6 Super Fun Event Ideas for College Students

college event ideas

So you want to host a college event. Great! Trouble is, you have no idea what you want to do. What events can you throw for your college organization that are actually manageable and fun? Never fear because Sparxo is here with 6 easy to host, super fun events. You’re welcome.

  1. Game Night

See who has game in your group by hosting a game night! Gather up a variety of board, video, and party games and then put them all in one place with some free food. Jenga, Twister, Mario Kart, Ping Pong, Blackjack – that sort of thing.

Often, college dorms will be able to offer most of these games for free and will be willing to lend them to your organization. Be sure to offer a good variety of games. This way, if members get tired of one game, they’ll have lots to choose from, plus you’ll entice them with fresh games they’ve never heard of. Learning and playing games together will be a great opportunity for members to get to know each other better and grow as a team. Not to mention have lots of fun.

  1. Next-level Movie Night 

People love movies, but what they love even more are movies about themselves. Host a creative movie night for your college organization by offering to play a popular movie and movies made by members of your own organization. Put together a short movie yourself as an example, and offer a prize to whoever makes the best movie. With phones and laptops, just about anyone can put together a fun video in just hours. Invent a theme, some basic rules on content, video runtime, material, and prizes. Encourage your members to form teams so that they’ll have a chance to bond together. Finally, find a projector and a convenient venue to serve as a theatre. 

When the contest period ends, bring everyone together to watch their films, with free snacks of course. This should get everyone in the mood for whatever feature film you’ve picked to put on after. Comparing their work to the feature-length movie is sure to make for some interesting discussion. Just, hopefully not during the movie.

  1. Dog Day

Bring in animals to help your college organization de-stress and grow together! The unconditional love of a dog or similar pet has been shown to help reduce anxiety, stress, and even depression. Unfortunately, most college students aren’t able to keep pets. Luckily for your college organization, you can invite an animal mental health group to your organization, often for free.

Many colleges and universities have nearby mental health animal organizations, often on-campus groups designed to cater to college organizations like yours. UC Berkeley, for example, has an on-campus Destress with Dogs program that brings trained dogs to clubs and campus organizations. Cornell has a similar program with guide dogs. In exchange for their time and service animals at your organization’s events, these animal groups gain visibility and exposure. Win-win. 

If your school does not have one of these groups nearby or on campus, consider a petting zoo or a farm. Many local farms and even animal shelters have tours and programs open to the public to raise awareness. These can be great opportunities for your group to get their fur fix. 

  1. Viable Volunteering

We know, we know. You’ve suffered through group volunteer events that were as much fun watching paint dry. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right research and planning, you can find volunteer events designed for college organizations that your members will actually enjoy. Since so many colleges encourage or even require service commitments from their organizations, volunteer organizations often target college groups like yours, with events made for an exciting team-building experience.  

But how do you find these events, you ask? With viable volunteering, it’s all about location, location, location. You want to be doing somewhere your members will actually enjoy what they’re doing. For example, a beach cleanup would be preferable to an alleyway cleanup. Volunteering in a New Year’s celebration would be preferable to volunteering at New Year’s garbage dump. Look on volunteering websites like VolunteerMatch and Idealist for cultural celebrations, exciting location cleanups, and food volunteering opportunities. You’ll also want to make sure your volunteering at an event designed for organizations. Before deciding on an opportunity, be sure to contact the coordinator, and see if they’ve hosted school organizations in the past. 

Not only will volunteering help your organization come together, but it will also boost your organization’s reputation in the community. 

  1. Formals and College Proms

Throwing a grownup style prom party is an easy way to hook members of your college organization, plus spice up an end-of-semester celebration or award ceremony. Swap boring punch for a spiked punch bowl and redeem your old school prom dress and tuxedos. Instead of hosting your traditional end-of-semester recognition party, make it a college prom, spicing up the event with dance, music, and a whole new level of fun.

First, you’ll want to pick a venue and theme for your college prom. Make sure the space can accommodate your entire group, plus has room for food, drinks, lighting, and decorations. Many college organizations will have used spaces like these before for past reception and award ceremonies. Spend a few nights before your event transforming the space with balloons, streamers, and any other easy party decorations. Make a playlist, and ensure you have speakers set up in your venue, along with snacks and abundant seating. You’ll also want to put together a series of high-school themed awards beforehand as well, like most-likely-to-be-early-to-a-meeting or class-clown. Awards like these will make members feel seen and grow closer to your organization.

Finally, send out invitations to your members, explaining that instead of a traditional award ceremony, you’ll be hosting a College Prom, where instead of a Prom King or Queen, you’ll be recognizing member contribution. When everyone arrives, act as MC, putting on your playlist and making sure everyone has a good time. If you’re looking to raise funds for your organization, you could charge members a small fee for their ticket. This could help pay for food, drinks, and entertainment, plus may even make the prom experience feel more authentic.

As a college event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and managing your business. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. 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
  1. Pool Party

Need we say more? A pool party is the perfect way for your group to unwind, exercise, and cool down, all while having lots of fun. It gets everyone outside, requires limited setup, plus offers a low-maintenance activity that will keep your group members busy for hours. 

The first step is to find your pool. We recommend an outdoor pool, one with plenty of space for talking and eating, plus provides shaded areas for partygoers. Often, your campus will have access to an outdoor pool that will work perfectly. If your campus doesn’t have an outdoor pool, reach out to your network of friends, family, and former organization members. It’s very likely that someone will have access to a pool nearby. If you can’t find one through your network, contact local community pools – they usually offer reservations for a reasonable fee. Also, don’t forget that many hotels with pools offer organizations a one-day pass for their pool without staying at the hotel.  Once you’ve secured your pool venue, just bring together a few decorations and some snacks (plastic cups and utensils, no glass) and you’ll have a fun, low maintenance event your college organization is sure to enjoy.

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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HOW TO PLAN A FITNESS EVENT WITH NO MONEY

 

How to Plan a Fitness Event with no Money

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.

  1. 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
  1. 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.

  1. Seek Sponsors

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.

  1. 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.

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

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HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

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4 Trends that Could Leave Event Planners Behind

  1. Greater Personalization

An emphasis on personalization was key in 2019 and will likely only grow in importance in 2020 and beyond. According to Statista, the average email open rate for a personalized message was 19% versus 13% for one that was not personalized at all. But personalization is about more than just getting a client’s first name right. 

On the tech side, this includes things like presenting content based on attendees click-through on their sign up and email responses. You’ll also want to be personal with the number of emails you send, a different sequence based on interaction with your messages and brand.

Attendees are also increasingly interested in personalized event activities. This high level of personalization is usually achieved by offering the attendees many different ways to spend their hours. In Summer 2019, the NYC Writer’s Digest Conference offers attendees over 3 different activities to choose from every hour, and  2018’s C2 event in Montréal even offered 11 different ways to spend their hours. In the coming years, event planners will use attendee interest data to tailor the event experience, from personal targeted ads and notifications to building specialized attendee agendas for each attendee beforehand. Be sure to stress this customizable schedule to your attendees. Giving event goers greater options in how they spend their time will improve their experience and sense of personalization.

  1. More Non-traditional Venues

Hotel venues just aren’t as hot as they were. Last year, the Global Meetings Forecast predicted a 4% increase in the use of non-traditional venues. And according to a Social Table survey, 92% of event planners said they believe events are more likely to be booked outside of a hotel than they were five years ago.

Booking a non-traditional venue can push you outside your comfort zone and stretch your planning skills, but in our opinion, it’s well worth it. A unique venue will make your event experience more memorable, standing out from the crowd.

What does this mean for event planners? For starters, it means you’ll need to start earlier. Securing unique venues takes serious outreach, research, and money. Competing events may be trying to book more iconic or unique venues in your area as well, offering even more incentive to start early. Better safe than sorry!

  1. More Help and Smarter Chatbots

Believe it or not, artificial intelligence is normal now. According to a Nielsen study, about 24% of American Households own smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google’s home speaker. Many of your attendees will own voice assistants, and almost all of them have experience using them.

You can take advantage of this trend by using artificial intelligence chatbots to answer basic questions through an event app, or even before your event, through platforms like Facebook Messenger. It’s faster for attendees, less intimidating, and will give your staff more time and resources to tackle bigger and more questions. So rather than eliminating human help, artificial intelligence allows you to enhance your event’s human and artificial assistance by working smarter, not harder.

4. Last Minute Sign Ups and Personalized Ticketing

Over the last year, event planners have seen more and more late sign-ups, ticket sales going up until the last minute. Attendees are waiting longer and longer to register for events. People are waiting for last-minute travel bargains offset ticket prices, leaving their options open for better prices, deals, and event add-on choices.

You can take advantage of this trend with personalized targeting. Send out personalized emails to past attendees who have yet to register for this year’s event, explaining they’ll be missed if they don’t attend. You can also set a low early bird price, but without a definitive end date for the early bird sales. Customers will not know exactly how long they have to get the lower priced tickets, creating a sense of urgency.

You can also take advantage of this focus on attendee FOMO and ticket research by offering premium ticketing and pricing attendees are increasingly eager to eliminate event uncertainty, willing to pay extra to guarantee they’ll meet keynote speakers and talk to everyone on their VIP list.

For example, the Writer’s Digest Conference offers a $150 add-on for the “Pitch Slam,” assuring attendees with this ticket that they will get to pitch to agents. And motivational speaker Tony Robbins, known for his iconic Date With Destiny seminar, charges ticket price based seating much the same as a play or rock concert, the front rows more expensive than the far back.

Consider creating add ons for your ticket levels as well, perks like meet-and-greets, a networking breakfast, and premium seating. Getting creative with ticketing options will both make your event feel personalized, catered to attendee experience, and will generate more revenue for your event.

As an event planner, you’re busy with scheduling, your venue, clients, and managing your business. When it comes to ticketing software, you’re looking for convenience and often pick the first software you hear. 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

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

Top 5 Steps for a Successful Pop-up

5 Steps for A Successful Pop-Up Shop

Build it and they will not come. As a pop-up shop, you’re likely starting as an unknown entity. Even if you have an established brand, you don’t have any history in your new brick and mortar space. It’s up to the pop-up to plan their pop-up event to not only be profitable but also grow brand awareness and trust.  

The good news is that with the rise of cheap short term rentals and boutique urban shopping, pop-ups are more popular than ever. Include these 5 steps in your pop-up plan, and you’ll be on the path of success. Neglect them and you kill your pop-up before it can get off the ground.

  1. Advertise more than you think you need to

For a successful pop-up, your customer needs to know you exist. Word of mouth won’t be enough, social media won’t be enough, and in some cases paid advertisements aren’t even enough. It’s our opinion that you should advertise more than you think you need to, starting earlier than you think you need to. Get a buzz going on social media many months before the event by running ads and contacting local influencers in your niche. You can also do a blog tour, posting on popular blogs in your space, which can make your site more visible and drive ticket sales.

And it’s important to note that it’s not enough to advertise big – you’ve also got to advertise smart. Your goal is to capture profits from the pop-up, to prove that a brick and mortar location can be profitable. Spending an obscene amount of your budget on advertising is going to make that goal very difficult to reach. Rather than splurging on splashy advertisements, find ways to specifically target your demographic through targeted online ads, influencers in their niche, and guerilla tactics. 

One of the slyest and often most effective advertising techniques harness the fear of missing out, or FOMO, to pull customers to your shop. Consider paying a group of people to form a line outside your shop and head inside. This paid foot traffic will generate a long line out your door during peak hours, so passersby will notice, take photos and get in line just to see what the hype is all about. 

Make sure your everyone who you pay to be at your shop signs a nondisclosure so they don’t tell anyone they were paid, and avoid jealousy.  These paid people should also be required to take a social media photo and post on IG/FB with your hashtags and location pin. They should be paid and given enough money to also get food at your space. Be sure to know the peak hour of your target customer so you can arrange the line to be out the door at the right time.

 

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CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

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A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

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HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

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QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

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TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

The Ultimate Event Planning Check List

The last event planning checklist you will ever need! Download yours for free! Here’s a sneak peek of our Ultimate Event Planning Checklist:

EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

5-8 Months Before the Event

  • Set goals for your event. What will you achieve by this event, specifically, e.g. generate qualified leads, develop loyal customers for your brand, sell products, raise funds
  • Select a date and venue. Here’s a sample venue request letter.
  • Get cost estimates (Space rental, equipment, food & drink, entertainment fees.) and create a budget plan for your event. You can find an example event budget template here event cost spreadsheet here.
  • Put together your team! We suggest working with a staffing agency to source all your event staff. Staffing agencies carry insurance to cover their staff, plus you know for certain that the staff will show up. Otherwise, recruit employees and volunteers and ensure they know what they will specifically do to help with the event.
  • Designate managers for each set of staff. 
  • Create a plan for promotions and publicity. Where will you put advertisements? Sell tickets?
  •  Identify and confirm speakers/presenters/entertainers. You can find a sample speaker outreach letter here.
  • Contact potential sponsors. You can find a sample event sponsorship request letter here.
  • Determine if you need ticket sale software or event ticketing solutions to make the process easier.

 

3-4 Months Before the Event

  •  Finalize your entertainment plan, if any. Communicate with speakers/artists so you know what they’ll be doing at your event when they’ll be doing it, and their goals.
  •  Finalize travel & accommodation plans for the entertainment, you, and your team.
  • Set ticket price/registration fees.
  • Create an online registration form on your site.
  •   If you’ve secured sponsors, reach out to them for specific figures. Finalize goals and thank them. With Sparxo software you can include sponsor shoutouts in the automatic email confirmation pages and on the Sparxo splash page design.
  • Analyze your venue, especially any issues with weather or transportation. What could go wrong? Oh, only everything.
  • Review security for your event. You want to make sure your customer experience is on point no matter outside forces interfere. Make sure you have protocols for the weather, attendee conflict, illness, etc.
  • Arrange all the technical details of your event. This includes your menu, A/V equipment, registration set-up, parking, signage, etc. Here’s a list of technical elements.
  • Publicize your event, e.g. ads, your publicist, flyers. Here are 50 ways to market your event in the months before.
  • Plan your program (e.g. speaker order, openings, thanks, closing, etc.) Find gorgeous event program templates here, free with Canva.
  • Develop publicity pieces, e.g., newsletter articles and/or ads, radio spots, print blog posts articles for submission to other publications and/or ads, etc. Here are the top 12 publicists freelancers on Fiverr and here the top on Upwork.
  • Request logos from applicable corporate sponsors for online and printed material. Here’s an article explaining why sponsorship can make or break an event.
  • Develop media list & prepare news releases, Backgrounder, and all media kit materials (e.g., speaker info, bios, headshots, photos, etc.)
  • Create and promote an event page on your own website.
  • Create a Facebook event page, invite all your Facebook friends to like the page for visibility. Here’s a video showing you how to do that. The more people marked going or interested, the greater the event’s visibility. 
  • Register your event on online event calendars like Loxi, Trumba, and Yelp.
  • Create an attendance spreadsheet, keep track of VIP’s or select a technology partner like Sparxo to digitally track your attendees by importing guest lists from other systems.
  • Consider and check for any legal barriers for your event. Do you need any special permits? Insurance or licenses?

 

Simply enter your name and valid email address below and you will receive our comprehensive, 11 page, free e-book!

Name *

Email *

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EV...

After years of being in the corporate world, a pivotal consulting gig with renowned chefs and restaurateurs ignited Michelle Battista’s love of food and her palette. It became her dream to bring people + food + design together in a way that had never been done before. Read on to learn why the Nightwood Society chooses Sparxo as the right event ticketing system partner that allows them to maintain their brand and experience throughout the entire registration process.

And that’s how The Nightwood Society was born.

The Nightwood is a collective that is 10 strong, with this dynamic all-female led team of Michelle, co-owner Kati Reardon, Director of Experience Leah Scafe, and Kitchen Queen Sarah Schneider at its helm.

The all-star, all-women team is made up of chefs, farmers, butchers, wine professionals, event planners, creatives, designers, storytellers – and each of them brings their unique skill set to the table to craft one-of-a-kind show-stopping food events.

At the heart of what they do, their mission is to empower women to create. They serve as a creative incubator for women and provide support for their ideas to flourish, be executed and become successful.

The Nightwood Society hosts all sorts of events including private events, wedding rehearsal dinners, photo shoots, book launches, corporate team-building, culinary experiences, workshops, and classes.

Locating the Right Experienced-Oriented Ticketing Partner

With so many events in the pipeline for the Nightwood, partnering with the right event ticketing system for their customers was high on their priority list. Not only that, but it was important for them to retain the brand presence and experience of what The Nightwood Society is all about throughout the registration process.

Unfortunately, with most event registration and ticketing systems, the companies behind the technology only care about their own brand. This means the experience for The Nightwood Society customers would be very clunky and disconnected from the actual event and brand of The Nightwood Society. They found that their customers would be redirected to a third party website, which means they’d lost control over the brand experience and conversation with their audience. They worked hard to develop a strong brand presence and knew there must be a solution that is good for their brand.

Thankfully, they discovered Sparxo and how Sparxo immediately solves all of their problems and brand concerns. With seamless, direct integration into their own website, they not only get to maintain control of the entire customer experience and message, but customers never have to leave their website to register for an event.

With Sparxo, the seemingly impossible became possible for the Nightwood team. Sparxo enabled them to:

  • Keep 100% of their ticket price
  • Have the flexibility to create engaging landing pages directly on their website
  • Sell tickets right from their own website
  • Maintain control over the brand experience
  • Optimize their marketing efforts for their own brand and not someone else’s
  • Maximize efforts to improve their own SEO and brand presence
  • Track their own customer data easily
  • Understand their customers better in order to offer them more

“I am a big fan of Sparxo. It was so easy to set up, offers all the functionality you need in ticket sales, and lots of customizable options, which is great. I really like the look of the calendar and how it integrates well into our website, which is wonderful for our branding. There are always changes and improvements to be made, but Sparxo takes our feedback very well and they always offer the right updates that we need.

“Above all, what we love the most is the impeccable customer service at Sparxo. They are always responsive and so willing to work with you. They even built a custom landing page for us before our website was live! We believe that Sparxo is the perfect partner. Not only to farmers, butchers and creatives that band together to produce extraordinary experiences around food and wine, but also for event producers who aim to stand out as brands that create the best events and build an amazing community.” ~ Director of Experience Leah Scafe, The Nightwood Society

To check out how Sparxo can help take your event-ticketing and SEO efforts for your event to the next level, visit www.sparxo.com

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

Top 5 Biggest Event Planning Fails in History

Not all events are created equal. In fact, some are created awful. Like angry press, negative 1 star review, never-will-I-ever-attend-this-event-again awful. Today the Sparxo team is counting down the top 5 biggest event planning failures so you can both laugh and learn from them. And then go back to laughing because, psh, what were these event planners thinking? These events are so bad they’re good.

  1. Trapped in TomorrowWorld 2015

TomorrowWorld 2015 was so incredible, event goers never wanted it to end. Trouble was, they got their wish.

Mid-concert, a storm rolled in and flooded the Chattahoochee Hills venue. All roads in and out of TomorrowWorld were closed, leaving the concert goers trapped. It was like Cast Away, except with more prickly social media influencers and less Academy Awards. Needless to say, it was a total freaking disaster.

With heavy rain and nowhere to sleep, people got sick of waiting for the roads to open. Many struck out on their own. Thousands of concert-goers marched through for miles in the mud to reach Ubers and Shuttles, which weren’t able to get close to the closed-off concert roads. If that wasn’t bad enough, the high demand for Ubers meant some had to pay hundreds of dollars just to escape TomorrowWorld. “They left us to rot,” said one festival goer, “Like the walking dead.” Concert goers went from never wanting to go home to not being able to go home. Careful what you wish for.

Lesson: Have a backup plan. And a backup plan for your backup plan. It can be easy for experienced event planners to forget about Murphy’s law, to forget that no matter how skilled, nature can turn anyone’s event on its head. Be sure you have safety procedures in place and a way to keep people informed. In a worst-case-scenarios like TomorrowWorld, even if it’s not possible to arrange transportation out of the event, event planners can provide some support to attendees, putting a positive spin on a negative experience. Event planners could give out tents, raincoats, free food, care packages, and discounts to future events. Freebies. Something to prove the event cares about its attendees. With TomorrowWorld’s swollen budget, event planners could have even afforded to airdrop freaking scooters. And if all else fails sure, giving out refunds isn’t ideal, but it’s better than an angry, wet customer base. When planning events, assume that anything that can go wrong, will.

  1. Putting the Hot in Hotline

Veteran event planners have the best stories. Senior event planner Erika Turan recalls her most gruesome event horror story, where a hotline mixup ended in a very spicy twist.

Turan worked under a usually very capable event planner, who’d done everything by the book. Turan had just helped him set up the perfect medical service event, complete with a responsible budget and mailpiece, all carefully maneuvered around physician politics. Everything was great. Hot, even. But for some reason, nobody was registering. The phone never rang. So Turan checked the number.

The event’s perfectly memorable hotline registration number had been listed as 800-555-0000 instead of 888-555-0000. The wrong number. The number everyone had been calling to register belonged, in fact, to an adult entertainment hotline. The callers got the checkup of their lives.

Lesson: Test, test, test! Never set up a call line, an email address, anything, without testing it. Send a sample email, make a test call. If possible, get an outsider to do this, to give you a sense of what the sign-up or hotline experience is like for an event goer.

No matter how sharp your event planning skills are, testing and checking your work will always be essential. A double or triple check could be the difference between a hot event and a, err, hot event. You know what we mean.

  1. And the Million Dollar Deal Goes to… Nike’s Imaginary friend!

In 2013, Nike finally invited Stephen Curry in for a shoe deal. This was big for them. Curry was a rising star and had family working for Nike. Plus, he was already a fan of Nike shoes. Besides Nike wasn’t just any shoe company, they were the shoe company in 2013. They should have had this deal in the bag, one easy shoot and swish. Should have. Enter, incompetence and impersonalization.

Nike began by welcoming ‘Steph-on’ Curry to the pitch, thanking him for his time and telling him how big of fans they were. Big fans of Steph-on, they just couldn’t wait to work with him.

…Wait. There is no Steph-on Curry? Nike confused him for a Family Matters character?! Because Nike had no idea who the real Stephen Curry even was?!?

And the mixups only got worse. The staff’s pitch PowerPoint addressed Kevin Durant instead of Steph Curry, the event staff reusing the old Durant pitch for Steph, forgetting to switch the names around. Awkward. Steph Curry’s father says Steph “Kept his poker face on,” but “Stopped paying attention after that.” Steph obviously turned Nike down, before signing with Under Armour. He went on to make millions for Under Armour, his brand of shoes second only to Jordans in sales. Nike must be kicking themselves.

Lesson: Relationships count. That’s why you’re inviting real live people to these events, right? People appreciate people who pay attention to them, who knows what’s going on in their lives, in their business, and at the very least, know their freaking name. Event planning and business superstar Dale Carnegie once said that “The Sweetest sound to any man is the sound of his own name.” And it’s true. Cultivating personal relationships before, during, and after an event will make the difference between a success and a failure, and hopefully keep things a whole lot awkward. So shake hands. Stay focused on the event goers. Send follow-ups. And if you’ve got influencers and awards, please, please learn names. We know it’s hard. But it’s worth it. Just ask Steph Curry.

  1. Not Chicken Nuggets. Presidential Chicken Nuggets.

January 2019, mid-Government shutdown, the President invited the Clemson Tigers to a White House dinner. You’d think fine dining at the highest office in the land, right. Steak, silver platters. White tablecloths. That sort of thing.  

But remember the government was shut down, there were no federal employees in the White House. No federal chefs were available to make the meal. So the president was forced to order out.

Did they go with caviar? Steak? Some fancy DC chain? Nope, the event planners ordered fast food. They had a truckload of McDonald’s, Wendy’s burgers, chicken nuggets, Domino’s pizza (and some salad!) sent into the white house for dinner. Oof.

When asked why on earth a white house dinner, renowned for its exclusivity and class, would do this, the president said “Because of the shutdown. So we set out and got this. We have some wonderful people working at the White House that helped us out with this…We have to have border security.”

The president wasn’t thinking brand or experience, he was thinking politics. And now anyone lucky enough to RSVP for a White House dinner will have to wonder will I be served McDonald’s? And more importantly: should I bring ketchup?

Lesson: Brand and experience are everything. It’s awful for an event to fall apart, sure, but it’s worse when a reputation falls apart too. Not only did the White House’s event planning for the dinner spark online outrage, but it also seriously damaged the White House brand and experience. There’s less faith in them. Their guests of honor came all the way to the White House only to be served fast food from around the corner. Worse, the menu made the White House look like an ad for McDonalds. Not only did their brand suffer, but it was eclipsed by fast food companies. Double no-no. This begs the question: How will you keep your brand intact? How will your brand be remembered? Well, one great way to brand an event or company is by having your own domain name, like www.yournameherepresents.com. Plenty of web template companies like Square Space ($12 bucks a month) make this easy, fast, and cheap to have a beautiful, mobile-optimized website in no time. Having your own branded website, allows your audience to know where to go for future events and build trust.

This is so crucial for ticket sales too. Instead of making yourself dependent on big third-party ticketing companies that hide your brand (Looking at you, Eventbrite and Brown Paper Tickets), consider putting them to work for your brand. First, post your event on these big ticketing platforms to see if anyone new finds you through them. That way you’ll convert anyone who finds you from those ticketing sites into fans of your own website, your own brand. Then when the event ends, send event goers an email recap after the event thanking them for their support and to check out your own website for future events. In reality, companies like those don’t really help you sell more tickets. A majority of your sales come from your own brand and marketing efforts. Check out this case study.

See, this is what companies like ours do. We allow you to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you integrate ticket selling it directly into your website with no redirects – all for free. Sparxo also lets you import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems into Sparxo so you can aggregate all of your customer data for data analytics like identifying repeat attendees and have one seamless check-in system. This will make things so much smoother, and so much more personal. Win-win, right? Plus, you’ll make more money. Like, a lot more. WIth Sparxo, you keep 100% of your ticket price! The best part? Sparxo is free.

So there you have it, hacks to avoid having your brand swallowed like fast food, plus SEO nuggets to empower your brand. Heh. Nuggets.

  1. The Fyre Festival Fraud

Fyre Festival has become the most infamous event planning failure of the century, if not ever. Fyre was such a colossal dumpster fire of an event, the company got pinned with hundreds of lawsuits, thousands of angry attendees, and its own Netflix documentary on its spectacular failure. For those of you not up to date on internet outrage, here’s what happened:

Fyre was a failed music festival slated to take place on in the Bahamas, the supposed “luxuries” of this island festival advertised by social media influencers, models and rappers all paid to say good things.

Unfortunately, most of the “luxuries” were lies. Fyre had no intention or even the ability to deliver what was promised. When the day of the festival arrived, there were humongous issues with security, food, accommodation, medical services, and musician relations, causing the event to be postponed indefinitely. Instead of “luxury” villas and fancy meals the attendees were promised, they got soggy FEMA sandwiches and makeshift tents. The festival’s founder went to jail for fraud, with $26 million in fines. Ouch.

Lesson: Don’t over-promise and under deliver. When advertising and promoting or even just chatting with event goers and influencers, be modest. Don’t downplay your events great qualities, but don’t embellish or oversell either. Fyre promised private jets, sandy beaches, gourmet cuisine, and exclusive bands — attendees paid thousands of dollars in ticket costs for these big promises. Instead, they got soggy sandwiches. And rain. Lots of rain.

This sort of hype and overselling risks disappointments your attendees, and worse, destroying their trust. Remember how brand was trust? Well, yeah, you can imagine how under delivering would obliterate brand. Fyre’s brand is so toxic it didn’t just shut down, but it’s now an adjective meaning the opposite of fire. “That event was so not-fire that it was Fyre. Trash!” When advertising tickets, definitely do stress your brand’s good points but don’t exaggerate. Your event’s awesomeness will speak for itself.

 

Sources Cited:

“3 Special Event Fails – and What They Taught Me.” LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-special-event-fails-what-taught-me-erika-turan/.

Joseph, Andrew. “The White House Really Did Serve Clemson a Fast-Food Feast on Silver Platters.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 16 Jan. 2019, ftw.usatoday.com/2019/01/trump-white-house-clemson-fast-food-mcdonalds-wendys-burger-king-silver-platters-photos-reaction.

Godwin, Becca. “How TomorrowWorld Became an Epic Disaster Of Near-Riots and Looming Lawsuits.” Vice, VICE, 28 Sept. 2015, www.vice.com/en_us/article/gvngkx/how-tomorrowworld-became-an-epic-disaster-of-near-riots-and-looming-lawsuits.

“Why Did John Travolta Mess Up Idina Menzel’s Name? The Truth Revealed.” Broadway.com, www.broadway.com/buzz/179663/why-did-john-travolta-mess-up-idina-menzels-name-the-truth-revealed/.“The Lessons of the Fyre Festival.” INFLUENCE, INFLUENCE, 5 Feb. 2019, influence.bloglovin.com/the-lessons-of-fyre-festival-a79f983ea374?gi=4305de1d129d.

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

How Creative Startup Labs completely SOLD OUT thei...

With a career in law and a passion for fashion, J. Brad Carrick identified that there was a gap in understanding legal aspects of the fashion industry. That’s why he founded Creative Startup Labs, a unique and innovative full-service agency dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs start, protect and grow their business.

From brand development and legal services to creative financing and strategic consulting, Creative Startup Labs goes the extra mile for its clients.   So how does Creative Startup Labs plan sold out events all year around?

Brad’s approach is multifaceted. He isn’t just focused on filling the space with bodies or consumed with the physical experience of attendees, but even more so, he understands that the brand image attendees have begins with the digital experience that happens before the event. He understands that it’s about the technology he uses to sell out events to provide a seamless and smooth digital to physical experience for each of his client’s brands.

A decade of event experience

Creative Startup Labs has been producing events for its clients for the past decade with notable industry experience in activating word of mouth marketing, memorable attendee experiences, and successfully planning sold out events.

In March 2019, Creative Startup Labs worked with a client to host an exclusive event called  MM Fantasy Soiree: Dragon’s Lounge, which showcased Asian-inspired art, fashion, performance and visuals by Mariya Milovidova. Performances included a series of modern dance, ballet and singing performances inspired by an appreciation for Asian arts and celebration of the Lunar New Year and the event was held at a secret, pop-up underground den at Eleven11 Fantasy Lounge.

The event had all the makings of a premium event worth talking about.

Switching technology to build brand following and loyalty

Creative Startup Labs recognized that they had to take a different approach if they wanted to stay ahead in the marketing game and really focus on developing its clients brand following to produce recurring successful events.

The goal was simple –

  1. Ensure the event is packed
  2. Provide the best digital to physical brand experience

From engaging marketing content and convenient ticket purchasing to smooth check-in, Creative Startup Labs wanted the end-to-end experience for its audience to be a seamless reflection of its client.

The right technology makes all the difference not only to the success of this show but also to the long term viability of brand loyalty and returning attendees.

This is where Brad and Creative Startup Labs decided to partner with Sparxo’s white label ticketing platform.

They were  attracted to Sparxo for a few key reasons which included:

  • Ability to keep 100% of their ticket price
  • Flexibility to create engaging landing pages
  • Maximize marketing efforts to improve their own SEO and brand
  • Ability to sell tickets on other ticketing platforms
  • Ability to aggregate all data into Sparxo
  • Referral tracking links to incentivize event partners

“Sparxo made it easy to track and incentivize affiliates and team members. We were also able to use several different promotional and discount codes that were customizable across ticket levels and times.“ – J. Brad Carrick, Founder of Creative Startup Labs

They set up their event on Sparxo with the intention to directly integrate with its website, use it as their primary sales promotion platform and increase their SEO efforts.

As per its client request, Creative Startup Labs also posted the event on Eventbrite in hopes of riding the email marketing and branded platform wave to generate more sales.  

“Funny enough, our client wanted to have an Eventbrite page up as she thought that would get her greater exposure. In the end, only one ticket sold on Eventbrite.” – J. Brad Carrick, Creative Startup Labs Founder

A partnership for life

Creative Startup Lab’s event was a huge success and they packed the venue for their event.

The agency sold 98% of tickets through its website integrated with Sparxo’s white-label ticketing platform. Numbers don’t lie. While Eventbrite boasts that the majority of sales come through Eventbrite channels, in reality, that does not translate into the majority of sales come from Eventbrite’s promotions and marketing or discovery platform.

A majority of ticket sales come from the event organizer’s own marketing and branding, driving traffic to Eventbrite channels.

Sparxo also offers 50% faster check-in compared to Eventbrite with its lightning fast QR code scanning.

“Overall, we had a seamless and smooth experience on Sparxo and will definitely be using it again for our future events.” – J. Brad Carrick, Creative Startup Labs Founder

Evidently, trying something new with the right mindset and functionality can be a real game-changer in marketing events and growing your brand.  Check Sparxo out for planning your next sold out event!

To check out how Sparxo can help take your event-ticketing and SEO efforts for your event to the next level, visit, www.sparxo.com

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

SPARXO CHECK-IN, A FREE GUEST LIST APP FOR EVENTS

SPARXO MAKES IT EASY TO ADD AN EVENT CALENDAR TO YOUR WEBSITE

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN

WHERE SHOULD YOU POST YOUR EVENT? EVENTBRITE, MEETUP, OR FACEBOOK?

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO SELL OUT TICKETS

7 UNIQUE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR EVENT VIRAL

A MEATING OF MINDS — HOW THIS COMPANY IS CHANGING THE WAY MEAT IS CONSUMED

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019

LEARN WHAT TICKETING COMPANIES ARE HIDING – A COMPARISON

EVENT PROMOTER’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EMAIL PROMOTIONS

9 MISTAKES EVENT PRODUCERS OVERLOOK

3 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

HOW CREATIVE STARTUP LABS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT THEIR SECRET UNDERGROUND POP-UP EVENT USING SPARXO

TOP 5 BIGGEST EVENT PLANNING FAILS IN HISTORY

QUIZ: WHAT’S YOUR EVENT PLANNER PERSONALITY TYPE?

HOW THE NIGHTWOOD SOCIETY TOOK CONTROL OF THEIR EVENT EXPERIENCE

THE ULTIMATE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST

TOP 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POP-UP

9 Mistakes Event Producers Overlook

People often settle for learning from their mistakes, but we believe it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others. Our team here at Sparxo understands how difficult it is to produce an event from conception to reality. There are so many intricacies and details to consider to ensure a successful event, which to us means a smooth and seamless attendee experience. So here’s a list of mistakes most event producers overlook from our founding team who has 20+ years of event experience combined: (You can thank us later!)

We’ve added a lot of meat to each section. Here’s an overview of the 9 points, feel free to skip to the section that most interests you:

  1. Lack of Marketing Expertise
  2. No Live Stream
  3. Poor Registration Process
  4. Not Planning Ahead
  5. Consciously Building Your Own Event Brand
  6. Not Thinking Through The Audience Experience
  7. Underestimating How to Structure Ticket Prices
  8. Lack of Communication Before The Event
  9. Not Having Event Insurance

(Written by: Rawia Abu Rabie)

  1. Lack Of Marketing Expertise

A successful sold out, viral event requires attention to marketing and advertising on social media platforms. It is estimated that 88% of millennials regularly use social media. You may have noticed that some events are everywhere on social media platforms and others can barely seem to be found. Great marketing and advertising for an event include knowing what content to create and when the best time is to post it.  Our research shows that you want to post on Facebook between 1 pm – 3 pm on weekdays and Saturdays. On average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 PM and 3 PM. Overall for Instagram, Thursday is the best day to post on Instagram not just at 3 PM, but also at 5 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM as well.

All successful events rely on a strong word of mouth virality along with social media. Most of these events in today’s culture and with today’s technology are at everyone’s fingertips, so it makes it easier to advertise and put your event out there. Let’s take a look at Tomorrowland, one of the biggest electronic music festivals held in Belgium every summer. They do a phenomenal job in utilizing social media platforms to engage with audiences they otherwise never would have reached. Get ready for it … Each year Tomorrowland sells out on 400,000 tickets 40 minutes after they are released. To do this, Tomorrowland averages over 1.2 Billion social media engagements across Facebook, Instagram, and their Snapchat story was available in six different languages for users. One of their best strategies around digital marketing revolves around offering access to a live stream of their event to regions with strict government regulations on social media. Take notes here – if you can tap into untapped markets, you will be able to successfully ensure a sold-out event year over year by increasing your target market.

Tomorrowland is just one major example of how an international event continues to succeed and sell out their event year after year by strategically utilizing social media and digital marketing platforms. 

  2. No Live Stream

Not considering live streaming your event is one of the biggest missed opportunities event planners make. It’s a way for you to reach an audience who was thinking about coming or couldn’t come but will come next time. It’s also a way for you to have more information go viral by streaming fun content.  According to Julius Solaris, some of the best live streaming apps include Facebook, Youtube live, Periscope, Instagram Live, and Twitch. Don’t miss a chance to reach an audience who may decide to attend next time.  For example, Coachella, an annual musical festival held in California during the month of April,  its live stream reaches 41 million people.  That is the population of Australia and Cambodia combined! Moreover, the Super Bowl’s streamed event was watched across 7.5 million unique devices or the entire population of Hong Kong! One last statistic to blow your mind, the live stream of the red carpet of the Grammys has over 4.3 million views. Now, do you believe us? Live streaming of your event is a great way to engage with the otherwise missed audience and future customers. It helps create a higher demand for your next event and gives people a way to easily talk and share your event with their networks.

A successful sold out, viral event requires attention to marketing and advertising on social media platforms. It is estimated that 88% of millennials regularly use social media. You may have noticed that some events are everywhere on social media platforms and others can barely seem to be found. Great marketing and advertising for an event include knowing what content to create and when the best time is to post it.  Our research shows that you want to post on Facebook between 1 pm – 3 pm on weekdays and Saturdays. On average, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 PM and 3 PM. Overall for Instagram, Thursday is the best day to post on Instagram not just at 3 PM, but also at 5 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM as well.

All successful events rely on a strong word of mouth virality along with social media. Most of these events in today’s culture and with today’s technology are at everyone’s fingertips, so it makes it easier to advertise and put your event out there. Let’s take a look at Tomorrowland, one of the biggest electronic music festivals held in Belgium every summer. They do a phenomenal job in utilizing social media platforms to engage with audiences they otherwise never would have reached. Get ready for it … Each year Tomorrowland sells out on 400,000 tickets 40 minutes after they are released. To do this, Tomorrowland averages over 1.2 Billion social media engagements across Facebook, Instagram, and their Snapchat story was available in six different languages for users. One of their best strategies around digital marketing revolves around offering access to a live stream of their event to regions with strict government regulations on social media. Take notes here – if you can tap into untapped markets, you will be able to successfully ensure a sold-out event year over year by increasing your target market.  

  3. Poor Registration Process

Too often event producers and planners are focused on the event itself, that they forget about the importance of the check-in experience for their attendees and how that first impression depicts how their audience perceives their brand and the rest of the event.

For example, for those massive, sold out events where you know attendees will show up an hour or more before the event doors open, you should consider planning out the wait time experience. This might include 

  • Looking at the weather forecast! If it’s forecasted to be rainy, you should set up tents. If it’s blazing hot, you might consider setting up water stations outside and utilizing the opportunity to give out branded swag like sunglasses with your logo.
  • Putting up banner stands and fliers along the line sharing your IG handle/ FB handle and “slogans” that they can easily share or post.
  • Renting port-a-potties outside to ensure that guests don’t decimate the neighborhood or venue building.
  • Placing trash bins outside to keep the neighborhood/area clean/ the venue so neighborhood welcomes you back in the future.

You should want to make the experience pleasant for people waiting in line. You might consider planning out a few surprise experiences for guests while they’re waiting in line to start their event experience off on the right foot.

  • Waiting in line, is this a pleasant experience? What if it rains? Are there tents?
  • It needs to be clear what check-in is like, is it digital or printed tickets?  Do customers need to show their ID? Is it fast?
  • Check-in staff should be aware of the use of check-in devices, scanning, internet, what to do if someone doesn’t have a ticket? Is there a box office? Is there a manager they go to for help?
  • How are security dealing with the audience? Are they greeting them? Are they being nice?

Check-in is the first step your audience interact with your event, it needs to be pleasant and fast in order to get your audience excited about what’s next. Sparxo offers a great, free check-in application that scans digital and printed tickets. You can also sell tickets on other platforms and import lists into Sparxo so you have one seamless check-in experience. Plus, we offer a free POS (point of sale) system and box office set up as well!

 

 

  4. Not Planning Ahead

Planning an event is a lot of work from financial planning, registrations to looking for space. In order to not waste all this in prior work and maintain the success of the event, you need to think about all the possibilities that might happen in the day of the event. “What can go wrong and how can I prevent it or fix it?” That is why no matter how small the event is, it needs a lot of planning ahead

Thinking through worst-case scenarios ahead of time to prepare for them.  

Some worst-case scenario examples and how to prepare for them:

  • It suddenly rains on your event date – Do you have an indoor venue as a backup location to move the audience into? Do you have cover or water resistant materials to cover the stuff that cannot get wet? Do you need to reschedule?  Is Is the audience aware of the evacuation plan? That is why communication is super important with the audience prior to the event about event updates. Many cities have unstable weather conditions that fluctuate like the city of rain, London,  how the morning can be sunny and clear/ evening can be foggy and rainy)
  • Too many staff call in sick suddenly (broken car, got sick, etc) what do you do? Do you have extra staff prepared?
  • Power outage – what do you do? (how do you communicate this to the audience for rescheduling of event and/or still have an event?)
  • Your major artist or headliner speaker missed their flight/ can’t make it, how do you deal with it?
  • Does your event overlap with a major holiday? Should you reschedule now?

With Sparxo, event producers and organizers have access to brainstorming with Sparxo’s cofounding team of industry experts – for free! Sign up and set up your paid event tickets and you will automatically receive an email from our CEO!

  5. Consciously Building Your Own Event Brand

This is important to your success and future events. Often event organizers think only about the current event and its success, but don’t keep in mind how to use this event to launch future events. For example, electronic dance music events are well known for having memorable and sticky names such as (EDC) Electric Daisy Carnival or Coachella. Even major mainstream events have memorable, easy names such as the Super Bowl, the Grammy’s, the Oscars, and the Emmy’s to name a few.

How will your event brand be remembered?

The best event producers brand their event so that they can reproduce with ease. Or, an alternative to building an event-specific brand, is to brand your event production company and reinforce your company’s name throughout your marketing.

A specific way to brand your event or company includes having your own website such as www.yournameherepresents.com. Website template companies make is easy, fast, and cheap to have a beautiful, mobile-optimized website in no time. Our team particularly recommends Square Space.  It is considered a low expense and well priced as it is only a base of $12 per month billed annually. Having your own branded website, allows your audience to know where to go for future events and

gives them the idea that you produce multiple events. With this in mind, it is not in your best interest to put a link to buy tickets or register for your event on your website if it redirects your audience from your website to a different website such as Eventbrite or Brown Paper Tickets.


Don’t kill your brand. Instead of making yourself dependent on these third-party ticketing companies, we urge and encourage you to leverage them instead. Don’t make that mistake most event producers overlook when selecting their ticketing company. If you find that you need help with marketing and promotions to sell extra tickets. Why not post your event on their platforms anyway just to see if anyone new finds you through them? The goal then is not to promote their ticketing link, but to convert anyone who finds you from those sites into fans of your own website and brand.  You can do this by sending them an email recap after the event thanking them for their support and to check out your website for future events.

This is why our founders are pretty awesome. They designed Sparxo to allow you to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere you’d like. Sparxo has an easy to use way to import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems into Sparxo. This way you can aggregate all of your customer data for data analytics like identifying repeat attendees and have one seamless check-in system. Plus, our platform really does let you integrate it directly into your website with no redirects – all for free. You keep 100% of your ticket price!  

  6. Not Thinking Through The Audience Experience

Picking a venue, hiring a DJ and getting people to your event is not enough to make your event a success. Too many event producers forget to think about the details in the experience of their audience and how important their experience at the event is for the future of their other events. (We know this sounds a lot like something we mentioned above, but it’s not. We promise.)

A majority of the negative experiences attendees experience can be mitigated by simply having a training conversation with all of your event staff before the event begins.

For example,  here are some questions our team encourages you to think through before the event:

  • What is the experience like when the customer first enters the event? Are they greeted by rude security guards? Or do they enter an event with awesome lighting, music, and clearly marked bars to buy alcohol?
  • What is the experience like at the bar? Are your bartenders slow? Are they bias or not treating everyone equally? Is your event wheelchair accessible?
  • Security – what actions are and aren’t allowed in scenarios like people who are throwing up? There need to be clear instructions on how security can deal with situations.
  • How are staff interacting with the audience, do they greet? Are they nice? Do they smile?
  • Are bathrooms constantly cleaned? Are cleaning staff regularly checking them? Are trash bins regularly emptied?

These examples support the fact that there needs to be an outline of how to think through working with your onsite event staff prior to the event. Training and foresight in preparing your event staff on how to handle situations and have clear guidelines on what to do is a huge part of deciding your success. We hope you don’t make this mistake most event producers overlook.

With Sparxo, event producers and organizers have access to brainstorming with Sparxo’s cofounding team of industry experts – for free! Sign up and set up your paid event tickets and you will automatically receive an email from our CEO!

  7. Underestimating How to Structure Ticket Prices

Most of the time event producers don’t put too much effort into thinking about their ticket pricing structures. It is important to always keep in consideration that you will need to offer discount pricing and VIP or other complimentary tickets. It’s just part of generating support and advocates or promoters of your event. It’s important that they feel taken care of. Every complimentary ticket or discount ticket offered takes away from the total event capacity and the ability to sell full priced tickets. All of this needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about reaching your target revenue.

The industry standards often require you to give out complimentary tickets to special and influential people like media or influencers or sponsors for event partners. Discounts are often needed to give to event partners, friends, and family to incentivize them to buy tickets and come and “make them feel special.” Taking these complementary and discount tickets into consideration affects the price of the actual marketed price of the ticket.

Here’s an example:

Event expenses: $10,000

Target Profit: $10,000

The goal in sales: $20,000

Venue capacity: 500

An inexperienced event planner might think they should sell 500 tickets at $40 each. ($20,000 divided by 500 capacity = $40 per person ticket) This is not accurate.

To take into consideration what it takes to sell 500 tickets, you also need to consider offering ticket sale tiers, presale tickets as well as complimentary tickets and discounts.

To break this down, it might look like:

Two months of ticket sales and marketing

Presale Tier 1 for the first month of sales: $20 with a maximum of 50 tickets (goal is to generate word of mouth in selling out the first tier quickly)

Presale Tier 2: $30 with a maximum of 100 tickets

Presale Tier 3: $35 with a maximum of 100 tickets

Presale Tier 4: $40 with a maximum of 100 tickets

General Admission: $60 at the door

Offering complimentary tickets to 50 people

        And a 20% discount to friends and family off of the GA price.

With Sparxo, event producers and organizers have access to brainstorming with Sparxo’s cofounding team of industry experts – for free! Sign up and set up your paid event tickets and you will automatically receive an email from our CEO!

  8. Lack of Communication Before The Event

Event producers should always communicate with their audience about logistics for the event prior to the event. This contains information about the times in which doors open and directions within the venue.

It is always useful for your guests to know how to move around throughout the event. Can you imagine not knowing where the exit is during a time of an unexpected emergency? Thus, you should always Include the following:

  • Location of  parking garages in the area
  • Spots that have access to public transportation
  • Bathroom locations
  • The check-in station
  • Menu for food and drinks
  • Payment methods
  • ATM locations
  • Emergency exits

Moreover, making clear for staff if they have access to outlet sources to plug devices in or if they need to bring extra power packs and cables on hand to keep devices charged. Having all this clear prior to the event is highly efficient and effective.

Event producers should assure that everything is clear for their audience prior to the event because miscommunication can lead to some memorable hiccups in the experience your audience has with your brand and event.  For example, if your audience isn’t aware of the limited number of parking garages, they may not find parking or wait in long lines to park their cars, causing them to miss the opening of the show. While parking isn’t your responsibility, it is in your best interest your audience has the smoothest experience possible associated with your event and brand.  Another example would be making sure all audience are aware of the dress attire, so no one comes for a business event in a flip flop for example. Having great communication with the audience prior to the event makes your audience’s experience much better and easier. This will reflect terribly on the company’s reputation resulting in a decrease in sales for future events.

The great thing about Sparxo is that you can set up automatic messages to specific ticket holders beforehand using their Custom Email Confirmation section and/or their Email Message Specific to the Purchase of a specific ticket levelSign up for a free, no-obligation account today! This is an easy way not to make this mistake most event producers overlook!

  9. Not Having Event Insurance

Many event producers make the common mistake of not having event insurance. And, trust us, event insurance won’t break your bank. It could, however, save you from going bankrupt! We recommend checking out Event Helper, a 10 years old event insurance company. We did the work and checked pricing for you. For a thousand person event, event insurance through Event Helper would cost less than $200.

For large events, event insurance is a must. It protects you from all sorts of liabilities you wouldn’t have ever thought could happen at your event such bodily injury to attendees or property damages to the venue. Event insurance generally also covers any third party damage including the venue or vehicles rented especially for the event or for catering. And if you’re selling alcohol, liquor liability is something to think about for attendees who night overdose or be so intoxicated they require EMTs.

Some other examples of why you should consider event insurance might include if you are hosting an event in the inner city and a car crashes through your event, disturbing your entire event experience and shutting it down early.  Do you refund all guests? Who covers the cost of your staff and expenses? Or, perhaps, you’re hosting a concert with thousands of people and it happens to be incredibly hot that day or the air conditioning in the venue breaks down. What do you do when someone faints of dehydration?

 

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BLOG POST ARTICLES:

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