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Running a Successful Comedy Event.

Andy Robertson

Most of the same event management principles apply in putting on a successful comedy event as a music event but there are a few differences to consider. With a music event you just book your artists, venue and date and go from there whereas a comedy event will be smaller, more intimate and probably more frequent.


The nature of your proposed comedy event will drive how you manage your event. If you intend to run a comedy event bear in mind that you are entering a particularly competitive environment so try and make your event different to distinguish it from the other events taking place.  

Regular comedy events and shows are popular in many cities usually of the stand-up variety in small venues, typically pubs and clubs using an informal cabaret style layout with a smaller more intimate audience experience. Your budget for comedian artists will be small as will your ticket price and venue costs. Most of these events will probably run to a maximum of 10 comedians from semi-professional to complete amateurs and there is often an open invitation to new comedians to showcase their set. Running these small events on a regular basis allows you to develop an audience of enthusiastic dedicated followers. 

Once you’ve got the hang of running smaller regular events you can start to consider larger less frequent events. Start looking at larger venues with a capacity of 300 – 500 using a theatre style layout. With a larger venue you can now generate more interest with a select number of headline comedians perhaps supported by some lesser known artists as warm up acts. Moving up to these larger events is going demand your event management to be much more professional and as a result you can start to see larger revenues.   

Once you have a sizable number of customers who attended previous events you can start considering a larger two or three day festival. Get headline acts for each day with support from less established comedians. You can use this format to run competitions and awards for amateurs wishing to break into a professional career with high profile judging and a people's choice. If you are ruining an event over several days you should plan for at least 15 headline acts and another 100 or so support acts.  

Alternatively, if you have good contacts you could try organising a tour for a headline comedian along with support acts although you would have to offer something extra over and above what the artist can do through their own management team.  

Whatever format of event you choose there are still opportunities to generate additional revenue from sponsors and vendors as with any event. For some reason the larger breweries always seem interested to sponsor comedy events, perhaps it’s the nature of the audience.  

You can make managing your comedy event, no matter how small or large, easier by using an event software solution like FestivalPro. This event management software platform has built in functionality for controlling ticketing, venues, artists, sponsors, vendors and much more. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and are performance artists themselves. Using FestivalPro simplifies your event processes and documentation saving you time and effort. 

Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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