How To: Plan Your Own Event

By Edel
How To: Plan Your Own Event (Photo: Steady Parties)
So you’ve probably been to some type of function in your lifetime. Whether it was a crackin’ concert, party, or art show. You had a great time, made some new homies and maybe you’ve thought of planning something similar. For those who live for moments like these and want to incorporate these moments into other people’s lives, here are a couple of pointers to get your event rolling. Follow these basic guidelines and your event should be as smooth as possible.


Oakland, CAThe first step to get an event going is to figure out the purpose of the event. Is it because you are looking to make money? Do you want to display art, musical artists, poetry, etc? Or, are you just trying to put on for your community? These are all questions that an event planner should be thinking about before trying to organize an event. Having a specific purpose for an event will help distinguish what type of event it is and how to cater to that specific kind of event.

Build a Team

When planning events, a reliable team is necessary. A small team is highly recommended as it dissolves conflicts and minimizes altercations. Make sure you surround yourself with people you can trust! Outside of the main team, having volunteers, partnerships or paid positions is okay. However, all business-related matters should stay between the organizers. Responsibilities should be distributed among different members of the team. Someone could be in charge of obtaining the venues and artists, another should be in charge of budgeting, while other responsibilities can include: marketing, contracting, and sponsorships.


Between these different branches, communication is key. Each member should be up to date so there is no confusion on what is going on. Good communication between each other is key for the success of the event, it will boost productivity, help with event preparation and even relieve stress! When a team lacks communication it reflects on the business. Lack of communication leads to unmet deadlines and lack of productivity. Not only do you get dissatisfied co-workers, but you will also have dissatisfied customers. For customers, it's easy to tell when a team is not running the show correctly. Lack of communication is bad for business, it creates negative working habits and it will show in the quality of the event you put on.

Photo: Steady Parties

Location and Time

Whether it’s an art show, panel or just a social gathering, the ideal event should take place during the afternoon or evening. People with day jobs generally get off by that time and people are more likely to go out at night. However on weekends, summer and spring breaks, a day party is highly recommended. For pure functions the ideal timing would be at night. Not all young folks are comfortable to go dumb in broad daylight because they are usually more active during the night time. When the sun goes down, insecurities are lowered and everyone is ready to have a good time and people are generally more social as well.

Photo: Steady Parties

The location of the event can have a major impact on its success. You must consider how far the event is from where the majority of attendees are coming from. A distance that allows for a reasonably priced Uber ride is highly recommended. You don’t want people driving to a function. Depending on the type of event, the start time should be appropriate to match the crowd and energy. Also keep in mind the features of the venue. What is the max capacity? Or the vibe the space gives off? Overall, is the venue suitable for your event? You want to make sure your audience is having the best experience possible. If you are charging, does the price of the venue fit your budget? Will you be able to make a reasonable profit? And most of all, is the space safe? You do not want any accidents or any major injuries on your hands. In fact, if you think a lot of people are coming, it could be a good idea to invest in event insurance--better to be safe than sorry.

Pick a Date

When it comes to picking the perfect date for your event, it is crucial that that you keep in mind the variables that could really affect the outcome. Variables such as holidays can boost the number of participants. Everyone may have a whole week of work off, plus everyone will be in the holiday spirit. However, for some holidays people may want to spend time with their families, so plan accordingly. Lots of people might go visit out-of-town family members. Good dates would be a couple days leading up to the holiday or a couple days after when the holiday spirit isn’t all the way gone. Make sure there are not many events on the same day as yours. And if there are, your event better be the one everyone is planning on going to. Otherwise, you’ll have heavy competition and will lose attendance.


Security is a must. The safety of your peers is always more important than having a good time. People can be reckless and there are people out there looking for trouble. No exceptions, get security. Security is helpful for crowd and line control. Once you get to the level when you have lines out the door, security will be able to control the crowd, and keep them from causing a traffic hazard. They also help control underage drinking.  Underage drinking and open bottles are some of the main reasons all-ages events get shut down. They're also trained to pat people down so that everyone in the area is safe. When a fight breaks out, your security should be the ones that stop it and kick the troublemakers out and away from the premises.

Photo: Steady Parties


Promotion should start at least 2 weeks ahead of the event, however, a month in advance is highly recommended. Flyers, graphics, and video content are all good promotional material. A flyer can make or break you. If the flyer looks boring then the audience you’re trying to reach will think it’s boring. If the flyer is poppin’, then the flyer will gain more attention and will be memorable. People will also be more likely to share. Make sure to put ALL relevant information on the flyer, however, keep the text nice and simple. Nobody wants to read a lot when looking at flyer. Lastly, have everybody and they momma post the flyer. The more people see it, the more people will arrive!! Promotional material like videos, articles, and photos should all be used. The more your brand is embedded in someone's mind, the more interactions you will receive. That's the main goal of marketing. You want as many people talking about your brand as possible.


Collaborating with others is a easy way to increase attendance at your events. Collaborating with or booking artists allows you to gain attention from a larger crowd of potential attendees. It creates diversity and widens your audience. This also applies to other collectives, sponsors, and partners. By collaborating you are building relationships and building a bigger market for yourself. These collaborations can also be turned into relationships; as the artists grow, you may grow with them. As an event organizer you’ll be the one they call on. In this game it’s all about connections, and those connections are what’s going to take you to the top.

Photo: Steady Parties

Run of Show

For pure party functions performances should be kept minimal, but if you want to put your homie on go ahead but if the crowd isn’t a majority homies, expect some backlash. Some people aren’t open to listening to new music while at functions. However, if you have one headliner and maybe two performances before that you should be ok. Just make sure performances don’t go over 10 minutes.

For parties, keeping the music rolling is the most important thing you can do. Dead space at a party is super awkward and people will start making their way to the door. Try to save your hyphy music towards the end of the function. If everyone gets hyped up at the beginning of the event they will just to want to keep on going up. It is hard to come back from that. It is the DJ’s job to control the vibe of the party. Gradually build the energy up to its climax. This way, you don’t run out of music and the environment is controlled.

Photo: Steady Parties

Towards the end of the function it is important that you gradually calm your audience down. You don’t want your crowd causing trouble outside of your event because they are still all hyped up. End the night with some throwbacks or some slow jams. Something people will still be able to dance to but vibe out as well. By doing this you create a safe place for people to get home.


When it comes to booking the venue you must consider how many tickets you’ll have to sell in order to make your money back (if you are hoping to charge.) For example, if the venue costs $500 for the night, a $10 ticket would be a good price to make your money back and make profit off the event. All you need to do is have 50 or more people slide through and you are good. The ticket price all depends on how many people you can bring in, and how much the venue costs. Also keep in mind all the other expenses that may pop up. Keeping track of your spending is very important: you’ll be less likely to lose money, figure out where money is needed, and figure out how to save.

During the event have someone you trust be in charge of the money. Preferably someone who is able to really handle themselves. Someone who is able to say no when they need to. Throughout the event the person in charge of the money should be emptying it into a safe place almost once or twice during the night. People are always watching and if the money gets into the wrong hands at least you’ll have money in a safe place. It is not safe to have a lot money in one place the whole night.

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