When was the last time you tried something for the first time?
Last November I decided to start hosting events, beginning with a Friendsgiving/fashion event with Cabi. Had I done this before? Nope. Did I know what I was doing? Hell no. But hosting events was something I had recently wanted to try. Attending events for the past year had sparked my curiosity. No experience or credentials needed…just sheer determination.
Before we get ahead of ourselves here, I know what you’re thinking. A Friendsgiving? That’s your big event? Alright, alright! I realize I’m not putting on a conference here for thousands of people (yet), but I do understand the significance of taking the first step into unknown territory.
Again, when was the last time you tried something for the first time? If it’s been a while, read this blog to persuade you out of your comfort zone. You’re welcome.
You won’t know, you won’t learn & you won’t grow until you’ve tried. And that’s exactly what I did. Once you go for it, a beautiful thing happens – you have more confidence to do it again. Fast forward to today, hosting events has become easier and easier! I have now hosted 3 of them.
I’ve learned something from each of these events and figured I’d share. I wanted to share tips and tricks of what to do/what not to do when hosting events. Before I share, I want to make it clear that I’m sharing this because it’s important to take a BTS look – hint: it’s a lot of work. We are often inundated with the cookie-cutter, no stress, pearly white smiles of our IG feed but we don’t see the butterflies, the heart in our throat or the sweaty palms that we actually feel. With that being said, it is so rewarding at the end when it all comes together. I hope this helps you when planning your next event – Happy Reading!
Tip #1: Do your research
Research what all is involved before you think about hosting events. My Friendsgiving turned out to be more work than expected and the last minute jitters kicked in. Ask yourself the infamous 5 questions before committing:
will you invite? Is this a close knit group of friends or is it free invite for anyone?
is your goal for the event? Is this a charity event to help raise money? Is this a networking event? What are you trying to give/gain from hosting?
will I host this event? Is my space big enough or will I need to use someone else’s property? If I choose to use a gym, restaurant, etc. will there be a minimum that I have to meet? Is there a per person cover charge?
Make sure this answer is strong. You’re going to need it when dealing with lots of moving parts and want to call it quits, trust me. The moving parts can add up (and sometimes on the same day) like venue, capacity, cost per person, dj, on site vendors, coordination, meet & greet, brand outreach, marketing pushes, photographer, videographer, schedule, and so much more.
How many people? How are you going to get the brand donations? Pick up or drop off? How are you going to invite people? How are you going to choose a venue? Decision, decisions, decisions.
Tip #2: Have patience
The thing that caused me the most stress was brand coordination. Granted, this was my own fear getting in the way. I didn’t know how it worked, who should I reach out too, etc. Have patience with the process – most brands will just need the best shipping address to get the product to you. However, depending on how many brands you reach out too, it could be emails, DMs and texts every day! I would recommend carving out 1 hour a day to devote to communication. Just chip away at it every day and the event date will be there in no time!
Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
I always want to take on ALL the work by myself. This is true for all aspects of my work life – not sure why but learning it’s okay to get help when hosting events. For example, I had all brands ship product to my apartment and on the day of the event, it hit me. How am I going to get all this product over to the venue? I don’t have a car and didn’t make any rental car reservations. Major fail! Thank goodness for a willing friend who came early. She helped me pack her car and drove me to the venue. We unpacked and afterwards, cleaned up the extra boxes/swag bags & drove me back to my apartment. I honestly couldn’t have pulled it off without her. Forever grateful for friends like this!
Tip #4: Expect to pay for something
There is a 75% chance that you’ll end up paying for something. Unless you have partnerships/collaborations, be prepared to dish out some money for unexpected charges such as, parking accommodations for on site vendors, speakers for a DJ (if they don’t already have their own), etc. You never know what will come up so be smart and have a few dollars ready to go.
Tip #5: Be Present
The last thing you want to do/be is stressed out on your day. Hosting events should be fun! Enjoy every moment, say hi to everyone and truly be appreciative that the day is finally here! YOU DID IT!