Scott Dalgleish
Scott Dalgleish

The Edinburgh Fringe – More Than Just a Festival – It’s a Network

With August now in full swing in Edinburgh the festival has seamlessly swung into action without a moment’s notice and, before we knew it, the capital city become more like a carnival.

Hostels and hotels have been booked for months, every spare couch is taken up by high-paying festival-goers and every available room in the city is given chairs, a microphone and a mini-fridge for beer. The Fringe is here!

However, there is something else that goes unnoticed under the festivities – the people. The acts practice and rehearse for a calendar year but it could not come off if not for all the people that have to come together for every little bit of the festival to run smoothly.

When you take a minute to sit back and look at things you realise that there is an incredible amount of different talents all amalgamating in the centre of a relatively small city; it is filled with experienced people, fresh faces, new innovations, new ideas and people with sheer determination. It all adds to the spectacle.

What is the importance of this you may ask? Well, from getting to know a few acts it is clear to see that they have a passion for their projects and passion helps push people to great things and to achieve their absolute best - so why not utilise the massive surrounding cast of the Fringe?

When showcasing your best talent you need to ensure that the right people are seeing this talent. It all boils down to networking – if I was to go to an event I would want to see who else was attending and be able to see who I could talk to that may open up some opportunities in my field of work.

The Edinburgh Fringe will be full to the brim with people who can open opportunities in almost any industry; performance, event management, tourism, food & drink, public relations, marketing – not to mention the number of recruiters that will be in Edinburgh throughout August. But, unlike myself going to an event, the prospects of meeting highly influential people can sometimes be lost in the creative atmosphere.

For the acts there is a far more pressing demand – how to attract reviewers. Reviewers are in high demand because they have a far bigger reach with the power of online media.

Individual blogs, online magazines and reviewer sites like Chortle using more and more free agent reviewers to cover more shows mean there are a lot of opportunities to get your show some review publicity. There are the traditional ways to promote your show; the Fringe directory, website, flyering, posters and the popular Fringe app. But there are more direct options.

With some clever growth hacking skills you can bolster the awareness of your show. We know that almost everyone coming to visit the Fringe will be looking for recommendations from places they trust, more and more this means turning to their peer groups within their social media circles rather than professional opinion.

Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Flickr, Periscope, Twitch, Snapchat… the list is almost endless. You need to be present in the areas where your show can be recommended. With online tools for scheduling, monitoring mentions and tags and engaging with people talking about your show you will be sure to make a great impression.

All in all, when you let yourself become immersed in the festivities it becomes near impossible not to enjoy yourself and even if you don’t meet the right people for you, they will be truly interesting none the less.

Scott Dalgleish works at growth hacking agency Round Door., Tel. 07757302693