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EventCombo's ULTIMATE Guide for Planning Your Next Event

EventCombo's ULTIMATE Guide for Planning Your Next Event

May 16, 2017 Dr. Kristy Nelson

This guide is great for those who want to learn how to:

Plan an event online

Plan an event checklist

Come up with steps to creating an event

Create an event plan

Plan large scale events

The 5 Steps to Making Your Next Event a Success

Step 1: Deciding Your Event's Theme

When you are thinking about planning your event, you want to think of the most impactful theme in order to generate the most amount of interest for your potential attendees. In addition to offering something of interest, you want to convey a personal benefit or a specific value for your attendees.

Therefore, when you're developing your theme, think of these two core points:

1. Will this theme generate interest from the specific community I want to welcome at my event?

2. Will this theme cause this community to take action for/towards my event?

With the first point, you want to identify specifically which community you are targeting and why. The community you target must have a direct interest in your theme. This connection the community has with your event's theme can be varied across multiple areas. It can be a cultural, business, political, or lifestyle related interest. Once you decide on the theme, you have to then figure out how to turn that interest into action. As in, getting the community you selected to buy or register for your event.

The second point requires an emotional connection or a direct benefit to the potential attendees. For example, the emotional connection can be related to a cultural celebration with others within the community. If the connection you establish is business related, then you can set up some type of education-based value or networking opportunity with the attendees, both of which can help them improve their business. Similarly, with any event theme, you want to establish an immediate, quick incentive-based-association in the attendee's mind. To summarize, you want to have:

1. An identified community (it can be a community or group of people who have one or more of these things in common: diversity, business-interest,     alumni-based, or an entertainment factor)

2. An established satisfying emotional connection and/or direct benefit to the attendees, that you can tie to the community

Once you have the above two items identified, coming up with the theme of your event is that much easier.

Here are some helpful links to learn more (about event names, etc.) on the subject of event themes and how to implement them:

The Incitement - Event Theme 

Impact Flow - 5 Tips for Choosing an Event Theme

Event Manager Blog -Theme for Your Next Association Conference

Step 2: Choosing a Venue & an Event Planner

After you've established your event's theme, the next thing you want to confirm is where the event will take place. This is important as the location of the event will dictate the success or failure of your efforts. You have to select a venue, which has all the necessary amenities your event requires. For example, if your event has music, you will want to make sure the sound system of the venue is sufficient. Or if your event is a speaking engagement, you will want to make sure the audience will have the necessary seating or standing room for greater comfort and participation.

Most importantly, location, location, location. You will want to make sure the venue is located in an easily accessible area (by car or public transportation). 

Another factor to consider for your event is if you should partner up with another organization. We only recommend doing this in cases where the potential partner brings something unique to the table that you do not possess. Otherwise, what's the point of partnering up with someone? Well, it could be a financial reason, may be partner with someone to decrease your investment risk. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of partnering with someone and if the pros out-weigh the cons, you'll have your answer.

For more tips on selecting the best venue or partnering with someone for your event, please check out the following articles:

Whova - 10 Things to Consider When choosing Your Event Venue

The Balance - An Event Planner's Guide to Venue Planning

Leo Isaac - Selecting the Venue

Social Tables - What to Consider When Choosing an Event Venue: 20+ Ideas to Help You Make the Best Choice

To get help selecting a venue, check out Revelr  - a great concierge service for your event needs.

 Step 3: Choosing the Right Entertainment

When it comes to your entertainment selection, you can end up with a memorable event for all the wrong reasons. You want to make sure your entertainment complements your event's agenda perfectly. This can only be accomplished by selecting a reputable entertainment company or group, with years of experience and a solid reputation.

The type of entertainment will vary based on your event's theme or if you even need entertainment, but the areas you want to focus on when selecting the right entertainment are:

Reputation - they should have 5+ references for you. Also check online for their previous clients' feedback

Experience - your entertainment should at least be in the space for 5 years

Scalability - will they be able to support your event if it grows larger than you planned? What are their limitations, if any? Not knowing this in advance can be a recipe for disaster.

Budget - this must be agreed upon in advance and account for any surprises / overages. If you end up with a surprise at your event (a speaker     stops working) all incidental support and related costs must be agreed to in advance to avoid disappointment or a sour relationship. A great entertainment company / entertainer will provide you excellent support in the worst circumstances. That is a true sign of a professional.

Insurance - you want to make sure the entertainer / entertainment company is fully insured in case of any damages or injury.

Practice Run - you will want to make sure they are fully prepared to perform at your venue, so a rehearsal is critical. Not having a rehearsal will introduce an avoidable risk.

You can learn more about entertainment at your next event by checking out these articles:

Meetings & Conventions - Choosing the Right Entertainment  

AYMTM - What factors should you consider when choosing the entertainment for your corporate or incentive event?

Step 4: Pricing Structure & Ticketing Platform

When it comes to coming up with a ticket price for your event, unless it is a free event, you really have to do some research and also identify the monetary value of your event. You need to be honest with yourself and compare other events in the area and other available options for your attendees on the same day of your event. 

If your attendees have other options, then you have to become that much more aggressive with your ticket pricing. Things like the following effect your ticket pricing:

Competition - What is the competition (if you have any) charging? This point goes to the other options your attendees have. Do they get a similar    experience at your event that they can get elsewhere? If so, you may want to keep the pricing low.

Uniqueness - Is my attraction unique or limited enough to charge X amount to an attendee? If your attraction isn't unique or is easily accessible, you  probably cannot charge on the higher side.

Demand - Is my event theme frequent or infrequent? If your event theme is very frequent (a nightclub party, for example), then the demand won't be  as great so you may want to keep the pricing low.

Value - What is the value for the attendee? If the value to the attendee is really substantial (if they are going to meet their favorite celebrity, or  learn some valuable lessons not otherwise available) then you can probably get away with charging more.

Once you've decided on ticket pricing for your event, the next step is to select a ticketing platform with the lowest fees and the highest technical capabilities. You want a ticketing platform that provides you all the custom-capabilities you will need to flawlessly manage your event and get you paid fast. Consider us, EventCombo.com as your ticketing platform. Check out EventCombo.com/HowItWorks to see how cool we are!

We can also give you feedback on ticket pricing if you want, just contact us at 888.300.1958.

Here is some good info on how to determine event ticket pricing:

Everwall - The Best Way to Determine Event Ticket Pricing 

Step 5: Plan Your Event Promotions (with Sub-Pomoters & Affiliate Partners)

Now that you've organized your event and have everything confirmed (date, venue, entertainment, ticket platform, etc.) you want to make sure it is a big success. You can promote the event on your own and get a finite set of results in terms of how many attendees show up. 

But if you really want to increase the reach and success of your event, then your best bet is to identify Sub-Promoters who have influence and their own networks that you can tap into by having them promote your event. With EventCombo, you can create a powerful affiliate program and give a unique URL to your Sub-Promoters so they can share the event and bring you more attendees. You can set a dollar or percentage amount to give to them per ticket so they have an incentive to promote and sell tickets for your event. You can track them and their sales and manage their entire relationship through our affiliate program.

Working with Sub-Promoters is the best thing you can do for your event as it develops greater relationships, which bring you more reach and success. Some values of having Sub-Promoters include:

Network - Access to an increased network, which you otherwise would not have access to

Pipeline - A new pipeline of attendees for your future events

Relationships - A new set of relationships, which will have long-term value to your event and future interests

Sub-Promoters - When identifying a Sub-Promoter to work with, you want to make sure they are reputable, trustworthy and actually follow through on their promises to you. You can vet Sub-Promoters based on their previous promotions and by talking to people in their networks

To get more info on how else to promote your event, check out this great article on social media promotions:

Social Media Examiner - 16 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Event 

We hope this information was helpful to you. For any support or advice just give us a buzz at 800-300-1958 and tell us about your upcoming event. Or simply go ahead and Create an Event

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