The dark underbelly of event planning by Klammertime


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  • Bronies, the mafia and unicorns, what do they have to do with event planning? I’m going to show you. I’ve worked in event planning for over 6 years and when I talk about events, I mean branded events such as Ignite or maybe a monthly meetup.
  • After you are inspired with an event idea, you’re going to be afraid no one will show up. But if people show up to events for adult my little pony lovers, called Bronies, you can bet there’s probably an audience for your event.
  • Next you’ll be afraid of being average, like these guys, but the truth is most people never go through with their event idea, so if you do, you’ve succeed, and you’re above average.
  • Next you’ll be afraid that things might go wrong. But the things is, they will no matter how well you’ve planned your event. The trick is not to let anyone else know. Pretend like it was part of the planned it that way.
  • You might be afraid that you bit off more than you can chew. And you might have. If so, find a co-organizer. Someone you have working chemistry with. 2 organizers is a good #.
  • You’re going to think about your first event more than you ever thought you would, day and night. This is normal. Don’t worry about it. Unlike this guy, this isn’t normal. He needs some sheets.
  • Chaos, this slide is blank for a reason. I’m talking about you guys. …cheers… if more time still say. Chaos comes from people actually showing up. It’s a good problem to have.
  • You must embrace the chaos. Let’s give a round of applause to Ignite Denver for embracing this chaos. Cheers, applause. ..if time. Don’t fight the chaos. It’s inevitable.
  • Unwanted guests, you will get them. No matter how well you write your event description to attract a certain audience, inevitably people you don’t want to show up will crash your event. Especially if you have free beer.
  • These groups come because they usually want to sell something to your audience. Since its unavoidable, get them to sponsor your event and pay for everyone’s beer. Except for that guy. He’ll never pay for your beer.
  • After your first successful event, like marriage and having a baby, you’ll get a ton of advice. Decide what advice is good and what’s just people who like to hear themselves talk.
  • If you have a good event idea, you’ll get people who are jealous. They wished they’d thought of the idea themselves or they might have thought of it and wished they’d actually done it. This is a good sign. It means you had a good idea.
  • Jealousy leads to copycats. Don’t worry about it. You did this because you enjoy it rather than for some external reward, which is usually what copycats are after. Intrinsic motivation will keep you going while the copycat will lose enthusiasm.
  • There is a mafia for every event niche. But like every good mafia, you won’t know who they are until you’ve stepped into their territory. But unlike the real mafia, they won’t kill you. They are actually pretty harmless.
  • Don’t worry about them. Keep on doing what you’re doing. Most likely they’ll just end up coming to your events regularly and you can make them into your allies without paying them or offing someone.
  • A successful event is going to attract sponsorship offers. Be proud. But don’t get greedy. If you charge too much for your sponsorships, the only people able to sponsor your events will be other greedy corporations. You’re sponsorship roster will start to resemble this:
  • Banks and other huge financial jerks. Have a variety of sponsorship levels so for instance local startups can support your event. Aim to cultivate long-term relationships.
  • And if you decide to partner with outside groups, be careful. If it’s a company that’s not local, get things in writing. They have less of a stake in the community.
  • And finally, here’s the truth about the dark underbelly of event planning, its just a part of the entire picture. The rest is rainbows, smiles, giggles, and sunshine.
  • The dark underbelly of event planning by Klammertime

    1. 1. The Dark Underbelly of Event PlanningSome of my event planning experience: StartDrinkingUpDenver Single Bytes Single Digits The Stranger’s 10th, 11th, and 12th Annual Valentines Bashwith Dan Savage The Stranger’s 4th, 5th, and 6th Annual Genius Awards The Stranger’s Personals CheckOut
    2. 2. Fear
    3. 3. Fear
    4. 4. Anxiety
    5. 5. Anxiety
    6. 6. Obsession
    7. 7. Chaos
    8. 8. Embrace Chaos
    9. 9. Unwanted Guests
    10. 10. Unwanted Guests
    11. 11. Advice Avalanche*Disclaimer: speaker is both unmarried and babyless. Hours of advice 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Marriage Parents Event planning
    12. 12. Jealousy
    13. 13. Copycats
    14. 14. Mafia
    15. 15. Mafia
    16. 16. Greed
    17. 17. Greed
    18. 18. Partnerships That Turn
    19. 19. The Dark Underbelly of Event Planning
    20. 20. Contact