Art All Night DC cover art by Brooke Kao

Email is still seen as a cornerstone of online marketing. It’s often the primary driver of ticket sales, online views, donations, and engagement across the web. But as we were working to promote the first year of Art All Night: Nuit Blanche DC, we had a unique challenge to work with: no email list.

Up against a tight marketing budget, we decided it’s time to rely exclusively on social media, social PR, and word-of-mouth to drive event participation. And the results were great: an estimated 15,000+ people experienced the first year of Art All Night DC.

Most people in DC haven’t heard of the global Nuit Blanche all-night arts festival, or may only know of it from years past in cities like Paris, Barcelona, and Naples. So, we had to both introduce people to the concept, and get them out to the event.

What worked in spreading the message?

Partners: We worked with a group of over 20 amazing cultural partners, who were invaluable in reaching their networks to help spread the word about Art All Night DC. We created a set of simple guidelines for partners to help us promote the event through their own email and social media. Each partner was able to tap its own established audience, which extended our reach immensely across the DC region.

Social Media: We hit social media hard in the weeks and months leading up to the event. Days before the event, each Facebook post was getting us a 5-10% boost in followers. And, Facebook topped our website traffic referrals list by over 4x our #2 referrer (Washington Post). Combined with all of our partners and artists posting and tagging us in social media, the cumulative effect was tremendous.

Social PR: DC PR agency EPGpr helped get Art All Night DC posted on the most important event calendars, blogs, and news outlets that cover the DC arts. The event was Washington Post Going Out Guide’s weekend editors pick, and was featured on NBC Washington and WAMU.

Artists: Over 50 artists were excited to tell their friends about being involved with Art All Night DC. Our artists wrote about the event on their blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s always exciting to work with people who are as invested in bringing attention to an event as we are.

Combined, our work with the event’s partners, social media, social PR, and artists, paid off. The first year of Art All Night DC surpassed our expected attendance and got rave reviews by everyone who visited. We can’t for what’s next with Art All Night: Nuit Blanche DC!

Website Stats

Art All Night DC Web Traffic

Art All Night DC Google Analytics pair

Art All Night DC Referring Stats

Facebook Stats

Art All Night DC Facebook Engagement

A few Tweets


Art All Night DC Twitter recap

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