3 Things I Learned from Co-Organizing an Event: SoBeer Up Manila

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.

Best Social Media Events in Manila Philippines

Social Media practitioners, Community Managers and digital marketers in the Philippines gathered together for a fun, simple and casual event called SoBeer Up at MNL Boutique Hostel

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.

Social Media Experts in Philippines SoBeerUp

SoBeer Up: Social media event for social media practitioners in the Philippines. 

From Left to Right: Jonha Revesencio (@jonharules), Alma Cala (@almacala1976 ) Nollie Araral (@kakuei), Vince Golangco (@VinceGolangco), Enzo (@juanmanila), Mark Cerbo (@cerbojam)

How to Get Sponsors For Your Event

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)

Social Media Event in Manila

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.

How to Get People to Attend Your Events

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.

How to Get People to Go to Your Events

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.

Freebies Essential in Events

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




  1. says

    My company organizes events professionally, so here are some more tips for you, from my own experience:
    1) One can usually assume half the “yes” and a quarter of the “maybe” people on a Facebook event list will attend, so reach is really important when inviting.
    2) You can help those numbers go up by messaging all the people who have said yes or maybe the day of the event to remind them. That can boost attendance 20% right there, as people plan their evenings will remember you have something going on.
    3) Agree that 3 months is a good lead time for planning. Two months is okay, six weeks is minimum.
    4) You may be able to partner with an event organizer which can help you with a lot of this, for little to no cost.
    5) When soliciting for sponsorships, potential sponsors are going to want to know what the demographic of the attendees is, so they can see if that matches their target audience.They’ll also want to know what kind of reach they can get. If you do some sort of game that requires people to tweet or facebook something about a sponsor, that extra reach can be mentioned during your pitch for sponsorship: “We’ve invited X number of people and will be playing a twitter game that will result in your brand being put in front of participants’ twitter followers. We expect an additional 10,000 people to see your brand name that way” for example.
    6) More people will notice updates to the events page if  each update carries a benefit for the participant. For example,  giveaways from particular sponsors that are planned, etc.
    7) If you’re on a limited budget, you can set the event as having 3 free drinks each, and it won’t really affect your attendance. Most people will go because of the company, not because they are getting something free. I’m a member of the Drinking Digital group, and we do meetups every few weeks, and everybody pays for their own drinks, and they still get 20-30 people. We go for the company and networking opportunities.

    • says

      Thank you for these tips Tony and for being there at the event, too!  We truly appreciate it. These are pretty solid and helpful tips. We’ll strive to make the next event a much more meaningful and fun one. Cheers!

  2. says

    Looks like you all had fun. So many smiles are a sure sign of success! These tips couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I’m about to start integrating an offline strategy to compliment my organization’s social calendar. I think it’s so worthwhile to meet up in person. One more tip: designate a photographer. Doesn’t have to be a pro, but try to get pics of the gathering–makes the writeup that much better (as evidenced here). And if it becomes a monthly or annual event, you can start building the history. The illustrations will become priceless and can be used to attract future participation.

    • says

      Hi Allison Leahy,
      Thanks for the tip! You’re right, there’s always room for improvement and your tip on assigning a photographer is definitely a must-do. Looking forward to reading about your event :)

  3. annquiogue says

    I was browsing twitter today and found this article. I always find your write-ups interesting. Personally I really want to learn everything about social media. I’m a freelance events organizer. It’s nice that you have this kind of event. Just some tips based on my experience always make sure that you highlighted all the benefits the sponsor can get. Build a good relationship with them. Do you have the right audience? Take good care of them. Another thing is it’s good to assign people foe each task needed for the event. Plan your event ahead. Make sure all the organizers meet as much as possible personally so every details can be discussed, any concerns will be addressed. Take note of the things discussed amd send it to everyone for records. If you need help let me know. My twitter is @17kellyann. Thanks.


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