Where to post flyers/ advertise for free in Chicago? And in general, how to get hired for a block party?
March 5, 2009 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Where to post flyers/ advertise for free in Chicago? And in general, how to get hired for a block party?

Hey hey Chicagoland Mefites.

I'm expanding my little business that I use to pay tuition- I work b-day parties and block parties as a face painter. I'm looking for a way to effectively advertise for free- specific to Chicagoland.

I've been getting an OK response from craigslist, but I want more business. Besides, I understand that people are probably reluctant to hire someone from CL for their kid's party! I posted some flyers in my local Jewel and Dominicks, but no response so far. I checked my local library, but their bulletin board is non-profit only. A friend of mine has offered to help me put together a little website, so that should help, but in the meantime- any other ideas? Specific is good- if you know of a particular store/coffee shop/ whatever in the area that has a bulletin board, what and where is it? Of course, places where people with kids would go are ideal. I'm willing to devote an entire day to driving around and putting up my little flyers, I just don't know where to go. But block party season is rapidly approaching and I'm trying to figure out the most effective way to get that business. For any of you who have organized block parties . . . how did you find your entertainment? Also, when it comes to putting up flyers in grocery stores, what Chicago neighborhoods would you recommend/discourage (i.e. where do people with kids tend to live or not live?) I don't have kids, I have no clue. Oh and suburbs are fair game too. My business seems to be about 50/50 in the burbs and in the city proper.

Thanks everyone, for your infinite wisdom :-) any and all advice on how to improve my little business is welcome.
posted by lblair to Grab Bag (2 answers total)
Back in 98-99, I used to work for an event production company in the Chicago suburbs that would do all kinds of parties like birthdays, HUGE family reunions, but a lot of times we did corporate stuff such as promo events and company picnics where the families and kids came and there were DJs, dancers, rides, bouncy castles and face painters. These events were mostly in the summer, but all over the Chicago area. In most cases, you needed a car to get wherever the event was.

Since then that company seems to have expanded into a lot of other things but it looks like they still do parties and corporate events. There was at the time and probably still are A LOT of companies in the Chicagoland area that do this sort of thing.

So, perhaps, in addition to the website, you can put together a nice full-color flyer with some photos of your best work and contact info and send them to some of these companies. Or do some cold calling to these companies and ask if they would like to have more info.

Google: party production, event production, event management

Hope this helps.
posted by chillmost at 12:54 AM on March 6, 2009

Sorry advice above didn't specifically pertain to block parties.

Putting up flyers is fine, but I think getting in direct contact with the organizers is going to work best. I guess in order to put on a block party you need to get permits, right? Is it possible to call the city and ask who is organizing what parties? There seems to be a lot of block parties on the google, some with partial contact info. This website with scheduled events and street closings or something similar might point you in the right direction.
posted by chillmost at 1:10 AM on March 6, 2009

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