Hosting events is one of the best ways to get people through your door. But if you don’t take the time to plan it out, get everything in place, and throw a good party, your event could take a dive for the worst and leave you owing more than you made.

Here is a 5-step plan to set you up for success when hosting an event.


1. Plan your event

We’re starting basic and boring, but planning is one of the most important aspects of throwing an event. You need to first identify what you want to get out of the event, and plan accordingly to achieve it. The best questions to answer during this step are:

•  What’s your goal?
•  What is your budget, and how much can you spend in each area of the event?
•  Who is your audience and what are they interested in?
•  Is this going to be an event tied to a holiday or time of year?
•  How will you get the word out about this event?

Once you answer these questions, you have a better way of moving forward. You know exactly how many promoters you need, what staff members are responsible for, how much money you can spend on talent, what type of talent you need to hire, if you can offer drink specials – the list goes on.


2. Hire the right talent

Talent is a big portion of what lures people into your venue. But you need to make sure you hire the right talent. Do your guests prefer a headlining DJ or a local band? What type of lighting and sound equipment do you need to enhance the experience for your guests? After all, the people you are throwing the event for should define the event’s path. Know what your audience wants and what they’ll pay to attend. Having a system to gather your customer information is a great way to understand their habits and preferences. And above all else, stay within the budget you allotted in step 1 to maximize your profits and achieve your goal.


3. Generate revenue, even before the day of the event

We’re talking about pre-sales. Every event or venue, regardless of size, benefits from the pre-sale of tickets and inventory. The best way to sell tickets in advance is to get everyone on board with a single platform. There are platforms available that allow you to create and manage an online event page, publish the page for consumers to purchase tickets, have the page integrate with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices, and track ticket sales and results along the way. This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together so you know which of your efforts are working to bring in the most guests along with the highest paying guests. This then allows you to keep doing what works and table what doesn’t so you maximize ticket sales and revenue. Make sure you work with a ticketing system that integrates with your bank account so you earn your revenue leading up to your event rather than making up for your expenses weeks after.


4. Be a good party host

Your event efforts must continue, and perhaps even spike, during the night of the event. Make sure you’ve figured out your door process. Have a separate line for those that bought in advance vs. those paying at the door. Treat everyone like VIPs, from the bottle buyer to the general admission guest. Focus on service levels and make them feel appreciated no matter what. Your guests will not only continually come back, but they’ll also tell everyone they know about their experience. This sets you up for success for the long run.


5. Analyze results to better prepare for the next event

The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze the data. If you got on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event. Optimization is key to long-term success. The more you know, the better your results.


Whitney Larson is the president and director of marketing at Vēmos. Contact her at or fill out the form below.