Congratulations, you want to host a fitness event! You’re planning to put on an event that helps attendees achieve their fitness goals, pave the way to a healthier lifestyle, and can even earn some money for your business. There’s just one problem: you have no money. You just don’t have a substantial budget to host this event with. So how do you put on a fitness event without a budget? Don’t worry, today Sparxo will answer your question with 3 simple steps.
Use Social Media and Free Technology
No advertising budget? No problem, you already have access to millions of social media users, totally free. Invite all your Facebook friends by creating a Facebook event, get your friends to invite more people and share the event, ask for retweets and reach out to influencers in your fitness niche to co-host the event or partner for promotions.
We also recommend you set up a Mailing List. Sure, Social media can be great for promotions, but direct messages through Facebook or Instagram can easily get lost. An email will go directly to the person intended and will be read when it’s most convenient. Setting up a newsletter system with a service like Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 contacts and unlimited emails. This will help you craft personalized messages and allow anyone interested in your event to stay up to date.
You can also use a free website builder like Weebly, Ucraft, or Strikingly to create a landing page for your event, where you can put key information and promotional pictures. This will also make it easier for attendees as all your information will be in one place, plus you’ll get more eyes on your brand, a key advantage when selling tickets. This helps your overall SEO.
Tools like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to receive online contributions for your event, without the hassle of going from door to door asking for change. If you absolutely need a few dollars for one of your events unavoidable costs, consider starting a crowdfunding campaign.
As an event planner on a budget, you’re looking for a free way to sell as many tickets as possible and keep as much revenue as you can. However, most ticket sales software take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets directly from your website with no redirects – all for free!
- Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
- aggregate all of your customer data in one place
- Keep 100% of your ticket sales
- White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand
Get creative with Venue
You don’t need a stellar budget for a stellar venue. With the proper planning, you can find the perfect venue for the perfect price. But the first thing you need to decide is if you want a public or commercial venue.
On a budget, a public venue seems like the obvious choice. This would include venues like parks or open plazas. Anyone can be there for free, right? But it’s important to consider costs beyond rent. This might include stuff like permits, insurance, and parking. Are you allowed to bring food? Are restrooms nearby?
Your second option is a commercial venue, a space you can rent. These can seem more expensive, but most commercial spaces are designed for hosting, accustomed to fitness like yours. Meaning things like insurance, vendors, parking, bathrooms and other costs will be included. If you can find one of these venues on your budget, it’s definitely worth considering. Be sure you reach out to all your personal contacts too, to see if anyone in your network may be able to offer you commercial space at a discount price. We recommend that you choose a venue with a smaller staff. The more staff and support needed to run the venue, then the more people you’ll likely be paying for.
After you’ve narrowed down your list of venues, send them an email explaining your event and how it will benefit the venue. You can find a sample venue request letter here.
The right sponsorship could be the answer to your budget troubles. Sponsoring companies want exposure, marketing, and a hand in events their customers attend. If you can find a company that will benefit from sponsoring your event, you could greatly enhance your budget and form a long-lasting partnership that helps both of you.
Your first step is to research what companies could benefit from sponsoring your event. Craft a list of potential sponsors, and make sure their customers’ interests align with your event. Learn as much as you can about their business and their customer. It’s crucial to understand a potential sponsor before you propose a partnership.
Your next step is to plan first contact. Your best bet is likely a friendly email message, although social media direct messages through Twitter or Instagram are becoming more acceptable. While a cold-call is often frowned upon, this could be a good option if the potential sponsor has a limited online presence.
Finally, craft a pitch! Put together a strong argument for why this company should sponsor your fitness event. We recommend sending out a batch at a time, each email tailored to the potential sponsor, with specific details about their business. You can find a simple sponsor request here. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.
Be a People Person
On a budget, personal contacts are your friend. First things first, you should reach out to your contacts again to at least alert them of the event, especially those you know already enjoy fitness events like yours. But that’s only the beginning. If you’re looking to spice up your fitness event, inviting an influencer can be very effective. Even if they don’t accept the invitation to attend your invitation, they may be willing to help spread the word. And if they do decide to attend, they most certainly will be endorsing you.
How do you get an influencer to your event? The first key is to stress what the influencer will get out of your event if they’re not getting paid – most of the time it will be visibility or audience engagement. Make it clear how the event will appeal to the kind of clients they want to attract. The second key is to make attendance convenient. Try to cover their travel fees, and make attendance as streamlined as possible, with clear simple, steps for the influencer. You don’t want to overwhelm them. Last, be as polite and courteous as possible, thanking them and offering small goodies if possible. This human touch can make all the difference.
People skills will also help you land your dream venue. Much like with attracting influencers, communicating how your event will help a specific venue thrive will make them more likely to let you host there, and possibly lower your costs. Stress what your venue will get out of your event, typical visibility, more traffic in their space. Make it clear how the event will appeal to the kind of clients they want to attract. A more popular venue will make influencers more likely to attend, and at the same time, influencer attendance will make a venue more likely to attend.
Consider proposing partnerships. There are sure to be local businesses, like health food restaurants, drink companies, and even fitness lines that are just getting started out in your area. They may be willing to donate supplies like t-shirts, water bottles, or healthy food and drink in exchange for space or exposure. Your first step is to contact your network for these sorts of newer businesses, and newer businesses you maybe already frequent. Then you can start researching, cold calling, and visiting these newer businesses in person. You may also be able to get music and design work on a bargain by proposing a partnership with a student, using their work at your event in exchange for greater visibility for their portfolio, and even resume experience. Be sure to always be as polite and respectful as possible when proposing partnerships, stressing what the business will get out of this partnership.
Last, a human touch will separate your lower budget events from those with much larger benefits. If you’re consistently friendly and outgoing, reaching out and checking in with attendees, your personal relationships with these attendees may mean they’ll continue to support your fitness business over larger ones, even if your business may have fewer resources. And even better, as a smaller event, you have the ability to spend the time cultivating these relationships, while events with bigger budgets may simply too big to focus on this human element, personal relationships just not feasible for them. Event planners on a budget should seize this human advantage.