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Common Event Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
by BusyConf on


It is no secret that planning an event, regardless of the type of event or the size of the event, is incredibly stressful.

Not only are there plenty of things that you can get wrong, but there are also of things that you are going to need to think about and keep in mind. Making a mistake can not only make things a lot more stressful and challenging for you, but it can also have a huge impact on the success of your event too.

So, to help to make sure that your event is as successful as it can be, we have put together some of our top tips on the most common event management mistakes and how you can try your best to avoid being trapped in them.

Not being prepared for everything

It is great to think positively about your event, and try to keep in mind that everything is going to go just the way that you want it to. But of course, it is never a good idea to ignore the possible risks and issues that can pop over during the course of planning and running an event. Things can and do go wrong at any stage of the process, so preparation for this to happen is key. Not only will it help you to identify areas that could have an issue (especially those that you might not have already thought of) but it will also help you to figure out what to do should those things go wrong.

Not estimating the size of the event right

Whilst you never know what is going to happen on the day itself, any event planner will know that estimating the size of your event is one of the key parts of the process. You might think it is better to be modest than to be over the top on the amount of people that are going to attend, but this really isn’t the case. It is much better to think big when it comes to your event. Think about the best case scenario when it comes to numbers and that way you can be prepared for any chances of overcrowding that could occur.

Not being aware of the changes (or making others aware)

Despite your best planning, there is always a good chance that in the run up to any event, things will change. These changes may seem minor, but if they are not dealt with, or if no-one else in the planning team is made aware of them, then this could cause a problem. Any changes, no matter how small they are, need to be shared with the team.

Not having the right equipment

It is all too easy to forget about important things like equipment when it comes to planning an event. However, forgetting something as simple as pens and paper could have a much bigger impact on the event then you realise. Have a checklist of all the things that you are going to need on the day and make sure that you have plenty of it all.

A great way to signpost for your event has to be roll-up banners. Make sure that you get your roller banners right and you won’t have to worry about your event again!

5 Comedians that Make Great Celebrity Speakers
by Paige Smith on


The celebrity speaker can often be the highlight of an event, therefore, when choosing your speaker, you want to make sure that they are going to make an impression and have people talking for ages after the event.

A good keynote speaker will, lighten the mood, have excellent public speaking skills, be engaging and entertaining and have the audience laughing. So, who better to have at your event than an acclaimed comedian?

If you want to add a little funny to your event there are a range of comedians that are known for their sketches on Saturday Night Live or their famous standup routines that are ready to inject some humor into your event. Here are just five celebrity comedians that you should consider:

James Acaster

James Acaster’s popularity has soared in recent years. Since 2008, when James first started performing standup comedy, he has made multiple appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has featured on BBC’s Mock The Week and other TV Comedy shows countless times. His most recent show won him the most outstanding show award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award 2019.

As well as being one of the finest UK standup comedians he’s also hugely popular at events with his whimsical wit winning over all audience types.

Chris Addison

If you’re looking for a comedian with a huge amount of experience, then you should consider Chris Addison. He has appeared as a panelist on shows such as Would I Lie To You, Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You numerous times. He has performed his solo shows at theaters all over the country and has been a headliner at some of the most prestigious comedy clubs.

He’s a comedian adored by many and his confidence, intelligence and comedy mean he’s the perfect entertainment for any sort of event. If you want to bag Chris for your event though, you’ll have to be quick as he’s a man in demand.

Alexander Armstrong

If you want a familiar face to host your event then comedian, actor and television presenter Alexander Armstrong would be an ideal choice. He’s often a guest host on BBC’s Have I Got News For You, he presents the popular BBC game show Pointless and has appeared in a number of films.

His recognizable face puts everyone at ease and his versatile, amusing and relaxed character makes him the perfect event presenter.

Jo Brand

She may have started off in psychiatric nursing but she’s now one of the best female comics in Britain as well as an established author with lots of awards under her belt. She’s made appearances on many prime time comedy shows and even hosted The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, all contributing to her popularity.

Her unique style makes her highly sought after and she’s been dubbed an outstanding corporate speaker and fantastic event host.

Jimmy Carr

Take your event to the next level and invite one of the biggest selling live acts in UK comedy, Jimmy Carr. He’s the host of a range of television shows including 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Big Fat Quiz Of The Year and his solo standup shows are constantly sold out.

He’s an extremely versatile presenter and can adapt easily whether it’s hosting, presenting or giving awards. His charismatic and ultra-cool character will be sure to win over the crowd. He’s a busy guy so if you want to invite him to speak at your special event make sure you book far in advance.

So, why not spice your event up with a comedian celebrity speaker to inspire, motivate and entertain your audience?

How Technology is Changing Event Security
by Dakota Murphey on


Both large and small events and event venues that involve gatherings of people are increasingly vulnerable, which means that event planners and organisers need to take great care in terms of issues relating to safety and security. Thankfully it is becoming easier for organisers thanks to the use of new forms of technology.

No matter whether you are organising a summer fete, a sporting event, a concert, or a market, any event that involves multiple members of the public needs to be planned adequately. Here we take a look at how technology is changing the way that we look at event security and safety.

Conducting risk assessments

Whenever you consider any aspect of event security you should first consider a risk assessment. Carrying out a risk assessment should be the first priority in the safety and security of your event, and any decisions should be made by consulting the assessment.

It is much easier to carry out an assessment (and easier to access the results) if it is created and stored digitally. Evaluating threats and weaknesses can be most easily done when utilising a wide range of technologies. It may even be necessary to work with external specialists in risk assessment to ensure that you are carrying out the work properly.

Brief your attendees with an app

If you are looking to prioritise safety and security at your event then the most important thing that you need to is to distribute information. If you create an app for your event and then encourage attendees to use it, you can provide them with information about how to keep safe while attending your event. This could include details such as acceptable items to take into the event, as well as maps and other details.

Security checkpoints

Bag and body searches have become common practice at events to ensure that no-one is bringing in any forbidden substances or anything else banned by the organisers. This undoubtedly has contributed to events becoming safer. But one of the challenges that this brings is the amount of time that it takes to search each person and bag individually.

Thankfully this is one area that the events sector can learn and benefit from the advances in the air travel industry. Airport security has been consistently ramped up in recent years, and this has led to the development of many fast security scanning technologies. There are now devices such as walkthrough scanners and handheld metal detectors that can be used by event staff to speed up the process.

Provide emergency plans and procedures to staff

It is vital for event organisers to come up with detailed security and safety plans, and contingencies in the event of an emergency. Of course, it is also necessary to provide staff with training on what to do if any kind of emergency situation was to occur. However, technology has made this easier as it is now possible for all members of staff to have immediate access to the plans via any device.

This can either be achieved by using an event management app that all staff will be logged into, or simply by distributing plans to individuals.

Have traffic management plans distributed

At larger events it is often necessary to plan for traffic management. If your event requires access for vehicles, these vehicles can pose a danger to any pedestrians at the site. This means that you need to have a plan in place.

When you have created a traffic management plan you should ensure that it is available in the form of digital document so that it can be shared across devices with any parties that need it.

“We have provided concrete barriers for traffic management at many events,” said Jim Treacy, General Manager at civil engineering contractors Maltaward “and the operation always runs most effectively when the event organisers can provide us with detailed plans for the placement of barriers.”

Monitoring cameras

To provide the best possible security for your attendees and staff it can be very valuable to have CCTV cameras in place. Better still, these cameras can be monitoring from applications on smart devices – this can be easily managed now that these devices and applications are so easily accessible on smart phones and tablets.

10 Useful Tips for Event Managers
by BusyConf on


Managing an event successfully can be an extremely stressful task, even when you’re at the top of your game and things are going swimmingly. The difficulty can lie in the uniqueness of each event—they’re all so different and require fresh thinking every time. A great deal of flexibility is needed to be successful in this field. You also need a reliable set of contacts and places to source from, like Expocart, if you’re after quality banners for your stand. Let’s take a look at 10 tips you will not want to miss when organizing a terrific event.

1. Begin Planning Early

It’s never too early to start. If you can confirm the event date and venue early, the better it will be. Even calling a year in advance is a good idea if it seals the venue. You may not have exact details on participants at this stage, though there should be some flexibility. There is a chance you may save some money too, by booking early. Getting your stands to look the part is key; here are another two sites which are reliable and will help immensely.

2. Make Lists for Everything

Keep a record of absolutely everything that needs to be done and organized for the event. Create checklists with actionable items, and dates on when items need to be finalised. This also makes things clear when delegating work within your team. Any overdue items should be flagged up as early as possible.

3. Find a Trustworthy Venue

The venue you find could have a huge impact on how smooth or stressful the whole process is. Even though you may be always on the lookout for a unique venue that will give participants something to remember; you also want one that will be dependable and not give you the hassle. If a place already comes with lighting and seating, won’t that make your job a lot easier?

4. Be Clear on Your Objectives

Be sure to work with your event planner or client on the concrete goals for the upcoming event. The objectives should be specific and try to work with numbers where possible. Such as how many awards are being presented, or the number of questions you can fit in at the end of a session.

5. All Contracts Should Be Clear and Detailed

To avoid any misunderstanding or unexpected alterations, make certain that the initial contracts contain as much information as possible; whether the contracts are drawn up by you or partners. The small print should always be read, no matter how time-consuming.

6. Attract People With a “Green” Event

Organizing an eco-friendly event will be a massive selling point. It’s our collective responsibility to do good for the environment. If you can organize an event with green event programs and other sustainable alternatives, it’s a real win-win for your event and the world. Make sure you promote your idea of a green event.

7. Take Advantage of Social Media

The great thing about social media is the participants can help promote your event by spreading the word. It doesn’t mean you can just sit back and let it happen, however; you need to be proactive with this approach. Each social media platform can be used strategically to post clever pictures, videos and messages. Hopefully, the public will get sharing—a massive help with your marketing.

8. Do a Practice Run

Every event you organize should be put through its paces prior to the real thing. No matter the size of the event; a practice run is always a good idea. It should include as many of the people who will be involved in the real thing as possible. This gives you a great chance to see if anything is not up to scratch, so you can put it right.

9. Ask Those Who Attended

By talking to people, seeing their reactions and using feedback surveys, you get a good picture of what it’s like being in their shoes. What did they like about it? Was there anything commonly disliked? A lot can be learnt from this.

10. Make Changes That Count

After all the feedback from the last event, there should always be lessons learnt. No event is perfect, and your job is to constantly make changes for the better. You should make it a point to change something in a positive way after each occasion. Examples can be to axe any overly expensive vendors or juggle your teams around to rectify inefficiencies.

Keep Learning, Improving, and Enjoying

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into organizing a successful event. Although it can be hugely demanding; you will feel an immense sense of pride and satisfaction when the last guests have left and you’ve reflected on your achievements. Whether you’re still new to managing events or have many under your belt already, there are always ways to keep improving and take your reputation as an events organizer to new heights. By following the advice given above and some hard work, you will get there soon enough. Stay organized, plan well and learn from every occasion.

6 Social Media Tips to Sell More Event Tickets
by Dan McCarthy on


So you got an impending conference to plan; where do you start? Social media is a good place to begin to start selling some tickets. Your social network channels, in fact, are a more valuable resource than you realize. If used right, you just might be able to fill every seat. That means more awareness and consumer conversion for your brand.

1. Facebook Ads

Sure, Facebook ads cost money, but as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Facebook Ads is one of the best places to start. For best results, really take advantage of the “interest” setting, which is a great way to confine your ads to your demographic.

Your ads can be further confined based on factors like work, language, gender, and so on. The narrower you can tighten your demographic the better. It also means you are more likely to get more clicks that result in a conversion. This is very important since you are being charged by the click or by the impression depending on the option you choose.

2. Create a Memorable Hashtag

Why use hashtags at all? First of all, they ensure your tweets and other social media posts become a trend. Those unfamiliar with the hashtag can also click on it to see all other posts containing the same hashtag, thus learn about your event.

Your hashtag needs to meet two requirements: it has to be clear and short. A bit of compromise might be required to strike a fine balance between clarity and brevity.

Take the hashtag #MalibuRealEstateConference2016. Is it clear? You bet. Just by looking at it, you know immediately that it’s a conference about real estate in Malibu. However, the hashtag is also awfully long. How might you shorten it?

How about #MREConf? It’s just the right length, but it’s not clear, is it? Most people won’t be able to determine what it is just by looking at it. So how about #MalibuRealEstateConf? It’s just right. Find the middle ground between length and being concise.

3. Start a Contest

Start some form of social media contest with plenty of giveaways. Contests are effective because they promote engagement through a fun activity. There are various social media contests you can hold, though it’s recommended that you keep it simple. Here are a few ideas:

  • Supply an existing pic related to your event and have participants come up with a funny and promotional caption.
  • Have participants submit their own selfies, which they will then edit using a number of company and event-related images.
  • Word jumbles using phrases pertaining to your event
  • A short response contest. If your company is a hotel, for example, then participants can, in 100 words or less, explain why they would choose your lodging over the competitors.

Be sure that everyone who participates gets a prize, such as a higher value swag item available for pickup at the event. Winners and top performers, though, should be awarded with a free ticket or two.

4. Get Your Sponsors Involved

No, it’s not out of the way to request your sponsors to get involved in the marketing. Sponsors, after all, benefit just as much as you do from a successful event. Sponsors also likely have a larger social media following than you do. Make it a joint effort.

Consider collaboration work, such as guest posting for each other’s blogs and extending the same offers to one another’s social network followers. Consider, for instance, extending the same early bird sales offers, buy-2-get-1-free deals, or whatever special offer you have for your own followers.

5. Implement Referral-Based Rewards

Why do all the ticket selling yourself when you have an army of followers that can help you along the way? It doesn’t have to be a one-man job. Your followers will be happy to help along if there’s something in it for them. This is why you should have an affiliate program with a reward system in place. Utilize a tier-based system to encourage participants to reach higher milestones.

An example of a tier-based rewards program may include:

  • 5 referrals – free 6-month magazine subscription
  • 10 referrals – free 1-year magazine subscription
  • 20 referrals – free VIP ticket for you and three members of your party

6. Use the Scarcity Tactic

Emphasize that tickets are limited and can be sold out any minute. Also point out that it’s a first-come-first-serve basis, so attendees should immediately purchase their tickets right away to guarantee their spot.

To really make your point, add a widget on your main social media event page that shows the number of remaining tickets, which changes in real time whenever a ticket is sold. You can also routinely send out tweets letting followers know the number of tickets sold and how many remains.

This will convey a sense of urgency especially for procrastinators. You should also encourage sponsors and affiliates to push the same scarcity narrative in their posts.

Social Media Is Your Biggest Ally

Social media provides a wealth of tools for selling your tickets. You just have to take advantage of these diverse resources rather than just treat social networks as a place for reading and exchanging short posts.

5 Tips for Organizing a Successful Interactive Conference
by Dan McCarthy on

The conference is basically the bread and butter of the whole event. The conference is what most of the attendees came for. If the presentation or lecture bombs, then you can expect negative feedback and potentially a decreased turnout the next time you have an event.

For a successful conference, you have to make it interactive rather than just having the speaker talk the whole time. Here’s 5 ways to ensure the audience becomes active participants rather than passive listeners.

1. Don’t Leave Out the Q&A

Lectures hardly end as scheduled. It’s common for speakers to go a few minutes over, resulting in the Q&A session being curtailed or canceled altogether. It’s very important that the speaker takes questions from the audience. This gives attendees the sense that the presenter is accessible and not just some speaker that’s just doing what he’s paid to do.

Set aside at least 15 minutes to take questions from the audience. If the conference is being streamed, and it should be, then you should also answer questions from a remote audience submitting enquiries via social media.

Also keep in mind that Q&As don’t necessarily have to be held off until the end. In fact, it’s recommended that you divide the Q&A into two sessions. If the lecture is particularly long, like an hour or more, then have a 10-minute Q&A at the 30-minute mark and another at the end.

2. Make It an Edutainment Session

hans rosling

Photo: McMaster

Who says learning moments can’t also be fun? Even if you have a charismatic speaker, if the conference drags on for hours, then even the most attentive listeners are going to zone out. A good way to keep the audience engaged is through a comedic speaker that can provide educational material while also eliciting laughter.

It can be tricky to find a speaker that is knowledgeable in your field that also has a propensity for making people laugh, but it’s worth the effort to find such a person. When an audience is engaged, they’ll be more inclined to ask questions, volunteer for demonstrations, etc.

Here’s a video of business speaker and edutainer Mark Sanborn during one of his leadership conferences.

3. Hire a Professional Moderator

There should be a moderator to keep the speaker on track. The moderator’s role is more important than most people realize. The person assigned this role has big responsibilities that include but not limited to:

  • Introducing the speaker
  • Making sure the speaker stays on schedule
  • Informs the speaker to move onto the next topic
  • Facilitates the Q&A
  • Collects questions asked via social media
  • Announces intermissions

A good moderator also interjects when audience members are speaking over one another, or calls for a brief break if the audience appears listless. The person needs to be cognizant of attendee reaction and act accordingly.

The role of moderator is tougher than it looks, which is why you should consider hiring a professional rather than designating the job to a staffer.

4. Incorporate Technology

Technology is always a good way to encourage participation in more ways than one. One way is to incorporate an event app where the audience can take a poll, in which the results will show up on a slide as it’s presented in real time.

Another method is to add a social media wall. Encourage the audience to tweet their questions, which will appear on the wall. There will likely be some questions that come up more than once. These are the questions that can be taken and answered in detail.

If the conference is being streamed, then you can ask those watching remotely to submit their questions in the form of a video. This adds a bit more depth to the Q&A as you can associate a face with the question.

5. Campfire Sessions

Campfire sessions are ideal for smaller groups and is recommended if there’s less than 20 people. These are more informal with the speaker taking more of a facilitating role rather than that of a lecturer. These can also be set in a more laid-back environment like a lounge or outside the venue. With these type of sessions, the speaker kick starts the topic to get the ball rolling. Others will then freely jump in to add their own input. Even if you have a large audience, you can opt to hold multiple campfire sessions divided into smaller groups.

Alternatively, if multiple presenters are available, and there’s enough venue space, then you can eschew the conference altogether and instead hold the campfire sessions in a workshop setting. If the session is being live-streamed, then you can even have several members join the discussion through a tool like Google Hangouts. Just be sure that the total number of attendees – both live and remote – doesn’t become too large.

Make It a Two-Way Interaction

There will be a sense of separation between speaker and audience if all the former does is speak nonstop. There has to be an outlet for the attendees to become active participants in some shape or form.

7 Last Minute Conference Event Promotion Strategies
by Dan McCarthy on

last minute

Obviously, you want to get a head start on the marketing for your upcoming conference. Even so, you can change things up last minute if ticket sales are faring poorly.

Even with only a week or two left before the event, you can still put together a sound strategy that elevates your brand.

1. Create a Special Offer

If tickets are still aplenty as the conference date nears, you can try putting into place a special offer of some kind. There are your typical buy-2-get-1-free or buy-1-get-one-half-off type of offers. Of course, you’ll lose some revenue since some tickets are being sold at a fraction of the price or given for free.

However, it should increase overall sales. It also ensures more seats are filled at the event, which also equals more attendees to cater your latest offerings to.

These deals should also be extended to those who already purchased their ticket. If you’re offering a buy-2-get-one-free special, for instance, then those who already bought two tickets weeks prior will receive a free ticket. Those who already purchased their ticket shouldn’t feel like they are being penalized for being an early bird buyer.

2. Create a Contest

Host some type of contest with a ticket as the winning prize. Common social network contests include a picture that you submit that participants then have to edit in some way, such as by adding a caption or photo shopping it to make it funny.

Another idea is to hold a “fastest answer” contest via Twitter. This is especially a good idea if you’re hosting some form of live webinar, which by the way, is another great last minute promotion idea in itself. After the webinar, begin asking questions to test whether listeners have been listening. Have participants tweet the answer; the person to answer the most questions first and correctly is the winner.

If you want to keep it simple yet effective, then just make the contest a sweepstakes. Have participants do something for you, such as like your conference event page or use the event hashtag a certain number of times to be entered into a random drawing for a free ticket.

3. Give the Ticket More Value

Make the ticket really worth its weight. Instead of just being good for entry to your conference, you can also give it value in some other shape or form. You can, for instance, include a serial number on the stub, which is good for an online discount purchase after the event.

Similarly, the ticket can also be good for a teleseminar held before or after the event, which ticket buyers can access by entering their ticket’s registration number. Add some type of complementary material or benefit both before and after the event to give attendees the most bang for their buck.

4. Hype the Event on Social Media

This one is so obvious that it shouldn’t even have to be mentioned. However, social media is so underutilized. Too many people only use social media for sending posts, and they only stick to the primary ones like Facebook and Twitter.

You have to be more diverse than that. Expand your social network presence by also including lesser utilized sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google Plus. There are also a number of niche-specific social networks as well, not to mention numerous blogs where you might be able to submit a post as a guest contributor.

You should also get your own followers to help you along the way. Encourage them to use the event hashtag as much as possible and to get the word out.

5. Employ the Scarcity Tactic

When hosting an event on Facebook, invitees can click an icon to mark their status, namely whether they’re attending, not attending, or “maybe.” The people in the “maybe” category is a segment you really want to target when selling last minute tickets. These people are still on the fences. The scarcity tactic may help them make up their mind.

Include in your event page that tickets are scarce and that only a few remain. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. You can even embed a counter showing the number of ticket remaining, with that number ticking down whenever a ticket is sold.

When people realize that there is a possibility of missing out by procrastinating, then they would be more likely to immediately purchase a ticket even if still debating to themselves about attending.

6. Get Sponsors Involved

Some event planners are hesitant about asking sponsors for promotional help. They have this idea that doing so would somehow rub the sponsors the wrong way.

Remember, though, that sponsors want the event to be successful just as much as you do because it means more exposure for them.

Sponsors also likely have a larger client base than you do, so they can reach out to a larger audience than you can. Whatever specials you have for your followers, be sure to extend it to your sponsor’s followers. This includes invites for social media contests, webinars, and so on.

7. Get Active on Discussion Forums

Are forums considered social media? That’s up for debate, and it really doesn’t matter. What’s important is that they are an excellent hub for reaching out to an untapped audience. While it’s true that discussion forums are kind of dying out, there are still plenty of people who participate in them on a daily basis. Just do a Google search to find forums within your niche.

Becoming a member, though, doesn’t give you a license to start promoting your conference right off the bat. If the forum is being moderated, there is a good chance you will be immediately barred. Contribute first by starting your own threads or replying to existing ones where you have an answer or can lend valuable input. Once you become a familiar member, then you may mention your upcoming conference in passing.

It’s Never Too Late

There’s always time to promote your conference even if you only have weeks or days as opposed to months. You might have to modify your methods a bit, but doing so will mean selling a few extra tickets that otherwise would have gone unused.

BusyConf Partners with InGo to Integrate Advocate Marketing Into Its Platform
by BusyConf on


Louisville, CO/Arlington, VA/London, UK - (September 9, 2015) - Ryan McGeary, Founder of BusyConf and Michael Barnett, CEO of InGo announced today that they have signed an agreement making BusyConf an official InGo Growth Partner. BusyConf, the simple conference management software platform, will now offer InGo’s social media advocate marketing software suite as a fully integrated option on their conference management system.


This partnership will mean that BusyConf customers will be able to seamlessly install the InGo widgets for their events with a simple cut and paste ID entry; no code installation required.

“Integrating InGo into our platform will allow our clients to tap into the power of social media to grow their events through the most effective kind of marketing: word-of-mouth buzz created by Advocates,” said McGeary. “We are so pleased to add this ground-breaking tool to the BusyConf tool box for event planners.”

“BusyConf is our first advanced integration Growth Partner,” said Barnett. “InGo is so pleased to be entering a partnership that is driving innovation forward in the events industry.”

You can now experience the power of InGo on BusyConf with a demo integration event. Check it out here.

About BusyConf - BusyConf is the only application with its unique set of conference workflows that makes conference planning easy. We aim to empower both organizers and attendees to make the most out of the limited time they have. We do this by making it easy for organizers to collect the information they need from speakers and easier for attendees to access this information. From finding speakers by issuing a call for proposals to selling tickets and creating a schedule that works for all attendees, BusyConf helps organizers make their conferences better; better for themselves and better for attendees.

About InGo – InGo is a social media advocate marketing company that empowers event organizers and attendees. InGo serves the largest event companies in the world such as Reed Exhibitions, Emerald Expositions, Messe Frankfurt, Fiera Milano and UBM. InGo provides event marketing solutions for varied industries such as tech, fashion, construction, media, film and more across the globe. It has been in business since 2013 and has served over 200 events of all sizes in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Columbia, Nigeria, Turkey, Japan, China and Russia. Discover how InGo can grow your event at

Ryan McGeary


Conference Planning: 4 Things You Need to Know about Ticket Pricing
by Osman Sheikh on


Knowing how to price event tickets is one of the hardest, and most important, parts of planning an event. Aim too high and you can end up with an empty venue. Too low, and your event might not be able to cover costs. Pricing strategy is very complicated, but at its most basic, good pricing is affordable, sustainable, and justifiable.

Here are 4 things you need to know about ticket pricing.

1. Sponsorships for profit

Most large events use proceeds from ticket sales to cover costs, and then use sponsorship money to make a profit.

Corporate sponsors are willing to pay a lot of money to get in front of the right audience. If your event sells a sponsorship for 5 thousand dollars, not an unusual price for a sponsorship, and your average ticket costs 50 dollars, you would have to sell 100 tickets to make as much as you would from one sponsorship.

It is considerably easier to sell your event to a handful of sponsors than to hundreds of attendees. Price your event based on costs and the number of tickets available, then rely on sponsorships to make your event profitable.

Learn how to create a sponsorship prospectus that works.

2. Who is paying for the tickets?

Many large conferences and events sell tickets for hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. While it may seem like people are willing to pay that much to attend events, this is usually not the case.

Event organizers for events such as TechMentor, an annual technology conference, know that their attendees are not the ones paying for their tickets, their employers are. Large companies are willing to pay high prices to send their employees to events because they have a sizable budget allocated to employee education.

If you know that most attendees at your event have their expenses paid by their employers, then you can charge higher prices for tickets. If not, try and keep your ticket prices affordable.

3. Price anchoring

Price anchoring is the psychological tactic of placing higher priced items next to similar, but lower priced, items in order to increase sales of the lower priced item.

For events, price anchoring can come in the form of tiered ticketing, discounting, and time sensitive pricing.

Having tiered ticketing can increase revenue from events by allowing you to sell high priced tickets to those who want them, while still keeping ticket prices affordable for everyone else. Besides a regular ticket, you can have a premium ticket that includes things like a recording of the event, access to workshops, and other benefits.

Discounts for students, academics, members of the military, and other special groups can help your event cover costs while still remaining affordable. Give discount codes to attendees that add value to your event, but might not be able to pay full price for tickets.

A time sensitive pricing strategy can be used to sell more tickets from the start Conference management software like BusyConf allows event organizers to price tickets based on purchase date. Create early bird tickets for people who register before a certain day to encourage early registrations and create late registration tickets for price anchoring to make buying regular tickets more appealing.

4. Social proof

Social proof is a psychological term for when people look at the actions and opinions of others, especially those who hold influence, in order to decide their own actions.

Social proof can be used to justify your event’s ticket prices and show potential attendees that your event is credible. Gather testimonials from past attendees by emailing them or through social media and add it to your website. If your event’s speakers are influential, use their names as social proof by name dropping them on your registration page. Using sponsor logos can also help your event gain credibility.

5 Ways to Apply Lean Startup Principles to Conference Planning
by Osman Sheikh on

Conference Speaker

Startups, small businesses designed to grow extraordinarily fast, are known for making a lot happen with very little resources. Facebook, now a public company worth over 100 billion dollars, began in a college dorm room, while SnapChat, also started by college students, is now worth almost 10 billion dollars.

Many startups follow the Lean Startup philosophy, a business methodology focused on experimentation. By applying lean startup principles to conference planning, organizers can save money, move fast, and make a big impact.

Here are 5 ways to apply lean startup principles to conference planning.

1. Start small

Startups often start as nothing more than websites with some text. These websites are known as pre-launch landing pages and are used to measure interest in the startup and gain early customers before they have a product.

Event planners can do the same by creating pre-launch landing pages for their events even before finding speakers, a venue, or sponsors. Services like LaunchRock allow you to set up a basic pre-launch landing page in very little time with no technical skills.

Once startups have a basic product ready, they often start testing it with a small group of early customers. This is known as beta testing. The beta version of a startup is oftentimes low quality. Betas are used to test new ideas and get feedback from real people.

For conference planners, a beta can be a smaller event like a Meetup or even a small virtual event. The goal of a conference is to bring people together for the purposes of learning and networking. Blog posts, videos, and social networks can be used to accomplish the same goal, so conference planners can use these tools to create a beta version of their conference.

2. Stick to the essentials

Startups are known for being scrappy and efficient. If a company like Facebook can start in a dorm room, then your event probably does not need all the bells and whistles that conferences are known for.

People attend events to learn and network. If you have high quality speakers and an environment that facilitates attendee interaction and learning, everything else is unessential. Things like conference swag, goodie bags for attendees, and cool technology can certainly enhance your attendees’ experience at your event, but unless you have a big budget or are expecting a lot of revenue, stick to the essentials.

3. Talk to your attendees

Customer development is a Lean Startup strategy that helps startups build something that people actually want. By constantly talking to their customers and asking them for feedback, startups can ensure that they are on the right path.

By talking to either your attendees from a previous event or anyone who expressed interest in your event, you too can unlock valuable insights. Talk to attendees about their expectations for your event, what they liked and did not like about previous events they have attended, and more. Try to involve attendees in the conference planning process as much as you can.

4. Be innovative

It is very clear that startups are not afraid to be innovative and do things differently.

Constant innovation is what helped Facebook stand out from other social networks like MySpace and FriendFeed. Facebook’s initial strategy of opening up their social network to students at specific colleges, one at a time, was considered crazy. What kind of social network would intentionally limit the number of users they can acquire?

This strategy proved to be one of Facebook’s smartest moves during their early years. By launching only in specific colleges, their small team was able to focus more and the exclusivity of the social network led to a lot of word-of-mouth.

If you want to organize a conference or plan an event that is better than average, then you too will have to embrace innovation. Most conferences follow a similar format and never deviate from the norm. Trying new things can help your event stand out. Embrace new technologies such as live streaming. Use Twitter to live tweet your conference. Record your entire event and put it online for free, or sell it as an extra source of revenue. There are endless possibilities for conference organizers trying to innovate.

5. Measure everything

Facebook tracks every single interaction you have with their social network. Facebook knows how much time you spent on their website, what days and times you are most active, who you talk to the most, and they can even predict major life events like buying a home.

Facebook uses the data to make better decisions with their product. By understanding how people use Facebook, they can find ways to make the experience better.

As a conference organizer, you too can start collecting data and put it to use to make your event better. Use survey tools like TypeForm to get qualitative feedback on things like your event’s format, its speakers, the venue, and more. Then use this data to improve next year’s event. You can also use your event registration tool to ask attendees for information like job title and location. This information can be used to find relevant speakers and a good venue location.

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