5 Things You Need To Know Before You Host Your First Ever In-Person OR Virtual Event

Author: Dan The Marketeer
Date: June 26, 2022

Along webinar and challenge formats, events (in-person or virtual) are a fantastic way of nurturing your audience, providing tonnes of value, helping to change their lives and ultimately convert them into paying clients and customers.

That’s why there’s so many of them!

But if you’re thinking of hosting your first ever event, whether it’s in-person or virtual, there’s some things you need to know.

Trying anything for the first time is always a learning experience. But putting on an event can be an expensive learning experience, not just in terms of cost – but time and resources.

You want (and deserve) for it to go right first time. And sadly, that doesn’t always happen.

That’s why I’m going to share the most important things you NEED to know before you host your first in-person or virtual event.

Having helped experts to fill and run their own events over the last 10 years, I know a few things about events! I know what to do, and just as importantly…. What not to do!

So let’s dive in!

1. Not Everybody Will Turn Up (Sorry)

Whether you’re hosting an in-person event or a virtual event, for free or for a fee, the first thing you need to know may come as a bit of a shock.

Not everybody who signups up – whether for free or for a fee – will turn up. That’s just how it is.

And even if they do turn up, there’s no guarantee  they’ll stick around (more on that soon).

Why is this important to know? Because many first time event hosts don’t take this into account. They hire a room with a capacity for 100 people, and get 100 people to sign up.

And then half don’t turn up.

It’s nothing personal. Things happen. Life is busy. Things crop up.

You need to understand this to ensure you can maximise your event.

And yeah sure, you also don’t want to end up at the other end and have too many people attend – more than you have room for.

But in my experience of event marketing, you’re much more likely to empty seats than more people to fill them.

So I’m sorry to say, but you have to accept that and prepare accordingly. Get over-subscribed and your first event will not be your last!

2. Engagement Is As Important As Value

A critical element of any event is giving value. You have to make it your audiences worthwhile turning up. That goes without saying.

But what is much less known, is the importance of engagement.

You have to give tonnes of value, content and learning… but in an engaging way.

You don’t want to just give so much content in a boring way. You’re not lecturing at university!

You need to engage with your audience – get them engaged, interacting with you and others. Get them involved, make it more about doing and not just sitting and listening.

This is so important because as I mentioned in point 1, even if people turn up – there’s no guarantee they’ll stick around.

People will end up leaving if they’re not engaged with you, your audience and your content.

3. Additional Value

Speaking of value, events have many opportunities for you to provide even more value to your audience.

Sure, at the very least you’ll be sharing hours of content, learning, education, and so on.

But you can give even more without it even costing you – purely due to the way events are.

And, before I share how you can give even more value at your events… you might be thinking… why do I need to give even more?

The more you give, the more you get. Simple. Give even more value, you’ll get more fans and more paying clients from and after your event. Simples!

So what ways can you give additional value?

A great example is networking opportunities.

You’ve gathered together a group of like minded individuals, in-person or online. It’s not much hard work to allow those people to network with each other before, after and during the event.

You literally don’t have to do anything. Your audience will get so much out of it, and love you for it.

Other examples include having guest speakers do sessions at your events.

Speakers who can give value to your audience in areas and on topics that you yourself can’t.

And again it’s not too difficult to do this. If anything, people will approach you with opportunities to speak at your event. And in many occasions you can get paid for the privilege either through a fixed fee or commissions from any work they pick up. Win-Win!

One other that’s worth mentioning is sponsors. Getting paid for having people sponsor your event, an event you’re already running and putting on. It doesn’t damage your event, and sponsors can also bring value and opportunities to your attendees.

Always keep an eye out on ways to provide additional value at your events!

4. Audience First. Event Second.

If you have a great idea of an event you can host, STOP.

A mistake people often make on their first events is creating the event first, and then trying to get their audience to sign up and come along.

Sometimes it can work, but often not.

Instead you need to consider your audience first – what kind of event they want. How they want it.

Heck, you can even ASK THEM.

THEN create an event that fits them.

Never the other way around.

5. Virtual vs In-Person

If Covid taught us in the event marketing world anything, it’s that virtual events can be just as good – if not better – than in-person.

Virtual events can in many cases be much more cost-effective. No hiring of rooms for example.

That makes some common sense.

But what was often thought… all the way up until the days of covid… is that virtual events were less engaging.

As I mentioned in point 2, engagement is CRITICAL to a successful event where people turn up and STAY.

But it was always believed you couldn’t truly engage with an audience that were not in the same room as you.

But it turns out it’s possible.

So if you’re considering doing in-person events for this reason, have a re-think.

In-person may still be your best bet – but don’t rule virtual out purely on the misconception that virtual events can’t be engaging.

They can!

How We Fill In-Person and Virtual Events

At least two of our clients host events that we fill for them each and every week.

If you want to learn how we help fill events, and how we can help you to fill your event – in-person or virtual, free or paid, click here.

Sell more. Inspire more. Change more lives.

Take care,


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