Promoters are responsible for marketing and branding events in the entertainment industry. They perform contract negotiations and may work for entertainers, venues or large events, such as festivals. While education in a field such as marketing might be helpful for an aspiring promoter, a college degree isn't necessary. You need a passion for the entertainment you promote, an ability to inspire that same enthusiasm in others and a deep understanding of the business aspects of entertainment, such as entertainment law, ticket sales and liability issues.
A primary goal of a promoter is to make sure that people come out for her client's events. Good promoters know exactly which media to contact in order to get the word out. For example, if a promoter is marketing the appearance of a folk singer, she'll contact local newspapers and make sure that local music shops get fliers or posters. Promoters commonly use online media, such as social networking sites and forums, to create buzz.
Since promoters are in charge of marketing events, they usually have input into the branding of an artist, venue or event. A promoter for a music club that specializes in jazz, for instance, chooses images that fans will understand, such as a picture of a saxophone. Promoters often lead the public to associate images with particular venues and acts. They might work with graphic designers and artists or representatives from venues to ensure that all parties approve an event's public image.
Negotiating contracts with venues, acts and vendors is a key responsibility of many promoters. A promoter who works for a particular venue, for example, might set dates and rates of pay with entertainment acts and work with caterers and other suppliers. When promoters work for individual acts, they often seek out venues and negotiate rates of pay, dates and times and amenities, such as hotel rooms and food service.
Promoters usually handle any legal concerns for entertainment acts or venues. If a promoter works for a venue, she might inform clients that the venue won't be responsible for any injuries and make sure that performers sign all relevant documentation. When performers make use of hot lights, pyrotechnics and other potentially dangerous visual effects, promoters must make sure that they have proper insurance.
David Nelson has written about business, management and career guidance for companies such as Conjecture Corporation and Valley Direct Media and has worked in management and as a college level writing tutor. He has a Masters degree in writing from the New School Writing Program in New York City.