How to Make Event Hosting Easier

Hosting events can be draining, especially when you’re marketing, planning…all the things! Here are some tips to take some of the legwork out of it.

If you’ve ever hosted an event before, you probably understand how complicated it can be. There’s planning, marketing, outreach, registration, content planning…it’s a TON of work. The ROI is incredible if you do it right, but it can be a big level of effort, especially for a small business owner who is juggling a lot of projects.

I’ve been hosting events for my business (Boss Lady Bash, where you at!) for four years and I’ve learned a TON in the process; not only different types of formats, communities, and needs of attendees, but also the most important thing: WAYS to make the whole thing easier.

In this week’s post, I’m talking about 3 ways to make event hosting easier for you, so that you can stop sitting on that event idea and start creating consistency with your events.

1. Host a Joint Event with Another Person or Business

This is one of my favorite ways to host events especially if you’re just getting started with them. I always recommend reaching out to someone with an existing community of people you want to get in front of, and offer to do a majority of the planning and possibly even the financial lifting for the event, then ask if they’d be willing to market to their community and be the co-host of the event with you.

Events are a great way to both connect with your existing community AND to invite new, influential individuals into your community, so

The steps to this include:

  • Creating a general outline of the event’s timeline

  • Sending an outreach email with the event’s timeline or description to your possible partner

  • Ask to jump on the phone to discuss with them

  • Outline the roles (planning, marketing, social media, etc.) as well as the financial investment if you’re sharing it, and see if they’re interested in taking the leap with you

To be honest, I personally haven’t done a ton of joint events, but this year, with the Women’s Dinner Circles that are happening all over the country this year, I’m reaching out to more and more influential people in the online space and have been LOVING the feedback so far on events like this.

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2. Host Your Event in Conjunction with an Existing Conference or Summit

This is another experiment that I’ve tried in the past (and will be doing again for anyone going to Craft + Commerce in Boise in June!) and I really love it because your marketing work is WAY less than if you were doing an event in your existing community.

The best thing about doing events in conjunction with an existing conference is that your marketing work is WAY lower because usually, people at conferences don’t set up dinner plans or evening plans in advance, so if you can do that beforehand, you’ll definitely take one thing off people’s plate (having a pre-planned dinner one night; bonus if you’re picking up the tab!).

So HOW do you do this? Really, it’s just finding a destination for dinner that’s relatively close to the main conference area and making a reservation (I recommend between 6 - 12 people in a private room if you can without incurring a minimum), and then doing an afternoon’s worth of legwork to see if you can find out who else is attending the event.

A few ways to figure this out:

  1. Email the event organizers and ask if they have a list of companies or people attending the event (contact info not necessary because you are EXCELLENT at Googling contact info).

  2. Check out the event’s hashtag and/or the event’s social media profiles. Usually they’ll at least have speakers listed (which is a good place to start inviting people to dinner), and then after that, as you get closer to the event, you may be able to see people posting their travel itineraries as they start making their way to the event itself.

  3. Get in the event’s Facebook group and ask who is attending! If an event hosts a Facebook group, it’s an AWESOME way to start getting to know people coming to the event. Make a list of the most active people in the group, then do a little research online to see where they work and if they’d be a good attendee for your event. Remember, you’re going for QUALITY of events like these, not QUANTITY, so be sure that you’re reaching out to people who align with your event’s goals.

  4. Check the event’s website. Okay so this may have been a no brainer but sometimes, event hosts will list the names, photos and companies of attendees - it’s worth taking a look. Because you’re an EXPERT at Googling, you’ll research all the people who fit your demographic and make a triaged list of the top 10, top 20, and top 30 people you’d want to attend your event.

3. Keep Your Events Small

I know the temptation of hosting a large event is exciting — so many people to get in the room, so many spot open, so much potential reach — but the work of hosting large event after large event can be really exhausting and I want your events to be IMPACTFUL, not draining.

When I’m hosting an event, I like to keep my free events open to a large amount of people (since we don’t do as much curation with those, it’s not necessary to have them be super vetted), under 50 people for paid events, and under 15 people for highly curated events. This means that me and my team have the ability to focus on making the RIGHT connections and focusing on what attendees need, knowing them super well, and helping them however I can.

One of the BEST community builders I know is a client of mine and the way that he REALLY focuses on his people, getting to know them, building rapport with them over years and years is outstanding and something to be emulated. Now, after he’s hosted events for 5 years, his are between 10 - 250 people, but each year he gets to know more and more attendees, gets to know their families and personal preferences, and can remember more things about them than they can even remember about themselves…it’s amazing and it keeps his community SUPER strong and focused, especially because his events started with just 25-50 people at a time.

Now it’s your turn…

What is ONE way that you’re going to simplify your community building events? Will you cut down the size? Or host them with a partner? Or try a new format at a conference? Write down the prompt “I am the type of host who…” and then see how you can weave some of the ideas above into your personal hosting style.

Now you have three ways to make your events more manageable!

And if you’re still trying to figure out HOW to even get started with the planning process, then the below cheat sheet is going to be an AWESOME resource for you (and BONUS it’s completely free!). If you’re feeling a little lost on the planning OR if you want to make sure you checked all your planning boxes, I highly suggest downloading it so that you can make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Want my event planning checklist?

Chair about photo %28900 x 600%29

Drop your email below and I'll send you a copy of the most important items to use to do when you're planning your event.

Powered by ConvertKit

What are some ways you keep your events easy so that you can host them consistently?

Leave a comment below! I’d love to know all about ideas you have for making events easy, streamlined, systemized, AND helping your business grow.

Lauren CaselliComment