Event Management – Planning is Key!

I have orgainsed a few events in my time and it is all in the preparation.  There is no real winning formula in my opinion as there are far to many variables you can account for – weather for example! Weather can make and break an event! “I didn’t go to that it was too wet/too cold/too hot/too windy” (delete as appropriate!). Business workshops can be easier to organise as people pay upfront BUT then you have to ensure you sell enough spaces to cover costs.

For the purpose of this post I’m going to pretend I’m organising a conference.


image credit : The Flourish Weekender www.flourishhandbook.com/

First make a list of the prices for EVERYTHING even if you don’t use them in the end.

  • How much will the venue cost?
  • Refreshments cost? Food, drinks – hot and cold.
  • Promotion – flyers? Advertising?
  • WIFI ? Is it provided? (Most places are but we once held an event at a hotel and I never checked it was £5 for 2 hours!! Thankfully it wasn’t a necessity that time!) Is it needed?
  • How much realistically do you want to earn from this event?
  • Do you need to pay for helpers? Speakers? Etc etc.
  • How are you booking tickets? Will there be a fee from paypal? Eventbrite? (these small fees can soon add up to a huge chunk!)
  • Will you have sponsorship or advertising opportunities (this is a great way to recoup costs)
  • Miscellaneous (I normally add £50 here for just incase things I may have forgotten)
  • Do a survey monkey/poll to gain an idea of how much your clients/network/community is prepared to pay.

Add all your costs together.  Then add 10%! Check that you have clearly read the quotes and be sure as to whether you need to add VAT etc.

Then consider a) what the minimum amount of people needed is to run the event and b) the maximum. This really gives you two figures your break even and your potential maximum profit. Then take these two figures and find the average.  This is where common sense comes into play. If the average is £100 each to cover the costs and you know that from your research that they would only spend £50 , then you know you’ll be flogging a dead horse.  This is why your break even point is key. Can you run this event? Or do you need to go back and research prices and find a cheaper alternative?

DO NOT start selling tickets to an event if you are unlikely to break even!  It is much easier to reduce your out going costs than bank on selling more than your break even ticket amount!

Or you could just hire a company like The Co-Op Travel Management to give you a hand and do all the hard work!  Do you organise events? Are you methodical? Or are you more a finger in the wind type of planner? Do tweet me your comments – @CharlieMoos – I love a good discussion!

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