I think organising an event is like starting a little business. It is important to find product/market or event/attendee fit to be successful.
How can you find out what your attendees need?
- Look at event listing sites for fully booked events or well attended events, that is normally an indicator of a popular topic. Fully booked/sold out are words you want to scout for.
- Eventbrite, Meetup.com, Startup Digest, Facebook are examples of event listing sites. You can check events in cities other than your own for inspiration.
- Post an event in an event listing site like Eventbrite without any speakers and venue. Indicate a date far in the future, add an appealing and realistic topic and a brief description of the event. If you get many sign ups you see there is demand. Eventbrite has a feature where you as an attendee can register his or her email to receive updates about the event. Post the link in existing Facebook or LinkedIn groups which include your target audience.
- Interview the people you want to build a community of, or organise events for.
- Crowdsource: ask your target audience on social media directly or via a poll.
People are usually not very creative, but they do tend to have a lot of opinions. Hence, rather than having them come up with suggestions from scratch, ask them to say what they think about certain topics.
For example. Let’s say you want to organise an event around digital marketing. Write up 3 topics you think your attendee might find interesting, like Building an Audience on LinkedIn, Create A Content Calendar or Email Marketing Hacks and see what the potential attendee thinks of these.
Or ask them to think back at a similar event and say what they liked/disliked about it.
How do you find people to interview?
Find them at events, Facebook groups, LinkedIn or through your existing network. Pick up the phone or invite them for a coffee. Or even better, create a mini event around it.