How To Effectively Plan an Event – Networking, Performances, & Panels

November 19, 2019

[Editor’s Notes: This article was written by Suzanne Paulinski.]

Live events are great ways to expand your exposure, grow your network, and even bring in revenue.

They can also be great ways to create opportunities for yourself and your career that others aren’t offering to you. For example, not landing those venues you pitched to in the big city? Find a fan to host you at a house concert in the same city!

Finding it difficult to connect with certain industry peers? Create your own networking event and find others who are looking to connect!

Sometimes you’ve got to make your own path when other pathways seem closed off to your efforts.

However, hosting your own event is a much different beast than pitching to be included at others’. You want to make sure you’re leaving yourself enough time, (and money), to accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

Not sure what type of event you should be hosting?
Lucky for you, you don’t need new music to promote or a service to sell. If you’re interested in hosting an event for this purpose, that’s great, but it’s not a prerequisite. In fact, it takes the pressure off planning it if the event doesn’t revolve around launching a new single or EP.

New music, merch, or services may not be requirements for hosting an event, but organization is. Additional requirements include asking for help and always keeping the purpose of the event front of mind. It’s easy to get swept up in how overwhelming planning can be and lose sight of why you decided to host an event in the first place.

You could host a house concert showcasing other musicians, or a networking event to raise your authority as a connector in the industry, or educational panels to offer support to your peers and connect more with industry experts.

As long as there is a need out there for connection, education, and/or creative expression, you could be the one to facilitate bringing the people together who need it.

Before you begin drowning in the overwhelm of it all, consider the list of questions below.
Once you know what event you’re envisioning, get started with the basic outline of tasks we’ve compiled so you can determine how much you’ll have to make time for before launching the event.

Keep in mind, this list, albeit long, is not all encompassing. Once you answer the questions below you’ll have a better sense of what exactly needs to be done. Keep working backwards and breaking things down in order to determine all the pieces of your event’s puzzle.

Grab your spreadsheet, your notebook, and your creative thinking cap and get started on the questions below to begin shaping your next live event! Feel free to create a secret Pinterest board as well in order to collect inspiration and even a shopping list.

Happy planning! Let us know in the comments what you would add to the list.

Questions to Answer:

Your Overall Vision & Purpose
– Are you hoping to turn profit? If so, how much?
– Why have it? What purpose does it serve for you?
– Who’s your audience?
– Why will that audience come? What purpose does it serve for them?
– What will they walk away with? Knowledge? Gifts? Experience? Connections?
– How many do you want attending?
– Who’s on your team?
– Photographer?
– Admin assistant?
– Graphic designer?
– Co-hosts?
– Will you sell/give away anything at this event?
– Merch vendor?
– Will you have Sponsors? Affiliates?
– Will you have guest Speakers/Presenters/Performers?
– What’s the name of the event?
– How will people RSVP?
– Will you sell tickets? If so, how much?
– Will there be a return policy if tickets are sold?
– What is the minimum amount of people needed to attend?
– What will the structure be?
– Will it be streamed/recorded?
– What type of environment will you need?
– A club?
– A house/yard?
– An office space?
– A restaurant?

The Budget
Possible Expenses
– Event rental price
– Ads
– Merch/Gift bags
– Food/Beverages/Related Supplies
– Lodging
– Branded Materials (banners, badges, programs, etc.)
– Travel
– Reimbursement/Fees for Speakers/Performers

Possible Income
– Sponsors
– Ticket Sales
– Merch Sales
– Up-sells (courses, memberships, etc.)

The Logistics
– Location
– Date(s)
– Duration
– Ticket Price
– Launch Date for Promotions
– Early Bird Pricing
– Pitch to Speakers/Presenters/Performers (if applicable)
– Pitch to Sponsors/Affiliates (if applicable)

The Framework
– How long will each part of the event be?
– How many locations will you need?
– How many people do you need to help with the event the day of?
– Ticket collector?
– MC?
– Videographer/Streaming person?
– Photographer?
– Personal assistant?
– Consider all F.A.Q. and post them on the webpage or RSVP platform to address possible concerns

– Create logo/branded graphics (include sponsor info if applicable)
– Write copy for promotional posts & emails
– Set up Facebook Event
– Create Landing Page [webpage/sign-up form/ticketing platform]
– Set up your Affiliates (if you have them) with requisite links & promotional copy
– Send promotional copy & graphics to all Speakers/Presenters/Performers
– Film short promotional video for social media
– Running ads? Determine your daily budget & audience
– Encourage others involved in the event to share with their audiences
– Create a hashtag for the Event
– Schedule something special for self-care for after the Event

Pre-Event Tasks
– Set up your Affiliates (if you have them) with requisite links & promotional copy
– Send promotional copy & graphics to all Speakers/Presenters/Performers
– Remind all attendees of important notes before the event & encourage them to share the sales page link
– Set vacation responder for emails that come in while you’re focused on the Event

Day Of Tasks
– Assign someone the task of documenting the day for social media
– Spend the morning doing something that brings you peace/rejuvenation
– Prepare merch/gift bags/documents to give attendees (if applicable)
– Contact all Speakers/Presenters/Performers and leave them your (or your assistants’ contact information so they can reach you if there’s an issue
– Prepare the Event space
– EAT!

Post-Event Tasks
– Email attendees for testimonials/feedback
– Thank/tip Event venue/staff
– Thank all Speakers/Presenters/Performers/Sponsors/Affiliates
– Go pamper yourself for a job well done!

Tags: event planning events featuring networking panels