When I ran for Tauranga City Council in 2016, I was invited to talk to several groups about how I had managed to lead a team of 24 volunteers to deliver
TEDxTauranga to an audience of 1010 people.
That story began with an epiphany I had during a 3 day storm several years previous.
During that storm I was connected to the whole world through various technologies. But without face-to-face contact I felt isolated and alone.
I emerged from that storm with a list of 4 events to connect people together.
knew this is what Tauranga (and I) needed.
After a brief period of waiting for them to happen, I realised that someone had to stand up and get started.
And that someone was me.
Here’s the 23 minute version of my story recorded at a breakfast event for 40 people in Sep 2016:
If you are desperately short on time today, here’s the 5 minute version which I told during the 2015 Priority One AGM:
We live in a digital age.
There are more ways to communicate than ever before, but perhaps we are in danger of shallowing out our relationships with people if we rely on digital tools to replace our face-to-face interactions.
That’s why I love organising
Bringing people together in the same room, helping strangers meet each other and become friends, that’s one of the reasons I’m here on this earth.
1010 people enjoying TEDxTauranga on 25 July 2015
If you’d like to organise a gathering for 10 people, you probably won’t need this checklist.
But if it’s for 100 people, or 1000, then this checklist is a great starting point.
Rather than answer these questions solo, it’s better to get 1 or 2 others who are keen to run the event with you.
Have a sit down for a couple of hours and work through this list.
I hope it helps.
12 Questions To Help You Organise Your Next Event
date/time will the event be?
You can change this later, but it needs to be the very first decision you make. It gets everything moving
purpose of the event?
To create relationships?
To ensure we all share the same vision of the future?
success look like?
It’s about making memorable moments
How are you going to measure success?
General vibe on the day?
Short online survey?
Monitor how long people talk about it in the weeks/months that follow?
For how many people?
What’s the $$ value of a successful event and the flow-on effects?
Stakeholders with a deeper understanding of the organisations purpose and long-term objectives?
How will you structure the
Have you built in moments for
appreciation for honouring individuals for their contribution?
Might some of those moments cause a tear or 2 to be shed?
What will the attendees remember about your
How do you make an impact when they first walk in?
Or when they walk out at the end?
What will the attendees remember about your
Have you chosen quality beverages and catering that add to the mood?
How often will we hear “Mmmm this is nice”?
How can you make it
Are there elements of emotional connection?
Have you allowed room for semi-structured spontaneity?
Who’s taking photos/videos?
How will we report on the event afterward?
Facebook photo album?
running the show?
An internal or external MC?
What would you
improve next time?
Schedule in a debrief just a few days after the event
Collect ideas for improvement for next time
Create a wrap-up to-do list
How will you
report on the event?
Doing so, makes “selling” future events so much easier
Collect written testimonials & video testimonials on the day (or shortly after)
Include lots of photos of people having a great time
Send it out 1 or 2 weeks later to everyone who came (so they can re-live their favourite moments)
What do you think?
Have your say in the comments below.
What am I up to in 2015? Take 3.5 minutes to find out in this short video:
I’m running a “Facebook Basics Workshop” with
Likeable Social Marketing (Dan Necklen).
Know a business owner that might need our help?
This Facebook workshop is for you if:
You need help setting up your Facebook business page
You’ve got an existing Facebook business page, but don’t know how to use it effectively
You have Facebook marketing questions you need answers too
When? Fri 26th Sept from 1pm–3pm
Where? Ignition Co-Working Space (29 Grey Street, Tauranga)
Cost? $180+gst per person
Fruit platter + Tea/Coffee provided from Robert Harris
What to bring:
Your laptop (and power cord)
Your Facebook-related questions
Your business cards (don’t miss the networking opportunity!)
It’s limited to 10, and as of today there are just 4 spots left.
RSVP to Dan:
I made my annual trip to
TEDxAuckland on Saturday, and for the last 2 years I have captured my experience here on MarketingFirst.co.nz, but this time I’ve written my report on the TEDxTauranga website.
Read it now:
TEDxAuckland 2014: 18 Hours of Awesomeness