“This is my first time throwing an event like this,” Chenchen Sun announced to the full crowd at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, California. Along with co-planner Mia Goros, they put together SoGal YouTuber Fest, an all-day event featuring popular YouTubers and their advice for creating great video content online.
Unbelievably, they were both first-timers.
But the event could have easily been thrown by two pros, considering the big-name YouTubers on the line-up, well stocked snack table, and free goodie bags given away to every ticket-holder.
They insist anyone can pull off a successful event like this one, and have agreed to shared some tips for newbies wanting to give it a try.
1. Be organized from the start
The duo kept up with many of their tasks with a shared YouTuber Fest planning Excel sheet, a tool they started to appreciate more and more as the event grew closer.
“There were times I thought ‘We don’t need that – I know the speakers,” Goros, SoGal’s VP of Events, explains, “and then ‘Oh crap – I forgot to email that speaker! So it’s really important to stay organized and keep up with emails.”
They say it doesn’t quite matter how you decide to stay organized, as long as its in one centralized location.
2. Reach out to everyone
Sun and Goros say you must broadcast your event to as many people as possible.
“Most people don’t attend your event not because your attend is not awesome, but because they don’t know about your event,” Sun, Lead of SoGal Los Angeles, said. “You have to reach out to every organization, go to every kind of networking event, and push speakers to create buzz for you.”
This advice applies to boosting ticket sales, as well as getting enough speakers or performers to appear at your event.
“Reach out to as many people as you can,” Sun suggests, “it’s really important to reach out to speakers constantly, and try to find the best spot for everyone that wants to get involved.”
3. Have a backup schedule
When the SoGal team finally had enough speakers for the event, they stopped reaching out to YouTube influencers. But inevitably, some people had to back out.
“When some of the speakers quit, that was pretty upsetting,” Sun explained.
Suddenly they were back to square one – trying to find YouTubers to appear at the event.
Sun and Goros suggest continuously reaching out to people, even when you think you have the schedule set – because something always happens at the last minute.
4. Give speakers first pick at topics
When deciding which YouTubers should be on each panel, SoGal asked the speakers which topics they’d like to talk about.
“When I sent out the emails I said pick which panel you’re interested in based on your experience and expertise,” Goros said. “It worked out really well because they really got to talk about a topic they know and they’re comfortable with – they weren’t just chosen.”
The SoGal team had to make some adjustments to balance out each panel, but the results were four insightful discussions with the right number of panelists – despite some last minute changes..
5. Be ready for day-of change
Up until the day of the event, Sun and Goros dealt with last-minute changes to the schedule and panels.
“It was kind of funny because the third panel, Expanding YouTuber Presence, was the most popular,” Goros said. “We were too filled at one point and then the day-of we only had 3 people on that panel.”
But the SoGal team doesn’t think these types of last-minute changes should worry first-time event organizers. When asked what advice they’d share with others, Sun replies,
“Two sentences – one is ‘All is well’ and the other is ‘You never know.’”