Engaging Applicants Post-Audition: 3 Impactful Strategies

Published February 6th, 2024

The final day of auditions has come to an end, and you’re excited by all the talent you’ve seen. However, one notable reality of the performing arts world is that you can’t accept everyone. You may have scheduled auditions in the dozens or even thousands, but the limited space in your program means that you’ll have to send out some rejections.

Whether you’re sharing celebration-worthy updates or less-than-ideal news, the promising connections you’ve built with applicants don’t have to end with their auditions. With a thoughtful post-audition engagement strategy, you can cultivate a community of passionate individuals eager to engage with your performing arts organization’s goals and activities for the long term.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the importance of engaging applicants after their auditions and three impactful strategies you can adopt to ensure success.

Why is Post-Audition Engagement Important?

Regardless of whether you’re a decision-maker at a conservatory evaluating prospective students or an association putting on its national performing arts competition, you likely understand just how consequential your auditions are to your applicants. Therefore, as you evaluate them during their performances and follow up with them afterward, it’s essential to demonstrate that you recognize and value them as individuals.

According to eCardWidget, developing an appreciation strategy can not only make your auditionees feel better about their participation, but it can also bring significant benefits to your organization. Taking the time to engage with applicants after their auditions leads to:

  • Enhanced reputation. Chances are, your applicants have been to auditions in the past where they had to wait a long period of time to receive the results or simply never heard back at all. By consistently following up with auditionees in a prompt, thoughtful, and encouraging manner, you can establish an image of professionalism and respect for your performing arts organization.

  • Increased reach. If your applicants leave your auditions with a positive experience, they’ll be much more likely to speak highly of your organization with their family, friends, and acquaintances. This doesn’t only apply to those you accept. As long as you demonstrate that you’re invested in building long-term relationships with them, your auditionees will appreciate your efforts and care regardless of their audition’s outcome.

  • A sense of community. The performing arts are all about community—connecting talented artists and passionate audience members from around the world through shared interests. Strengthen the community around your organization by inviting all of your applicants to be a part of it. You can engage with them by inviting them to upcoming performances and notifying them of performance opportunities they can look into.

With these benefits in mind, it’s clear that post-audition engagement is a win-win for both your applicants and your organization. Your organization secures more support, and your applicants walk away from their auditions with more than just a “yes” or “no” answer.

3 Strategies for Engaging Applicants Post-Audition

With the right approach, your organization can effectively engage applicants following their auditions without having to expend significantly more time and resources to do so. Follow these key strategies to maximize your results:

1. Thank applicants for auditioning.

Your applicants put a lot of preparation into their in-person or online auditions. Recognize them for their efforts by sending a prompt follow-up thanking them for auditioning. While you’re likely used to receiving thank-you emails from auditionees, expressing their appreciation for your time and consideration, you can make a lasting impression by turning gratitude into a two-way street.

One easy way to accomplish this is by leveraging eCard tools. To send these quick thank-you messages, all you need to do is:

  • Design an eCard. Start from scratch or use pre-made templates to create an eye-catching eCard for your organization. Add your brand colors, logo, and other images so that your recipients will automatically know that the message is from your organization.

  • Personalize each thank-you eCard. It may not be possible to add a personal note to each and every eCard, but simply including the applicant’s first and last name can go a long way toward making them feel individually seen and valued by your organization.

  • Schedule the eCards to be sent. Once you’ve crafted and personalized your eCards, all that’s left to do is schedule them to be sent to applicants. You can deliver these through email or even through text messages. Many eCard solutions allow you to track whether recipients have opened your eCards, making it easy for you to verify applicants’ email addresses and keep in touch with them moving forward.

eCards provide auditionees with a lasting memento of their experience with your organization. This reminder will keep your organization top of mind for applicants and make them more likely to engage with your future auditions, events, and more.

2. Invite applicants to stay connected.

Beyond thanking your auditionees, make it clear that your organization is interested in remaining connected for the long term. While there are only so many auditions they can attend with you, there are numerous other ways they can continue to interact.

In your follow-up communications, encourage applicants to:

  • Sign up for your email newsletter. Your email newsletter provides its subscribers with important updates and news related to your organization. By signing up, your applicants can stay informed about any future opportunities that may interest them, such as auditions or competitions.

  • Follow your organization on social media. Improve your social media presence by asking auditionees to follow your organization on its various platforms. There, they can join groups, share relevant content such as their audition experience, and meet other users with similar passions and interests.

  • Attend an upcoming event. Send event invitations to your applicants so that they can appreciate what your organization has to offer beyond its auditions. For instance, if you’re hosting a festival in the coming month or so, encourage auditionees to attend! This is a wonderful opportunity for them to learn more about their passion and your organization.

According to 360MatchPro’s free nonprofit marketing tools guide, there are a variety of online resources that your organization can take advantage of to streamline its communications with applicants. Take the time to research useful additions to your toolkit, from social media scheduling tools to stock photo libraries.

3. Support applicants by sharing tips and other content.

Demonstrate to your auditionees, as well as other members of your community, that you’re invested in their long-term success by producing a variety of educational content for them to reference. This establishes your organization as a relevant, authoritative resource in your applicants’ lives.

Consider these compelling content ideas as a jumping-off point:

  • Tips on filming an effective audition video

  • Main takeaways from your latest round of auditions

  • Interviews with successful applicants

  • Video clips from strong auditions

To increase your reach, post this content on multiple platforms. For instance, you may want to discuss audition best practices on your college website’s blog, feature applicants on your social media pages, and send out insights in your email newsletter.

By prioritizing post-audition engagement, your performing arts organization can acquire more than just talented individuals for your next project, program, or competition.

Thanking each of your applicants, inviting them to stay involved, and providing helpful resources to support their goals can go a long way toward securing lasting relationships with people who are passionate about your purpose. Gradually, you’ll be able to construct a vibrant, engaged community around your organization.

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