Starting an event or getting into the event business? PART 1

Starting an event or getting into the event business? PART 1

Things you need to know if you are starting out in events

  1. How do I land a big corporate client?

Quite simply. You don’t. There are 2 main reasons for this. Firstly, everyone is targeting large corporates, so the competition is fierce. Many advertising and marketing agencies have started to build their own in-house event teams, so the work is even harder to come by if you are small or a start-up. Secondly, corporates are risk averse and are unlikely to take a chance when it comes to events. Just because you are offering to do things cheaper doesn’t make you more appealing to a big company. In fact, the opposite is true. Large businesses want to know they are dealing with experienced event organisers especially because their brand is precious, and they cannot afford to have anything go wrong.

Focus your energy on getting any work from anyone – forget about the big guys. For now.

  1. Will my event gain more traction if I partner with a charity?

Probably not. In SA there is a misconception that people will automatically be more inclined to support a business or event if there is a charity angle. People will buy tickets to your event or your function if it is an amazing event, regardless of who it supports. Charities, NGO’s, schools and non-profits run tons of fundraising events so there is a large amount of charity fatigue. Rather spend your energy on creating something unique that appeals to people. If your event is popular and makes money you can then support any charity to choose.

  1. Is it more beneficial to be creatively brilliant or strong logistically to succeed?

As a business we generally hire permanently for logistical strength and we outsource for creative, when necessary. This dilemma is at the crux of running an event business. Creative, fresh thinking is vital to landing new work and for coming up with solutions. However, any event team needs hard core, practical workers to get shit done. When starting out you need to be brutally honest about your strengths and then partner (cos you probably won’t have any money!) or outsource for your weaknesses.

  1. Will my event business be a success?

One of the reasons that so many people in SA have started an events business is because the barriers to entry are low. You don’t need a factory, staff or inventory to get started. This means it is relatively easy to get the business going. This is the same reason it is so hard to survive. The competition is massive and fiercely competitive with new companies fighting for any business they can get their hands on. Your business can succeed if you keep your company and personal costs tight. Very tight. And if you deliver exceptional service on any project you work on.

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