5 Tips from an Organizer of a “First Ever” Event

Event Organizer“No expectations, no judgements…you are encouraged to come as you are and let your hair down for a day of fun.”

This is the motto of Miss Muddy, a popular women’s-only obstacle and mud festival in Australia. Founder Adam McDonald used his experience as executive producer of Search 4 Hurt, and father of two girls, to create this first-ever event, which attracts 5000+ participants annually across Australia and New Zealand. Here are five things he shared with us that he learned along the way:

  1. Do something not already being done
    Due to market saturation and competition, it’s more important than ever to do your due diligence and find a niche before launching an event. McDonald recognized the growing popularity of obstacle racing and saw a big opportunity to reach a female audience. “There wasn’t (a women’s-only obstacle race) in Australia,” he says, “and the feedback I was getting as chairman of the Obstacle Racing Association of Australia was that females in the most part were scared to try them because most of the events in the market were deemed ‘too hardcore.’” As the first of its kind in Australia and built to be fun and nonthreatening, Miss Muddy has been hugely successful.
  2. Partner Up
    You don’t have to go it alone. Consider partnering up with another company in the space. This will help you shoulder the costs, as well as gain community support. Miss Muddy has strong partners in each event city, ranging from charities to radio stations.
  3. Invest in Facebook, but do so wisely
    Dedicate time and budget to building a strong community on Facebook. As McDonald says, “Facebook is good for event specific pages in particular…The biggest challenge is always reach; Facebook is making it hard for people who want to see your post…without coughing up money.” In other words, Facebook can help you grow your event, but the days of free promotion are over. Set aside some budget!
  4. Email, don’t flyer bomb
    Marketing for events is usually launched across a variety of channels and requires a balancing act with your budget. Generally speaking, email is still the most effective and affordable marketing technique. McDonald can relate: “Email wins out for sure…(but) if I had unlimited budget, running commercials during programs like The Voice, The Bachelor, MasterChef, etc., would be the most effective for reaching our target markets…”
  5. Early is on time
    Why wait? Open up registration for next year’s event as soon as you finish this year’s, or as soon as you have the permits in order for a new event. “We open registrations as soon as possible, as you can never have too long to sell your event,” McDonald says. Make sure your registrants can sign up as early as they’d like, and at any hour of the day.

Want to read more words of wisdom from people who’ve been there? Here’s more from our Event Directors of the Month