ARE YOU TOYING AROUND WITH THE IDEA OF HOSTING AN EVENT?
Then this episode is for you!
Coming off the heels of two back-to-back events, one for our Maverick Mastermind and the other for our Luminary Leadership Incubator, today I’m sharing with you what we did to prep, how to have an inspiring event for your guests that actually makes epic change within your business, what to avoid, and how to leverage it for continued growth within your brand.
Listen in to see how an in person event can really leverage your business!
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
[2:05] From an Online Brand to a Powerhouse Thought Leader
There’s so much power behind having people in person rallying around your mission.
It takes you from this online brand to a powerhouse thought leader, surrounded by and connected to a loyal community, people who are part of whatever your movement is. You can’t get that online.
There’s never been a time in the world where people are more hungry for personal connection and being with other people. So today, I’m going to walk you through our steps in the process of planning and hosting an incredible event.
[3:05] Who Is This For
When planning an event, the first question to ask yourself is: Who is this for?
That’s going to set the tone for what you’re planning, how you plan it, how you structure it and what you can expect for both cost and ROI on the event. Because one thing to keep in mind is depending on who it’s for and whether or not you’re selling them into something else, that event can either be a brand establishing event that ends up costing a lot of money, or it can be an event that can establish the brand and funnel them into what’s next, an offering that would cover a lot of the costs that come from hosting a successful event.
[4:27] Setting Goals
Once you know who it’s for, ask yourself: Why are you hosting it?
- Is the concept behind hosting this event to build community and connection with a group that’s already existing? Is it for the elevation of that group? Is it a part of the program that you’ve already sold?
- Is the concept behind hosting this event to establish authority? Having footage of the event and all the amazing things we’re doing and having people talk about it helps establish that authority as someone that’s able to host something that people would pay to attend.
- Is the concept behind hosting this event to position another offer? Despite the fact that an event can cost a lot of money to host, it still can have a really powerful ROI if you’re positioning an offer at the end of that event or during that event.
- Is the concept behind hosting this event to create visibility? Maybe it’s to create visibility around your brand or around a pivot that you recently made, to get video footage and photos that you can put onto a sales page for the future evolution of this brand.
[8:25] The Budget
One of the plagues of entrepreneurship that I see a lot of is the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses.” And one of the best pieces of advice I ever received was: Live beneath your means.
The budget for the event is going to be critical. First, determine what is your upper limit of the budget and then start breaking it down.
- Food. Food is typically at least in some capacity included. But it is a massive expense, especially if you’re doing it through a hotel.
- Hotel and travel cost. Industry standard is that when you’re hosting an event, you don’t cover hotel or travel costs for those attending the event.
- Tracking the event. Are you going to be tracking it? Do you have an assistant, a team member or an Operations Director who’s going to be tracking it? Are you bringing in someone solely to plan this event?
Keep in mind that hosting an event is not just a cost. It’s an investment. It’s an investment in your brand if you’re doing it correctly. It’s investing into the development of the community. It’s investing in the possibility for where you’re going next. It’s an investment that should, if you do it properly, pay dividends.
[14:24] The Planning Process
First decide on your timeframe.
Our standard is to plan a year out but this depends on the type of events you’re hosting, how many people will attend, how many moving parts you have, etc.
Next, what tools do you need to manage the process?
We’ve used Trello boards in the past and currently we’re using ClickUp. This way, we can assign deadlines and tasks and chip away at it so it doesn’t feel like this massive, heavy project that just takes over everything.
Another critical piece is your team.
Who is responsible for what? Each person has their own board or assigned tasks and they take full ownership and report back to the group, so everybody’s in flow. The people that we’ve found are really helpful to have on team for event planning are:
- The visionary. This is likely you, the person that’s casting the vision for this event, the one that’s able to answer the questions of who is this for and what is this for
- Assistance. Whether it’s VAs or people you bring in exclusively to be assistance on this event. We have our Ops Director and Ops Assistant who are taking care of the structure of everything in the project planning.
- Videographer and/or photographer. A person who comes out to the events to capture footage. Don’t underestimate the power of capturing footage for your website, sales pages or marketing.
- A graphic designer. Someone who helps create the physical booklets, pamphlets and other things that are handed out at the event.
- The integrator. A person who’s integrating and taking care of all the tasks.
- Tech. Tech is needed both in the planning process but also when you’re at the event.
- Additional support. People who are going to cover the food, music, etc.
Also, as you get closer to the event expect things to go wrong. There will be travel delays, people dropping out at the last minute, numbers changing. So, be ready to pivot, be ready to adjust on the fly.
[21:00] Protect the Visionary
When you’re the face of this kind of event and you’re pouring into people and speaking for days on end, you need plans in place to protect yourself and your energy or else you will not be able to show up for your people like you want to.
When you are the face of the event and you are the energy behind it you need to preserve as much of it as possible. So, have your team protect you during the event as well as prior and after.
[25:50] The Enhancements You Want to Bring
Another thing to think about are the enhancements you want to bring to the event.
In our events, we handed out our workbooks, had smoothies brought in, had photoshoots so people could walk away with photos and videos that they could use in their own brand, we had gifts for them waiting at the table every single morning before the next session, etc.
So, think about what you want that experience to feel like, what does your budget allow and what kind of event this is and incorporate those enhancements.
[27:14] The Execution
The final piece is the execution of it.
Our Director of Operations comes up with a run of the show; everybody gets a printed out paper that tells them where they need to be, what they’re responsible for and how this event is going to play out.
If you’re having photographers and videographers, part of the process that you want to think of ahead of time is having a list of shots that you want them to capture. Do you want certain groups of people together? Do you want an entire group photo? Do you want specific pictures of you speaking in different places that you can use within your brand? Make sure you capture all of those things on paper and give it to them ahead of time so that they can anticipate and capture those moments.
One really strong tip I have is to listen to the heartbeat of your group and adjust on the fly based on the needs of that group. Obviously, you go into it with a plan: you have your talk scheduled, you have everything outlined. But when you’re noticing certain questions coming up or specific needs or a certain emotion that the group is feeling as a whole – cater to those needs. More than anything you want your event to be successful for the people attending. You want them to have the transformation that you’re intending for them or the feeling that you want them to have. So, when you find ways you can go above and beyond, do it.
[27:14] After the Event
After you execute, after you have this incredible event that moves the dial and puts you on the map and builds connection, that’s when you want to schedule a break for your team. Show gratitude for people who poured into this event, who took time out of their lives to show up and be a part of this.
Then, have a time in the near future to debrief and talk about what went well, what could have gone better and what you want to do for the next one. And really just brainstorm and look at what worked and what didn’t.
So if you’re looking to step into your next level of leadership, and you’re questioning what that next thing could be, I strongly advise you to consider the power of hosting an event. If this spoke to you, please hit that follow button. We have so much more value coming your way and I don’t want you to miss it. And if you think this could move the needle for somebody that you know or that you care about share it with them, share it in your stories or tag us @elizhartke. We want to celebrate you, we want to know who’s tuning in and we want to make sure that we’re giving you more of what you need.
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