How to set up your event for success
We regularly talk with Mental Health Professionals about events and workshops they want to transition into as they develop their careers. Helping people is at the heart of who they are, so opening the services they practice in a one-to-one format into a group scenario makes perfect sense!
In this post, we’ll run through a few answers to some common questions you have about running your own events – and how you can set them up for success!
How do I know there is an interest in a particular workshop?
Finding out if your event or workshop will be an instant hit in your local area is the cause of concern for a lot of newcomers. The best way to find out is by asking the people you help out on a daily basis if they’d be interested in attending. Review what events are on in the local area and if there is a gap for a certain topic or service. For instance, you might feel there isn’t enough coverage of mental health in the workplace or motivational based group activities. Ask yourself the same questions a client would if they were considering such an event – does this event suit my needs? Is it at the right time, place and price?
When is the best time to run an event?
The quote ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’ rings true when we think about making a group-based workshop a success. You can’t expect an event to be a hit overnight and catered to your audience’s requirement if it is not properly planned. At every point, be mindful that people’s free time is limited and ever-changing; providing an accessible, safe environment that’s at a convenient time is key.
Remember that your client’s time is just as valuable as yours. For example, a full-day event may struggle to pull in the numbers you’d expect because some people have very limited time to invest due to other commitments. Ensure your event details are clearly defined, so people have an idea of what to expect; especially the duration of the session so everyone can plan their time in advance properly. Give them more reasons to book and fewer reasons not to!
How best to advertise a new event and gain traction?
Building awareness for your event is the most important factor in getting bums on seats (or in 2020, zoom attendees). Here are the basics to ensure you’re covering everything.
1. Become a speaker
Plucking up the courage and speaking in front of people at other events is a great way to build confidence before you put your wellies on and jump in the mud. There’s always a chance that the people you speak to connect with you and become interested in future events!
2. Create an event page on your website
Creating a dedicated page on your website full of information and imagery will drum up more excitement and is key for selling the idea to prospective attendees. Attempting to outline what you’re trying to offer with just a single post on Facebook or LinkedIn will be rather limited and would probably sell your event short.
3. Create a set of assets and imagery that is clear and consistent
Creating a set of banner images and posts that you can re-use consistently to advertise your event to your followers will help them understand that the event is special and differs from any other post.
4. Contact your existing and previous clients
The clients you work with and the clients you’ve helped are the best people to contact first about your new event. Maintain* a list of clients either via an email marketing platform like Mailchimp or just a spreadsheet. They might even know of others that might be interested to help the event gain further traction.
*Before contacting clients, please consider Data Protection and if you’ve asked that you can send out marketing.
5. Repost in FB groups and through LinkedIn
Being part of a community of like-minded people is crucial to expanding your network. Look to local groups on Facebook that have similar interests and re-share your event via those places. The wide scope of access means your event might find its way to people that you never thought possible.
There isn’t a proven roadmap to making an event a success – with that being said, you also need to define what makes an event successful to you and your business. If you want to get into this side of the industry and want to learn more, we always suggest attending other events and talking to the people that set them up about their own experiences. You might find that what sets apart one workshop from the other is in a minor detail that happens to resonate with an audience.
We’ve been lucky to be a part of the events scene both from an attendee and a speaker viewpoint. Jordan Yates, our very own Creative Director has spoken at multiple events covering a wide range of topics. More recently we set up a free event called Design Recovery that helps to provide a place for discussion on Mental Health. Go check it out at @designrecovery on Instagram.