A great event idea, worked out plans, big intentions, but no money to put everything in place.
Can you identify with the situation?
Well if yes, you, my friend are not alone! There are so many out there, who have all that it takes to organise a successful event, sans the money required. What if I tell you that no money is required? No, I’m not going to pay you out of my wallet, but what I’m going to to do is to tell you some hacks you can use when you have no money to organise the event.
1. Invest in the Idea
When you have no money to invest, invest your brains in the idea itself! Make your event idea like nothing else, and supplement with a robust planning. Planning here, is the key. It should be such that the costs are minimum, and the output maximum. Next few points will help you achieve this.
2. Free Venue
In most cases, the single largest cost in organizing an event is that of the venue. It can be pulled down to zero, if you do it the right way. Simple, make the venue owners realise all that you can offer them except money. It can be publicity of their place, their sales and exposure. For example, you can easily tie-up with a local cafe/restaurant for some free space to host an event. This will help them sell some coffee and build customers!
3. Invite Speakers for Free
Never pay a dime to get a speaker. Don’t run after the ‘big-league’ of names, your chances of getting them for free are next to impossible. However, there is a complete galaxy of awesome speakers, who are lesser known but too good to be left out. Tell them the number of people going to attend your event, and they will be happy enough to deliver for free.
Who knows, you won’t be able to afford them in an year or two!
4. Get Sponsor(s)
Sponsorships can get you covered with all the costs which could not be covered anyway else. All you need to do is to create a nice, crisp sponsorship proposal. List all the gains for them. Quote them your rates, be a little flexible, and they will abide. You can also have multiple sponsors here, like ‘gold’ sponsors, ‘platinum’ sponsors, ‘associate’ sponsors, or the ‘powered by’ ones, whatever fancy names you may like calling them.
5. Find Partners
Your partners not only provide you with a service you require, but also bring a lot brand value to your event. For example, when you partner with the biggest radio broadcaster of your area, people know that the event has some substance. #fact Partners and sponsors are different. While sponsors give you money, partners provide you a service, like a column in a magazine, or catering and infrastructure.
6. Use Free Services
When you have no money, obviously you can’t spend chunks just on petty services like event registration, ticketing and communications. You don’t have to, if you know all the free services you can use. There are tons of them on the internet. Discover them, and exploit them!
7. Use Social Media
When you intend to organize an event in no money, how can you skip using social media? It’s free, and it’s impressive. Use social media to reach the most targeted audience for your event. It won’t only help you save heaps on the advertising expenses, but will also make your campaign effective.
8. Get Some Interns
You have the venue, you have the sponsors, you have the partners. But how will you handle the event in real time? Obviously, you can’t afford an event management company for that! However, what you can do is to get interns from the local university or high school. Believe me, college students are always on a hunt for such opportunities. Your interns will not only help you conduct the event, but will also help you manage your social media and technical stuff, and even act as its ambassadors – all for free or very little money.
9. Set the Tickets and Pricing
In any case, you can also charge the attendees some amount to attend the event. This amount depends upon the worth that your event carries. And if you have managed to set everything else for free, the whole of this amount goes to your profits. Don’t be greedy here, be reasonable. A turned down audience can ruin everything for you.
10. The ‘Other’ Way (not recommended!)
If you believe your event idea is good enough, but requires a lot of investment, and any of the above is just not enough, the go take a loan! While this is not highly recommended, you can repay it with your ticketing revenues. Everything for what you believe in, no?
While these few tips are tried, tested and awesome ways to organise an event in zero budget, a lot depends upon your negotiating and networking skills. Build trust in the market, and you will never be short of people to help you pull off an event. Good Luck!