Have you ever got done with an event and heard this?
“Hey, that was great — Let’s do it again next year!!!!!”
Most everyone knows the feeling of relief at the end of a big event. All the hard work is behind you! The party is over and everything is put away.
You can get back to your life. …Right?
Not so fast!
Whether it’s a family get together or a clown show, event planning for these types of gathering have a lot in common.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but there are some rules to follow that make sense. I am currently working on getting these practices into my business.
What are my steps in event planning? I can only lead by example so here goes:
What’s the big idea
First I have a brainstorm.
I shoot out of my office bursting with enthusiasm for my latest hair brained scheme! My staff is kind enough not to roll their eyes, but I probably wouldn’t notice anyway. I am full of excitement as I share my new great idea for clowns.
This time it was a one day clown learn & play event called Spring in the Clowns. We kicked around the ideas and came up with an outline for a schedule.
It’s great to share your ideas with people who aren’t necessarily directly involved (ie: not clowns!) as they may have some valuable insight. We wanted to incorporate learning, shopping, and performance. We worked out all those details and found a place to host the event.
My assistant Kate reminded me I should put together a budget. Phooey. I hate budgets. I just want to do the fun part.
But it is an important part of event planning. If you think it is not important to you as a clown, you are wrong.
Let’s say you get $75.00 to do an event. Great, but you have to drive an hour, pay for parking, use your own supplies… hmmmm — oh, and because it is a four hour standing gig you probably will need to go to your chiropractor next week.There’s another bill.
The numbers don’t lie.
Then you need to decide if it is worth your time and resources.
You might say “Yes” because you will get to hand out your card to folks who are likely to hire you. You love the event; it is a charity that is near and dear to your heart. You get paid in good will. That works.
Otherwise, this may not be the right event for you. And it’s okay for a clown to say “No”.
Because then I know things are getting done AND when I go to do it again next year I will have a head start and won’t have to start from square one. If you are working with a team it helps to record who is doing what and when.
Lists actually elevate stress, too. There is something powerful about checking something off a list. (says the clown who hates lists because I get overwhelmed…but do them anyway!)
If you don’t have a list while planning your event, you’ll feel all at loose ends, wondering if things are getting done.
The best time to learn what to change is right after the event. Sure it is the last thing you want to do, but do it anyway. That is when you will remember all the little irritating things, right?
If it is a performance you may want to remember that you need a rolling cart to get your props across a very long parking lot.
Or the fact that you need to bring you own water for face painting because there is no drinking fountain or sink readily available.
If it is an event you are planning, then you will definitely need to re-examine the budget, participant feedback, and schedule to see if anything can be improved upon.
Why keep notes? “I’ll never do that gig again!” you think. Because there may be valuable information that would transfer to a gig in the future.
A three ring binder is your best friend for event planning!
“Notes for next year” are super important. For example: You may need to put in a special order for pink balloons in August for a Breast Cancer event in October. I know I need to order kazoos for the COAI convention in Kansas City this year. So I planned ahead.
Create a time line for next year. Include things like when you should have sent out flyers to the school or put an ad in a free paper. Things you missed this year need to be added for next year.
All bits of information that make your life as a busy performer easier will be worth the effort.
Post photos and fun reports on Facebook, and other social media if you can. Update your website. Sure the event is over, but you never know who will see it and remember you.
I always check with our local newspaper immediately after an event when they are taking pictures of my group. I want to be sure to identify all the folks in the picture so their name gets spelled right and has our contact info in case a reader is interested in joining our clown club.
Send out those “Thank You” notes! Include your business card or coupon and write the link to your website or Facebook with an invitation to see their fun photos with the clowns online.
When it comes to event planning, try to start as early as possible, and take notes along the way. Whether it’s a small gathering for a baby shower or a 300-person corporate event, planning out all the details usually follow the same steps. I hope I’ve helped you organize your preparation and given you some new ideas.
Comment below with your best steps for success and share your suggestions. Let’s all help each other be the best clowns we can be!
Read more practical tips for your clown business:
- How to promote yourself and your business
- Get more clown jobs in the Fall and Winter
- 5 Questions you should ask before the New Year
- Wrap up your Christmas business deals like a pro
- Creating a Facebook page for your clown
- Yes, you can say “NO” to a gig request
- When business is slow, you have to improve
- 4 Reasons NOT to wear your clown costume to a performance
- How to survive the birthday party business
- Why you should expand into non-clown THEME parties!
- What is a “Plain Clothes Clown” and why should you care?
- Do you have a clown logo? Why do you need one?
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Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277