12 Questions That Will Help You Plan & Promote Your Event

Photo Credit: Wendy Pitts Reeves

They filled within a couple of hours.

I’d open registration on line around seven p.m., and by nine, the trip was full.

And I did that month after month after month.

I was running a business called “Secret Adventures for Courageous Women”, a series of events designed for small groups of 8-10. Some adventures were physically challenging (hang gliding, canoeing) and some more emotionally so (lessons at an indoor shooting range).

And sometimes, it was just plain fun, like dinner and a play.

But there was a catch.

The “Secret” meant they had no idea what they were getting into. Once the group was formed, I’d tell them what to wear, what to bring, but that’s it. They would only learn what we were doing when we arrived on site.

In other words, I created monthly events that filled with clients who didn’t even know what they were buying.

Or did they? Continue reading

Keeping Out the Chaos: Using Systems to Manage Events

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart on Flickr

It felt a little weird, I’ll admit.

I recently attended the annual East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit. This event, an all day conference created to inspire, encourage and educate women leaders, has been a huge part of my life since I first started it twelve years ago.

Usually, I spend every waking moment in the final days preparing for that event. Even with systems in place, there was always a lot to do – working with volunteers, managing last minute problems, packing up a zillion supplies and preparing to host 200 women for the day.

But this year, I’ve passed the leadership on to others. For the first time ever, I got to just enjoy the program – and I actually got to eat lunch! :)

Events take a lot of work – whether they involve hundreds of people, or a single client.

And systems are your key to doing events right.

From a planning perspective, systems help prevent wasting money, time, resources and your own precious energy.

From a customer’s perspective, systems help ensure that you provide a top notch experience for them that goes smoothly all the way through.

Think of your event as having three phases: planning and preparation (before),  implementation and delivery (during), and follow-up (after).

What do you need to attend to with each phase? Where would a system make things easier? The answer to those questions varies widely depending on whether your event is live or virtual, large or small.

But let’s take a look at those phases for each key area. Continue reading

Why You Should Be Using Events in Your Business

Photo Credit: Robert Scoble on Flickr

“Mind blowing,” she said, “that’s all I can say.”

“Just mind blowing..”  My client shook her head as she stepped outside for a break.

We’d spent the morning looking at the whole of her business, mapping out a framework that tied it all together, and clarifying options for meeting her income goals. Though we were only half way through our day together, she already saw a clear path to the kind of money she wanted to make – and it was pretty exciting.

“You’ve said all this to me before, but I just couldn’t get it in my head. It really helps to see it in person…”

And that’s just one example of why events matter.   Continue reading

How One Daily Habit Helps Sustain Your Success

I wasn’t at all sure I could still do this.

A friend invited me to join her for an overnight hike to LeConte Lodge, a roundtrip of roughly eleven miles to the top of Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It was a very steep, straight up (and straight down), kind of hike. And I hadn’t done anything like that in a very long time.

But I had no intention of missing this opportunity.  So of course I said a big, happy yes.

And then, on the day of the hike, it rained.

And rained.

And rained.

It rained so hard the creeks overflowed, and new waterfalls were born where none had been before. There were times when I felt like I was hiking through a car wash, with a 1,000 foot drop-off at my side.  

And there were times when it was immensely beautiful, with water dancing off the rocks and mist in the trees.

So I slogged along in my own wet little world, tucked under rain gear, singing every rain song I could think of. (Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…)

I tried not to think about how soggy my boots were, how hard it was to breathe, or how much farther I had to climb.

It was steep. Messy.

Intense.

Continue reading

How Tiny Steps Lead to Big Courage

Photo by Waldo Jaquith on Flickr

“I may need an extra call next week…”

It was time to tell her team about major changes she was making in the business, and she knew that meant having some tough conversations.

She was ready. We’d worked on this transition for months. But she was nervous, and not without reason.

But courage comes when you do the things you think you can not do.

And that means being who you really are…

…even when who you really are right now might make others a little uncomfortable.

Sometimes, a lot uncomfortable. 

Continue reading