Some people scour meetups like vultures.
Others are allergic to events because they are socially awkward.
In any case, events are becoming more valuable as we are seek human connection.
In January, I wanted to create community.
“I’m producing an event,” I said.
It’s almost absurd– I’m the person who finds every excuse to not show up at events.
This is the start of a girl’s story, who tries to make a small change in a busy world. Here’s how to start your own event, music-related or not.
1. Pitch your vision to someone
What is your event about? What are you hoping to accomplish? Will you be providing entertainment or education? Aim for either; a concert, for example, would be pure entertainment.
If you’re only in it for the cash, my friend, your journey will be ten times harder.
There will be times when you want to quit and you have to believe in this vision to pursue it.
For that reason, everyone in the Artiden community thinks I’m producing a concert, as I’ve written about music for so long.
But it’s an event to connect and support people who are interested in design. No one knows what this means but almost everyone is curious– the vision is a magnet.
2. Fail quickly
It’s better to find out that your vision needs tweaking, than have no one show up at the event.
Be laser-specific when identifying a target audience, or who you’re creating the event for, so you’ll have an audience even before you launch the event.
I wanted to support local talent, so I created an online group for designers, called Design Lab (the same name as my design course) to see who might be interested.
One guy from the Design Lab group, Justin, wanted to go for coffee, and he was one of the first to say yes to the vision.
In turn, I realized that I wanted to support creative people who were active and had a million ideas; Justin became the model for one of my audience avatars (someone whom I was creating the event for).
When music teachers have trouble getting parents and students to attend recitals, I ask, are you sure people want a recital? Sure, you get to show off teaching skills, but we all know how hard it is to sit through an hour’s worth of amateur playing. Maybe your students just aren’t the recital crowd.
What if it were a music circle where people worked together to make a piece of music, instead? What if people improvised? If your students need to practice performing, consider holding a masterclass instead.
I think event producers have a responsibility to make sure their events serve their audience and has content that the audience needs to hear, not what they want the audience to hear.
I started researching for the event five months earlier. I even had a prototype.
3. Meet people who’ve produced events
“Your event should be sustainable,” Steve said. He was one of the first speakers to come on board, when I had an inkling of an event.
Your ideas are great (some of them, at least) but discussing them with a person who’s done it will save you tons of mileage.
Event registration cannot be free. People need skin in the game to value the event and I need to break even.
When Theresa came to Vancouver, we hung out at her friend’s apartment. She pulled out a bag of frozen crab legs from the fridge and proceeded to fill a pot with water.
“You can’t burn crab, right?” She said.
“I’m not sure,” I said, reading instructions on the bag. Are we using a stovetop or…?
“What about rice– can that be burnt?”
“Uh,” I said, glancing at the pot on the stove, “Probably not, but I wouldn’t know. I use a rice cooker.”
As both food items started bubbling, we discussed event strategy and Theresa scrawled out a registration page for me.
Is there ever a right moment to start an event? I think if there is, it might be the moment you are overwhelmed and excited.
But let me tell you this. Time is precious and I don’t ever want to look back wondering what could’ve been. I might be sweating for the event at 4am. But I see that people have enrolled in my workshop, and that you’re reading my blog– I see that you are sharing a piece of your time with me, and I will never, ever, take that for granted.
Want to hear more about producing events? Let me know by leaving a comment below and I’ll create another article! Better yet, leave your questions below and I’ll try to address them.