Nothing strengthens the foundation of a community quite like an in-person event. Anytime there is an opportunity to bond with your customers in real life, we recommend it. Being face-to-face is pure magic. However, we know that real life sessions bring with them a lot of moving parts, so let us help you prep for the process.
When to post
Unlike virtual sessions, real life requires a little more effort by both the host and the attendee. This means, giving a little more leeway time to capture more guests. Online, a more intimate gathering can be perfect. But when it comes to IRL, more truly is merrier. This means you should post your event at least two weeks in advance. Then remind people 2x leading up to the event. Once a week before, and once the day before. Even if your attendees are generally reliable, these reminders are still a kind courtesy.
Who to invite & how to share
Well, naturally you want to invite everyone on your mailing list. ;) But if you’re at an early stage, you can also think of a one-off event as a way to expand your audience and bring in more potential customers, so you want to cast your net as wide as possible.
Don’t be shy! Your network wants to know about your happenings. Email a post about the session inviting them to RSVP, and share it widely with your friends, family and community on social media
Sometimes, your first few sessions won’t get the traction you’re hoping for. This is a reality for everyone. Don’t get discouraged, if you keep building it, they will come.
How to pick a venue
If you’re not an instructor with a consistent venue, it’s important to choose a space for your session that makes sense. Don’t be afraid to go small at first. This isn’t only cost effective, but it means if your RSVP list ends up being more intimate, it won’t feel empty. Stay close to home and somewhere you’re familiar with if possible, bonus: if you know the owner, you’re more likely to get the location at a reasonable rate. If you’re blessed with a large RSVP rate, consider having a cap and a waitlist. A mostly empty event space can feel vacuous and weird, but an overcrowded one is downright uncomfortable.
If you don’t have capital for these first sessions, don’t feel bad. This is completely normal. Consider an outdoor space if possible. In our post Covid-19 climate, people are 100% used to doing everything from yoga to art classes to meet ups outside. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of this cheap and cheerful mentality. Try a neighbourhood park!
How to make the space sparkle
Whether you’re running a fitness class, a wine tasting or anything in between, when running an in-person session you need to know the three event Ws. They are: water, waste + washrooms. People will need to hydrate, people always have something to throw away, and naturally, human beings need access to washrooms. If nothing else, remember those three things. Nice to haves, include: a little bit of on-theme decor, marketing materials for your business and an instagrammable area. If people snap photos of cuteness at the session, they’re likely to share. Hooray for free advertising.
After the event
Following the event, be sure to do a follow-up email thanking guests, sharing some session highlights and images (again, cuteness gets shared, woohoo!) and linking them to your next virtual offering. You don’t have to thank guests right away, but it’s best to do it within a week. Definitely thank guests after you have posted your next session. This makes creating a recurring clientele AKA your subscription base a breeze.