Before the event
Determine goals and objectives
- What is your event’s purpose? Defining your why gives you direction for everything else you do, from choosing a ticketing partner to setting attendance and profit goals, to going after sponsorships and vendor partnerships.
- Put together a working budget and price your event
- If you’ve planned a specific event before, you can start with your budget from last year. If you’re putting on a new event, make educated guesses and use this event budget template to get started.
Set the date and venue
- Pick two dates — one that’s best for all stakeholders involved and a second best for backup. You may need to be flexible to get your venue of choice. And be sure to comb through the venue contract before signing!
- Start your search for speakers, sponsors, and performers.
- Put together a list of your ideal speakers and sponsors. Solidify your ask (including the date, what your event offers, any costs or payments involved, and the format and length). And be sure to reach out well in advance, as the process will take longer than you think!
Visualize your sales lifecycle
- Most events don’t sell out the moment tickets go on sale, which is why it’s important to map out your sales lifecycle. If you have it, you can start with sales from past events. Doing this can also help you determine if you need a website, or can direct traffic to your registration page, and what promotional channels you’ll be using to advertise.
During your event
Don’t lose track of paperwork.
- From permits to licenses to contracts, many events require paperwork of some kind. Make sure all your legal ducks are in a row by doing your research early and keeping copies organized.
Make sure you have enough staff on hand
- Consider logistics, such as how much time you’ll need to set up, how many staffers and volunteers you’ll need, and if you need signage to help people get to the right place. Having the right team in place can help you ensure things go as planned.
Give attendees a seamless experience
- From RFID entry badges to event apps that help your attendees navigate and network, using event technology can also help you deliver an amazing experience and manage the chaos. Plus, mobile or RFID cashless payments at food stalls and merch booths can speed up lines considerably.
After your event
Poll your attendees
- Send out post-event surveys to your event-goers that gauge their enjoyment of, and engagement with, your event. You can also ask for their suggestions or things they’d like to see you offer in the future.
Dive deeper into your conversions
- Take a look at your ticketing or registration partner's reports to see when you sold the most tickets and how that correlated to your best performing marketing campaigns. That way, next event, you can tighten up your marketing budget spend and focus on the strongest channels..
Track your ROI
- Using the information you’ve gathered, calculate your return on investment (ROI) and use it to compare your profitability year over year. The basic equation is: [(Total Sales Revenue – Total Cost of the Event) ÷ Total Cost of Event] X 100 = ROI.
Compare your results to your goals
- Remember those goals you set during the pre-planning phase? Bring them out and compare actual results to what you had hoped to achieve. Then, explore areas where you fell short. Doing a post mortem of your event’s performance can help you pinpoint what needs to change.
- For example, what worked and what didn’t work during your event promotions? Track metrics as each marketing campaign unfolds to fine tune as you go, such as your social media analytics and ticketing platform’s event dashboard.