Q: Dear Mr. Fringey,
Read your reviews of Cap Fringe. Wondering how many postcards I need. As an out of towner, I won't be able to pre-distribute cards many places and my trip to DC is actually a family vacation. So I can hand out cards... but not a full court press. The Fringe recommends printing 3000. That amount seems excessive to me (?). Wanted to get your advice.
A:3,000 cards is excessive! I don't know where they got that whack number from, especially since the Cap fringe isn't really a postcard fringe.
You hardly see any performers handing out postcards in DC. You’ll see me and if you join me, then you can feel like a freak like me. At other fringes, everybody is fighting to get a good spot to hand out their cards. In DC it’s like a ghost town.
I run 1,000 per fringe and my other fringe pals who sell out their fringe shows run the same amount. To really get the most bang for your buck I would only devote 20% to stacks around town and at Fringe central. So don’t sweat the stacks!
That means 800 should be put in the hands of ticket buyers directly.
Once you're there, you'll get an idea of which fringe shows are sell-outs. When you find out, you'll want to get outside the door when that show ends and put a card in everyone that leaves the show.
That’s it. Good luck!
PS. The second most effective way to market your show at the Cap fringe besides the Postcard is the Shout Out!
What is this? Well, since I already know your show is going to be good, at the end of my show I’m going to shout out, “Hey everyone, if you’re looking for another great show to see, make sure you check out “so and so’s show.” I may give out up to 4 shout outs at the end of my show. This is totally cool to do at the Fringe.
Often, at the end of my show I’ll say, “Are there any other fringe performers in the audience who have a show?” Then, I’ll ask them to stand up and announce their show.