As an entrepreneur, building community is fundamentally important. That’s why we are so excited to be hosting our first big in-person event for Pam’s business, the Crochet Business Summit, in April 2024! So many moving pieces go into planning a business event: the target audience, the venue, the speakers, the schedule, the budget … All of this may sound intimidating, but if we can do it, so can you! And to encourage you, we’re letting you in on our own planning process.
In this episode, Pam and Teri talk about how we’re putting together an event that will bring value to our attendees. We’ll touch on handling logistical and financial concerns, navigating problems, and finding inspiration. We hope we’ll inspire you to plan your own in-person gathering!
Have you ever planned an event for your business? What did you learn from the experience? Or perhaps you want to host an event but you’re still working on it. What are your biggest challenges? Comment below and let us know!
Planning a Business Event that Fosters Meaningful Connections
- Behind the scenes of hosting an in-person event [00:18]
- Narrowing down your target audience and building an event brings them value [01:31]
- Speaking the language: hiring an event planner [03:10]
- Moving pieces: Figuring out the logistics for your event [05:03]
- Scheduling time for learning, networking, and implementation [06:50]
- A balancing act: Organizing excellent speakers and leveraging industry connections [08:31]
- Lessons learned: Overcoming perfectionism and navigating problems [10:41]
- Getting started with planning your first business event [12:49]
- Budgeting and pricing for your event [13:59]
- Finding inspiration through attending other conferences [17:10]
- The role of good marketing in mitigating risk [18:32]
- This or that: Conference in-person or virtual? [20:30]
Things to Consider When Planning a Business Event
- “That was the first thing we had to look at. Who’s coming? And then, how do we serve them? What are they interested in? What do they want to learn? What do they need to learn? And how do we balance what they want and what they need as far as what we bring of value. – Pam
- “It’s like hiring anybody else in a professional role for your business. [Our event planner] speaks the language. We don’t speak that language. And it’s just having somebody in your corner, too, because she will then come and run the event and that’s going to be a big deal to have that behind us.” – Teri
- “It comes down to micromanaging exactly what’s happening and fitting in those things that you think are important. The break time, as you put it on the schedule, that looks like, ‘That doesn’t bring a lot of value.’ But then, when you recognize you need that break time for people to connect with one another, to learn to collaborate together, to network, to talk to our sponsors, to buy from our vendors, connect with our vendors, all of those things, you have to build it in. And it is value. Just looks like break or lunchtime.” – Pam
Selecting Speakers for Your Event
- “I don’t want speakers who just read somebody’s blog post and now they’re going to come teach on that thing. That, to me, doesn’t bring high value and so I want the best in the industry. But at the same time, the best in the industry are not necessarily connected to our audience already so they don’t have the name recognition and maybe they don’t bring an audience with them. I have to rely on advertising or my own followers to get people there. So we have those people. Then we also have people in the industry who do have our target audience in their following. Then saying, ‘Do they want to do this? What value do they have to bring? What expertise do they bring?’ and then balancing that between the heavy hitters outside of the crochet industry and the heavy hitters inside the crochet industry and trying to bring the best of those both worlds together.” – Pam
Learning From Your Own and Others’ Experiences
- “We have to go into a big event like this with the udnerstanding that there are things that are going to go wrong. We just know there will be. Being able to navigate that and then learn from it for the next one.” – Pam
- “It’s good to go yourself to a conference and see how it works before you decide. Even though you’re a participant in it, you could see how it runs, how they do things, what you have to pay for, what your ticket pays for, what it doesn’t, what you’re paying additional. So it’s good to be on the other side. That way, when you come around as the event hoster or hostess, then you have a clear idea of how these things even work.” – Teri
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