After the first time I decided to host a live event, I was jaded. I semi-vowed I would never do it again … or at least I would do it very differently than that first time. I only had five attendees and went into the hole renting the room. The only upside was that my kids loved the extra food I brought home (buffalo chicken wraps, chips, cookies and juice).
My Most Recent Live Event
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I recently put on my second event called the Billion Dollar Brand Event combined with a speaker showcase called Words Heard ‘Round the World. This time I did not go into the hole – hallelujah! I had more followers, promoted more, reached out one by one to potential attendees and planned much further in advance. Now I want to share what I learned if you want to host a live event and give you a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes. It’s not meant to be all encompassing but the main points that stand out most for me.
- Plan six months or more in advance so that you can have your pick of venue.
- Consider hosting your event during the week. Hotel conference room rentals range from $150 to over $2000 depending on the day and place.
- If you choose a hotel, have them to give you a special rate room block, but make sure you’re not liable for any rooms not booked.
- Make sure your location is convenient for out of town travelers. Uber and Lyft is not available everywhere in Michigan where I live. The first event I did, it cost my attendees $95 to get to and from the airport and Uber wasn’t available going back, only a contracted driver.
- Read all details to the contract before you sign so you won’t have any surprises.
- Sometimes you can get your room comped if you buy enough food. I was able to do that with my first event, but not my second. Only the VIP participants received lunch.
- Most venues won’t let you bring in your own food, but you can give your attendees swag bags. I included granola bars, fruit snacks, cookies, etc and my attendees said they really appreciated their goodies.
Other Finishing Touches
- Approach sponsors early (I only decided to pursue sponsors 6 weeks prior to my event and I was too late). You can get sponsors who give product and sponsors who pay for promotion.
- Book your videographer early and give them a shot list. I found mine on Thumbtack.
- Book your photographer early and give them a shot list too. I flew in email@example.com who has been a photographer for NY Fashion Week.
- Negotiate with the hotel for discounts and extras. I got my corded mic and speaker for free just because I asked.
- Don’t forget your gratuity and taxes. I paid an extra 22% plus 6% sales tax.
- Personalized swag bag items. I got my branded selfie sticks from National Pen, my pens from Myron, my banner from Build a Sign.
Do you think you want to host a live event? What was most helpful to you about this post? I’d love to hear about what you learned and what event you’re planning in the comments.
Vickie Gould is a Law of Attraction business and book coach, best selling author, and speaker. She believes that everyone has a story to share and a journey orchestrated for their positive growth — and that those experiences should be written in a best selling book.
Vickie helps entrepreneurs to write, self-publish and leverage their own business books to share those stories, grow their following, create more impact and turn readers into clients through her Easy Writer Program, one-on-one coaching and her free Facebook Group, Write Your Biz Book.
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