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I'm going to let you in on a little secret... I hate event planning!
Even though I love vision boards (and I firmly believe you get much more value by doing them with friends) the entire planning process ends up being a pain in the butt.
Luckily, I love getting friends together for events way more than I hate event planning so I have accumulated a ton of great lessons learned on my event-planning journey.
In this post, we're going to talk about the absolute worst thing in event planning: The Costs.
Planning The Event
The goal of any event is to put people in seats. While your event has the best of intentions, your message won't reach anyone if you don't sell tickets.
Here are a couple of options you can use for your marketing:
- Social media ads
- Email advertising
- On-site advertising (like a local website or event website)
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
On occasion you can find a listings website that will allow you to post your event for free, but it's not likely you'll see many sales from there. However, you might also throw money at advertisers - and still not see a huge return on your investment.
Marketing is tricky - and it will take your time, your money or both.
For my last event, I reached out to an event planner to help me with the organizing, decor and making everything happen. That meant that all I needed to focus my time and energy on was making sure that people came in the door and I had butts in seats.
Someone else would worry about what type of decor was at the event, what food and drinks we had to offer and coordinating schedules. Most importantly, the only thing I would have to worry about on the day of the event was looking good.
The Event Site
Your venue will typically come with a price tag unless you're hosting it at home or you get your event location sponsored. The venues I've worked with typically charge by the hour and you typically get what you pay for. That means, if you want that beautiful rooftop overlooking the city, it's going to cost you five times as much as that co-working space that rents out their medium-sized meeting room.
Venues will typically come with certain types of furniture already there -- if you want anything fancy (or even if you need some additional chairs) you're going to have to get that yourself from a different company.
If you have to move a lot of furniture to design your space to your liking, you will have to order a moving truck for everything. (This is something we didn't consider for our first event and it definitely bit us in the butt!)
Many party hosts like to add a special touch of inspirational quotes around the room. I personally like to have a mini photo booth where people can grab a few props and take some pics.
Food and Drinks
No event is complete without food and drinks so this one really goes without explanation. Along with the food you're going to need cutlery, napkins, plates and cups.
I'm going to be honest here, you can't go out to the store and buy a box of chicken and then leave the box out for attendees to pick out their breast or thigh. You have to put in a little more effort than that.
Get serving trays to present the food in a way that looks appetizing. You might need a water dispenser for the beverages.
Having speakers at an event can raise the perceived value of the event. (That means you can charge more.) Speakers will also be able to connect with the audience, share stories and inspire them to work towards their goals in the new year.
Gifts & Giveaways
Whenever you host speakers (especially if you're not paying them) it's a great idea to give them gifts as a special thank you for speaking at the event. You don't have to go crazy, but a nice $10 coffee mug that follows with the theme of the event will do.
Vision Board Materials
Unless you're hosting a party where you've told people to bring their own magazines and poster boards, you're on the hook for providing those. You'll also need about 1 glue stick and pair of scissors for every 4 attendees.
Printing any Workshop Materials
Depending on the layout of your event, you may have some handouts or worksheets. All of these will have to be printed and brought with you to the event. If they're writing things down, you'll also need enough pens for each person.
If you're hosting a formal event, you'll want to make sure each attendee has an agenda. These don't have to be expensive. You can get beautiful and reasonably priced agendas from Etsy. You could also design them yourself on Canva if you want to remove the cost all together.
Vision board parties and events can be incredibly fun and super inspiring to your guests. I hope this list of costs will help you in the planning stages!
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Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her workbook, The Vision Board Planner, gives women a step-by-step guide to create a super effective and life-changing vision board.