Bar crawls are a nightlife staple. People love a night out on the town complete with tasty drinks.  What they love even more is when they don’t have to plan out the details (especially after a few microbrews).

However, any city worth its salt is bound to have bar crawls galore booked out every weekend. To ensure that yours stands out and attracts the numbers that you want, follow these four steps:

1. Establish the theme and audience of your bar crawl

Are you looking to snag college kids looking to get to know their new city? Or do you want to take locals out for a spin of your favorite haunted buildings with the addition of themed cocktails?

Holiday themed bar crawls are always popular, but consider thinking outside the box and getting a little more niche:

  • Create a puzzle-driven bar crawl, where patrons have to find the next location based on ciphers, riddles, or clues
  • Create a high-end bar crawl where each bar gets to serve a specialty cocktail or beer made with premium alcohol
  • Create a bar crawl to celebrate a favorite book, movie, or TV show, with costumes, themed snacks, and drinks 

To jumpstart some more great ideas, check out this list of 77 event formats

2. Put together a comprehensive budget for your bar crawl

Decorations. Advertisements. Party favors. Bar crawls may seem simple — get your patrons from point A to point Z — but there are a lot of logistics and costs you may be overlooking, especially when alcohol is involved. 

One big pain point for party creators is how much they should be charging for tickets to stay profitable. The only way to answer that is to understand how much money you’re going to spend. And while budgeting isn’t a fun activity, it’s a crucial first step to improving ROI.

Here’s how to set up your budget for success:

  • Begin every new budget by referencing historical data to fill in the blanks.
  • Map out all your expenses (down to the detail) with this template so you can make informed decisions.
  • Reconsider investments that won’t have significant returns using a simple ROI equation.

Once you have a rough estimate of what the event will cost, set a goal regarding how much profit you hope to make. Those two numbers will help you determine what to charge for tickets. Be mindful that your price should also match the quality and value of your event. In other words, if you’re taking students on a tour of the college bars and not providing any snacks or transportation, charging a steep price will get you nothing more than poor attendance. 

3. Choose a date and the locations of your bar crawl

Take a close look at a local events calendar when choosing a date and time for your bar crawl. Are there other things going on that night locally that might conflict? Are there holidays that might take people out of town, or weather that would make them want to stay in?

As for your starting location, choose a spot that is easy to find and easy to get to. Even if your bar crawl theme is “Hidden Gems,” don’t send people down a dark alley to find your first stop. In addition, it is crucial to maintain consistent communication with all the vendors on your crawl. Give them a sense of when your patrons will arrive, how many there will be, and what they should expect from the crowd. Your attendees may not want to know what’s coming next, but be assured that the bar owners do. Even if you can’t give exact numbers, make sure to discuss things with your vendors beforehand — like their capacity, how many drinks each patron is allowed per ticket, and how to identify who is part of your crawl and who is not. 

4: Promote your bar crawl on Facebook

Each month, 41% of Facebook users engage with events, making it a powerful channel for event discovery. To help people find your bar crawl, be sure to create an official Facebook Event. Doing so increases your organic reach on the platform.

Want to take your promotion even further on Facebook? Here are a few tips:

  • Cross-promote with the bars on your crawl by encouraging them to offer early bird discount codes to patrons 
  • Create Facebook event ads that target people who are interested in local bars or breweries, or that target your ideal attendees based on the school/program they attend
  • Make it easy to buy tickets right on Facebook with a “Buy Tickets” button

Ready to add some flavor to your local nightlife? Create your next bar crawl event today on Eventbrite.