Epic. Seriously, if I had to pick one word to describe this chat, and all the valuable information I got from it, with Lauren Caselli of Lauren Caselli Events, it would be “EPIC”. Lauren has been in the event business for more than ten years, helping to create everything from non-profit events attended by government officials, to upscale boutique weddings.
She now helps creatives kickstart their own series of events. Well, I’m a creative and I’m hosting my first event in September with my partner Heather. I was so excited to pick Lauren’s brain! If you’ve ever had the inkling of an idea to organize your own events to take online relationships offline, this will light that fire under you to get you started.
- There are 2 styles of events: lead generation & money-making. Lead generation events tend to have a lower ticket price but the event is a marketing tool. Money making events have higher tickets, and are typically smaller events like retreats.
- Lead generating events are not just about the audio/visual and the decor – it’s about the content. Think about how these events fit into your overall marketing plan.
- For your first event, you should sprint to the finish line, planning & orchestrating it in 3-6 months.
- When planning your event, start with the “why”. What is the message of your event. What makes it unique? After you know why you’re creating this event, everything else falls into place.
- Events help set you up as an authority while helping you make connections through networking.
- People come to events for two reasons: for the speakers & for the networking. People enjoy getting to know one another in intimate groups. It helps to prepare talking points ahead of time to get the conversation started.
- Set the tone from the beginning. As the host, if you greet attendees by name, it changes the event into a community activity.
- Lauren sends a questionnaire to registrants to help get to know them better. She asks for things like: focus of their blog or business; how long they’ve been blogging or been in business; what they love or struggle with. She uses this information to organize her seating arrangement and encourage networking.
- Lauren doesn’t use traditional advertising for her events. Instead, she encourages you to have an existing community, or create one, before hosting your first event.
- Host free events to build the community, then shift to paid events when you’re ready. Your community will help sell tickets by inviting their friends and peers.
- Send personal emails to the members of their community and let them know that you want them at your event. They are key stakeholders – people invested in your event.
- There are really only 2 things you need to launch an event – location & ticket price.
- There are 2 basic kinds of sponsorships: cash & in-kind. When pitching sponsors, think about who will be in the room and what they have to offer the potential sponsors. What is the value to the sponsor?
- Sponsors love to hear updates and see pictures from the events they sponsor, and if given the opportunity, usually like to attend the events as well.
- Home Grown Bloggers: This is the blogger event website that I run with my partner Heather. Our first event is September 24, 2016, in Birmingham, AL. Join us!
- Boss Lady Bash: These are the networking events that Lauren hosts.
Connect with Lauren:
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