The Challenges of Setting Up Events as an Indie Creative
by Stephen Zimmer
Independent creatives often have to set up their own events, whether it is a book signing for an author, a film screening for a filmmaker, or an art show for an artist. Most independent creatives are not event coordinators by profession, so the task can be a very daunting one with all of the hats that have to be worn in carrying out everything that has to be done.
One of the most critical aspects of running your own event is promotion. This goes beyond working in one’s own social media channels, website, blogs, and email list. It is important to hone in on the media that the creative doing the event might not work with regularly, such as local radio, TV, city magazines and the like. To that extent, long-standing venues often have insights, or even friendly relationships, with individuals in these kinds of media. It never hurts to ask the venue for an introduction or referral, as every bit of media helps and counts.
Always keep in mind that the promotion phase has value beyond the event itself. It raises awareness of the creative and their work, and often ends up drawing individuals who might not be able to attend the event to look up the creative online.
The presentation at the event is of paramount importance. It doesn’t require a lot of money. Creative use of accessories, table cloths, and all kinds of items can be employed to give a distinctive decoration to a table display, art displays, and other kinds of exhibits. Professional looking signage and printed items are also much more affordable than one might think, at places such as Esigns.com and GotPrint.net, and it is well-worth the independent creative’s time to browse options and look up pricing on items that can be of use in a given event.
The main goal to aim for is to have a well-organized appearance that resonates with the theme of the event itself. That’s all that needs to be achieved and it does not matter if it is extremely fancy or expensive.
Performance is the final main element that goes into a well-executed event. This is not performance in terms of taking on a role like an actor. It simply means that the creative must be “on” at all times during the event. The creative must focus on their audience and engage them in a way that is genuine and fully representative of who they are and what their work is about.
It is not as easy as it seems. A creative, at the end of the event, will fine that being “on” all the time can be quite exhausting. But it is imperative, as the creative needs to make sure that they don’t make any wrong impressions about who they are.
Any audience that attends an event expects to see the person putting it on do nothing less than their very best. They are there in support of the creative, or because they want to find out more about the creative, or a combination of both.
Beyond all the displays, content, and promotion, the reason for any event put on by a creative is ultimately the creative themself, and this cannot ever be forgotten.
Executing an event well, with a solid approach to promotion, presentation, and performance is far from easy. But the work will be worth it. When a creative does a good job in all of those areas, the result is a quality event that makes a good impression on both the venue and the audience, which paves the way for the right kind of progress in the future!