So you want to start your own event or conference? It’s going to take grit, perseverance and a great plan in place. Here’s a quick checklist of 10 tips for producing a successful event before announcing your event to the world.
All photos Ckiser Photography
1. Know Your Why
My first event had a whopping two attendees. I had a great piece of promotional artwork circulating, invited plenty of people and let’s not even talk about the emails. Great turnout right? What went wrong? At the time I didn’t know it, but I didn’t have a strong enough WHY. Consequently, it trickled down to not having any form of strategy, goal setting or a marketing plan that converted. How strong your WHY is, will eventually lead to how successful your event will be. Remember this when putting together your next successful event.
2. Know Your Who
The next thing you need to do after you have solidified your WHY is understand WHO it is you are targeting. Who is that ticket holder or who is it that you visualize will benefit the most from your event/conference? When it came time for us to start promoting our most recent event, it wasn’t hard to target the right people and get more people to say “yes” than “no” I knew exactly who the event was for so I reached out to the individuals I knew the event would benefit the most.
3. Set Goals
How many people would you like to host? How much are you willing to spend? How much do you plan on making? How many people do you plan on reaching? Goals help you track your progress and keep you on track towards a knock out event.
What is the total cost of your event? This includes venue, props, food, hired help, etc. Are you receiving any money from sponsors? Are you investing your personal finances into this project?
5. Build a team
Delegation is key. Write a list of all the different components and tasks you need to accomplish and decide which to delegate. Asana (Asana.com) is a great tool to track your to-do list and assign tasks out to your team. When it was time for me to start putting together a team for my last event, we knew we needed photographers, hair and makeup artists, models and so forth. In this respect, we hosted casting calls and worked with great local businesses and freelancers.
When selecting your venue, consider a location that is appealing to your attendees, partners, and sponsors. When we held our most recent event this past July, we decided to host our event at ReCity, a local Non-profit Co-working space that has a heart for the community. This venue not only has a great non-profit component but our attendees also appreciated that we partnered with a venue that serves its community.
Start reaching out to potential sponsors as soon as the plan for your business is set. Each business has their own way to qualify sponsorship recipients. Make a list of your ideal sponsors and start reaching out to them NOW before you get too ahead of yourself.
8. Give Back
A great way to make your event appealing to any audience is partnering with an amazing organization that your target audience would appreciate. For instance, for our Workshop & Fashion Show, we partnered with Ready, Set, Sew a local non-profit organization who teaches children how to sew. We also developed an apprenticeship program in which students were able to shadow designers and send their own unique creations down the runway. This was an incredible way for us to not only give back to our community but it was also deeply appreciated by our target market & target audience.
9. Ticket Prices
I suggest staggering your ticket prices for events. Have low, midrange and premium price points to attract audiences with various budgets.
10. Marketing Plan
How do you plan to get the word out about your event? Do whatever it takes to talk to as many people that are willing to listen. This is your time to hustle. Implement all forms of communication such as cold calling, emails including social media, etc. Be as creative and innovative as you can push yourself. As the saying goes: If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.
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