I’m currently in the midst (actually down to the wire) of planning the first really big LIVE event I’ve ever planned. I’ve hosted or spoken at small workshops, talks, biz expos, breakout sessions and seminars and have always wanted to hold a really big event.

When I first started my business in 2002, I was even more of a local networking fanatic back then and my thinking was that I’d gather up about 4-8 chambers of commerce and get them all to coordinate or go in together for one gigantic networking event here in the Sacramento area. But I soon found out that the chambers weren’t really open to playing nice with each other, too many chiefs for sure.

So I had attended numerous bigger live events, conferences and workshops around the country and I’d seen what they did, watched their processes and their marketing and took notice of what was going on in the room during the event for sure. I even got the inside scoop from one of my coaches events, Alexandria Brown and her Online Success Blueprint Workshop (which is coming up in November 2008 by the way – fabulous event, I’m going again!). I learned what her event planner Joy was doing along the way since I was in her high-end coaching program.

Yet when my friend Richard Ruckman (CEO of TGIF Networking) and I sat down in March this year, I think it was, I somehow let a lot of that knowledge and understanding get thrown out of the window!!

We actually brainstormed this EntrePalooza event together which is turning out really great but I must admit a few mistakes along the way as well as “I’ll never do that again” things that I want to warn you about in case you might be thinking about holding your own LIVE event in the near future.

The 20 Things NOT to Do When Planning Your Own LIVE Event:

  1. Do not think you can do it all yourself
  2. Do not think you can do it all yourself
  3. Do not think you can do it all yourself (this is important enough to list at least 3 times!)
  4. For an event of over 30 people (especially 75 plus), you’re crazy if you don’t hire an event coordinator to help with the budget, venue, audio visual needs, catering, etc. or you will forget to anticipate certain expenses
  5. You’re also crazy if you don’t hire a marketing company to coordinate all the mailings, emails, mailing lists, gathering of information, project managing all the design, printing and delivery, the sign development, vendor booth setup, sponsor correspondence, attendee correspondence, daily emails, registrations and sooooo much more it’s insane.
  6. Do not forget to ask for inkind donations for items and services you need to support your event in exchange for sponsorship or exposure
  7. Do not skimp on the food or beverages – you need to keep your people fed and happy so they are alert and will listen and want to buy from you
  8. Do not do manual registrations or you’ll go nuts – we have online registrations (and there are other registration specific services you can get too) and we’re still nuts
  9. Do not forget to plan ahead on your marketing, mailings and emails so you don’t pay extra for rush jobs and full postageDo not forget to sell sponsorships way in advance to supplement your revenues
  10. Do not forget to sell sponsorships way in advance to supplement your revenues

No, Richard and I didn’t make all these mistakes but we came close to many and did a few. Since this topic was so top of mind with me at the moment I thought I’d share these points I’ve learned with you. I hope you find it helpful. Next time, I will share with you 10 more tips on what NOT to do when planning a LIVE event.

–Kat Out

© Copyright 2008 K. Sawa MarketingWANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Katrina Sawa is known as The JumpStart Your Biz Coach because she literally kicks her clients and their businesses into high gear. She works with highly motivated women entrepreneurs that want to maximize and fast-track their business to make more money and enjoy more free time. Katrina uses online and offline Relationship Marketing Systems & Strategies to leverage your resources, contacts and your expertise; plus she kicks you in the butt to implement it all too! Get her Free Tips, Free Audio & Free Report online at www.JumpStartYourMarketing.com!

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