Small scaled circus event, and not quite juggulo themed. How does one promote?
September 6, 2010 6:51 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I were sitting around one night listening to an extensive amount of circus music I had the thought... we totally need to put on a circus-themed party. We found and booked a venue with a good friend who owns a bar, booked a few performers (jugglers, contortionists, musicians, all close friends). The date is set, place booked, now for the promotion which will make or break the event.

I need some help in copy for invitations and promotional art. Does anyone know resources to old school invitations to carnivals / circus / events with a feel from the 1920s-40s? We are creating a facebook event and posters and want to stay as close to theme as possible. Any sites or references to help us with promotional gimmicks (totally grass-roots and on a low budget), ideas for the night itself (we will have rubber-duck pool with drink specials written on the bottom of ducks, a makeup artist to work on tips, scary-clown art posted)... would totally love to see what the metafilter community would recommend! Sorry for the horrible grammar. Thank you so much in advance.
posted by hillabeans to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

This recent MeFi post had links to some pix of very old original circus posters. Found in good condition stuck to boards used for walls of a house.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2010

I threw a large dinosaur-themed party and we sent someone in a dinosaur mask to all of the events that our target audience was attending in the month leading up to it, and took photos (which we posted on our well-trafficked website - that option may not be available to you). I imagine you could do the same by sending a juggler to stand outside various nightclubs with flyers in the week leading up to the event.

And invest in having a graphic designer do your promotional work if you're really wanting it to look good.
posted by awesomebrad at 7:15 PM on September 6, 2010

This might be a little older than you want, but this is definitely what I think of with regard to circus advertisements: Leeds Play Bills.

Though it lacks in illustration, this will definitely help with the vaudevillian copy.

You could google "Circus Playbills" if you want more.
posted by AtomicBee at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2010

Here is a promotional gimmick sold by P.T. Barnum at his circuses. A cute card puzzle that can easily be made [boy was I stoked when I worked it out after ~20 minutes of fruitless endeavor - I was just about to Google for a solution].

From a site called "metafiler."
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:17 PM on September 6, 2010

The Circus, 1870-1950 is an amazing resource. You can leaf through it here.
posted by mlis at 7:49 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Whatever you do, don't include clowns in the promotion! You'll freak people out... in a bad way!
posted by Unsomnambulist at 9:10 PM on September 6, 2010

Any circus schools in your area? Get in touch with them.
posted by divabat at 11:11 PM on September 6, 2010

Geordie Juggling Archives might give you some ideas.
posted by emilyw at 12:43 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thousands and thousands and thousand of circus related parafernalia in print. You will find them on the website of the Dutch Circusmuseum.
posted by ouke at 3:40 AM on September 7, 2010

sorry, I see that I missed one s. Here it is: s.
posted by ouke at 3:41 AM on September 7, 2010

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