Professional partying more than a part-time job

Student promoters make it their job to throw memorable parties.

By Siobhan Reid

Student promoters make it their job to throw memorable parties.

Weeks before an event, they’re busy managing the advertising and promotion, and ensuring they have everything they need for an unforgettable party.

“There are a lot of duties,” says Adrian Upward, co-founder of Swag Hali, “speaking with club owners, making proposals, getting posters, managing Facebook, Twitter and our music blog, running the clothing line, searching for gigs, promoting sales of merchandise. The list goes on.”

Post-event, the promoters are responsible for making “last night’s evidence” viral, as stated on Blackout Behavior’s website.

Will Robillard Cole says that Blackout Behavior and its sister blog, Halifornia.net has become a "household name" in Halifax.
Will Robillard Cole says that Blackout Behavior and its sister blog, Halifornia.net has become a "household name" in Halifax. (Siobhan Reid photo)

“Especially now, with Facebook, everybody wants to see the photos. It makes everyone’s social life very accessible, so there is great interest there,” says Maddie McNeely.

She is a NSCAD student who has done promotional photography for Swag Hali and recognizes the demand for the industry in Halifax.

In addition to the photo archives on many of the websites, there are videos, reviews, and blogs outlining the specifics of the night.

“It’s a way for a culture to be expressed in Halifax,” says Will Robillard Cole, the marketing director for Halifornia.net. “Street culture, the E.D.M scene (electric dance music) and just cool stuff that students are into.”

McNeely has photographed three events for Swag Hali, her incentive for getting involved was “experience and money.”

Related Resources
Blackout Behavior’s Facebook page lists upcoming Halifax events that the company is promoting.

For many of the other promoters, their commitment requires up to 15 hours of work a week.

“It’s pretty hard to balance. I’m only taking three courses this semester,” says Upward.

Evan McIntyre, who works as an editor and a press contact for The New Halifax, says it’s hard to quantify his work in hours, as most of promoting involves constant updating of social media feeds and blogs throughout the day.

A Swag Hali promotional photo taken at The Palace nightclub. (Maddie McNeely photo
A Swag Hali promotional photo taken at The Palace nightclub. (Maddie McNeely photo)

“I put a lot (of effort) in it because I know networking and making contacts has paid off and will pay off more in the future. I am also pretty nerdy when it comes to different kinds of media and I like learning the many different ways you can spread a message effectively in the 21st century,” says McIntyre.

If you think you’re cut out for the demanding, exhausting promotions industry, Upward says you may have what it takes.

“The best promoters I know are good under pressure. Usually quick thinking and have a good business sense. Also, you need to have unlimited amounts of energy as sleep is usually hard to come by,” says Upward.

Related audioWill’s interview
Will Robillard Cole explains how a personal blog evolved into Halifornia.