Learning by Doing

We learn by doing. You can sit in a classroom or read about something in a book, but nothing beats getting your hands dirty.

I recently co-founded a new music festival called Bellwether (www.bellwetherfestival.com). I’m excited about it because it allows attendees to camp onsite. This is new for me and my team, but I’ve already started planning for ways I can learn by doing.

Ramping Up

The weather is changing. Just about every festival has announced their lineup for 2018. Festival season is upon us. Can you feel it?

Event me has been in hibernation since the holidays, but now it’s time to wake. Time to ramp up.

It’s exhilarating to plan and produce an event. It’s also stressful. Supposedly, it’s one of the most stressful jobs you can have. I get it. Things happen, and you must adapt on the fly, but if you have a great team, you can adapt quickly.

We Don’t Do First-Year Events

How many times have you heard this from agents, sponsors, and attendees? The ultimate Catch 22. It reminds me of my son who is a picky eater and won’t try anything new. I tell him if he didn’t try anything new, how would he have discovered chicken fingers or pizza? (This tactic does not work.)

Even event producers with proven track records will hear this, so what’s the solution? Persistence, but avoid resistance. What do I mean by this? You must keep trying but move on quickly from those who are stubborn or uncertain.

It’s All About Timing

I was recently talking about my work history with my wife, Elise. I told her about my job as a short-order cook at Bill Knapp’s. In a very short period, I had worked my way around the various stations and often ran the kitchen. Not bad for a 17-year old.

Leveraging Events for Content & Community Building

Events are content goldmines; unfortunately, event planners and sponsors don’t realize what they’ve got.

Brands and agencies spend a lot of money on sponsorships. Sometimes it's for charity. Sometimes it's for engaging existing and potential customers. In either case, there is a huge opportunity just waiting to be unearthed.

40% of engagement happens BEFORE an event. Another 18% happens AFTER an event. Event planners and sponsors need to look around and find all the interesting things to share during this time.

How Do I Ensure My Event Is Well Attended?

This was the question posted on an event forum by a newbie. My immediate reaction was to laugh out loud. Even seasoned event professionals with a legacy event struggle with this. After I stopped laughing, I decided to use this question as a challenge. First things first, I started by reframing the question:

“What are the elements that have to be addressed to improve the odds of my event being successful?”

To be clear, by successful, I mean financially successful. Woodstock was well attended, but the promoters went bankrupt. Attendance cannot be THE measurement of success.

Event Hangover

After any big event, there is a hangover. You get invoices paid, you’re looking over recap reports and feedback from attendees, and then it hits you. You simply don’t have the motivation to do another thing.

Thinking about the next year is exciting. You know there is a lot to do and you want to act while things are fresh in your head, but a comfy chair while binge watching Netflix is the only thing you can do.

When It’s Over

The time to plan for the end of your event is at the beginning. Event planners can envision what their event looks like when the curtain goes up, but what about when the last piece of garbage is picked up?

I’m painfully aware while typing this blog that I’m a hypocrite. I just wrapped up my latest event Brandemonium and I’m just getting started on the end. I should have had the online survey, thank you letters, and site updates completed last week. I should have put this event to bed so I could actually sleep. Going through ‘to do’ lists has the opposite effect of counting sheep.

Deadlines Keep You Honest

I’m working on a big event and it’s less than a week away. Needless to say, I’m understaffed and overwhelmed. One thing is for certain, event deadlines keep you honest.

I’ve worked in other industries, but there is nothing quite like an event deadline. You don’t promote a festival that is “Coming in Summer of 2018.” Event planners publish specific dates and times and that’s that.

The Flake Factor

Why do they do it? Why do people agree to perform or volunteer only to bail at the last minute? Welcome to a nagging variable event planners face: The Flake Factor.

There are warning signs. If the person is from out of town, they never get around to making their travel arrangements. If a request for information is emailed, they never reply. It’s bad enough to make a commitment and then back out, but why string the event planner along?