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4 Things To Do Before You Organise An Event

By Guest Contributor

If you’re looking for ways to make an enticing event, much of the information you find online speaks to a very technical side of the whole ordeal. From ticketing pricing tiers and tactics, gamifying giveaways and promotions, to the fact that you should promote your event on social media (this should be obvious…do it…I shouldn’t have to tell you this). These are of course important things to think about when you are engaging your audience and these take some trial and error to get right for your particular audience.

I am not saying you can pull off an event without doing these things but convincing audiences to buy your tickets is no easy feat and I think there are some important things that sometimes get overlooked before you even get to the stage of selling tickets.

1. The story.

An important part of connecting to your audience is to build an emotional attachment to your event or project. Not that there needs to be some orphaned kitten sob story behind every event you do but locking down why your team was brought together, what problem you are tackling, what your event stands for or tries to convey goes further to compel an audience to attend than most other things.

What resonates with an individual will very quickly be able to at least pique their interest and edge them towards trusting you with their valuable time of day (and their money).

The story behind your event will also drive a lot of your future decisions on what information to publish, what kind of graphics style you want to use and what video content you should be planning. This shapes the whole angle of your event and what aspects you make integral to its core.

2. The angle.

Now that you have your mission, what are you and your team of whippersnappers doing about it? What are you bringing to the table that other people aren’t? What sets you apart from the other events in the industry or space that you’re in? Who are you and what does your brand stand for?

Yes, you can be the ten thousandth person to organise a tea cozy knitting event but it will be very hard to get people to come if it’s the same format as the other 9999 events before it. What else is built into it?

You may be using a special kind of organic, gluten and peanut free yarn (I’m sure Amazon stocks this) or all your designs are required to be based on Harry Potter characters. Either way, pick your mission, match it to a crowd and push the event towards them.

One thing I will have to point out that kind of a pet peeve is when brands have materials that don’t match what they are doing. Don’t pick a heavy metal theme for your branding if you are running a ballet school unless your classes are set to the tunes of head bang inducing tunes. Be smart about it and make sure your aesthetics match what you’re doing.

3. Keep it simple.

By now you probably would have heard of the term “elevator pitch”. If you haven’t, I will wait here until you finish Googling. An elevator pitch is a great way to gauge the ease of communication of your event if you can explain it to someone in a sentence or two.

If you find yourself having to add too many additional lines to clarify what your event is, then it’s most likely time you whittle down the concepts attached to your event.

Bad elevator pitch:

“We are organising a charity yoga event to raise money for orphaned dogs who are over 5 years old to teach potential dog owners the importance of recycling aluminium cans on the beach.”

Decent elevator pitch:

“We organise a 7 day music festival that showcases only Hong Kong musicians and artists. Booze will be available.”

I trust that one of these is easier to follow than the other.

4. Hustle hard.

It may not come across to people how much work goes into getting the word out there about an event. You are basically trying to appear as many times as humanly possible in front of a person so that you stick in their mind. Sticking posters around town, social media ads, video content, getting event partners to share the event, getting the attention of media and talking to everybody you can think of, all take a lot of prep and hustle. Do not expect to sell out an event to the public if you made a Facebook event and shared it with 10 friends (assuming you’re not Kim Kardashian level famous).

I liken the process to being like a very excitable but of average popularity high schooler who is trying to invite everybody to a graduation party.

You do everything you can to make it sound fun and hope everybody can make it but until the actual party, you’re probably not sure how many people will turn up. You just try your darndest and hope for the best.

Guest Contributor: Elaine Ip

Elaine is an experienced Freelance Event Producer and Project Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the events services industry both corporate and independent. Skilled in Event Planning, Customer Service, Marketing Strategy, and Project Management. Also provider of corporate entertainment for events and organiser of The Week HK, a 7 day music festival 100% promoting Hong Kong’s bands and musicians.

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