Event producers pride themselves on conducting effective and efficient shows, but there are so many things that can go terribly wrong:
There’s an old proverb which states that you can always tell the day by the morning, so the early response to your event announcement is going to be an accurate indication of how your event’s attendance is going to turn out. If your initial release of tickets has met with a resounding thud and you’re looking at three sales over a month before the event, the chances are good that you’ll have more people attending a family reunion where the relatives all despise each other than at your entire event. Not every concert is attended by 100,000 screaming fans, so don’t let yourself believe your own hype and make a serious effort to review the response in a sober and analytical manner. You might be way better off canceling or rescheduling the event than going ahead and forcing your speakers to give their presentations in front of a massive throng of empty chairs.
While holding an event for nobody might be the event producer’s worst nightmare believe it or not there is one that is much much worse. You hold an event and too many people show up! If you’ve set up your event security to handle 1,000 people and 10,000 show up, you might as well make yourself useful and start handing out Molotov cocktails to the crowd which will soon be rioting. Even if you manage to keep them focused and under some sort of control, the crowd is going to be exceeding the maximum occupancy of the venue and the Fire Marshall will shut you down.
Over-organization is fantasy
Supposedly there is a chair at the right hand of God for the first producer who manages to over-organize their event… and it’s still empty. There is literally no such thing as over-organization as any savvy and experienced event producer will testify that rare is the event where some completely unexpected factor pops up that threatens the entire show. It could be the HVAC failing on a 105 degree day, a transit strike which strands your attendees, or even a vicious storm that forces everyone to stay home. When these mysterious and evil gremlins show their hideous faces you will realize that the only way to be prepared is to be prepared.
Radio? Newspapers? Really?
Did you know that there are some people out there who actually still listen to the radio? And read a newspaper printed on paper? Yes, it seems that those individuals are throwback to the Neanderthal age, but the reality of the situation is that there are still many millions of Americans who get their information from those antediluvian channels of dissemination. When it comes to event promotion the current trend is to go hyper social media and put all your efforts into posts and tweets, but that means cutting out a considerable percentage of your potential audience who think social media means having your friends over to watch the Super Bowl. In order to include these retro customers, you may actually have to advertise! Remember advertising? That was what we had before we were engaging, sharing, and conversing.
If you’ve ever set a date for a local event without literally poring through the community calendars to quadruple check that you’re not conflicting with a major “something” going on then you might as well just change your business card title from Event Producer to Event Profaner. Every town and city has some dates through the year where the entire community comes out to participate, whether it’s a marathon, a bicycle race, a parade, or even an emergency preparation test. If you’ve scheduled your event for the same time as that event you’ll find that not only will no one care to show up, but they physically couldn’t even if they wanted to brave the blocked off roads and the massive crowds.
There is no ironclad guarantee that your event will be a success but if you take these tips into consideration you’re definitely increasing your chances!