Organising events are stressful and can induce repressed fears of no one turning up to your birthday party. However, at Writers & Artists, we like to keep the stress to a minimum and want to share a couple of tips to help turn your attendees into repeat customers.
1) Think audience
Organising an event isn’t a one way street. At the heart of all our events is a desire to create something that will directly appeal to our core audience: the writer. It’s important for us to understand what exactly works, and for us that happens to be events based on the writing and publishing process. Think about who your target audience is, and then find out what type of events they’d like to see. Whether this is done through collecting information the old school way via feedback forms and online surveys or newsletter mailings and social media polls, you’ll then be able to directly meet the needs of your audience. For example, our lively online community is an excellent way for us to gauge what our members are interested in.
2) Be adaptable
Be willing to adapt the format of your event if it’s not working. Through feedback we received about our 10-week novel writing course, we decided to incorporate online video participation and as a direct result the places sold out with ease. Live-tweeting and speaker video interviews are just a couple of ways you can make your events accessible to as many people as possible.
3) Be clear in what you’re offering
Think about what makes your event uniquely appealing to a targeted group. Clear, concise copy on an event page can make the difference between someone buying a ticket or not. If you’re organising a writing workshop, will every attendee receive feedback? And if so, how much time will be allocated for each person? These are things the customer will want to know so an event page that is simple and easy to navigate will turn a hesitation into a purchase.
4) Take the time to talk to your attendees
There’s nothing better than direct feedback on the day and although you may be swept off your feet, even taking ten minutes to listen is crucial in gaining an even better understanding of your audience.
5) Select a variety of speakers
With certain events that we put on each year, for example our How to Write for Children & YA conference, finding a mixture of new, exciting speakers is crucial. Give your audience a reason to keep coming back by doing your research and finding the right, relevant speaker for your chosen topics.
6) Creating partnerships
Doing this with other organisations not only helps to ease the organisational workload, but also strengthens and expands the reach of your events. We’ve established brilliant partnerships with the likes of Book Aid International and York Literature Festival to put on events all over the country, which have helped to build our reputation to a whole new audience. These organisations are paramount in helping to publicise events at a local level so it’s well worth researching what organisations might be a good fit for you.