Crowdfunding an events

Crowdfunding an event a great option for any event planner

A couple of weeks ago we started crowdfunding an event for the first ever time. The event will be (should it reach its funding level of course) a Virtual Summit for Europe’s largest blog for PAs: Practically Perfect PA. You can see the Practically Perfect PA Crowdfunder appeal – it is live until the 1st June. As with all of the PPPA events we provide event management and guidance, this time, our advice is to crowdfund the event!

Crowdfunding an event

I’ve been organising events for over twenty years, and this is the first time I’ve suggested to a client that they go down this route. I’ve been aware of this option for a few years, and event resources such As BizBash were highlighting this back in 2013. However, like me, there will be loads of event planners who have never tried this approach.

There are probably more event planners who are unaware of the option of crowdfunding / kickstarting an event. In fact, I would say that some Event Planners will be unaware of exactly what “Crowdfunding” is. So, before I go on…

Put as simply as I can, Crowdfunding is a way to avoid the initial speculating that comes with running an event. The would be organiser “launches” their campaign, and those who want to see it take place, “pledge” their support. Should the event reach a specific target, the event goes ahead. The event has been crowdfunded!

The idea is so simply and brilliant, it is in fact, a surprise that EVERY event isn’t Crowdfunded! As we all know, new events come with a certain element of risk: events, at every stage is a risky business. However, searching for some best practice events crowdfunding wasn’t as easy as you would think: Event Planners seem to be shying away from this funding approach to their events.

Crowdfunding an event praying

Nicky Christmas the Editor of Practically Perfect PA praying for a successful Crowdfunding campaign!

How popular is crowdfunding an event?

I have been thinking about Crowdfunding an event for a while, and last year I asked my LinkedIn network: if they had any good examples of crowdfunding an event? I backed this up with a few hours searching on Google. It is fair to say, that I was hardly overflowing in successful crowdfunded events! However there were a few. I found some on the UK based Crowdfunder site and the US Kickstarter website.

My favourite was The Great British Asparagus Festival, which reached its £7000 target in less than 30 days in Spring 2016. Had I known about it, and been in the country, they would have had my pledge!

As well as the success events you will find ones that did not reach their target and didn’t take place, so, on the surface they would be a “failure” right?

Well, in one way, however, it would be easy to class those events as a SUCCESS. Let’s look at it this way: What IF the organiser had taken a more traditional approach to their event? What IF they had booked (and paid the deposit on the venue), hired staff to organise or sell the event and started the general event process? All of that time, money and effort, only to find out that not enough people wanted to attend the event! Avoiding that can only surely be a success?

Clearly crowdfunding an event is not for everyone

For Practically Perfect PA, I believe it is a brilliant way of “testing” out an innovative, new event without my client sinking money, at the early stage, into the event. It may not reach its £5000 target, but whatever happens this approach will have been a success. What IF we hadn’t really tested the water?

After the 1st June we will know if this approach has led to a brand new (initially risk free) event for my client. Come June I will happily share my thoughts and reasons we went down this route; hopefully while starting to organise the Virtual Summit of course.

Should you wish to pledge to the Practically Perfect PA “Virtual Summit” you can visit their Crowdfunding page. If you know anyone who may be interested please do share the campaign.

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