You don’t want to simply attract a bigger following.
You want to connect with your audience on a deeper level that stretches beyond what numbers can tell you. You want to understand what they love, what they struggle with, and how you can help.
Enter live events. We’re talking conferences, workshops, meetups, cocktail hours – anything that brings your audience together in real life with you as the connector.
Live events can introduce you to potential clients and customers while giving you an opportunity to simultaneously teach and learn.
If you want to bring people together while creating an encouraging environment to explore new ideas, understanding how to plan an event is a smart way to market your business or diversify your income.
4 benefits of hosting live events for business
Why live events? Surely there are other ways to build an audience.
While pre-developed content can help you reach a wide audience, live events are a platform for deeper connections. We’re big believers in quality over quantity, and live events can help you achieve that.
Who doesn’t love a good opportunity to network? Rather than trying to make real connections in 140 character tweets or short email intros, you can prioritize real-time conversations through live events.
When you host an in-person event like a meetup or a live workshop, you have the opportunity to connect with people face-to-face. Whether you host an event in an intimate or larger group setting, you can spend time getting to know people who look a lot like your ideal clients. The more people know you in real life, the quicker you’re able to build trust.
To host a strategic live event, you’ll want to choose a topic or theme that directly relates to what you do. You can do this by surveying your audience to see what they want to learn about or asking current clients what they love most about what you provide.
Another benefit to hosting live events is you’re able to show your expertise by answering questions on the fly. When you don’t have to prepare your answers ahead of time, it really shows how much you know about a subject.
Live events are a great way to naturally spread the word about your business and what you offer. When people are able to interact with you in real-time, they form a stronger connection with you than they would through a single social media post or blog post.
When more people know what you do, you’ll see an increase in referrals. This is great for service providers who rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, but it’s also a natural fit for product creators with a one-to-many business model.
How to successfully host your live event
Once you decide to host a live event, it’s time to plan! Even if you’re an event planning novice, you can go into the planning phase with confidence when you have the right strategy.
Know your audience
When creating your event, it should be planned with a target audience in mind. Every handout you design and subject you cover should help your audience
Location, location, location
Whether you’re booking a venue or getting like-minded people together at a coffee shop, you’ll want to think about the ideal location for your event. What vibe will fit the type of event you want to host? How big does the venue need to be? These questions will help you choose the right space for your gathering.
Set a budget
Let’s talk money. Before you announce the launch of your live event, you’ll want to nail down an approximate budget of what you expect to spend. You may also want to create categories to designate where your budget is going. Whether it’s being spent on marketing, venue, or food costs, a budget will give you an idea of what your profit will be on the live event.
We’ve give you a head start on your budgeting with this editable event budgeting spreadsheet. Just click the button below and in your Google Docs click “File–>Make a copy” and you’ll create your own spreadsheet.
Team up and collaborate
You hear all the time that teamwork makes the dream work, but how does that translate to planning live events? Sometimes it helps to have a small team that can act as your sounding board as you plan the event. If you have a larger event, you may want to enlist some volunteers to help with day-of duties.
How you can fit live events into your online business
In this Tradecraft issue, you’ll find a comprehensive collection of articles on how to plan an event of any kind: