Starting out events by yourself

(Vivian Peter) #1

Hi guys, so basically I am trying to organise small, medium scale conferences by myself, so far so good I would say. But it gets harder when you realise you can’t do everything by yourself from getting paid delegates to sponsorship, I have tried outsourcing but that did not work out very well. Any advice out there? Anyone ever ran events by themselves?

(Abena P) #2

@Vivian23 I’m in the same boat myself so no real advice, but just wanted to say good luck, hopefully it gets easier with time :smile:

(Vivian Peter) #3

Hahahaha I know right, I mean am getting sleepless nights, the event is doing really well speaker wise and getting the right kind of interest. The problem is creating time to convert these interest into sales or potential sponsors.
What event are u working on and what sort of strategies have u tried?

(Hannah Poupart) #4

I’d say it was very difficult to run a new event from scratch by yourself - if its a rolling programme where you have the process and systems down to a well oiled machine then it’s a lot easier.

Your key I would say is plan plan plan. Make sure you’ve made a project plan of every tiny task that needs to be completed, along with deadlines - checking what tasks have to be finished before the next can start.

You could see if anyone is interested in volunteer work to support some of the administration side of things or someone that is looking for more experience in events management - maybe someone studying at the moment. See what local colleges are running those type of courses?

See what free software is out there to make the absolute best of the small amount of time you have - mailchimp, eventbrite etc

If you have budget outsource - I know you said it hasn’t worked well before so make sure you delegate properly and monitor closely.

Good luck!

(Abena P) #5

Thanks @HannahP and @Vivian23! I’m working on a workshop promoting sustainable tourism at the moment. I’m at the stage of trying to confirm speakers.

Do you tend to book speakers first and then organise the event around them, or do you confirm the venue and date first, and then try and find a speaker who is available then?

(Hannah Poupart) #6

Hi Abena - it depends, if it was me I’d be basing my decision on a few different factors;
*How soon is the event - is it going to be more difficult to find a venue or more difficult to find one date that suits speakers/delegates?
*Where is the event - is it in a city where there are a lot of options for venues, or somewhere where there aren’t many options?
*How many people am I aiming to attend/do I need a complicated set-up - how difficult will it be to find a venue that suits these requirements?

Generally I would find the venue first and then seek availability from speakers, I’d rather not leave myself in a position where I have to go back to speakers to tell them I don’t have a venue for a date I’ve confirmed with them.

(Vivian Peter) #7

Hi Abena and Hannah, thanks for the info so far.

Well depends my background is in conference production where tradional you are the project manager, some few things we do is check first for competitors, and national holidays that will affect your event, cost of venue for example Paris and Geneva is usually very expensive and then make a decision based on that, ideally once you have a sure date that is validated you start inviting speakers, the only time we do it the industry way is if it’s a big and sponsorship led event, usually we take recommendation on board but always bear in mind you are the project manager and you need to have some sense of control of the project because when ur pitching speakers they will be asking you what the aim of the event is that you are putting together so following the initial research face will get you ready

(Carol Medcalf) #8

Hello everyone.
Vivian, you said that you have had problems outsourcing in the past, but that is really the only way to go if you want to expand. You just need to find the right person to work with, and practice delegating so it is successful for all parties. It’s about clear explanations, expectations, feedback and monitoring.
I’m a virtual assistant, and have over 10 years experience in training and event management. I also have experience in working with busy business owners who know they can’t do it all, but are too busy to find the time to outsource their tasks so are in a catch 22 situation.
My website is, and I’d be happy to have a chat to either help directly, or give you some pointers.
Good luck!

(Seun Johnson) #9

Hi there, my name is Seun Johnson, i’m Nigerian and i’m delighted to be a part of the platform. I’m really hoping i can find some helpful advise in getting my event organizing skills up an running. I really don’ know how to use the site just yet, but, i’ll sure catch up. Its a pleasure meeting everyone …