Hosting live events is very exciting and can be really beneficial for your business. Before hosting your first live event, though, there’s a lot that you need to consider. The biggest question you need to be asking is – are you prepared? As the host, you need to be confident that you’re 100% ready for this. After all, it’s a pretty big step. Are you financially ready? Physically ready? Even emotionally ready? Keep reading to discover how you can tell if you’re prepared to host your first live event.
What are the Benefits of Live Events?
One of the greatest benefits to hosting a live event is that you get quality face to face interaction with your audience. The level of engagement you’ll get from face to face interaction is unparalleled to digital contact through social media and emails. Talking to someone in real life, in the flesh, allows you to build strong, trusting and meaningful relationships with your audience faster than with online interaction. Your audience will get a real glimpse of who you are as a person and get a chance to see your fantastic personality. This will help them create a connection with you quicker than just interacting over social media. This level of connection can also make them some of your strongest supporters and advocates.
Another benefit to hosting live events is your ability to conduct market research. Being able to talk to your audience in person allows for more meaningful conversations and deeper insights than you would achieve online. The answers you get can provide direction on how you can transform and improve on your existing messaging and offers. You can also collect feedback from your audience to see exactly what they’re struggling with at the moment. This should give you some inspiration for products and services to help them fix those problems. On the subject of products and services, live events are also a great place for you to market and sell these and generate some income!
Hosting live events allows you to create and build a community. It’s not just a one-way conversation. Humans are social beings that enjoy being around others. Live events give them an opportunity to mingle, network and create valuable connections. Events also give you the opportunity to present yourself as a leader. You can share your knowledge and showcase your expertise, and that has more of an impact on your audience than sharing stories in, say, a Facebook Live.
What Size Audience do you Need for a Live Event?
Sadly, I cannot give you an exact figure. This depends on the size of event you want to hold and your current level of audience engagement. However, as this is your first live event, I would recommend that you keep the number of attendees small (20-30 is a good number to start with). If a large portion of your audience is in a certain area, hold your event there, on a local scale, in a casual meet-up style. Use your loyal existing clients as advocates before your event to promote it, and at your event to promote you. These advocates will help you by singing your praises to both new and existing clients at the event.
If you’re thinking of starting small, as I suggest, then you don’t need much of an audience if you’re willing to put in the work to market your event. How much marketing depends on whether or not you’ll be charging for the event. If you’re asking people to part with some money to attend you will need to do more convincing, and that can take more time, than inviting them to a free affair. (Of course if you charge them they are more likely to show up!) Use personal outreach, such as emails and direct messages, to connect with potential attendees and explain why they would benefit from attending your event. This is the most effective way to promote your event even when hosting larger ones.
Do You Have the Right Support Network?
Hosting your first live event is not something I would recommend doing solo. You need to use your existing support network, or create one especially for the event. Figure out what needs to get done before, during and after the event and if you can do it all yourself or if you’ll need to delegate or outsource. The logistics of planning an entire event by yourself while still trying to run your business can be incredibly tricky. Do you already have support in place that can help you? Or do you need to go and find some subcontractors? Do you have the funds to hire an event planner? Can you use volunteers? In order to be prepared to host a live event, you need to make sure you have the bandwidth to take it on, or have the people or funds in place to help you get it all done.
Are you Prepared For the Cost of a Live Event?
More than likely there will be financial constraints with your first live event. You may not be able to hold it at your ideal venue, or invite all of the people you’d like to attend, or hire that guest speaker you know would wow your audience. That’s why it’s important to create a detailed budget. Chances are, you’ll be charging attendees to come to the event. How much do you want tickets to be and how many are you going to sell – realistically? Don’t overlook your expenses. What are the venue costs and what are your vendors charging? Will you be paying for guest speakers or giveaways? Line item all of your expenses and projected income to produce your budget.
Part of being prepared is knowing your financial goal. Are you looking to make a profit or just break even in order to accomplish something else, like awareness? Knowing this will help you plan your budget, and decide if you’re ready to host.
So, are you Prepared to Host a Live Event?
Hosting your first live event is super exciting. But don’t let all this excitement cloud your judgement. Being prepared to host a live event requires a lot of planning and consideration. Is it the right time for your business to be hosting a live event, or is it a little too early? For the best results don’t jump the gun. Wait until your exposure and audience grow to allow you to gain the most from your event. Do you have the right support network and enough funds to enable you to plan and host the event that you want? It’s important to remember that as this is your first live event, you shouldn’t aim too big. Start small and local. Learn from your first planning and hosting experience then move on to bigger and better events!