Event organising

So you’re looking to organise an event? I find myself repeating the following to everyone who is looking to put on a big conference. This is a very generic starter for 10. Please add your top tips to the comments!

I’d always recommend checking your idea in with technw.uk organisers to make sure you’re not organising something that already exists in the local community.

  1. Figure out numbers, then looking for a venue based on that.
    1. If you don’t know, put a placeholder website up that explains the concept and get people to submit their email address if they’re interested in attending and hearing about the details.
  2. Price up your event
    1. Get all the costs from the venue for hire and catering.
    2. Will speakers be paid? Do you need to consider their fees and travel/accom into the costing for the whole conference?
    3. Build it up from essentials (venue, catering) to nice to haves (paying for international speakers etc.) then things like swag or subsidised tickets/travel/accom for people who can’t afford to attend without it.
  3. Once you know how much it will cost, figure out different sponsor packages for it and test these either with experienced organisers, like technw.uk, to see if they seem reasonable.
  4. Get a date provisionally booked with venue at least 6 months in advance. Get a website and social media set up, probably use eventbrite or similar for tickets. Will it be free? If so 40% of the people who sign up won’t show. You could charge a small amount of £5-10, which could be donated to a charity, and start advertising!
  5. Start approaching potential sponsors with your sponsor pack – you could even ask on social media if anyone could recommend companies or contacts for sponsorship.

Word of warning – it’s getting harder and harder to find sponsors (the current economic climate means many companies don’t have spare cash and sponsorship is usually the first to go) and can feel like a full time job, especially as you need to provide real value for money for companies – using data about numbers and demographic of your attendees will help.

3 thoughts on “Event organising

  1. Separate rooms for certain things is always appreciated if the venue allows for it. Speaker room for rehearsing, quiet room for attendees, room for mother’s to breastfeed etc. There are various valid inclusivity reasons that anyone from crew to attendees to speakers value space

  2. I’d add:

    1. Get help. It’ll be more work than you think.
    2. Have a Code of Conduct. Plan to enforce it.
    3. If the event already exists, offer to help. Organisers are usually looking for more help.

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