You need sponsors to help support your event. Assuming that everyone there will be 23 and over, you need to put together a press kit as follows:
- photo and bio of talent
- newspaper or other press clippings
- sample cd of snipets of five main songs
- contact # for manager/attorney
- website info
- short demo of talent performing on stage and speaking a minute or two about their music
This press package can be sent to companies like Heinekin, Coors Light or Budweiser. Very often they provide free beer for these sorts of events. Also, you need to get some kind of radio press. Call and visit your nearest radio stations and ask if they can pass your info on about your party. You need a VIP guest list of people in the industry that you will have a special seating area for them to view your talent. You also need to invite advertising and public relation firms in the area, record companies, casting directors who employ talent for films and soundtracks. In other words you need a roster of people who are active in the media industry who may be willing to help your talent (provided they have great singing skills, stage performance and have something to say - but says it different enough so that they will be noticed and get industry folks interested in them.) Be sure to have a professional website with video, photos and background of your artist(s) so that the industry people will look at it. Get email addresses from websites of all the music companies, talent agencies, advertising agencies, etc in your are from the internet and music industry periodicals.
You can rent a theater or performance space, like a nice night club, charge general admission, say like $15 to get in with free beer (from one of your sponsors). Do a cocktail/networking for the first hour of the event, providing light appetizers, tastings of wine or beer, and have a videos of your artist(s) performing on a large LCD. Make sure everyone gets postcards of your artist(s). Then you or someone in charge should talk about the featured artists, do a show, and then have the dj do an "after party" where everyone can dance. If you tell the club you'll get in over 150 people, they can do a cash bar after your networking hour, and may split the door entrance with you, i.e. $2,250 for 150- split that in half, and you could recoup some of your investment.
It's important that you market your event, and invite about 1,000 people. Usually for every 1,000 people invited, about 200 show up. Plaster flyers everywhere: library, museums, colleges, dorms, hotels, restaurants and hand out postcards after clubs close when people are leaving and in a party mood so they will want to go to your event say a weekend later.
As stareventcenter states, it's important that you pick a date not close to a holiday or when other big events are happening in town otherwise you will be stuck with no shows. Do ask your local cable independent stations and local news stations to come by with cameras. Do hire a videographer and photographer who will film your event and you can post it on your website, send out blast emails afterward and broaden your fan base. It is a process, but it is not impossible.