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Discussion on: AMA with Robert Gelb

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Rob Gelb Ask Me Anything

Hey Katrine - great questions!

The must-haves - Knowledge and a plan. It sounds simple but there are a few questions that I'd always encourage organizers to ask themselves at the very beginning:
1 - Why am I doing this? What are your objectives? Is it an awareness campaign, an opportunity to activate an audience, a conversion opportunity, is the objective to make money, etc? At the end of the day you're running an event to achieve something, so understanding that first and foremost will help you start off on the right foot.

2 - Who am I serving? So often I speak with event organizers who can't answer the question "Who is this event not for?" Any event should be like any other business endeavor - you should know who is and crucially who is not your customer.

If you are clear about both of these points then it becomes easier to craft an event bible - I always suggest this for larger events that haven't happened before. Create an 'event on paper' - I like to use Whimsical instead of paper but you do you. When you create your event on paper, you start with your attendee persona and what they are looking to achieve with this event. That should lead you to being able to make decisions like what talk subjects are needed, what formats work best, etc. After you have that outline, you'll be able to put any question, any decision through its paces and have confidence that you're serving your audience in the right way rather than getting carried away.

In terms of how the industry will change - I think online events have been around for a while, but what we're starting to see more of is a willingness for people to devote more time, energy and budget to seeing them as an effective way to grow and learn. I don't think in-person events are going away, but I think you'll start to see a blending, and a requirement that an event not only serve as a gathering place, but also a focal point for you to engage with throughout the year. More than 2/3 of our customers run more than 2 events a year on HeySummit and many run talk-series, summits, or other events each month and quarter to grow their audiences and keep them engaged.

Hope that gave a few ideas!