Events happen for two reasons. Either it’s a way to generate money or awareness, or you would just like to see this event take place. Most people think events are a mix of both. From the beginning, the smartest thing you can do is decide what the event really is to you. That will help you.
If you’re doing this event for money, your primary concern needs to be making money. That means you need to draw enough people from the community to make it worth your while. It means not draining your time, money, and enthusiasm. Organizations looking to make money need to have solid connections in the community the event targets and that the event isn’t part of a saturated group because you’ll never cut through the establishment, no matter how awesome you are.
It’s important to understand the market you’re entering – the participants, the culture, and the language. It’s your job to learn that culture. Attend similar events. Talk to people who go to these kind of events. Listen for their struggles and concerns – be prepared to solve them.
If you’re doing this for the love, be careful. The same concerns apply, but for a different reason.
Events don’t make money easily. While that may not be a concern of yours, losing money will be. Sometimes an event doesn’t exist not because someone with the knowhow and passion just hasn’t done it, but because it just won’t fly. Another pitfall of “doing it for love” is that many directors are just racers that love races. You’ll need to turn out something more if you want to be a well-oiled, efficient machine. You need to think about a lot more than racer experience or how awesome a course is. Those don’t make a sustainable event, even if we all wish they did.
Events succeed because of your business acumen. Great events fail because of lack of promotion and wasteful execution.
Keep the why in mind. Know your purpose before you do anything. It will help you design the event, market it, and keep going long into the night when your bed is calling you. If you’re the writing type, now is a great time to start a journal and explore what you’re looking to get out of this. If you’re not, assemble a bunch of friends and talk it out. Take notes! Make a big ol’ note to yourself that you can look at in good and bad times. Remember why you started this!
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