The comedy scene in many cities around the world has exploded in popularity. Why shouldn’t it? Comedy shows are some of the most fun forms of entertainment available. They’re so fun, in fact, you’re probably wondering how to host a comedy night of your own, right?
You’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn how to run a comedy show effectively in just four easy steps. Let’s take a look…
1. Assess Your Venue
Since you want to learn how to host a comedy night, you probably already have access to a venue. But if not, here are a few things to look for in a space:
Accessible Location: An amazing venue in the middle of nowhere won’t attract a crowd. Make sure your venue is easy to get to for potential attendees.
A Quality Room: Comedy is different from other forms of entertainment. The best rooms have low ceilings and brick walls so that sound reverberates.
Enough Capacity: How many tickets do you need to sell to break even? Make sure your space can hold at least this many people—preferably more.
Proper Facilities: Just because a room is “cool” doesn’t mean it will work. Your venue needs to have, at minimum, a performance space, green room, and bathrooms.
Since we’re talking about venues, we can’t forget to mention equipment. Again, if you own a venue, you probably already have what you need. We’re talking about things like a spotlight, quality microphones and mic stands, and a solid PA system.
2. Go Over Your Financials
Unless you want to lose money (seriously, who would want that?), you need to keep a close eye on your financials when learning how to host a comedy night. How much will it cost to rent your venue? Do you need to rent sound equipment as well? What do your acts charge?
Add everything up to find your break-even point, i.e. the amount of money you need to make back from the comedy show so that you’re not “in the hole” so to speak.
Once you know this bit of crucial information, you can decide on ticket prices. Here’s a good rule of thumb: research what movie tickets cost in your area and price your comedy show the same way. In all likelihood, this means you’ll charge between $8 and $15 a ticket.
Pro Tip: Add 50 cents to every ticket you sell. Why? Because if someone is willing to pay $8 a ticket, they won’t blink at $8.50 and you’ll make more money.
3. Book Your Comedian
You’ve got your venue locked down and a good handle on your financials. Now it’s time to book an act or two. Woohoo, this is the fun part! It’s also the most important step. After all, if your comedian sucks, your show will suck, too.
You don’t need to hire world-famous comedians to successfully host a comedy night. But you do need to book talented individuals who can, you know, make people laugh.
The easiest way to ensure you hire a talented comedian is to work with Funny Business Agency. We’ve been booking comedy shows for almost 30 years and have relationships with a wide range of different acts, from stand up comedians to improv groups.
Note: budget is an important factor when booking comedians. Some acts only charge a hundred bucks a night; others charge thousands. At Funny Business Agency, we can help you book top-level talent at both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between.
4. Promote Your Event
Just because you booked an awesome comedian doesn’t mean people will show up to watch. You need to promote your event to make sure it’s a success. Here are a few marketing ideas:
Social Media: Post on social media multiple times so that all your followers know you plan to host a comedy night. If you have the budget, create a social media ads campaign to get the word out beyond your immediate circle of friends.
Print Materials: Eye-catching flyers, posters, and sandwich boards can work well, too. Just make sure you post them in the right areas. Additionally, visit other comedy events in your area and hand out flyers to attendees.
Local Events Listings: There’s probably a few websites in your area dedicated to local events and entertainment. Ask if they’ll post about your upcoming comedy show. Local newspapers might be interested in helping promote as well.
Of course, you can also pay for billboards and TV/radio commercials to promote your event. But these are often expensive and only make sense for well-known acts.
If you’re looking to host a comedy night, congratulations! You’re about to embark on a fun and rewarding adventure. Will it be difficult? Maybe. But don’t let that stop you. Just follow the four-step process above and you’ll be well on your way to a successful show.
Need help booking the right act for your comedy night? Contact Funny Business Agency and we’ll connect you with a talented comedian that fits your budget.