Know the “What” and “Why”
Julia tells yoga event organizers to know what their event is about and why they are doing it. The reasoning behind the event will make a big difference in how you scale it, how much risk you should be prepared to take on, who your strategic partners might be and the size of your marketing spend.
If you can’t describe and define your event succinctly, it will be even harder to launch. Define whether is it a workshop, festival, gathering, fundraiser, concert, training or something else.
Know Your Target Audience
You also want to be clear about who you are serving, says Julia, and the answer is not “everybody.”
“No event appeals to everybody. You are much, much, much better off being very clear and very narrow in your focus about who your event is going to appeal to – I don’t care what your event is,” she said. “You have a perfect customer for your event,” she says. You simply can’t market to everybody – the millions of people who practice yoga are not one big “lump category.”
Know Your Brand
“The reality is when you put an event out in the world, small or big, you are making a statement, and you really want to know that you are – whether you are doing it deliberately or not – in fact creating a brand,” said Julia. To determine what your brand is, ask yourself:
- What is your event’s unique essence?
- What does your event stand for?
- What is the event’s mission?
- How are you planning to differentiate your event from others?
The answers to these questions, which encapsulate your brand, will need to be threaded throughout all of your events. “You want to have an essence – a brand – so when they see your communications, it automatically means something to them,” said Julia.
Know How to Communicate Your Brand’s “Look and Feel”
Don’t skimp on your brand’s “look and feel.” Julia advises you invest in good design. To save money, teach yourself graphic design if necessary, she says – numerous free online tutorials are at your fingertips.
You can save on photography as well by taking your own photos – iPhones and iPads or other mobile or digital devices often produce high quality images that can be easily enhanced. If you don’t write well, ask a friend to help copyedit or barter for that service.
Flyers, postcards, posters and other “physical” collateral should be compelling and well-crafted. You’ll also want the message you communicate offline s seamlessly connected to what you do online. Put all of the relevant information on your website – don’t make your audience dig for the details.
Top Five Tips for Producing Yoga Events – Big or Small
- Know what your event is, why you are doing it and who you are serving. “Be able to easily describe and label your event. Know your desired outcome. Identify with and know your core target customer.”
- Study your market. “Analyze the scene. Check your comps. Study what others are doing. See what’s working and what’s not. Identify the market saturations and market gaps. Survey. Get target client feedback.”
- Create a brand. “Identify your theme, your unique essence. Differentiate yourself. Decide what it is your brand stands for.”
- Establish your brand “look and feel.” Invest in or be creative about: good design, catchy name, great tagline, fab photography, polished copy, interesting collateral and appealing website. Make it fun and go for quality.”
- Allow lead time. “Minimum lead times based on scale: 4-6 weeks for small; 3-6 months for medium; 6-12 months for large; and 12-18 months for extra-large.”
Watch Julia’s full talk, “Tips from Wanderlust: Dreaming Your Event Into Being,” for the complete top ten list of tips, plus other helpful takeaways on producing your next yoga event.