If it doesn’t make money does it make sense?


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I have an event I really want to put on but so far the expenses outweigh the income and this is with just the priority items excluding things like AV. I want to do this long term and am considering sponsorship but my question is whether it’s worth even doing the first one if I know I won’t make all the money back? Have any event organisers out there taken this risk? Many thanks in advance

Running an event at a loss only makes sense if:

a) It’s to boost the brand, drive retention, etc…lots of big corporate events are run this way.
b) You feel you can build a distinct event brand which will drive revenue over time.

If you’re going with b), you have to make the model work so your variable costs don’t rise as fast as the growth of the event itself. If you can’t make money when you’re small, what makes you think you can earn revenue when you’re big and the costs are much greater?

Not an insurmountable problem, but one worth paying attention to.


Completely agree with Richard. I’ve run events breaking even and for profit. I’ve also self-funded my own. It is a delicate balance to justify, highly competitive and a risk to your mental health, not just the bottom line. However, lessons I’ve learnt from clients, colleagues and my own experience - if you have the personal drive, perseverance, passion & belief, the rewards are high! (from a market perspective - timing is critical)


Thanks so much for your responses. It’s definitely B for me. The expenses shouldn’t increase at the same rate of growth so I expect profit in future, the issue is largely the venue as I can only have X amount of people which limits the income however it’s been hard trying to find a venue that works and I didn’t want to get one too big to start off with. I’ll take on board what you’ve both said though.


Best of luck! Sure your passion will get you through. Let us know how it goes.