By Jade McKenzie
Yes people TOTALLY have fears when it comes to planning events. Some people know exactly what they are before they even begin planning, while others don't realise what their fears are until the planning process has started and all of the sudden they feel like they have slammed into a brick wall.
Trust me, there is always some level of anxiety or fear around events. Even my most successful clients still worry about certain things in the lead up and on the day. Don't let this turn you off though, just like anything in business, if you want it to happen then you are going to need to figure out a way to overcome it.
Below are some common fears that come up around events and some ways to overcome them.
I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START & I'M PARALYSED BY OVERWHELM
The key to overcoming this is taking action and making a plan. Baby, me and overwhelm go way back and I have learnt that the only way to beat it is to do SOMETHING. Do ANYTHING that takes you one step closer, no matter how small. I created my toolkit from processes and checklists that I've followed for years to keep overwhelm to a minimum. And I even have a free event checklist so you can not only keep things in order, but also have foresight in your own event planning and be able to create a timeline appropriate to you. If you are really stuck, go back to your 'why' and remember the reasons why you want to do this in the first place. Who do you want to help? How can you help them? Why do they need to be there? Let your passion take the lead and together with your action plan, do the tasks that feel in flow. Trust me, once you start, momentum will kick in and before you know it you will be crossing to-do's off left, right and centre!
NOBODY IS GOING TO COME
If your workshop or event is of value, people will come. But remember - this is a numbers game and you need ensure that you get your event out to as many people as possible. And not just any people, people who are in your target demographic.
Work on promoting the value that your event provides. Create a timeline that includes details of when, where and how you are going to promote your event through your mailing list, website and social media channels. Everything comes back to effective planning and taking action.
And have a plan B. If the thought of a room with empty seats fills you with absolute dread, ask business contacts or friends who you know will gain value from the event to come along. They can provide you with valuable feedback post event, act as moral support on the day and also act as word of mouth referrals for future events if they really enjoyed it.
I'M NOT KNOWLEDGEABLE ENOUGH/GOOD ENOUGH/SMART ENOUGH
I promise you, you are enough. Comparisonitis and doubt has a terribly sneaky way of popping up when you least expect it. All of the sudden when the event is becoming very real, little seeds of uncertainty can come creeping in. Thoughts like, why would people come see me when there are others out there doing it better than me? Will people even pay money to do this? My hair is crap, how can I go and talk in front of 50 people with crappy hair?
Oh my god, I am a broken record. But you know the answer yeah?
Work on your content early. Create the bones, build the structure, develop the content and tweak it until you realise just how damn fabulous you are! Comparisonitis is easy to beat when all of your knowledge is down in black and white ink on paper. Nobody can give your presentation or workshop like you can darling and your confidence will be rebuilt once you feel like you have things under control. Plus, knowing your key content early on will help with all of your promotional activities. And booking a hairdressing appointment will help too.
PEOPLE WON'T LIKE IT OR WILL GO HOME DISAPPOINTED
If you feel like this then there's only one thing you can do - make sure that you over deliver in every way possible so that no-one goes home feeling like it wasn't worth their time.
Events should not just be a way for you to make money by doing bare minimum. Events should be an experience where you not only provide guidance, information or solutions, but you also provide a level of emotive fulfilment where attendees walk away feeling like they got so much more than just the content. Do you want them to feel inspired? Motivated? Empowered? Like they can take on the world? Define it then make it happen.
Don't let your fears hold you back. If you work on them head on then events will become easier and you will be really proud of the progress you have made! If you are really struggling with your event fears and concerns then my event coaching could be just what you need to smash those blocks and create a strong event plan.
Good luck and happy planning!