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July 13, 2011  •  by Jane Carter

Selling Tickets- Key Ways to Maximize Your Event

Budgeting Your Event The biggest problem with budgeting an event isn’t remembering to do it, but rather remembering to do it realistically.  While you may want the finest European beverages and the highest thread-count table clothes for your school fundraiser, you need to be practical when budgeting your event and make a conscious effort to go with what’s affordable, not what’s most luxurious. Another vital aspect of budgeting is being flexible.  Nothing ever goes exactly as you plan so a solid rule of thumb is to build in a contingency of 10% into your total budget to handle any unexpected or emergencies.  Researching and asking around is also another key part of budgeting.  Some venues or vendors may have lower fees based on hours or the time of day so be sure to do the necessary research to ensure you’re maximum cost-efficiency.  Likewise, knowing your stuff will help you spot overpriced or misleading costs and help you to avoid them or, even better, negotiate for an even lower price. Finally, don’t be averse to keeping it simple.  If you have a buddy that bakes or is willing to volunteer at your event and you trust them, don’t be afraid to use them.  While it may seem unprofessional to you to use a friend for your event, it will save your budget valuable money and often adds a comforting, homey touch. Utilizing Social Media [caption id="attachment_3155" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Use technology at your event!"][/caption] Social media has officially become a part of our everyday lives, a fact that makes the use of social media an invaluable and innovate tool for event planning.  Social media can be utilized at any stage of your event and can help make your life a whole lot easier and your event a whole lot more cost-effective.  When budgeting, for example, using online applications like Skype and GoogleDoc are great, free ways to communicate with vendors and co-planners and organize your event plan of action. Creating a Facebook event page is a great end easy way to establish your event online and get the word out about when it will be, where it will, etc as Facebook will be one of the first places your guests will check.  Twitter is another useful social media tool that will let you “broadcast” a message to hundreds and even thousands of potential guests who may not know about your event. If you have the time and the resources, don’t be afraid to get creative with your social media tools.  Making a video and uploading it to YouTube or posting a series of pictures to Flickr is a cost-effective and “out-of-the-box” way to promote and generate positive buzz around your event, especially if your target audience is the younger, tech-savvy generation.  Whether its “joining” your event of Facebook or simply seeing your Twitter message in their Twitter feed, the main goal when using social media is to capitalize on people’s increasing attachment to life online and give them a way to actively become a part of your event. Raising More Funds Whether your planning a basic business conference or a donation-oriented fundraiser, one of the major goals for an event planner is to raise money.  Raising funds can vary from simply trying to cover the cost of your event to trying to reach a lofty donation goal. A large majority of your funds will come from ticket sales so be sure to find a ticketing service that lets you keep as much of your ticket proceeds as possible.  Ticketbud is a great option for selling tickets cost-effectively, charging you only a low, flat-rate fee and not a per ticket or  percentage of your total proceeds fee like other ticketing companies. Another way to raise funds is to sell something at your event.  Selling baked goods or commemorative t-shirts, for example, is a good way to raise some extra funds and give your guests something positive to leave your event with.  If you prefer not to sell anything, charging a small cover fee or having a raffle are good alternatives.   More than anything, the biggest way to raise more funds, beyond generous donations and ticket sales, is to mitigate costs.  There are an infinite amount of ways to do this and hopefully the tips mentioned in this article will act as springboard to help you find even more ways to make your event as cost-effective and successful as possible.  Whether your new to event planning or a seasoned veteran, remember to always strive for the maximum when planning: your resources do not define your event, its what you do with them that determines your success.]]]]> ]]>