Launching an event can be overwhelming. Here are some tips and tricks that will help make sure you actually make money and come out on top.
Five years ago, Allan Branch and his business partner Steve, founders of Less Accounting, decided to put on an intimate event on entrepreneurship and business. Five years has passed and five Less Conf’s have thrown knowledge bombs to the hundreds that attended. It started as a one day, one track event and this year turned into a few day beach lovers conference. I talked with Allan about the ins and outs of Less Conf, the origins and how they have raised a substantial amount of money in sponsorships(Most recent sponsorship budget was $218,000).
Best Things. Makes you look really cool. when you through an event, people pay to come to your party. buddies with the speakers, changes the perspectives people have of you, meet a ton of people.
Bad Things. Selling tickets, estimating ticket sales. conferences are front loaded with expenses. cash flow is not a fun way to run a business.
Hard to do specific asks from sponsors. As the sponsor to attend the event so they can hand out swag and talk with attendees.
When you have more than one track, it changes your venue. (This can be good and bad)
Run your conference like you would run a business, spend as little money as you can.
A Few Tips. Front loading expenses puts pressure on event organizers.
Restaurant orders can typically negotiate price and pick a time that isn’t during their prime time.
Be explicit with all your vendors, have them read back everything they are supposed to do. Call 6 weeks before event, 1 week and the day before.
Coupon codes for product, social aspects, organizers introduce as many people you can to sponsors that are at the event.
Make sure you know if tax and tip are included.
Anything you pay for try to get a sponsor to pay for it.
How do you find sponsors?
look for introductions
look for flagship sponsors, once you have those, the rest will fall in place
After the event, if you see a tweet about a sponsor from an attendee, copy that message and send to the company.
On the fence, email 50 of your closest friends at X angle would you pay X dollars for it.
If you get a good response, then throw up a basic splash page, logo, date, topics and your email to contact. email 10 sponsors, if you can’t get a few of them to sponsor, don’t throw the event.
Here’s the goodies that is Allan Branch!