1) Be specific if/when you ask for sponsorship, you get better results – When we asked sponsors for £340 to cover a meal at a conference, we got better responses than when we asked for £100 to be a “micro-sponsor”.
2) Get EVERYTHING in a google doc (or slack or…) for anyone involved to see: contact details, to do list, speaker contacts etc etc.
3) Don’t rely on committees, assign tasks clearly to specific people. It’s quite well documented that you have less chance that someone will volunteer to do something the more of you there are about. This is especially true of tasks “can someone…” means noone will (usually).
4) Allow people to do tasks their own way. It’s easy to micro-manage every little detail (or end up doing it yourself) – learn to accept that people do things in different ways and that most times this really doesn’t matter. I’ve even witnessed people working at an event say “I was going to do … but I know (the boss) will tell me I’ve done it the wrong way”.
5) Schedule EVERYTHING. Know when you need invoices paid, things booked, press releases sent…
6) Be open, honest and transparent with your attendees. My pet peeve at events is when you get conflicting stories about why there is a delay / cock up etc… just be open n honest. Customer service 101: acknowledge what has happened, say what you’re doing to ensure it won’t happen again and what the next steps will be.
7) On the day… Don’t panic. Things WILL go wrong, kit will be lost, people will fail to show, someone will complain about something… So what? Try and enjoy your event, make sure you ask for help as soon as you need it and just roll with it.
8) If you’re running a free event – expect drop-outs – in our experience events get around 70/80% attendance, unless it’s something very special (or where you know there will be freebies) – to counter this, allow for 110% of tickets to capacity
9) Encourage diversity at your events, especially no all male white line-ups, and have a code of conduct, we recommend the Geek Feminism one
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