Gaining mastery of your subject area and exhibiting passion are both essential for creating successful educational events. With the right skills you are then ready to move on to the actual planning and execution stages of your events. This is where you will want to consider the logistical aspects of running educational events.
Here are 7 questions to think about before you create your event:
1. What location will you choose for your events?
If you are offering traditional classes or courses, the location will usually be set by the institution you are affiliated with. For example: group tutoring sessions for students, or staff training for faculty at your school, whether that be elementary, secondary or any kind of higher education school.
If you are already a business owner and have your own space, such as a yoga or art studio, then you likely run most of your events there.
If, on the other hand, you are a solo entrepreneur or someone who is not affiliated with any specific event location, or you are but wish to branch out into other communities, then you will need to give this question some good thought. Just as in real estate, the location chosen for an event can make it or break it when it comes to the overall experience for both you and your attendees.
Important factors to consider here would be the cost of renting an event space, the accessibility of the event space, including availability of parking and/or public transport, the size of the space, date availability, technology and teaching tools you will have access to, and so on.
2. How will you attract the right audience?
Depending on the nature of your event, this may be very easy or very challenging to do. You may already have an audience eagerly awaiting your events, or you may be trying to break through in your area of expertise or community. Whichever situation you find yourself in, one thing is certain: you must have a way to effectively communicate about your event with others. This means before, during and after your event(s).
Things to consider here would be any necessary marketing or advertising, use of social media, use of community news outlets, bulletin boards, etc. Given that most people today use the Internet to obtain most of their information, you will likely wish to ensure that you and/or your business have a good online presence and use an email list to communicate with your audience with speed and ease.
3. What resource materials should you make available to your audience?
Oftentimes, there are many resource materials and props that would strengthen your presentation as a speaker or teacher, and ones from which your audience would greatly benefit or need to depend on. For example, you may wish to consider selling or providing a book or similar publication at your event, whether that be something written by you or someone else. If your events deal with music, you may need or wish to provide things like specific musical instruments, music sheets or audio music files. If you teach classes or workshops that deal with any other tactile areas, resource materials for consideration could be anything from yoga mats to drawing tools.
Here again, the right preparation is the key to success. Your audience may not be able to easily get the things required for your event, in which case making them available as part of the event cost will go a long way. Alternatively, while people can take notes during or after your event, providing them with something that will summarize and/or reinforce the concepts presented can boost audience morale, help them focus on what is being presented, enhance comprehension and feeling of success, and in turn boost your event’s success.
4. What obstacles or unexpected circumstances may you have to plan for or deal with?
A positive mindset is an integral asset to have for successful and desirable outcomes. However, being prepared by considering possible challenges that may arise before, during or after your event is equally important. Being ill prepared, naive or ignorant does not bode well for life in general, never mind when it comes to running a successful business or event. Therefore, considering this question as fully as you can, while keeping fear and anxiety at bay, will decrease the likelihood of you finding yourself in an uncomfortable or unpleasant situation.
For example, will you have to factor in any inclement weather potential? If your event offers or deals with food in any way, are you ready for any allergies or specific dietary requirements that may be needed? If your event is associated with the outdoors, how prepared will you be to handle any medical emergencies that may arise? How will you ensure you don’t run out of room or materials at your event? How will you handle any refunds? And so on.
Running an event can be stressful enough, so aim not to add any more stress for yourself to it. For the most smooth, seamless and enjoyable events, it pays to be prepared and have a back up plan or solutions, as needed, to cover any of your potential challenges.
5. How will you collect registrations to your event?
In most cases today, educational events will benefit from the use of some kind of a technology software or service with which to collect registrations. Of course, you must consider here your target audience. If your educational event is for seniors at a nursing home or a remote community with limited internet access, then this will not be an effective way to collect registrations. If, on the other hand, you choose not to collect registrations, and simply leave the event fully open, this may leave you vulnerable and unprepared when it comes to the size of the event space or resource materials required and basically knowing what to expect in terms of audience size.
The good news is that today there are numerous online registration software and service options. There is truly something out there for all kinds of events, user and audience types and event budgets. Here at Corsizio we pride ourselves on offering an easy-to-use, modern, effective and affordable online registration solution. However, success also comes from using the right tool for the right job, and our article about the ways in which Corsizio differs from other event registration software will help you decide which service would be the best choice for your event.
6. How will you collect payments for your event?
Next to collecting registrations, collecting payments for your events is one of the most important considerations. That is, of course, assuming you are holding paid events. If your events have no cost whatsoever associated with them, not even a donation, then you can bypass this section altogether.
Not that long ago, payment for events would need to be collected by physical means, whether that was cash, check or other method, and often in very tedious ways. Sometimes it meant chasing people down to get your payment prior to, or even after, the event. Even if you collected payment at the door, this would increase administrative work, require time and could easily turn into a hassle both for you and your attendees when it came to having the right change, offering the right payment methods, etc.
Fortunately today, payment for events can be collected quickly, easily and securely via numerous online service options like Corsizio, and in ways that satisfy your needs and those of your potential attendees. Whether you use a deposit option or early-bird discount, there are many ways you get your partial or full funds up front, and secure a commitment from your potential attendees.
Getting your attendees to pay for your event at the time of their registration also provides many other benefits to you. Collecting registrations and payments before a certain date can help you plan for the right sized location. It can help you fund the event, deal with any up-front event costs, such as the purchase of resource materials, etc. Ultimately at the end of the day, it provides peace of mind and removes stress from one of the biggest areas of running events.
7. How will you collect feedback from your event?
Although it can be rather intimidating to hear what other people think about our speaking, teaching, presentation skills, method of delivery or content presented, getting feedback is one of the most important things to help you gauge your effectiveness. And this goes for nearly all areas of our personal and professional lives. While we can never satisfy everyone, and yes, some people are overly critical of everything, getting feedback allows you to better get to know you and how you come across to others.
In our own minds, we can have lots of ideas about how we are, be these of the positive or negative type. However, these ideas may actually be anywhere from slightly to greatly removed from reality. This is where the more feedback we get, the more we can observe patterns and learn about what is working and what isn’t when it comes to our teaching style, content and event characteristics.
As with the previous two areas, you have two choices: either to collect feedback manually or automatically. Manually would include something like handing out physical paper forms for your audience to fill in after your event, and then collecting and compiling that information. Automatically would include using some kind of technology tool or software where feedback is quickly and easily disseminated to all participants and the submitted results analyzed in digital way. Corsizio allows you to automatically collect ratings and feedback from your attendees, once your event has ended, for you to gain valuable insight about their experience.
The Corsizio Team
p.s. If you have not signed up to Corsizio yet, register for your own free account today to explore how it can enhance your events!