Managing the Madness of Hosting Events - Connect Highlights

Managing the Madness of Hosting Events - Connect Highlights

Managing events can be stressful. From securing the venue and inviting the people to the little details, there is so much that goes into planning an event. And then, how do go about scaling an events program?!

On February 19, in the heart of the Financial District in San Francisco, a group of community managers and event hosts, met at the newly opened Industrious coworking space, and discussed managing the madness of hosting events. Our panelists included Joshua Zerkel, Head of Global Community, and Logan LeVan, Global Community Events Manager at Asana, Sarah Zembo, Director of Sales at The Pearl SF, and Nate Bourg, Co-Owner and Event Planner at The Academy SF.

Throughout the panel discussion, and the questions that came from the attendees, three main ideas continued to come up, when it comes to successfully running lots events and scaling an events program:

1. The importance of tools

All our panelists agreed that the tools you use can make or break an events program. “With so many things happening at once, it can be hard to keep on track” said Josh Zerkel. Using tools to help organize, keep track, and plan all of the moving parts that are a part of event management is a no brainer. “If there is a tool out there that can make your life easier, why wouldn’t you use it?” Sarah Zembo added. She continued to talk about the importance of industry referrals. When Sarah is looking for a vendor to partner with for her events, the first thing she does is take to social media to read reviews, and ask advice of her peers. The power of C2C marketing in event management! “I can’t stress enough how important industry referrals are.. They are more important to me than any accolade you can give.” Logan LeVan spoke about the importance of being fun and friendly with the attendees at Asana events. They always ensure to add fun graphics and light, friendly copy in the emails they are sending, and gift little Asana swag bags at each event.
Note to self: go to a local Asana event!

2. The importance of the relationship

Nate Bourg said that at The Academy SF, they are all about taking care of their customers, giving them genuine service, and ensuring they feel comfortable. “We make our space feel like their home for the time they are there” he said, “and we give people good, honest advice.” For event spaces like The Academy SF and The Pearl SF, both Sarah and Nate about spoke the fact that yes, they are a business and want to make money, but more importantly, they want to make sure their clients are having the best buying experience possible. “At the end of the day, it’s about what the customer wants. We are always building relationships and trust with our clients,” Sarah said, “my goal is that everyone who walks in through that door, thinks ‘that was the event I was hoping for.”

3. The importance of experimentation

When designing an event program, or hosting events in a space, it’s important to experiment in order to find out what works and what doesn’t. Sarah said, “you only know if something won’t work, if you try it”. Trying out different event formats and themes, different ways to advertise and share the event with your community, and different ways to get butts in seats will ensure that you are running the best possible version of your events. Josh half-jokingly warned, “you need to constantly experiment… but don’t experiment with things unless you want to repeat them in the future!” Good advice! It’s important to not only keep things fresh, but make sure that you are adapting and changing your events to best fit the attendees. Keeping track of what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to be changed before next time, will ensure you are delivering the best events possible.

In the same vein as experimentation, being able to think and act on your toes came up in the conversation. “You owe it to whoever shows up, whether that’s 100 people or 10 people, you owe it to them the event they showed up for. No matter how many people show up, I don’t think I would do anything dramatically differently” said Josh.

In Conclusion...

So, there you have it! Tips and tricks right from the pros! When planning, organizing, and hosting events, it’s important to a) not be afraid of using tools that could make your life easier, we live in the age of technology, and whatever you need help with, there is probably an app for that! b) keep the attendees in mind. Make sure the relationship with your clients or attendees is the most important aspect of your event program, and c) don’t be afraid to experiment with your event program, and understand the importance of being able to think on your toes if something changes. “You need to very quickly find plan b or even a plan c” added Josh.

Find out when the next C2C Connect in your neighbourhood is!

Want to bring Connects to your city? Become a host!

Don't forget to check out out Asana's Community Events!
And you can find Nate at The Academy SF and Sarah at The Pearl SF on Peerspace!

What to Read Next:

The hardest part of hosting an event is getting people to actually show up! Read Bevy's six tips, tricks, and industry best practices to get bums in seats. Check it out!

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About Author

Beth McIntyre

Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our community and connecting with members. When I'm not writing for the Bevy Blog, I'm writing about my global travels!

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