There comes a time for every business to ask themselves the question, “Is my business ready to host its first event?” We live in a day and age where events are looking a little different from ever before. You have more opportunities than ever to choose a style of event that aligns with your goals and growth strategy. This makes it more accessible than ever to host your first event!
Plus, when nearly three-quarters of marketers think events are impactful for creating connections with customers, the potential is made clear. But, how do you know when it’s time to pull the trigger? You have to start by asking yourself a few questions.
Today, we’re going to share those three questions! Get ready to take some notes and work through these in real-time for significant impact.
Question #1: What are your SMART goals for this year?
If you’re considering hosting an event for your business, start by asking yourself the “why.” What are your SMART goals for the year? What does your growth strategy look like?
If you have goals like extending your social media reach by 10,000 followers, could an event help you? Yes, but so can paid advertising. And you may get more bang for your buck going that way.
But if your goal is to generate 10% more revenue in the third quarter by offering an educational program you’ve never shared with the public, an event would be a perfect avenue for this.
Events are a considerable investment. You want to ensure that the reason behind hosting them is significant, purposeful, and will impact your business. You shouldn’t just host an event for the heck of it. Be intentional!
Question #2: Do you have enough time and money to host your first event?
If you have decided that the “why” behind hosting an event is strong enough, now it’s time to move to the next question. Do you have the money and the resources to put on an impactful event?
By hosting an event half-heartedly, you’re doing your business more of a disservice than anything. If you attract attendees to your event and have a poor first experience or aren’t impressed, you’re not going to get them back again. And in reality, many people don’t just host one event and never host again. Instead, the goal should be to create a community, an attraction, and an experience that people can’t get enough of. You want to make your audience want more! This is where true growth in your business and event strategy will begin.
So, before you pull the trigger, make a thorough event budget. And if you aren’t sure where to even begin with that, schedule a consultation call with a professional who can provide some insight as to what your event may cost. Some things to budget for include:
- Virtual Event Platform and/or Live Event Venue
- Speaker Fees & Travel
- Team Travel Costs
- Food & Beverage
- Audio Visual Production
- Marketing Costs & Production
- Security & Sanitation
- Gamification & On-Site Activations
- Staff & Labor Costs
Now, these costs are fluid and will depend on whether or not you’re hosting in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid environment. They’ll depend on the location, services, and the number of attendees. But you want to make sure you have sufficient capital to do it right the first time. Otherwise, you should save and wait until you’re ready to invest.
Events aren’t cheap. But done correctly, they can be immensely profitable for your business!
The next thing to consider is time. If you have a team in place that can help or are willing to outsource, that usually means you may be ready to take the leap! But, if you’re grinding and burning the midnight oil, you may not be at that point yet.
Question #3: Do You Have a Large Enough Audience?
Sometimes it’s hard to be introspective. But when it comes to investing in hosting your first event, you need to analyze where you’re at. For example, if you have 3,000 followers on Instagram—that’s amazing; great work! However, if your engagement score is less than .05%, the likelihood of those 3,000 followers pulling the trigger to invest in a paid event is relatively low. However, if you have a million followers and a 1% engagement rate, you have a pretty good pool of target audience to pitch your event to.
To figure out if your audience is sufficient, do the following:
- First, determine if you’re hosting online or in-person and what the investment would be for your audience.
- Set an attendance goal. For a small, intimate coaching retreat, maybe your goal is five attendees. But if you want a sizeable virtual conference attendance, perhaps you want 10,000.
- Take a look at your engagement rate from your audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Clubhouse—all the places you connect with your audience. Write down how many engaged followers you have.
- Using an estimate that 2% of your engaged followers would invest in a paid event or 25% would attend a free event you want to host—do those numbers align?
This process will help you decide if you have enough engaged followers to attract attendance to align with your potential event goals.
Pro Tip: Take it a step further and poll your audience to see what their interest in an event would be and what format they’d like to see from you.
Planning to Host Your First Event & Need Help? EBA is Here for You.
If you’re still sure you are ready to host your first event after asking yourself these questions, let’s first celebrate! Events can be a massive driver of change for your business. Both connection and revenue are positive outcomes when your events are planned effectively and efficiently.
Our top tip if you’re hosting your first event is: Enlist help from a professional.
Especially in the events world today, which is changing by the day. Our Eventistry by Alecia team has helped many organizations successfully put together their first event ever. So make sure your first event isn’t a flop—let’s chat.