Know the audience when you plan your event

Before you do anything else you need to know whom you are organising your event for. Whether you organise your own events or whether someone hires you to produce an event: know the audience.

Once you know who your audience is you know how to cater for them. You should figure out what they like, what their expectations are. When you do know your audience you need to figure out how you can engage with them. Are they on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat?

When organising an event for the first time you could look at similar events. What kind of audience do these events attract? How do they communicate with their audience? Perhaps you can improve some of their methods.

But look at what you want to achieve with your event. The feel, atmosphere, and event experience you have in mind: who is interested in that?

Knowing your audience is closely linked to what you want to achieve with your event. So have a look at your objectives. Is there an audience for that thing you want to achieve with your event? Do your research!

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Your event is an experience

Week 3 of #EventTutorTips

Yes, an event should be an experience. Your audience wants to be entertained. Look at it this way: you do not go to a Britney Spears concert because of her voice. You go for the show, the entertainment. You know her songs but her performances need a show element to make it worthwhile. To make people talk about it.

I’m not saying your event is as mediocre as Britney Spears but more often than not an event needs more than just an act (singer, speaker, product) on a stage. You need something that people will engage with. Something they want to talk about. Offer your guests something more than what they've paid for.

It is difficult to explain what an experience exactly is. Northern Nights Music Festival is a young festival organised at the most beautiful location. That location offers an experience. At Lightning in a Bottle there are art installation all over the event site. The art offers an experience.

An event experience depends per event, per location, per event organisation, and per audience. So, is your event like a Britney Spears concert without dancers or backup singers? You can do better!

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Event planning means market research

Market research is extremely important when you plan your event. The key elements you need to research before you start organising your event or festival are:

1. Your event ideas

Look at what you want to organise. Write down all those ideas and make it into a coherent story. Does that story have a beginning, middle and an end? This is where your vision comes in. What are you trying to achieve?

2. Choosing your venue

It is important to know where you want to organise your event. The location of your event has a huge impact on what your event will look like and how your visitors will experience your event. When choosing a location think of: accessibility, atmosphere, size, logistics, and your audience.

3. Timing

Please research the date you have in mind for your event. Look at the event calendar of the area (or the industry): what else is being organised around the same time as your event? Be clear on the duration of your event. How will your event impact the local area (traffic, logistics, security, etc.)?

4. Market

Research your competition. You should look at other events that are happening in the same area and/or are being organised at the same time as your event. Competition can also come from TV (Euro 2016) or a national event (Queen’s birthday parties)

5. Audience

Audience profiling. Please do it. Who do you expect at your event? How will you reach this audience? Where is your audience? What is their age? You need to know whom you are organising your event for.

Research your event before you start planning it. You want to know whether there is a market for your event. Is your potential audience waiting for your event ideas? Try to find the answers before you spend your money. 

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Be more creative with the content of your event

Week 1 of #EventTutorTips

You need to create smart content. But what is smart content? To answer that question you need to know who the visitors of your event(s) are. Once you know who your visitors are you can figure out what they like, what motivates them, what they engage with and how they engage.

You need to look at your event and think about the different aspects your visitors can engage with. You can think of your artists, your acts, the artwork at your event, the vibe at your event, the creativity at your event, your event partners, etc.

Make sure you are out and about at your own event. Interview your acts, ask your artists to create content, take pictures, or shoot short videos. From build up to break down, make sure you document it. At Shambhala Music Festival they have 10 photographers taking pictures all weekend long. They use those pictures on their social media platforms during the festival and throughout the year.

Plan smart and creative content for your event!

Find out about the #EventTutorTips UK competition on my Facebook and Twitter channels

Win my Event Planning workshop – and a personalised tutorial!

Win my Event Planning workshop – and a personalised tutorial!

It’s competition time! Share some of my #EventTutorTips through Facebook or Twitter – and you could be one of the winners!

To celebrate this summer’s bumper UK events and festival season, I’m giving away my Event Planning workshop to one lucky winner each week between 20 June and 17 July 2016.