Contributed Article to:  The Six Figure Coach Online Magazine

So you’re holding an event!  It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? You’ve been to so many yourself and after all, if those people can do it, why can’t you?  So the dream begins.  You have big ideas and even bigger plans and besides, picture all the money you’re going to make!  Well let’s get down to reality and think about what goes into an event and how to make the most of it.

First you need to set a date. The timing is important because you don’t want to conflict with other events going on at the same time, especially if they pull the same attendees.  And you have to decide if this is going to be a one day or multi-day event, during the week or weekend, a half day or evening and the space where you will hold it.

That space can be negotiated in a variety of ways including whether there will be food and beverage, room rental, AV needs, workbooks, etc. There are a lot of hidden costs you may not be aware of. On the other hand, depending on the size of your anticipated group, you may be able to do something very low key in a restaurant, an office conference area, or even in someone’s home.

You also need to decide if you are going to feed your attendees. Of course dinners are more expensive than lunches and very often hors d’oeuvres are more costly than a lunch. Although it’s nice to feed everybody, it isn’t always necessary. While attendees like to know there is nothing more coming out of their pockets, depending on the price and content of the program, they may not expect it.

You also need to determine the speakers you’re going to have. Is it only you? Or are you just the organizer and will have others providing the information.  Will one speaker for an entire day hold their interest? Do you need to have a variety? If it’s over 3 days, how inclusive can you make it? Will each day be themed? Or maybe you are holding something for a half day to entice attendees into a larger program later on.

All of this will depend on the purpose of the meeting.  Some are educational, others are lead generations for something bigger and more expensive, and still more combine the two. But whatever you decide, it will take planning. Run over the agenda in your mind and on paper many times before you announce it. And don’t get scared. It can get overwhelming.

Now think about who you want there and how you will get them.  Are you using direct mail, email, Facebook Ads, radio, newspapers or referrals?  How you get 20 people and how you get 200 are totally different approaches.  Are you charging or this a free event? Do you have them give you a seat deposit so that you make sure they show up? If they do, they get it back, and if not, you keep it.

Some people even include an event as part of another package and they fill the room that way. The intention of course, is to upgrade them to something more expensive and different.

Regardless of the above, every event needs structure and the better choreographed it is, the more successful it will be.  When it is more than one day, you need to decide on breaks, networking and interactive activities more than ever, and the most important thing is that you want them asking for more so that they will come back for the next event.

So what do you think after all that. Do you still want to hold an event? Let me know—and if you have any questions I can help you with, I will be happy to do so. And best of all—Good Luck!

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