Ever wanted to run your own blogging event, workshop or informal gathering? I shared some tips about event branding recently and today Jess Humphreys from Social Concepts Consulting is joining me to give us all a little insight into how she runs her blogging events. Jess is based in Melbourne and runs Social Media training seminars on a range of different topics. These are educational style seminars that target small to medium business businesses who have little to limited experience within the digital space.
What has been your biggest lesson from running your events?
While it’s good to have a run sheet you need to be flexible. Running educational seminars means I’m dealing with a lot of people in one room who have varying levels of experience. A lot of the time extra questions are asked of me or people need additional explanation in certain areas. Sometimes, attendees will ask completely different questions that take us down a different path. While it’s important to stick to your plan going off track a little at times can be beneficial to the audience.
What does your event planning process look like?
Running educational based seminars means I have to do a lot of research prior to the event to ensure I have all of the latest knowledge and can impart knowledge learned through my own experiences. The topics for my seminars have been decided upon through commonly asked questions by clients and prospective clients.
After my content has been created I look at who my ‘ideal attendee’ would be and how I can connect with them.
Once my seminar flyers have been professionally designed I share them across all of my social media platforms, on my website, with my database as well as doing some social media ads targeted towards my ideal attendee. I’ve also found that often the venues are happy to promote.
I’ve run so many events now that the actual planning within the venue is down pat! I already have regular caterers who supply me with what I need and accommodate all dietary needs. Throughout the year I am always on the look out for funk social media props I can use on the day that can dress up the room. We have a collection of cupcakes with social media toppers at events too.
Are your events a one person show or do you have a team that helps out behind the scenes?
It started off as just me, but I have the funds now that it works much better if I have a support person – particularly as these are social media based seminars, so one of my team members can ‘live tweet’, record and take photos when necessary.
When it comes to the money side of things, how do you go about pricing your events?
I undertook a lot of research and realised quite early on that I wanted to be an affordable option for SMEs. I also wanted to avoid the metropolitan area to keep costs down and offer women something without them having to head into the city.
I’ve considered the cost of the venue hire, the catering, work books and tools as well as my own time and what I would expect to take away from the day. I then look at how many attendees I need and at what cost tickets need to be at to figure out what I should be selling my tickets for. I have worked at a loss – this was mainly in early days. But even in those sessions I managed to secure ongoing business.
What are your event branding and styling tips to create the perfect atmosphere –
I really like to look at my attendees, what the content is about and my own branding and incorporate a mix of all of these. For us, it’s all about the small details. I change location from time to time so I need to be flexible and adjustable. I had a custom social media print created awhile ago that travels with us from location to location, I provide all attendees with a funky little notebook and stationary that reflects our style, then wherever possible we add little bits of unique pieces that add some character to the room – tea cups, social media signs etc.
Aside from styling tips, I find the layout and set up of the room is really important. I need all attendees to feel like they can get involved and be a part of the session. We like interactivity.
Post event, do you do any follow up with your attendees?
Yes! We always send a follow up survey with Survey Monkey – feedback for us is really important.
Thanks so much for sharing your great tips Jess!