They paid big money for festival tickets, in large part because organizers lured them with the idea of partying with celebrities and other influencers. The answer to the first question might seem obvious, but remember: You donít want to throw an event that relies on the draw of guests you canít obtain. Coming up with the idea for Hawkefest, scheduled for October 2017, to help people network and learn about ecommerce, was the easy part. Whether youíre seeking attendees or speakers and performers, start with those you know. Even the people on stage want to network with other cool people to make it worth their while. It was a waste of my time, as it didnít do anything to drive my personal brand or elevate my companyís brand. Whether via a cold call or email or at an event, whenever Newman engaged with VCs, he was very clear about what he wanted from them next and how their contributions to his event would benefit them as well. You donít have to make a huge financial commitment to build the promotional framework for your event. If you donít throw an event right the first time, you wonít get a chance to do it again. The catastrophe that was this yearís Fyre Festival provides a perfect lesson on how not to organize an event that relies on big names -- and hopefully one that we can all learn from.
This past spring, the Fyre Festival, which had been billed as an exotic Bahamian party for the rich and famous, became a perfect example of event mismanagement. The big names who were supposed to be there dropped out at the last minute. Vendors canceled contracts. And attendees were stranded on the island of Great Exuma feeling not only deserted, but also scammed.
And why wouldnít they? They paid big money for festival tickets, in large part because organizers lured them with the idea of partying with celebrities and other influencers. Now, thatís a legitimately enticing promise. Think about it. When someone calls and invites you to a party, you’ll likely follow that invitation up with a question: Whoís going to be there?
And, whether we’re talking about a social or corporate event, people will be more inclined to go if celebrities or industry icons will be speaking, performing or at least attending. Many wonít even care if they get a chance to actually meet those luminaries; they just want to be in the same room with them.
In short, people are drawn to celebrity. Any event that boasts a roster of stars, business icons or notable public figures (or even just one of these types of people) instantly becomes more appealing. Star power fuels an implied level of trust, and suddenly the event seems more relevant and credible.
Say yes to the guest.
Securing illustrious participants is challenging enough, so you really want to focus on it. When it comes to actually booking that star power, though, you need to know two things in particular: who you are and who they are.
The answer to the first question might seem obvious, but remember: You donít want to throw an event that relies on the draw of guests you canít obtain. If youíre having a hard time attracting the influencers you want, maybe you shouldnít be holding that particular event in the first place.
Coming up with the idea for Hawkefest, scheduled for October 2017, to help people network and learn about ecommerce, was the easy part.
What was harder was that three years had to go by before I felt confident enough that we could throw this event successfully. I knew I had to build our brand and our reputation first, not to mention develop relationships with the influential people I wanted to be there.
Three years ago, we couldnít have pulled it off in the way we envisioned, but we got there. Hawkefest has attracted more than 200 attendees from the top ecommerce companies in the world ($5 million in revenue to qualify), including Casper, MeUndies, FabFitFun, The Honest Company, TechStyle Fashion Group, Proactiv and more.
The second thing to keep in mind is that you shouldnít just go…