August 16, 2012

Organising an event? Ten tips to make it a roaring success

You have finalised the date, venue and the band and DJ are booked. So how do you ensure your event is a success?

  1. Create a basic profit and loss spreadsheet for the event and update it regularly. This will make you focus on all your costs and let you know if you’re going to end up in the black or the red. Never be worried about cutting your losses – it’s best to get out early if things are looking bad so you can live to fight another day.
  2. Sell tickets in advance and don’t rely on walk-up sales or people simply saying they are coming. Set a fair price in advance (and a higher on-the-door price) so you reward those who book early. This way you will know your revenue in advance so any walk-up sales will be an added bonus.
  3. Keep it simple. Don’t get too hung up on the creative and remember the basics and the words of Harvey Goldsmith – “Who/where/when/how much and where do I buy tickets?”. Ensure that event information is crystal clear on all online artwork and flyers.
  4. Promote your event. You don’t need a website to tell people about your event. Set up a Facebook fan page and sell tickets from it. Find fans of your featured artists on Twitter and Facebook, and use hashtags and links to the event for maximum effect.
  5. Get your event listed in social media hubs such as Songkick and Bandsintown or in the traditional gig listings in Time Out, Gigwise or The Fly and on the band’s and venue’s own websites and social network pages.
  6. Use and abuse your friends. Get a friend to DJ between bands, one to take photos, one to produce the flyer artwork and pay them in guest list spaces or drinks vouchers.
  7. Plan the day of the event well in advance. How long will the equipment take to set up? Get the guest list confirmed and decide what time tickets are taken off sale. Check door, on stage, aftershow and curfew times. Allow for some flexibility as times always change on the night.
  8. Take time on the day of the event to introduce yourself and chat to the venue team, bands and managers. Many people forget this simple step but it will pay massive dividends on the day, making a smoother event, and will also help for future events, widening your potential social circle.
  9. Enjoy yourself. Don’t get too involved in any one job. See the bigger picture and float around where required – whether it’s helping on the door at the peak time or fetching bottles of water for the bands.
  10. After the event, collate all your customer data from ticket sales to help grow and retain your audience. Treat your customers to exclusive content/photos, early bird tickets for a future event – whatever it takes to build an ongoing community.

Good luck!

Jason is Head of Sales in the UK and has worked as a promoter and festival organiser across London for 12 years. He has promoted events for such diverse artists as Tinie Tempah, Biffy Clyro, Pixie Lott, Underworld, Enter Shikari, Battles, Paul Weller, Lana Del Rey, Groove Armada, The Vaccines, Jessie J and The Wiggles.