George Takei, who played Lieutenant Sulu on the original Star Trek series, is coming to Dallas to speak. He is the first of three Upstander Speakers invited by the Dallas Holocaust Museum to share their stories in 2017. We produced this event in partnership with Southern Methodist University’s Embrey Human Rights Program (EHRP).
Four weeks ago the Museum and EHRP had a venue with 2300 seats to fill. In four weeks, without traditional marketing, we have zero seats left to fill–we’ve beaten our ticket sales projection. Why?
Yes. Takei is famous for his role of Lieutenant Sulu. And, yes. That’s a part our success. But, there’s more. There are five key factors.
- Partnering. We partnered with SMU’s Embry Human Rights Program. This partnership included splitting costs for the event and inviting the SMU community, including thousands of college students, to the event.
- There’s an important and fascinating message here. George Takei broke racial barriers in Hollywood. He also speaks about his family’s time in Japanese-American internment camps during WWII.
- Activism. Our mission is to teach the history of the Holocaust and advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference. Mr. Takei is highly visible as an activist for LGBTQ rights making the event appealing across multiple generations.
- Social Media. The level of social engagement on Facebook and Twitter was terrific, generated by the interesting topics Mr. Takei will cover and also by his high profile and incredibly active presence on social media.
- Footprint. Our public footprint has grown dramatically over the last five years. Several years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to hear the question, “Dallas has a Holocaust Museum?” Our goal is the complete elimination of that question from Texans’ minds through North Central Texas , and we’ve made amazing strides. Our email database has doubled along with our social media engagement.
In summation, the successful formula looks like this: well-known speaker + strong partner + broadly-appealing message + social media engagement + increased visibility = successful event.
Visit DallasHolocaustMuseum.org to read about the other 2017 Upstander speakers.
We are grateful to our sponsors and community partners:
Liz and Tom Halsey
Orchid Giving Circle
The Dallas Morning News
Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce
We are thankful for the continued support of our board and members, as well as the general public.