Bring Jump with Jill to your next community event, health fair, or performance venue. Get those butts in the seats with these tips:
1) Pick your venue. We’ve played everything from a high school to a baseball stadium. Choose a place that is easy to get to and viewed by your community as “the place to go!” for events. Consider collaborating with local venues to keep rental expenses low. For example, if the local high school loans you the space, offer to feature their show choir as Jill’s opening act. The best turn outs tend to happen when you have an annual event, where people already have their calendars marked for your event.
Performing at a new state of the art facility at a local high school:
Playing a baseball stadium:
2) Think theme. Health is usually the theme for a Jump with Jill event, but the best events have a specific overarching message. In Omaha, NE, we worked with the Westside Community Schools around a theme called Food Evolution, a correction to Food Revolution popularized by Jamie Oliver. Food Service Director Diane Zipay felt that school food didn’t need another restart – it needed to gain traction and evolve to a healthier menu!
The Green Bay Parks & Recreation Department wanted kids and families to use their FREE outdoor spaces more frequently and take advantage of Green Bay’s award-winning tap water. So we staged a large outdoor event for kids and families to attend, complete with a water “tap,” wait staff, and free water bottles.
3) Include your community. Host a health fair that features local vendors prior to the show. Include activities like nutrition arts and crafts, or hula hoop contest. Many choose to make the Jump with Jill community performance a celebration for other events championed throughout the year, like a recipe contest.
Consider a raffle to win gift cards to local businesses. Jill can announce winners after the show to get people to stay for the entire event and she can sign paraphernalia for giveaways!
4) Approach sponsors. Approach your local grocery stores, dairy councils, and health departments. Many not only have an interest in health, many are looking for ways to be publically associated with healthy events. In exchange for donating money to make the event happen, companies need publicity in exchange. You can display their logo in the Jump with Jill set, ask Jill to appear on the news on their behalf, and give out coupons after the show. If you see a good fit for a sponsor, connect your sponsor with Mark Jayne, the communications manager at Jump with Jill. We can help you manage your sponsor relationship so they feel like they are getting the biggest bang for their buck.
As an example, Jump with Jill recently toured Southern Illinois on behalf of the American Cancer Society. Here is Jill’s media interview where she discusses the links of obesity and cancer:
Here is Jill appearing with chefs from a cooking camp with Fontbonne University:
5) Design promotional materials. Get them around town and all over your social media! We offer all of our media images for easy design – download them here.
Get Jill to make a custom message for your school or community:
6) Make the event seem exclusive. Even offering the event for free does not guarantee that people will come. Many of our clients offer tickets or a 1-800/ local RSVP phone number for reservations and check names off as people arrive.
7) Write a press release. Jill is happy to do press events, interviews, and autograph signings to promote your event.
Samples of press releases from recent events:
Samples of press generated from community events:
8) Get ready to rock. Help the Jump with Jill team deliver the product you promised. Jump with Jill is a professional theatrical production that has been performed 1,000 times for more than 250,000 kids all over the United States. Our biggest variable is a constantly changing performance space. We need your assistance with the following to maintain the quality of our show and ensure the safety of all in attendance.
HYPE THE SHOW
You can build hype for the show by playing the Jump with Jill CD we mail in advance of the show over the morning announcements or in your PE or music class. We will also email a tour poster for you to display around school to get kids ready to rock. Kids can start learning the dance moves by watching free educational videos at www.jumpwithjill.com. If the event is open to the public, please email any links or registration information to us so Jill can mobilize her fanbase.
HOW TO SET UP THE PERFORMANCE SPACE
We come with our own sound system and wireless microphones, but could use your help to:
- Clear off the stage, using the space behind the back curtain for storage.
- Set a row of chairs for teachers on each side with room and create a 4-foot aisle down the middle with PE cones.
- If your stage is shared with your cafeteria, fold up and safety store any cafeteria tables. Mopping may be necessary, so please engage support staff early so the floor has time to dry.
- If there is something on the stage or behind the stage (like a bathroom) that is normally used when there is not a show, create a plan to detour foot traffic from crossing the stage. Inform Jill of these changes so she can offer instructions.
WHEN WE WILL ARRIVE
We arrive an hour and a half before starting a show to load in our equipment. Please have someone at your school prepared to let us into the performance space at this time. If you have an additional dolly available, please provide it to expedite load-in.
MEET WITH JILL
Once we have unloaded and before Jill starts setting up the show, Jill will meet with you. Plan to:
- Discuss the best setup for the show.
- Receive an autographed flier for each student. These should be distributed by class to teacher’s mailboxes.
- Confirm that you have received the CDs in advance of the show.
- Confirm the start and end times of the show, emphasizing any essential deadlines like the start of lunch or dismissal.
- Provide any specific references to your wellness efforts (e.g. All Sports Day, new item on the school menu) and the proper people to thank for bringing in the show. Jill does not need an introduction. She spends the time while students are filling the performance space to warm up, introduce herself, and review proper audience behavior for the show.
- Provide the cast with drinking water.
- Recommend a place nearby where we can find a healthy and fast lunch after the show.
BEFORE KIDS ENTER THE ROOM
Before you start letting kids into the performance space, give Jill a yell that you are ready to open the house. Sometimes we are sound checking or handling a wardrobe malfunction.
9) Document your event. Hire a photographer to document your event because even if you aren’t successful at getting the media to come out to the event, you can submit photos to press for post-event publication. If you are working with a grant to fund the event, it’s a great way to show your funder the details of their investment.
10) Send thank you notes from participating kids to your sponsors. Help your funders understand the impact they have had on actual children.
Click below to see how the Junior League of Corpus Christi collected notes from kids, published them in their newsletter, and presented them to their event sponsors.