Should I Host a FREE Event or a Paid Event?

Struggling with whether or not to host a free or a paid event for your business? Check out today’s post with the questions you should ask yourself before you do.

One of the biggest questions that entrepreneurs struggle with around events is whether or not they should charge.

I know that charging and pricing can be an issue, which is why I took the time today to create a video all about how to decide whether or not you should create a free event vs. a paid event. Watch below (and if you can’t watch, I’ve recapped the main points underneath the video).

What’s your goal with this event?

Are you hoping to network with more clients so that you can make more money? Are you considering breaking into a new area of business that people may not know you for yet?

Those are BOTH good examples of when you should host a FREE event. Your goals are to bring more awareness to your service or product and that takes education of your possible customer. So if you’re trying to get people to understand you and what you do and who you are, then I highly recommend a free event.

If you’ve already got a community of supportive fans who believe in your work and your products, then the next step is to begin monetizing. It can be hard to get people to pay you for an event if they don’t already know you OR they don’t know someone who knows/trusts you, but if you’ve already got people who will recommend you and your work, then you’re going to crush it. Get paid already, girl!

PRO TIP: Your community doesn’t have to be paid clients YET. It can be a community of people that you’ve supported and helped in the way that you know best, and they’ve TOLD you that they BELIEVE in the way you do your work in the specific way that you do it. As long as you have people who will speak to your expertise, then you’re good to go to do a paid event!

Do you have supporting testimonials that speak to your ability to deliver on your content?

This goes along with #1 up there about having a community of people who believe in your work. If your answer to this is “Yep, I can definitely get some words about how awesome this experience will be!” then go get paid! But if you’re still testing out where you’re at in your business and don’t know anyone that would speak to your great work, then hosting a free event is the PERFECT way to get those testimonials :)

Do you know that you can deliver the exact result that you promise?

This is again a process question: are you advanced enough in your business to be 100% certain that you are able to deliver the results that you promise IF PEOPLE DO THE WORK. Again, people do need to do the work, but if you’re not yet 100% sure about your methodology or you’re not really clear on the process to get from Problem —> Action —> Result, then hosting a free event may help you get in the practice of how to deliver results for your clients (and also, will like you get some of those testimonials up there).

Does the event have amenities consistent with pricing and are these expectations clearly communicated?

So this one is a little subjective: if you’re a HUGE superstar and can transform people’s lives…then obviously the “amenities” that you’re delivering are just going to be “results.” But if you’re trying to host a really intimate workshop with nice accommodations and all the meals included? Then obviously, you’re not going to host a free event. So make sure that you communicate EVERYTHING that is included in your event so that people understand what exactly they are paying for. For example, my Boss Lady Bash includes food and snacks, as well as a little cute piece of take home swag. We talk all about that in advance so people know that they aren’t just coming and getting a place to sit and peanuts to eat :)

Now it’s your turn!

Tell me in the comments below: will you be hosting a paid or a free event?

Want to know the 4 categories of event planning? What about what to do before, during, and after the event?

If so, grab my Event Planning Cheat Sheet below!