30 januari 2020 Beyond The Stage 10 min

Organising your first event

Andy Greenwood

Setting up an event for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many things to consider, from the artists to the catering, from the tickets to the volunteers and from the deco to the promotion. Being a ticketing service, we don’t feel that it’s necessarily our place to tell you how to run your event - that’s up to you. On the other hand, our Customer Success team does speak to first-time organisers every day, so they know a thing or two about what’s on their mind. Here’s a general rundown of things we’re commonly asked, which aren’t related to tickets.

Event Organising 101

What’s my target audience?

When organising your event it’s wise to determine what your target audience is going to be. But before doing so, you should make sure to set your goal(s). Are you looking to network? Are you trying to raise awareness (or money) for a specific charity or issue? Do you want to host an amazing party? Make sure your target audience suits the type of event you’re hosting. By thinking about the age, interests, and social activities of your target audience you can create a profile, which can help you and your team stay focussed.

How do I choose a location for my event?

Part of hosting an amazing event is finding the right location. In all likelihood, you already have a location in mind, but does this location suit your needs? Is it available when you had in mind? Some locations are only open for certain periods of the year, others need to be booked well in advance - a beach party often needs to be planned a year in advance for instance.

location event organising first event

There are a number of things you need to consider. Capacity and accessibility are obvious factors, but there are less self-evident things worth thinking about. Do you need WiFi for instance? This is optional if you’re hosting a party, but crucial if you’re organising a business or gaming event.

You should also probably check whether there are any specific permits that need to be requested.

Don’t forget to think about safety precautions; there are all sorts of safety precautions which you should try to familiarise yourself with as an event organiser. The municipality will often ask to see your safety plan, including emergency exits, evacuation plans, the stability of tents and stages, plans for bad weather, as well as precautions against the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Make sure to think about these things as you plan your event.

How do I set a realistic budget?

This is crucial, as this will determine a lot of what you can make happen. The only way to really understand your budget is by making sure you have a clear financial overview. Doing so allows you to see exactly what money you have available, how much you expect to spend, and how much you hope to make.

There are a couple of ways you can boost your available budget, the most obvious being by looking for sponsors. You need to decide whether you’re looking for local sponsors, sponsors related to your sector (such as a shoe brand for a running event) or lifestyle brands which can help activate your event by engaging with the crowd. By putting together strong sponsor packages that actually reward companies for their support, you can incentivise all sorts of businesses to help you along financially. Mutually beneficial sponsor packages are key.

Another way is by checking if there are grants available for the kind of event you’re organising. If you have artists performing, whether it’s music or performance arts, there may well be a grant available. A call to your municipality and a quick internet search can help you find out what financial support might be available for your event.

Finally, by using Eventix you can guarantee that the revenue from your ticket sales is paid out to you weekly. These weekly payouts ensure that you have a constant cash flow, making it possible to invest the revenue of your ticket sales into the event before it has even begun.

EVENTIX TIP: Increase your revenue by using upselling.

Instead of only offering a ticket, you can sell other products so that people spend more money. The revenue from these sales will be included in the following week’s payouts. By providing more options for upselling than other ticket sales systems, Eventix can help give your event a significant boost.

What about programming and activities?

Since it’s your event, you’re going to have the best idea of what you want the activities to look like. If it’s a music event, you should have a good idea of what artists your target audience will be interested in, whereas if it’s a networking event you will probably know what speakers are related to your line of work. This is really up to you. The important thing is that you keep your budget in mind and stay within your means. Again, this is your brainchild, so we won’t pretend to know what works for you.

What we can say, however, is that if your budget is already stretched, you could try to book local and/or beginning artists or speakers to keep costs low. Also, the sooner you start looking for people to work with, the sooner you can book them and start promoting your event.

As far as catering goes, it’s wise to consider how many people will be at your event and how much food a caterer can provide. If you’re working with food trucks, you might not want to book too many of them. Running a food truck is expensive and if the competition is too tough at the event, the owners may come away with a loss and have little nice to say about your event.

programming activities first event food trucks catering

How do I promote my event?

There’s no set way to promote your event. The approach that will work best for your event depends on a lot of factors, including your target audience and what kind of (social) media outlets they use.

A good place to start is by creating a Facebook page and event so people can like and share the event. You can then choose to try and promote the event further by advertising or by creating unique content that persuades people to spread it around. A good example of this would be a teaser video. Granted, this is easier if you have video material from previous editions, but it’s possible nonetheless.

Facebook pixel first event promotion page ads target groups

Your ace in the hole for promotion is the Facebook Pixel. This little piece of code which you embed in your online posts and ticket shop will keep track of the kinds of people who are interacting with them. You can then use this information to create lookalike target groups and target people similar to your original target group. If you would like to know more about this, we have a whole blog series dedicated to getting the most out of your Facebook marketing. You can find it here.

EVENTIX TIP: Offers they can’t refuse.

You could also try doing some offers, such as using coupon codes or creating Early Bird tickets at a reduced price. When paired with our weekly payouts, this can help get your cash flow up and running sooner.

The Eventix Marketplace

To help first time organisers along, we’ve developed a platform which we call the Marketplace. The Marketplace is where you can find a list of our partners and the services they offer, which cover everything from marketing support to cashless solutions and music licensing to technical support. Any organiser who is looking to find a partner who has proven themselves in the national and international event’s industry only needs to open up the Marketplace and browse through our list of trusted partners and tools. Of course, this isn’t only handy for first-time organisers; even industry veterans are finding new and interesting partners to work with.

If you would like to start selling tickets for your first event now

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Author image

Andy Greenwood

Content Marketeer

Once took a peek behind the scenes at events and never wanted to leave again. Has a serious passion for music and plays guitar in his band.