There is a TON of fear around running a live event because we all fear the same thing:
Will anyone show up?
While I can't tell you whether or not people will show up, I can tell you four ways to test your audience and subsequently, to test whether or not you should host an event.
1. Do your research.
Is there anything currently in the market that is being offered by a competitor? Do you know four other people holding photography workshops? If so, do you have a clear idea of WHY you're hosting a photography workshop and HOW it's different from the other four photography workshops?
Knowing what's currently available in your market is the first step to testing whether or not your event will perform well, not only in media/community buzz but in sales.
2. Tease the event
To your audience. Put up posts on social media, send emails to your newsletter list, consult your collaborators and let them know that this is something you're definitely doing, you just haven't put together yet.
If the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, then do it. If you hear crickets, think about whether or not you need to a) grow your audience a bit or b) are okay launching the event for the experience and lead generation, regardless if it sells out and/or if you have to come out of pocket for the event.
3. Get solid on your deliverable
People come to the event for two reasons: the speakers and the networking experience. So if you don't have a huge audience of A-list business celebrities in your audience (which few of us do!), then you want to focus on how the speaker (YOU) are literally going to make a difference in their lives.
This "event promise" is important to get clear on immediately. Ask yourself how your attendees' lives will change at the end of the event. Will they get an action plan to get out of a rut? Will they get 10 new business friends that they'll meet immediately? Will they get a portfolio of professional images that they can immediately put on their website?
The "event promise" needs to be clear and relateable and something that your attendees actually want.
Otherwise, your event won't sell.
4. Get clear on the numbers.
I always recommend that 50% of your attendees should pay for 100% of your event costs. That way, you're not on the hook or out of pocket if you don't sell out.
Don't think you can sell 50% of the spots at the current price point (aka don't think that 50% of the spots could be sold by current clients, past clients, friends, and business contacts)? Think of another way to lower the cost (here are some ideas for free venues if you need them).
1. Leave me a comment below to let me know if I answered all your questions or if you have any particular ones around your audience and ways to sell your event.
2. I'm hosting my own LIVE event in Bozeman this spring (a controlled networking event for lady-preneurs who need more business collaborators without all the business competition). It was born out of my love for event planning AND creating an atmosphere where women business owners can get together and be open to meeting each other in a way that's not forced or scary (because I hate networking events most of all!). Sign up below to find out when tickets go on sale!