What Does a Live Event Superstar Do to Host the Ultimate Niche Event?
Niche events are growing in popularity today. With more people connected digitally, the human desire to meet with people face-to-face is growing stronger. In fact, magazine publishers, advertisers, vendors, and business professionals enthusiastically seek live niche events.
However, hosting a successful live event is not as easy as it seems.
Carl Landau, the brainchild of Camp Niche, Super Niche conference, and the Niche Digital Conference sits down to share his valuable insight and tips for hosting a highly successful niche event. With more than 30 years of experience in advertising, publishing, and organizing events, he is more than qualified to provide his wisdom on niche event hosting.
The Market for Live Niche Events is Growing - Now is the Time to Seize the Opportunity
More people are going to live events, and attendance numbers are high, but only for those events that truly offer something to attendees. An event that resonates with people is relatively affordable for the organizer, too, and in return, everyone wins.
Landau points out that a successful event starts with identifying opportunity. While there is a niche market for a company’s website or magazine audience, that does not always translate into a live event opportunity. Instead, the event must have viable attendees, vendors, and even sponsors all willing to attend and contribute to the event.
Once the opportunity is there, the rest falls into place.
7 Critical Takeaways from Carl Landau on Hosting the Perfect Live Event
1. Focus on the Reasons for Attending an Event: Learning and Networking
People do not go to an event for the free food. While the free food could be a reward, they are there to learn, advance themselves professionally, and find more people to add to their network.
Therefore, leverage the desires of attendees by creating opportunities for them to get the most out of the two driving forces that brought them there in the first place.
Landau points out that people need to break from their comfort zone and interact, so he suggests activities that will promote interaction among attendees and break up groups that are cliqued together.
Secondly, a person should walk away feeling as though they have gained valuable insight. That means booking the right speakers and who can provide the audience with the engaging talks, motivation, and education. He suggests avoiding speakers who volunteer. Instead, they should be interviewed. They should also have YouTube videos online that you can review, and you should almost have to beg them to talk.
2. Create a Singular Theme
Themes are critical as well. Landau pointed out an instance in which he did a NASCAR theme because it resonated well with the local audience. To further that NASCAR theme, he rented out the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the event.
Your event should follow a similar pattern by:
• Researching the area and finding a theme that resonates with the residents of that community (i.e. a mining theme for a mining town, a sea-worthy theme for coastal regions, and more).
• Picking a centralized theme that can be implemented with ease -- from finding a convention center to the decorations.
• The activities should be centralized around the topic, such as a pit crew team building activity for the NASCAR Hall of Fame event.
3. Thoroughly Research Before Pricing
Your conference pricing needs to meet industry standards and correlate with the competition. See what they are charging, and in return, what attendees gain for the ticket price. The essential point is that a person will pay more if they are promised to earn more from an experience.
Also, do not price too low. Doing so makes it hard to increase the price per person later on.
4. Setting the Deadline Early
Live events require registration cut-offs that are well before the event. Landau points out that his first deadline is very early for national events, while local events have a registration cut-off closer to the date of the event.
Just to get an idea of the attendance and what supplies are needed, push out the registration date as much as you can. To encourage early attendant signups, Landau suggests offering discounts for early registration.
5. Attend Events About Putting on Events
Landau could not emphasize enough that attending events about hosting events is essential, too. Here you can get insight into how to host your event, locate vendors and sponsors, and interview your speakers so that your event is successful from the start.
6. Have a Backup Plan
Every event will have snags, but the more prepared you are to tackle those issues that arise, the less those issues will affect the outcome of your conference. Landau pointed out how pre-event checklists, such as sound checks, can identify AV and speaker issues. Also, keeping in communication with speakers and vendors to ensure they are still coming is critical.
7. Create a Strategy to Encourage Vendors to Return
Landau says that having vendors sign up to go back to the next year’s event can save time and money. The renewal rate for his events is up to 90 percent. To do that, he suggests getting them to renew on-site during the last day of the conference. You can achieve this by taking advantage of their excitement from working a good event, and then offer renewal points for signing up now instead of closer to the next event date.
Creating a Successful Niche Event Can be Done With Preparation and Focus
Once you have identified the demand for your new event, have located vendor suppliers, and have a potential list of attendees, follow the steps that Landau has offered. Doing so will ensure that you host an event people will get excited about and return to year-after-year.
About Carl Landau
Carl is the Grand Poobah at Niche Media. He’s made millions starting and selling five niche magazines and two conferences & tradeshows in both the consumer and B-to-B publishing worlds. Carl became famous 15 years ago for sending cats in the mail! He has taught his Camp Niche ad sales seminars to over 3,000 ad sales professionals. This has given him unique insight into the needs of the small-to-medium niche publishers. He started the wildly successful “Publishers Only” Niche Magazine Conference in 2007 and the fast-growing Niche Digital Conference in 2009. His latest super-niche projects are e-Newsletter World conference and Niche Yearbook directory. Carl is bringing the niche media world together!Carl’s most famous inspirational quote: “There’s no “I” in Niche.”