, including advertising, merchandise design, ticket sales, and venue location.
Fortunately, planning your event doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. Here are nine easy steps that you can use to coordinate an excellent comedy performance.
1. Determine Your Event Budget
Creating a reasonable budget is one of the most essential steps to hosting a comedy show. Costs can quickly mount as you pay for advertising, compensate your comedians, rent a venue, and more. Setting a budget ahead of time will help keep your experience planning process affordable.
- Research similar comedy shows to estimate typical expenses. Network with other event planners and learn from their challenges and successes.
- Create a detailed budget template outlining all the items and services that you expect to pay for. You can include information like a short description of each expense, the number of every item that you will purchase, and extra fees like sales tax.
- Contact vendors for estimates. It can be helpful to reach out to several competing companies to find the best price.
- Reserve money for emergency expenses that may arise at the last minute, like needing to replace broken equipment.
As you start planning your comedy show, check and update your budget regularly to make sure that you stay on track with your spending goals.
2. Find the Right Venue for Comedy Night
Locating the perfect venue will help you create an authentic experience that audiences will talk about for months after your comedy show. But finding the best location can also be challenging, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
First, consider the size of your potential audience. You’ll want to ensure that your chosen venue can comfortably accommodate all attendees. In a too-small venue, for instance, audience chatter before the show may sound overwhelmingly loud, and there may be inadequate seating.
To estimate the size of your audience, you can perform market research on similar events. How big of a crowd has your chosen comedian attracted in the past? Are there many competing comedy events in your area, or will your show stand out as a rare opportunity to enjoy a performance?
Once you’ve determined your anticipated crowd size, you can narrow your list of prospective venues further by reflecting on the space requirements for your event. Do you plan to serve dinner before or during your show? If so, you’ll want to select a venue with appropriate kitchen space and staffing.
Additionally, consider the needs of your prospective performers. Do they need access to a platform that can serve as a stand up comedy stage? Does your comedian thrive when performing in front of a large audience, or do they prefer the intimacy of a cozy comedy show with fewer guests?
Finally, find reviews of the venue and speak with other event planners familiar with the location. By keeping your needs and the past experiences of others in mind, you can find the best venue for your comedy show.
3. Ensure the Venue Is Central to Transportation
Choosing a centrally located venue close to transportation options will make your event more accessible and convenient for attendees. It’s always a smart idea to ensure that your guests have adequate and safe parking options nearby.
It can also be helpful to select a venue close to public transportation and hotels. This type of setting can make your event more appealing for out-of-town attendees and people who don’t drive.
Additionally, attendees may be more willing to indulge in alcoholic beverages and stay up late for a comedy night show if they can use a ride-sharing service or take a bus home afterward.
4. Book Your Comedians and Entertainment
After you’ve selected your venue, you can line up your comedians. Your booking decisions will play a significant role in the success of your comedy show. A talented comedian can make any event fun and memorable, while an unfunny performer can ruin the atmosphere for even the most well-planned performance.
Watching comedy performances is one of the most effective ways to find the funniest comedians. You can attend a comedy special that features entertainers you’re interested in booking or view recordings of previous events.
As you watch performances, look for those signs of a skilled comedian:
- A conversational tone
- The ability to put the audience at ease with their jokes and persona
- Use of facial expressions, gestures, and other body language elements to captivate the audience and tell an engaging story
- At the end of the show, they leave the audience hungry for more jokes
You can also host an open mic night comedy show as an audience warmup or as your main event. This event allows amateur performers to take the stage and tell jokes. These performances can help emerging comedians gain confidence and try out new routines.
5. Secure Vendors, Sponsors, and Sound Equipment
You’ll need trustworthy teammates and appropriate equipment to organize a successful comedy show.
You’ll probably want to outsource some of your work to skilled vendors who can provide goods and services like catering, decorations, and graphic design. Reviews from other event planners can help you find the most reliable vendors. The best companies often book out far in advance, so you should start approaching vendors as soon as you select an event date and venue.
Your comedy show may also benefit from event sponsorship. These partnerships can attract new attendees, increase your event’s credibility, and offer financial support. To secure corporate sponsors, search for organizations with similar goals and focus on developing personal relationships with their leaders.
Finally, you may also need to purchase or rent lighting and sound equipment, especially if you book a large venue. Quality microphones ensure that all audience members can hear the comedian, and adjustable lighting can help set a comfortable mood.
6. Price and Distribute Tickets Appropriately
Every event planner wants to organize sold-out performances. To maximize sales of comedy event tickets, you can use comparable shows as a guide to set ticket prices.
You can distribute tickets in several formats, including:
- Digital tickets that can be scanned on a mobile device for maximum convenience
- Discounted tickets for bloggers, reviewers, and other influential people
- Physical tickets printed at the event or sold ahead of time
- VIP tickets that give audience members special access to the comedian and other perks
If you’re using your comedy event to raise money for charity, you can also think of funny fundraising ideas to generate additional revenue, like silly activities for guests to complete as they wait for the show to start.
7. Promote Your Comedy Festival
Even the most expertly planned comedy festival won’t sell tickets if no one has heard of it. Here are a few easy strategies that you can use to promote your show:
- Advertise your event on social media
- Collaborate with affiliate marketers
- Create an event brand with distinctive colors, fonts, and themes
- Use Events.com to create a stylish webpage with information about your comedy event
8. Prepare for Potential Setbacks on Event Night
No matter how carefully you plan your comedy show, you may find yourself dealing with unanticipated challenges on event night, such as a sick performer or inclement weather. It can be helpful to think of a plan B ahead of time in case you need to make last-minute changes.
For example, you can:
- Have a backup location if you plan to host an outdoor event
- Move your event to a virtual format
- Reschedule your event for another date
9. Sell Merchandise for Your Comedians and Club
Many comedy clubs and performers sell custom merchandise. These items can generate additional revenue for your event and allow audience members to purchase a memorable souvenir.
Strategies to boost merchandise sales include:
- Advertising the merchandise ahead of time in promotional materials
- Following current merchandise trends
- Syncing the merchandise design with your event brand
- Targeting merchandise toward your expected audience
Simplify Your Event Planning With Event Management Software
Hosting a great comedy show can be fun and rewarding but involves many decisions and steps. Events.com offers affordable and convenient event management software that can streamline event planning. Our technology can help you create custom landing pages, monitor customer engagement, sell tickets, and more.
Ready to take your comedy show to the next level? Contact us today for a free demo. We’ll show you how our event planning software can revolutionize your event planning.