How do you know if your idea will fly? Ask yourself this at every milestone in the event planning process. A lot of people have brilliant ideas, but brilliant ideas to you may not be brilliant to others. It’s time to put your ideas out into the world.

You are now an artist. You are putting your work out into the world and others are criticizing it. We get it. It’s scary.

Remember, events aren’t just about passion and creativity. They are about money. You’re either fundraising or you’re making this your job. Just wait until you get to race day. You’ll be forking over your hard earned money, looking back at all the stress and work you’ve gone through, and you’ll realize that the only people about to have a good time are the people who came to enjoy your hard work.

So what is validation? It’s finding people in your demographic, and then pitching your idea and price to them:

“So, I have an idea: [Explain idea]. Is this something you would make a priority to do?”

Listen carefully to their response. Then ask:

“This is how much I think I would need to charge for my idea. Would you pay for it? And would you sign up today?”

If you hear excuses like “I need to check my schedule,” your idea is weak. It may not be a good idea or it may need refining. People who aren’t ready to fork over money immediately are also telling you something about the event or its pitch. Don’t commit until people say, “Yes, I am so there. Take all my money. I’ll start training right now.”

True validation is getting three people to buy tickets to your event the minute you tell them the idea. No amount of Facebook likes or supportive friends equal the power of ticket compulsion.

If Your Idea is Weak

The best products identify a need. This need may or may not be understood by the customer. In business this is called a “pain point.” A pain point makes someone squirm. A great example of this is the mud run boom. It answered a couple needs in the general population, namely: “Running is boring,” “I don’t feel connected to people,” “I don’t do anything noteworthy.” Mud runs are “happenings.” They take a traditional 5k or more run and make something happen. Something which relieves people’s boredom and makes them feel accomplished. Running marathons used to have the same power, but like any idea they lost their steam overtime. Now we have mud run marathons and more!

Sit down with your idea. Look for ways to fill people’s concerns. If you’re interested in running, ask the people you think would run your race what bothers them about running and races in general. Ask them what the best things are. Ask them what they wish was a part of that experience. Then provide it. Remember to incorporate those provisions into your message. Don’t leave registrations on the table. If you have a feature, ensure people know about it! We’ll return to this soon.

If you find you don’t have a pain point but your idea is still not motivating people, and you need and want to do this event, pay close attention to our marketing section. A compelling campaign can make all the difference.