Earlier this month I launched my first networking event, Network with Dreamtakers at the Old City Collective. The purpose of the event was to bring together new entrepreneurs and business owners from all over Philadelphia, to share their personal success stories, network and find ways to collaborate in the future. In the eight weeks leading up to the event – managing attendees, booking a venue, and securing sponsors, there were three important things I have learned that you should consider.
1. Set Your Budget in the Beginning!
The biggest lesson I have learned from launching my first event was to make sure I set my budget at the very beginning. When people hear the word budget in event planning, they typically think of the big things – venue, tickets, food, swag bag items. However, you must consider the overlooked or last-minute items such as utensils and party decorations because it's those little expenses that can cause you to see a profit loss. In my case, it was not until a week before Network with Dreamtakers that I considered to calculate all my expenses and projected profits. If I budgeted in advance and effectively, I would have saved more in out of pocket expenses and gained a better return-on-investment.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help.
Planning an event alone can be very overwhelming and stressful. If you are like me and think you can handle it all, don't attempt to! Ask a few friends to help with the event day or hire volunteers. Luckily, for the day of my event, the owner, Laura and a few of my closest friends came early to help with set up. As guests started to arrive, I realized I would not have been able to set up for the event and greet my attendees– I needed the extra help!
3. It's Quality over Quantity.
Naturally, we believe, more is better – the more attendees you have, the more likely your event will be a success. In my case, it was not the number of attendees that made Network with Dreamtakers a success but the quality of them. Although I did not meet my goal of twenty-five attendees, I was able to have one on one conversations with each attendee. By the end of the night, I was able to learn about each entrepreneur's dream, and discover ways we could work together in the future.
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Check out photos below from Network with Dreamtakers