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Do you want to get involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week but don’t know where to start? We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to organising an event.
Audience and aims
Who do you want to engage in your Global Entrepreneurship Week activities? And what’s the aim of your event?
Before you start booking a venue and sorting the agenda, take a step back and think about what it is you actually want to achieve. Do you want to get involved in the conversation? Maybe you can help women start-up businesses? Do you want to inspire students to think about entrepreneurship? Or maybe you want to develop people’s enterprise skills?
By adding a theme or focus to your event, it should help you engage the right audience: Low-carbon technology, ‘confidence, time, money’, social enterprise, women’s enterprise…
What will your target audience be interested in?
For 2012 our UK theme is ‘pass it on’, encouraging successful entrepreneurs and enterprise organisations to pass on their expertise, knowledge and experiences to start-ups - catalysing successful enterprises UK wide. How could your event ‘pass it on’ in a fun and engaging way?
Type of activity
Think really carefully about the type of activity you want to run. You could run a speednetworking session, run a competition, organise an entrepreneurial speaker to inspire participants, or a drop-in business advice day. What would appeal to your target audience?
For ideas on what activities you can run, check out the Ideas Bank.
Make it High Impact
Could your event be one of this years’ prestigious High Impact events? A High Impact event must meet four out of the six criteria in order to be recognised as an event that had a positive impact on attendees. In 2011, we awarded 619 events with the High Impact Badge of Honour.
Do you want to be in with a chance of winning this award? Then consider the High Impact criteria when planning your event. The survey for High Impact events will be coming shortly.
Now you’ve decided on who you’re trying to reach and the theme of your activities, start to think about which other organisations would be interested in getting involved. Working in partnership allows you to pool resources, knowledge and expertise. It also means you can reach a much bigger audience.
In many ways ‘the rules’ for securing sponsorship are the same as those that make any partnership or relationship work. The starting point is to put yourself in the shoes of whomever you are seeking sponsorship from, to establish areas of mutual benefit, agree what success looks like up front, be accountable and then look after the little things really well.
If funding proves hard to secure, ask people for in-kind donations. A local business may provide free venue space, a drinks company may offer free refreshments, and a local printing company may produce your marketing materials at a reduced cost.
Now it’s down to the nitty gritty!
Once you’ve put a budget together, you need to confirm a venue and then choose the catering. Do you need to provide lunch or dinner, or will refreshments do? You also need to think about microphones, lecterns, screens, projectors and sound. And remember, if a speaker is part of your activity be sure to organise their travel arrangements.
Once you’ve put together your invite list, you need to send out invitations. You can do this electronically via an email or newsletter, or you may want to produce printed invites. Invites should be sent out as soon as possible, otherwise you’ll be scraping for attendees at the last minute! It’s also worth sending out a reminder email a week or two before the event.
You might want to think about using an online registration process such as www.eventbrite.com It allows you to publish and promote your activities online, and even takes payments for tickets if that’s what you need. All the invites are managed through the website, which means your inbox doesn’t get cluttered with replies!
Promoting your event
There are loads of free ways to promote your events…
Remember to register your activities on this website today! It will then become an official Global Entrepreneurship Week event and become part of the official events calendar. It will be promoted to media, government, young people, like-minded organisations and people all over the world.
Social media and other digital tools
One of the great things about social media is that you can promote your event for free! And as we all know free is good, but even better than free is easy. and social media is definitely extremely easy to set-up and use.
Getting your event in the press can be pretty straight forward if you match your event to the right media or newspaper feature. Local newspapers, magazines and radio love featuring the local community and if something particularly interesting is happening like a Global Entrepreneurship Week activity, you’re even more likely to gain press attention.