Random Thoughts

Afterthoughts — Underground Comedy Club presents Marlon Davis

Lots of things learnt after the 5th Underground Comedy Club event.

We only sold 20 tickets, whereas last month it was a full house of 60 (including the comics). I am curious whether it has anything to do with the lack of flyers handed out within the 2 weeks leading up to the event?

I wanted to see the impact of social media alone, and therefore, didn’t hand out any flyers all over Notting Hill. This convinces me that there is still a place for flyers. In fact you could say they are essential! Especially at this early stage of the Underground Comedy Club.

Naturally the big boys like The Comedy Store have such a massive following and reputation that they can rely on tickets being sold online before each event. (Though I am sure they keep a close eye on it and advertise and flyer whenever needed.)

I cannot simply sit back and rely on social media or Facebook Adverts to gather the masses.

Do you guys know about Facebook Adverts?

For a small fee (or a seriously large one) FB will push your events, or even a single post, to a large number of people on a daily basis who have shown interest in that subject, i.e. stand up comedy or Ben Norris (our headliner on the 16th Oct).

I have spent a few months trying it out, and though on paper the results look great with some events showing 40 – 60 people eager to attend the event, in reality that number is reduced to a more realistic 3 – 4 i.e. around 10%.

But maybe that’s just the way it is. Maybe that’s why you need to tick all the boxes of FB, Twitter, flyers, word‐of‐mouth, repeat customers, newsletters, venue chalk boards, blogs, TimeOut London or Chortle Adverts etc. Maybe those 3 to 4 people from each area will slowly become 5 – 6 people, then 7 – 8 etc. from each type of advertising.

I’ve learnt that it’s hard to get people through the door. It’s also hard to not over‐spend on the budget trying to get more people through the door. I suppose the bottom line is to just keep going and do as much of the leg work myself.

This month was the first month I didn’t perform. It felt a little too safe for my liking. Once the night kicked off, all I had to do was sit back and watch. I missed the excitement, the fear, the interaction with the audience. The performing part is as important, if not more important, than the event. Don’t get me wrong, running another successful night is a great achievement in itself, and if everyone enjoyed the night that’s a job well done. Though for me personally I want to be involved in the performance element as well. Therefore I feel the best option will be to move back to MC and act as a support roll for the pro comics. It will also allow me to mention up‐and‐coming events and anything I feel is important at the time.

On a more positive note, although I have lost money at each monthly event, that loss does reduce each month, and as I prepare for the 6 month mark I feel confident that the Underground Comedy Club is heading in the right direction and will break even soon. Crumbs, I might even make a profit!

What to do next month: 

  • Ticket price must increase slightly to cover outgoings?
  • Reduce the pro acts to 3 and bring in a semi‐pro act to create variety (though as acts are already booked in, this will happen in 2015
  • Move myself back to the MC spot
  • Keep the portable PA System, it is worth the monthly fee. Possible look into purchasing the unit or similar
  • Increase amount of Flyers handed out
  • Keep going!

Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.

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