America is a nation of immigrants and with millions of new Americans making this country their new home even in just the last couple of decades, the shrewd event producer will broaden their ethnic horizons to embrace the many different nationalities which make up the distinct strata of America today. There is a whole world out there within the borders of America which can best be targeted through their ethnicity and it is simply not enough to paint the entire picture of America with a single English-speaking, mainstream American brush.
Go beyond the ethnic stereotypes
The creation and promotion of an ethnic event goes far beyond the stereotypes of Germans hoisting mugs to a chorus of Ein Prosit, Russians doing the Cossack hop, or Chinese engaging in the Dragon dance. Just like you would never think of appealing to the widest American audience by putting on a demonstration of square dancing, you similarly won’t draw huge numbers of Spaniards with Flamenco.
Be attuned to the current trends
It’s evident that crafting your event around a misunderstanding of what that ethnicity is actually looking for in their popular culture is a fast track to failure. Each individual ethnicity has its own current culture which transcends the traditions they are known by overseas, and the wise ethnic event marketer must be attuned to these preferences as expressed through that nation’s current trends. It’s simply not enough to just take a quick peek at the country’s Top 100 charting songs, as the far preferable approach is to hire the services of a cultural consultant, a native of that particular nation who has remained in touch with that country’s culture on a day to day basis ever since. They will be able to best advise you as to where the national mindset is at that particular time, and how that culture is fragmented.
Ethnic cultures are fragmented too
Yes, it may seem surprising to think that just like America has hip hop addicts, hard rock fans, country enthusiasts, and even new age music aficionados, you’ll find similar segmentations in virtually every major nation in the world. While there are still many Italian die-hard fans of tenors belting out bel canto arias, the most popular tunes in Italy are not too different from the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, albeit sung in Italian by mostly male singers with predominantly (and paradoxically) raucous voices. Instead of singing about the sun of Naples or the nostalgia of the emigrants, the subject matter is often sex and drugs.
Many shades in the spectrum
Once you have absorbed enough about the current pop culture in that nation you can now proceed to identifying the genre you want to key in on. Just like you won’t pull much of a teenage American audience with a concert by The Hollies, you similarly won’t get many middle agers buying tickets to a Ghostface Killah show. Therefore it is a mistake to assume that all Bollywood is the same and will appeal to every Indian strata in an identical manner. There are many different shades in the Bollywood spectrum just like in American cinema, but if that wasn’t confusing enough, not all Bollywood songs are in Hindi as you’ll also find smatterings of some of the subcontinent’s many other languages such as Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Braj, and Rajasthani.
The date of mass immigration determines language
Another key factor is the language that you’ll be using in the concert. Generally the newer immigration nations will tend to be far more fluent in their native language than the ethnicities which have been residing in North America for many decades. A recent immigrant from China is much more likely to be totally fluent in their original language than the individual of Polish heritage whose family has lived here for generations. Therefore, you should conduct your Sylwia Grzeszczak show in English while sticking to Chinese for the Cantopop stylings of Andy Lau Tak-wah.
There are 1.8 million Filipino-Americans, 1.2 Vietnamese-Americans, and 1.1 Cuban-Americans. Each of these and many more ethnic groups represent a significant potential audience for your narrowly-targeted ethnic event if you craft your event correctly!