Comedy is No Funny Business
Stand Up, Austin! exists to spark and boost healthy civic lives with fun and informative events. To make that world a reality we are marketing, producing, and presenting a live comedy show on April 11 at Spider House Ballroom. Before we invest more time and resources into the concept, we need to know: if we can create a comedic event that is fun and informative; and if people will pay to participate in such an event.
With showtime only weeks away, we spent the past week promoting the event, refining design prototypes, and developing a pitch deck for our start-up. It has been challenging wearing three very different hats: entrepreneur, project manager, and designer.
We spent the week focused on promotion activities to get the word out about our special event. Our focus has been on a website, event calendars and media outreach to help us reach a diverse audience, social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), posters placed on over 100 community bulletin boards in Austin, and postcards distributed to barbershops and community gathering places.
To create a fun and informative event, we are designing the event to include games, activities, and interactions that will spark interest in civic life. We are also partnering with civic organizations to provide information and opportunities for people to get involved.
After one-week of promotion, we are receiving positive signals from the community. Our one metric that matters (OMTM), a single number that we care the most about at this stage our development, upvotes on a popular event calendar, Do512. Do512 has over 1M monthly page views, 78% of their audience is between the ages of 18-44 and 195k Twitter followers. Calendar events make it on their front page based on popular vote.
We want to keep our event ticket fees as low as possible so that cost is not a barrier to participate. We are bootstrapping the first show and raising funds with friends and family. In the future, we plan to seek grants from the Cultural Arts Division, City of Austin Office of Economic Development to support marketing, production, and presentation of future events.
We continue to receive affirmation from Austinites and partners that our concept of uniting comedy and local civic life has merits. While completing usability tests of the website, we heard things like “I’d love to go with my boyfriend,” and “this looks like a diverse event, you don’t see that often in Austin.”
Despite the positive traction and affirmations, we are working with a significant amount of ambiguity. For example, without creative control of the content delivered by comic partners, it is difficult to know if we will be on point with message and tone. We keep moving and work toward realizing our first event so that can continue to iterate and refine our start-up.
How you can help
In order to test our concept, we need 75 to 100 people to attend our event on April 11 at Spider House Ballroom. In less than 5 minutes, you can help us by:
- Visiting Do512 and vote for Stand Up, Austin! A Civic Comedy Show. Simply click the “upvote” button on the event listing.
- Sharing the Facebook Event with your friends.
- Pitching in to help us replicate the financial component of our business model (grants) by making a small donation.