Running an event is a perfect way to increase your studio’s awareness, grow your market and connect with your consumers. But if you’re a small studio, the idea of setting up your own event can sometimes seem like an impossible task. There are 10 key questions you need to answer before you can successfully run a community event. We asked L!fe, one of the leading Yoga studios in Manila for some insider tips from their past events.
1. What’s your theme?
“ [LiFE’s events] include music, art, yoga and food, which is at the core of LiFE’s Philosophy. We always incorporate the fun nature and bright colors of LiFE while taking inspiration from wellness festivals abroad.”
Whether you’re a yoga studio, strength and endurance facility, or circuit boot camp, solidifying a theme for your event is crucial to its success both physically and socially. Choosing a theme doesn’t always have to be your first step, but should be within the initial stages of planning. Reaching out to potential sponsors, your members and the rest of your team for ideas is often a great place to start. Some example event themes include:
- transformation/body sculpting
- community/team building
- exploration/showcase of performance
- warrior/boot camp
- organic/vegan/vegetarian focused
2. What is your primary goal?
What do you want to achieve from this event?
- On the day sign-ups?
- studio awareness?
- community outreach?
- local support?
- giving back to members?
One of the initial steps in any event planning is the goal. Picking one before you start sending invites will help you stay on track and focused throughout the next steps of planning and execution. If your goal is studio awareness, ensure you’re marketing directly to your key demographic or the demographic you wish to attract.
3. What are the most important components to secure?
While securing the location and instructors are two necessary components to a lockdown, LiFE studio states the most important component to an event is “having great teachers and facilitators on board as well as good operational logistics”
A simple yet effective event could be one with minimal collaborators, but a high-quality experience for the attendees. Other components that need to be considered are:
- Securing partners (if any)
- Securing an instructor (and a back-up) if necessary
- Notifying councils if required
- Hiring of sound, workout, or lighting equipment
- Sourcing photographers and/or videographers
4. How much organisation is involved?
The logistics required for an event depends on its size and goal you wish to achieve from it. Many studio owners are shocked as to how much organisation is involved in even a small event, but the process can be simplified when your needs are divided among team members, given deadlines and allows delivery time and execution margins.
“[Our first event] was definitely a lot of logistics, which I only learned from being hands-on. It was definitely exciting but also nerve-wracking since we weren’t sure if people would show up. Thankfully, they did! We had a full house in most of our events. Next time around, all the tickets should be sold prior to the event. It’s a lot of people management, budgeting, logistics but also learning how to let go and enjoy at the same time”
5. How far in advance should you start preparing?
Planning an event can take weeks or months depending on its size. Generally, the rules of time allowance for planning is based on the number of attendees:
- Small event – 2-3 weeks – 10-15 people; no event space hire; minimal services; minimal marketing
- Small/medium event – 4-6 weeks – 15-30 people; event space needed; some services required; marketing initiatives in place
- Medium/large event – 1.5 – 2 months – 30-50 people; medium event space needed; a number of services required; medium scale marketing required
- Large event – 3 – 6 months -50-150 people; large event space needed; higher level logistics required; hiring of multiple services; extensive marketing plans and execution required
“We usually plan the event 3 months in advance. With marketing being done 1.5 – 1 month before the event day. We may need a longer prep time for future events that we will be doing. “
6. What will you include to make your event stand out?
Whether it’s your members or potential new customers attending this event, there needs to be some icing on the cake that makes it memorable and worth the time and effort you’re putting in. This can be in the form of a before/after event goodie bag, surprise guest attendees/speakers, live music, prizes, giveaways or on-the-day membership offers which have a limited time for activation.
“I enjoyed the Yoga Pool Party that we had last summer. This was Amazon-themed and we turned the warrior-inspired yoga class into a dance party. Apart from this, we also had SUP Yoga and a pool session. Apart from this, we’ve also thrown a couple of LiFE Jams, featuring health cocktails, live art, dance and music.”
7. How should you manage your team?
Your team is there to support you and should be delegated tasks which they can be responsible for. As a studio owner, you should be overseeing their progress, but your main task should be representing your studio in any discussions with collaborators. Give each member of your team tasks to complete for before, during and after the event.
Your team is also going to be your best resource as a soundboard for ideas, risk management and marketing strategies.
“We plan the events internally as a team. We are all new at this, so it’s a lot of trial and error. [Through our events]I also learned how to handle the team as well as the other groups who would join.”
8. Who else do you need besides your team?
Outsourcing can be a common requirement of events. Services such as catering, transportation, photography and check-in managers are very easy to source for an event and can come in handy when you’re at full capacity.
Before you finalise your plan:
- write a list out of all the items or services you would potentially require before, during and after the event.
- Then, mark off what your team could provide, and what you would seek externally.
This process allows you to be realistic about your ideas, deliverables are requirements of the event.
9. How will you promote your event?
The promotion of your event before, during and after are essential to its success and lasting impression on members and potential clients. Done well, your marketing should provide:
- A ‘hype’ stage where the event is build up, members are made aware and the local community is informed of what you’re holding
- A backstage or inside look at the unveiling and execution of the event day, including member interviews, images of event goodies and real-time cross promotion of partners if any
- A recap of events, including original images, videos and member reposts from the day
Through using a combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, your marketing should aim to persuade members and customers to attend as well as excite them about the experience they will have whilst there.
“Our in-house marketing team markets all the events with the help of some of our brand ambassadors.”
10. What are the risks involved?
Being aware of the potential issues that could occur event day is crucial if you want to avoid them. Having at least 1 backup service for every external provider you have, as well as a sub-in instructor (if applicable) is essential for the success of your event.
Planning to fail isn’t always a bad thing, so write out all of the ‘variables’ in your event organisation (things that could suddenly change) and provide at least 2 different ways of dealing with this problem.
“I have left the organizing of events to other people before and looking back, it could have been much better if we had arranged it down to the smallest detail. I would gauge success by the turnout of the event, the return as well as overall feedback.”