Determining your budget, finalising dates, securing a venue space — you’re managing a lot. On Eventbrite’s customer experience team, we’ve helped a lot of people with their events…so we know that there are countless logistical details you need to work through to get up and running.
To help you stay on track, we’ve put together this handy event checklist that outlines the 10 most important steps to take before your tickets go on sale.
1. Set your event goal
The very first step is to determine — and agree upon — your tangible goals and objectives. Why are you hosting this event? Who are your attendees? What metrics will determine whether the event was a success? Answering these questions will help you get started.
For example, if your university’s goal is to entice new college graduates to apply, your event goal may be to educate potential applicants about your programmes and campus culture. Or, if your nonprofit’s goal is to help the homeless, your event goal may be to fundraise money for nearby shelters.
2. Put together a team
It takes a strong team to make any event happen. Consider an Event Manager or Event Chair to oversee the event and lead your committee of volunteers to help execute your vision, while you look after the big picture. Depending on how large your event is, you may also want to designate individual supervisors to overlook things like entertainment, publicity, vendors and sponsors.
3. Determine your budget
Having a budget in place will help you make logistical decisions for your event. You probably already have a “total” budget in mind, but it’s important to set a budget for individual items (e.g., venue fees, sponsors, entertainment, etc.). Don’t forget about travel or accommodation for speakers and other key participants, which you may need to cover too.
4. Finalise your event dates
If you’re organising a new event, make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare — ideally, you’ll want at least 4-6 months to plan. When choosing dates, you might want to avoid holidays (potential attendees may be out of town) or dates that overlap with competing events. Finally, check with stakeholders (like key participants, speakers, and people inside your organisation) to make sure those dates work for everyone.
5. Secure a venue
It’s important that you choose a venue and secure that location before you start selling tickets. Take a tour of your venue so you can get an idea of where to place things like vendor booths or food stands. Also, find out how many people your venue can safely hold so you can set a cap on the number of tickets available.
6. Write a compelling event description
A well-written event description can make all the difference when marketing your event to potential ticket buyers. Add images to showcase speakers, presenters, or other big attractions for your event. Also, be sure to clearly state your refund policy and add FAQs to help answer the questions we know get asked the most by attendees. (Pro Tip: Make sure your event description includes key accessibility information!
7. Price your tickets
Plan a strong pricing strategy to kickstart your sales and keep selling tickets until the door closes. A good starting point is to compare your past sales by price and ticket type, to understand which prices and types went flying off the shelves. Many organisers also offer multiple price tiers or discounts to incentivise buyers.
No matter what price you set, enter a ticket description for each ticket type to avoid unnecessary questions from attendees. If you’re using Eventbrite, you can also take advantage of our widgets—we provide the code for you to add buttons, ticket forms, and more so attendees can start buying tickets right on your own website.
8. Collect the information you need from attendees
Customise the order form that buyers fill out during registration. You may want to ask custom questions, like How did you hear about this event?
Just remember—the more information you ask on your event’s order form, the less likely the customer is to complete their purchase. If you need to ask a lot of questions, consider increasing the amount of time attendees have to register.
9. Make sure you get paid
How will you be paid for your ticket sales? It’s crucial to set up your payout details ahead of time, and with a ticketing provider like Eventbrite you can receive payouts upfront before the event takes place.
10. Establish a plan to manage your customers
Once orders start coming through, you’ll need a plan on how to manage inquiries from your ticket buyers. How do you want to handle refunds? Who’s going to respond to emails from attendees? Will you allow attendees to transfer their registration? Plan these things out ahead of time, and communicate the plan to your team so everyone is in the loop.
Organising an event can be hectic at times, but checking these items off your list will bring you one step closer to selling out your event. Now our challenge to you: create an event today!