If you guys have been following me then you know I just finished throwing my very first creative networking event. YAAAAY. The outcome was better than I could’ve ever imagined! I’ve been envisioning this event for months and I was so happy to see my vision come to fruition. The room was filled with writers, artists, entrepreneurs, web designers, DJ’s, musicians, etc etc. We were able to network over some mimosas and sangria, music, delicious food and so many flavors of cupcakes. The room was filled with so much support and talent. Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket, whether you made it or not! The support was so appreciated.
If you’re a blogger or creative and you’ve ever thought about throwing your own blogger brunch or creative event, I’ve got some tips on how to make it seamless and less stressful. I threw mine in Brooklyn and as most of you know I live in Dallas. While some parts of the planning were a little tough because I was states away, for the most part things fell perfectly into place. THANK GOODNESS.I know when I first got the idea to throw my event, I tried to Google all tips that would help me during planning this event and it gave me a pretty good idea of what to do. But, there’s some things that I didn’t find during my search that you guys might find useful when planning your next event!
SET DEADLINES: I set deadlines for myself throughout the WHOLE planning process and it made a BIG difference. Once I made the ticket sales public, I set deadlines for how many tickets I wanted to sell during the first week, second week, and so on and so forth. There was a deadline for when the ticket sales would end. I mainly set the deadlines so I could prepare for the number of guests I was expecting to have.
ONE thing I learned is that EVERYONE is last minute. People bought tickets up until the very LAST minute of the ticket sale so don’t be surprised if most of your ticket sales happen at the end. If you promote enough people will come.
HAVE A STRONG TEAM: Make sure you have a strong dependable team. I had the SMALLEST team working with me (my “team” mostly consisted of my friends) but they were very very very reliable and their vision mirrored mine so well that it worked out perfectly. I was able to send everything to New York in advance without even seeing it and everything looked exactly how I anticipated it to. *shout out to Tia for making sure everything looked how it was supposed to* AND mailing is cheaper than trying to fly with everything (you guys know I’m frugal).
BE ORGANIZED: I made an excel spreadsheet to make sure I had EVERYTHING I would need to make my event successful. I had a list of every single person attending, everything I could even possibly think I would need, and how much it would cost.
It is inevitable that you will figure out that there’s some things you didn’t think of, but go down the checklist and don’t be scared to ask questions! I didn’t find out until a few weeks before the event that the venue had no chairs. AHHHHHH. I was actually freaking out. Was everyone supposed to stand? Once I found out I was able to call a chair rental place, but once I called I completely lost their contact information. LUCKILY, I was able to rent chairs the same day! They were an hour late and guess what? People barely noticed. So don’t stress if EVERYTHING isn’t perfect, only you’ll notice the slight imperfections — trust me. And that’s with ANY event. Of course, be as prepared as possible, but if small things go wrong don’t panic, it’ll work out.
COLLABORATE, COLLABORATE, COLLABORATE!
I can’t stress this one enough. Do collaborations with people! The whole purpose of my event was to get people together to network for future collaborations! You can’t do it by yourself, BUILD A TEAM.
Team work makes the dream work. Seriously.
I collaborated with a lot of talented people that I knew in order to have the best experience! The card-stock on everyone’s plate had everyone I collaborated with while preparing for this brunch. I collaborated with so many creatives from the cupcakes, to the music, to the bartender, to the chef, down to the photographer. Whether you have a big circle or not, I am positive we ALL know talented people, ASK THEM TO COLLAB! It’s great promotion for everyone involved. And of course, when you collaborate with others make sure to promote each other and help each other out!
GAMES: My friend gave me the idea of playing a game at the event. (Again, I have very creative people in my life) WHO KNEW PEOPLE WOULD TAKE GAMES SO SERIOUSLY? Everyone was practically coming up to me grabbing the Bingo out of my hand before I could even finish handing it out because they were so ready to play! So have fun ideas to entertain your guests and it was great to pass time while they changed the food table!
The networking Bingo was a great icebreaker, it got everyone in the room talking and getting to know one another. The rules of this Bingo was to find someone in the room who had done the things in the boxes. Examples included things like find someone who speaks another language fluently or someone who has created a business. I created the questions based on the people I knew would be in the room! If you don’t know your guests personally you can Google generic questions!
BE PRESENT: I mean, I know it’s hard not to run around like a chicken without a head at your own event. (But, trust me it’s possible) When you plan everything in advance it gives you more time to relax and actually talk to your guests. I was able to eat (somewhat), drink, and take pictures with everyone. And the feedback I got was that people enjoyed that I was able to be a part of the event with them. After all, yes people come for the event but a lot of people are there to support you.
Don’t forget to check out Geda’s Coverage if you want to read about my event from an attendee’s perspective.
Can’t wait to see you at the next one,