In Part 1 of this article, we looked at booking a teacher, sorting out the timing and location, and getting clear on exactly what you’re trying to create.
Part 2 covered details like targeting an audience, targeting the media and creating promotional material that sells.
Now in Part 3, we’ll pull it all together.
Make sure you’ve done 3. from Part 1 – that you’ve visualized your perfect event.
This is likely the most crucial thing you’ll do, because knowing what you want to create and why helps you decide on the most important things to do.
Most of us aren’t full-time event organisers – we’re doing this around the sides of everything else in our lives. So it’s important to find balance – between doing everything we need to do to make en event successful, and not wasting our time on things that won’t make a big difference in the end.
7. Are you prepared to hustle?
I know, we’re yoga teachers, not promoters or PR people. But when you offer to host an event, that’s exactly what you have to do. You have to hustle. Your event is competing with so many other alternatives for people’s time. They could watch tv, go to a movie, go out to dinner, go dancing, go play sport, hang out with friends, cruise the ‘net, read a book, take a bath, go for a hike or just stay home and drink wine in front of the fire.
People need to be reminded of what’s coming, when it’s coming, and why they need to come along to it. They need to know that other people are coming, other people that they know and like. They need to know if they don’t go they’ll miss out on something special.
And to know all this, you need to tell them. Tell them when you talk to them. Tell them when you email them. Tell them when you facebook, when you twitter, when you text. Tell them through the local media. Tell them through flyers and posters.
But also be aware of when you’ve told them enough. If they’ve paid up, they don’t need to be told again. If they’re away that weekend, they don’t need to be told. If it’s not their cup of tea, they don’t need to be told. And if you’re already nearing capacity for your event… you can probably stop telling people too.
You’ll find though, that when you’re excited about an event, it’s really easy to hustle. You’ll naturally want to share your enthusiasm with other people, you’ll want them to get the benefits from coming along, and you’ll be delighted to tell them all about what’s going to happen.
8. Enlist a core crew of passionate fans
As you may be beginning to grasp, hosting an event takes work. And usually, for most of us, it’s unpaid work. So don’t do it all yourself. Find some skilled folk you can delegate aspects of the work to – people who are also passionate about the event, about yoga, about the teacher. Use people’s natural skills, contacts and talents. Just one or two other people can make all the difference.
Enlisting other people isn’t about getting them to do you a favour though, no, no no,you want to turn this around on it’s head. Instead be creative on how you find ways to give to those people who can help you out. A teenager with limited funds but plenty of time may be stoked to get a half price pass to a workshop in exchange for putting up posters all around town. A graphic designer just starting out will likely work for less to build reputation and clients, and you can let them add their contact details to the promotional material they create so people know who did the great job. All you need to think about is what you can offer people besides money (although with the right event, you will be able to pay everyone who helps out too).
The more people who benefit from your event in some way, the more people you’ll have on your side to help promote the event. Remember, yoga means ‘to connect’, and if you can embody the principles of connection in your event organisation, it’s going to go a long way to making your event successful.
9. Pulling it all together – the big day
Most important thing to do on the day of your event? Your own practice! Yes, make sure you take some time early in the day to spend at least 20 minutes getting clear, grounded and calm. This way you’ll be in the best possible head space to tackle the challenges of the day. At the end of your practice, take one last time to visualise your event running exactly the way you want it to. Use this time to note any last minute details you need to take care of too.
Walk yourself through as if you were attending the event and take note of everything that you need – where do you put your stuff, do you need to get changed, do you need access to water or tea or food, do you need pens or paper, are you warm enough or cool enough, can you see properly… this is the moment to pick up on anything you may have forgotten.
Make sure everybody helping you out knows exactly what they need to do, so that you can just leave them to do it.
And then… let go. Find that meditative space within, and follow the flow for the day. Just be in the moment, dealing with whatever arises. You’ve done all you can do… it’s gonna be the way it’s gonna be. Now is the time to enjoy yourself, and the event, and the people.
But once the day is done… take a moment to reflect and…
10. Debrief – what went right, what did you learn?
Every thing we ever do is an opportunity for growth. In the end, it doesn’t matter if your event went as planned, or as visualised. What does matter is what the people at your event experienced. As an event organiser, you’re there to serve the people – if they were happy, that’s what truly matters.As an event organiser, you’re there to serve the people – if they were happy, that’s what truly matters. So get feedback from people who were there – even if it’s just taking the time to thank them as they leave, while keeping half an ear out for the general mood and comments.
Also take the time (by yourself or with the other people who helped you out) to review what happened, as you’ll be aware of all the background stuff that attendees won’t have noticed. Take note of what worked really well, and take note of things that you’d do differently next time.
And then congratulate yourself for all your efforts, take yourself out (or get taken out!) and bask in the glory of having brought a group of people together to experience something new, or something joyous, or something educational… or maybe something of all three.