This blog post about event theme & concept is the second subpart of my How to Growth Hack an Event Guide. Make sure you read it! This post takes a conference I organized in March 2015 as an example.

Once your event’s concept, theme & speakers are confirmed you’ll have to focus on what actually happens on D-day.

Format & Venue

First off, you¬†should choose the¬†format¬†of your event in order to find the perfect venue. In the¬†case of CCE’s event, and since it was going to be our big winter event, we decided to have an hybrid conference & networking format. Being a student event, we decided to do it at HEC: the conference part would happen in the school’s 300-seats amphitheater and the networking part in the spacious cafeteria. For MTL+ECOMMERCE which we organize¬†on a monthly basis, we usually¬†have companies host our events which allows us to have a new venue (at a low cost) nearly¬†each time!

Food & Booze

If you plan to have a¬†networking part in your event, you should also think about providing food & booze for your attendees. It really¬†encourages¬†people to stay longer, especially if your event takes place¬†in the evening: they can have a bite, relax & socialize better with a drink. ¬†Be careful though, you don’t want to stuff your attendees with a four-courses meal which¬†will make them sleepy and kill the mood. I often recommend offering bite-food like bread & cheese, veggies or¬†petits fours. You could either make or buy those yourself or hire a caterer for the occasion.

Event food

For drinks, you don’t¬†want to get your attendees¬†drunk and thus should aim for slightly “tipsy”. Have people have too much to drink and you will¬†decrease the quality of the networking part: you don’t want to turn your professional event into a frat party…¬†I recommend sticking to wine & beer besides non-alcoholic beverages like sodas (don’t forget¬†people doing #SoberFebruary or who don’t drink!).¬†Be aware that you might have to ask for an alcohol permit if you plan on serving booze.¬†In order to set¬†the perfect atmosphere, don’t forget details like napkin/utensils/plates/tablecloth color and texture (ps: aim for plastic for utensils/plates rather than cardboard).

Event Vibe

Talking about your event vibe, I always make sure to have a good sound system with an adequate playlist (like this one). It helps people wait until the event begins in the beginning and really sets a mood for the final networking part.

Surround Yourself with Volunteers

You won’t be able to organize big¬†events by yourself. These don’t¬†happen without a reliable and knowledgeable team of volunteers¬†to have your back.¬†Make sure every one of them has a defined role¬†and empower them to take initiative when needed. You can imagine that¬†you’ll most certainly be stressed, rushed and swamped with last-minute tasks¬†during the event.

Budget

One the most important part of the logistics is your event budget. No secrets there, build¬†an Excel sheet that you separated in¬†revenue & costs and test different scenarios. Make the math with food, alcohol, venue rental price arrangements and the rest.¬†This will allow you to determine your tickets price point accordingly and anticipate how much money you can make or afford to lose¬†(price was 10$ for this event with the financial help of our sponsors). Here is an exemple the excel sheet I used for CCE HEC’s conference.¬†Duplicate & use it as you¬†please!

Event budget

You should now have a better idea of what’s important to consider when it comes to event logistics. Each event¬†is unique and has its own challenges, make sure you make the most of it!

==> Continue reading this blog post series with my event growth hacking method & hacks blogpost!

Ambroise Debret

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