Event planning is no different now than it was back in 1980.
Okay, so I made some of that up. The basics are still there though:
But the event planning tools and marketing options are completely overwhelming. It seems that in the digital age with so many advertising choices, we need to measure our results to make sure they are working.
What do I mean?
Well, back in the 80’s we had direct mail, radio and posters and maybe billboards, TV and newspaper. That was it. And since all of those options could not be measured, we just threw money at them and crossed our fingers and saw what happened.
Now we have hundreds of choices to spend money on, and yet we are trying to sell to the same size audience, and that makes event planning much more difficult. This is where constant monitoring of expenses and results comes in to play.
Event planning, of course, covers everything. From artist and speaker selection to post-event surveys. (You do those right?) I would start with artist, speaker or performer selection but I would also ask your potential ticket buyers who they want to see. There are a couple ways to do that:
- Partner with a local media organization and do a survey
- Look at websites like Bands in Town or Christian Concert Alerts to get an idea of what size crowd those artists will draw
- Start an email list or build a bigger one so you can do your own surveys
- Of course, use social media to direct people to your surveys
One mistake to avoid is confusing artistic talent with the ability to draw a crowd. These are completely separate issues in most cases. Also as you might know, the more popular an artist is, the more they charge and the more people they draw. This means your venue costs go up and so does your risk.
The goal is to have the right venue and the right market for the artist that draws the right amount of people–this means you have to research your artist selection.
Think of your event budget as your map. In keeping with the theme of this blog post “Don’t Get Lost in 2016,” you must have a map. Below you will find a spreadsheet template that can be used as a starting point. In 2016, we will introduce a budgeting and planning system in AttendStar.
When it comes to event marketing, you have to figure out how to reach your fans or the fans of the artists and speakers you bring to your area. You can do this a few ways. The first way is to find out the demographics the performer/event might draw. That tells you which medium is the best to use. One way I do that is to determine how many fans they have on Facebook, Twitter, and the other sites.
Here are some resources that I visited when putting this article together.
Event Budget Template – An Excel sheet that tracks expenses (not very complete but looks good).
Event Manager Blog – Here’s a site I go to often to see what’s new.
KISS Metrics – I go here like every week because I love data.
HubSpot – Another one of the places I visit each week.
Eventbrite – They are a competitor of AttendStar but I do read their blog.