Five Things to Keep in Mind When Planning a Special Event
“In some cases, it’s quality or, as one sponsor put it, ‘It’s not about how many, but who many,’” he says.
Consider the demographics of the audience the event will attract. What are the age group, gender, income bracket, psychographics and buying habits of most potential participants? To get this information, survey attendees after the event each year. Find out things like the types of cars they like, whether they drink alcohol — if so, do they prefer wine, beer or liquor and what are their favorite brands — the magazines and newspapers they read, TV stations they watch, what type of sports are they interested in, etc.
“All of that helps us begin to pull together a package that will be attractive to a sponsor to establish fees,” Wyman says.
Following are Wyman’s top five things to know to help you pull-off a successful special event:
1. Remember that the only thing that matters is getting people to attend the event -- more important than the decor, the entertainment and anything else that happens during the event. Wyman says that because selling tickets is one of the least glamorous, least fun aspects of organizing a special event, it often is neglected. “I’d rather have an event that was well attended but simple than events that were gorgeous, had amazing food and wonderful entertainment, but a very light crowd,” Wyman adds.
2. Except in very rare cases, publicity doesn’t sell tickets. Unless you have some super-duper, A-list act coming to the event, tickets will predominantly be sold by volunteers to their friends, family and other networks. Because of that, organizations must have a large network of ticket sellers. Wyman says that, on average, most volunteer ticket sellers will sell about five tickets each.
3. There should be more than one admission price. Wyman recommends testing your market by offering a few special tickets that cost a little more but carry with them some added benefit.