Today I am joined by the gorgeous Meg O’Sullivan who blogs over at Adventuring Home and has been running a few different events and workshops over the past year. Today she is sharing with us a little about her process and her top tips.
Please give us a little insight into the kind of events you run and why you chose the retreat / workshop format –
I started off in the online world, blogging about 18 months ago. And as much as I’ve loved creating and connecting over the interwebs, it can get a little draining. Sitting in front of a screen and writing for people you cannot see or hear can sometimes feel a bit lonely.
After becoming a yoga teacher late last year, and establishing some regular weekly classes, I was reminded how amazing it is to actually connect with people in-the-flesh. Teaching gave me the boost of energy I was craving, helping to fuel my writing sessions and time in front of the screen.
For the last 6 months as my online space has grown, I’ve been working to balance this with more in-the-flesh connections. Fusing together two of my greatest loves, yoga and empowerment, I’ve been running intimate events to inspire people to reconnect with their inner creative power to manifest their ideal reality.
The intention behind each of the events I’ve run has been connection. Therefore intimacy is a BIG thing for me, I like to keep the events small and sacred.
The layout of each event is very conversational, and I’ve found that the smaller the group the more willing people are to share their stories and ask questions. I love it when an event is no longer me just speaking – yet everyone sharing their own wisdom and tales.
A retreat then, has simply been a natural evolution of my in-the-flesh style creations. Its foundations are similar to that of my events – yoga, empowerment, connection – just simply expanded over 3 glorious days!
What has been your biggest lesson from running your events –
Drop your expectations.
I’m a big believer in pre-paving your reality. Thinking thoughts that are aligned with the experience you want, so it’s more likely to happen.
But I found that for my first few events I got so caught up in how I wanted it all to look that I lost my WHY. About a week out from my first little workshop I still had a few tickets to be sold and was feeling a little defeated.
Then my Dad gifted me the greatest nugget of wisdom…
Dad: “Why are you doing the event?”
Me: “To connect with women and help them reconnect with themsleves.”
Dad: “Well, why does it matter how many tickets you sell. Get you’re head out of the numbers and the money. That’s not your WHY!”
For that conversation I am forever grateful to my Dad. Once I re-focused my attention on my WHY, funnily enough more tickets sold and I felt a whole lot better too.
When we lose our WHY we lose our power to influence and create a beautiful experience for the people coming to our events.
It’s our WHY that connects us with our passion.
And it’s the passion that people resonate with.
Moral of the Story: Stick to your WHY!
What does your event planning process look like –
Very, very, very loose.
I’m driven more by an inspiration to connect with people than a real need to share a specific message. So it’s always that pull to connect that starts the planning process for me. From there it’s all pretty intuitively driven. I’ll research some spaces, go with the one that feels best in my body! And that’s the same for ticket pricing and promo too – just going with what feels good.
When the event/ workshop comes a little closer I’ll usually get a sense of what needs to be said. More often or not it always revolves around current stories in my life and how I’ve used the Law of Attraction and the power of the Universe to help guide me through.
As a yoga teacher, I’ve found I take a better class when I chose to just allow it flow in the moment. And I’ve found that with events too.
When I try and plan too much of what I am going to say, I usually get too attached to the “script” and find myself all worked up if I “get it wrong”. So I’ve come to learn my simply to have a loose structure then just concentrate on being in alignment and feeling really good leading up to the “big day”. When we feel good and in alignment we become a conduit for Source energy. Our only job then is to simply allow whatever needs to be said to come through us.
My best advice for the whole process: TRUST.
Trust that the Universe knows exactly that you want and knows the quickest, easiest path to get you there.
Sometimes this isn’t the path you had envisioned. So don’t freak out if the lead up doesn’t seem to be “going to plan”.
Surrender into a feeling of trust, knowing that the Universe has way better foresight than you do and that any “bumps in the road” are in fact just the Universe redirecting you towards the best possible outcome.
Are your events a one person show or do you have a team that helps out behind the scenes –
A bit of both. I’ve held a few workshops and yoga events alone but also collaborated with a few of my very special friends too.
For me, both are incredible experiences! Creating an event by yourself is an amazing learning curve. It’s all on you to promote, plan and call-forth your audience, This can seem a bit daunting at first, but it means you get to take the event in whatever direction you feel called to.
That being said, when teaming up with others you get to fuse together you strengths. My gift is my passion and my ability to engage with people. I can talk and talk and talk and articulate my message with a whole lot of fire. What I’m not that great is and don’t really enjoy doing, is styling! And as the Universe would have it, for each of the events I’ve collaborated with someone on, they have each had an eye for detail and beauty! Another fabulous thing about co-creating an event – you get someone to chat to about all the self-doubt and icky-ness which is bound to come up in the creative process.
When it comes down to the money side of things, how do you go about pricing your event or do you have any general tips for other bloggers working this out?
Get out of your head and feel, feel, FEEL!
If you’re struggling between a few different price points, find some stillness, bringing each price to mind and take a moment to sit with each. Then…pick the price that feels the best in your body!
Sure, if you feel called to, check that this price will cover costs and give you the profit you want.
But what I’ve found is that the body always knows best! Even for things as seemingly cerebral as pricing!
What are your event branding and styling tips to create the perfect atmosphere –
Like I said, I’m not the best at styling a room. I’ve been blessed to team up with some fabulous people who have a knack for that stuff.
But what I would say is – don’t feel you have to over do it!
Some nice flowers, a few snacks, maybe a cute little note on arrival for each attendee. That’s enough. Keep it simple!
Don’t stress yourself out trying to make everything perfect! For my first event, I organized to have juice, tea, so much food, gift bags…. The whole shebang! And to be honest, pulling it all together left me feeling really drained and exhausted. Of course it’s nice to over-deliver, but not at the cost of your own sanity.
Remember: It’s so incredibly important to enter into your event day aligned and feeling good. People are paying to be in your presence, it’s your job to give them your best and brightest self!
Post event, do you do any follow up with your attendees?
Definitely! With the kind of events I hold I believe its really important to support t. In the events I hold
During my events I work to create a sacred, safe place for people to really experience and explore themselves. Often this can bring up a lot off “stuff”. I think its really important to follow up afterwards, just to let them know that I’m here to support them and I’m so thankful that they chose to spend the day/ evening/ morning with me.
Of course, its also really great to get some feedback on what they thought of the experience. I’ve used Eventbrite to sell tickets for some of my events and they have an inbuilt mailing system, which I’ve used to send out post-event THANK YOU emails and FEEDBACK forms.
However, after my event with the beautiful Stephanie Demetrious earlier in the year, she actually brought along hard copy feedback forms and handed them out just before everyone left. People were still really immersed in the energy of the event so were super happy to stay behind and give their feedback. Response rates for this well and truly trumped what I’ve experienced over email. So I think feedback wise, do it in-the-flesh. But definitely follow up with a big THANK YOU online!
We would love to hear from you, have you run any events or is it a dream of your to do so? Jump into the comments below and let us know.