What is Involved in Hosting an Event?

— 2 minute read

Before I produced my first on-site conference, I was extremely nervous about it. I knew what topic of the event, but I didn't know anything about what was involved in creating an event.

I asked people at SXSW, talked to conference producers I knew, looked at so many conference web sites, and so on.

Since that a long-ago time, I've produced many events, that I've boiled what I need to put on an event into three essential items:

  1. I need a date (or dates) for the event.
  2. I need to secure a venue (with a contract).
  3. Everything else is marketing.

I don't have many hard and fast rules for producing events, but one that I live by is:

It's not real until I've locked down the date and venue.

Even before the COVID-19 virus pandemic, I've seen conference venues be taken away:

  • Too many contract issues, stipulations.
  • Venue decided it would stop holding events.
  • Another event took the date I wanted at the venue.
  • Venue did not return messages and/or deliver a contract in timely manner.

Note: That last item still stings a bit as that venue would have been amazing for attendees and speakers.

As for online events, the advice is still pretty much the same: before you announce anything make sure you have:

  • Selected the date or dates for your event.
  • Picked out video conference platform.

Once you have those two items picked out, it's all a matter of marketing.