Tips For Hosting Your First Live Event

Conference Workshop Retreat Speaker Trainer Mentor Event Planner
Conference Workshop Retreat Speaker Trainer Mentor Event Planner

Are you ready to host your first live event?

The anticipation is building. You’re ready to jump on that stage and teach, inspire, motivate…and sell to a packed out venue. Your Instagram following has peaked over 12k.

Yep, you’re ready…but are you really?

Over the past 5 years, we’ve worked with a number of Speakers, Trainers, Mentors to host live conference events, workshops, retreats and tour stops. We love what we do, and are 100% ready to step into the role of Event Manager/Producer. From actual events to the initial consultation, what we often find, is that many brands are simply not ready to host a live event, and make it profitable. 

Here are 3 considerations before leaping into the live event world – and they are all interrelated: 

1. Know Your Tribe & Your Reach

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Do you have a tribe, a following, an engaged audience for your first event? The people in the room should be the same type of people that engage with you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Whether it be content through newsletters, Facebook, Instagram or your Podcast, are these people fully engaged in what you’re putting out in the world for FREE consumption? 

I underscore the word FREE here as we’ve witnessed time and time again, those that are paying to be in the seat, have consumed all of your free content and want more. They want the experience of hearing from you live. So much so, they will pay to see you live because you’ve given them so much with little to no requirement from them.

They also want to be in the room with others that have the same values, enjoy the same content, and they want to support their virtual mentor…and bring their friends to share in that live experience with them, in person!

Hard Truth #1: Thousands of followers does not equate to a packed out room.

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2. Know Your Strategic Vision

Having a clear strategic vision for your first or series of events is the first key to success. Think beyond the event. What are the long term goals that you want to see as a result of investing the time and money into your event.

During our consultations, I challenge the client to really ask yourself:

  • What is your strategic vision for your event? Is it marketing, is it bonding, or is it sales?
  • Have you fully vetted out the content outline for the event and how it can be marketed appropriately to get “butts in seats”?
  • Who are you envisioning as speakers?
  • Are you solely the speaker or presenter? Will you host multiple days or a single day?
  • Will you create a tiered ticket price strategy, thus the need to create a different experience to support a true distinction between General Admission vs. an Upgraded/VIP experience?

These and more are all required before you dive head first into the live event game.

Hard Truth #2: Events without a clear strategy can be felt by your attendees.

3. Know Your Finances

Events cost. There’s simply no other way around it. Venue, Food, Audio Visual, Attendee Materials, Decor, Vendors, Event Staffing, and Travel. Working with a seasoned Event Planner will certainly help you with navigating the financial planning and management of your event; by providing the education on the costs as it relates to #2, your Strategic Vision.

Preparation, is of course, paramount, but here’s the thing; once you decide to host your live event, know that a large financial investment is required to book the event venue.

Hard Truth/Tip #3: The ticket sales should fund the cost of the production of the event.

Ticket sales should not be your sole revenue source to prove out the profitability of the event, so price accordingly.

Simply put; you will not make money off ticket sales alone. If your strategic vision is to create a safe space for your attendees, with amazing content, and hit your break-even point, the strategic vision must be in alignment with the cost to produce.  However, if your goal is to prove out a financial profit from the event; your onsite sales, programs and merchandising strategy will be the key to ensuring event success. 

Have you hosted your first event and it wasn’t what you envisioned? Celebrate the success of actually HOSTING THE EVENT! Then, retool and get back out there. 

We talk more in detail about planning your first event in our Podcast interview with Happy Black Woman. Click here to listen in and Contact Us when you’re ready to plan your first live event!