Tips On How to Organize Events – Especially if It’s Your First Time
Events are great opportunities to catch up with people you haven’t met in awhile. In the fast growing social media world, it’s a good chance to actually get to meet people you’ve only known through their Twitter handles and blog URLs. Therefore, when the idea of meeting some of the coolest social media practitioners and Community Managers in the Philippines was brought up, me and fellow Community Managers in the Philippines immediately picked each other’s brains as to what type of event shall we have in order to gather together other social media enthusiasts and digital marketers in the Philippines.
Wanting to make it more casual and far from the usual formal events, we’ve formed the idea of SoBeer Up. Socializing with other social media influencers, with beer. It’s a simple concept of meeting with other social media practitioners in the Philippines without the hassles of formality. Simply being together over a pint of beer (or more). There was no pressure to prepare for a talk, simply chilling out and getting to know other people who work in the digital marketing space in the Philippines.
Together with Mac Ocampo, Jay Padriga, Acee Vitangcol and Gelo Lopez, we organized the first ever SoBeer Up in Manila. We’re no professional event organizers. We’re simply digital marketers who wish to gather with fellow digital marketers. It was our first ever event so we were actually blessed to have nice sponsors such as MNL Boutique Hostel for the venue, Rent.PH for the funds for the booze and finger foods and Sun Celullar for the giveaways.
It was a simple, fun, casual beer up and we couldn’t be happier for how it turned out. Sure, there were areas and rooms for improvement that’s why I took down notes of the things I’ve learned from co-organizing such an event in Manila. I’ve seen similar events in Singapore such as #SataySocial and #BusinessRocks so I was excited to actually help bring such events in the Philippines.
Below are just some of my key learnings from the SoBeer Up. Hopefully it can help guide you when you’re organizing your first ever event and feel free to share your tips in the comments section as well. Most of the photos are taken from my presentation during the Social Media Influencers Summit.
SoBeer Up: Social media event for social media practitioners in the Philippines.
SoBeer Up Organizers Jay Padriga, Jonha Revesencio, Gelo Lopez and Acee Vitangcol with Carissa Mae Flores, Digital Marketing Manager of Sun Cellular (one of the sponsors for the SoBeer Up)
SoBeer Up Organizers Gelo Lopez and Jay Padriga with Roel Abatayo (@bloggista) – a 13 years Sun Subsciber and Carissa Flores
1. Not everyone will show up. Show must go on.
Due to several reasons (mainly being unable to make time), some people who pledged to attend your event may not be able to make it. It is therefore important to have a backup plan in case the key people will not be able to show up. Make sure that there’s a committee for every tasks and if possible, assign at least two people in charge so that when one person is not able to make it, the other could take over.
2. Plan ahead. With ahead – meaning, at least 3 months
There will be different people involved in planning and making an event a success, these are the key organizers, the sponsors, the attendees and those who will cover the event. At the SoBeer Up, while we managed to have 5 organizers, we were all so busy with our daily tasks and the only way we communicate was via a Facebook Chat.
We didn’t meet offline, we didn’t really have committee in place. Thus, we weren’t fully sure if all things are going to be well taken cared of. We didn’t even have a checklist of what needs to be done and if they were indeed done. We managed to pull together our resources and contacts and so blessed to have awesome sponsors to help us with the event even in such a short notice.
However, learning from the said experience, we decided that we will have more people involved and actually commit to the task at hand. We’ll probably take in more volunteers next time in organizing the event and send out proposals to the sponsors at least one month ahead so that they wouldn’t be surprised with our request.
3. Aside from the casual conversation, have a short program
Just when we thought free beer would attract a lot of people to the said event, surely these are not just enough. There should be something more (but not too much as to overwhelm the attendees). Perhaps next time our “Tweet Me What I Want” game will push through, some game where everyone will get to know better and what not.
We’re looking at making the SoBeer Up a quarterly or even monthly event, should our schedules permit. We don’t want to divert from its original purpose which is to simply have an event where the busy and unsung heroes of the best communities online in the Philippines could simply chill, pick each other’s brain over a pint of beer (or more – Bacardi, *included).
If you have other tips and suggestions on how to make the event better or want to sponsor our next event in your hotel, resto-bar or newly opened place, feel free to get in touch with us by sending us a message on our official Facebook page or hit me up via email: jonharules [at] gmail [dot] com.
We’re constantly looking at ways on how we can better handle and organize our events to make everyone feel more welcome and enjoy it more so feel free to share them in the comments below! View more photos of SoBeer Up at our Facebook page and we hope to see you in the next event!
Image [via First Time Travels]
Read More writeups about the #SoBeerUp below:
Juan Manila Express: SoBeerUp Manila pooled together social media influencers in one memorable gathering
First Time Travels: First-time in MNL Boutique Hostel
Mark Cerbo: First SoBeer Up Saturday
Bloggista: Social Media and Beer