How To Get Started In Event Planning By Volunteering
Are youÂ ready to plan events, but do you stop yourself because you’re struggling to figure out how to get started and get the experience you need?
In todayâ€™s brand new episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV, serial entrepreneur and one of the most generous people Iâ€™ve ever met, Tuan Nguyen, sits down with me to discuss how to get started in event planning by volunteering.
The tips Tuan shares in this video arenâ€™t like any youâ€™ve heard before so take notes!
How To Get Started In Event Planning By Volunteering
Whether you’re looking for an event planning job or you have our own event business, volunteering makes you a stronger candidate for the job and improves your chances of behind hired.
Volunteering for events helps you acquire skills and knowledge, network, and improves your decision making skills. Additionally, it shows that you’re motivated and hard-working, and many organizations hire volunteers because of a job well-done and because of the established relationship.
Tuan and I realize that itâ€™s not as easy as it sounds to get started in event planning by volunteering. However, getting in front of your ideal event clients and involved in your community is the perfect way to get experience and build your rolodex (nobody born after 1985 will know what that is!). It also helps you expand your network to people you ma not otherwise meet.
If you’ve been wondering how to break into the event planning industry, or get in front of potential clients, today’s episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV is for you.
Now, Tuan and I would like to hear from you.
In the comments below, let us know which part of event planning youâ€™re most passionate about and why. Do you love the planning process, event execution, dĂ©cor or selling clients on your event concepts and ideas?
Have you volunteered to learn or improve your event skills and knowledge?
Remember, links to outside videos and posts are deleted because they appear as SPAM.
We love hearing from our worldwide event community so thank you so much for sharing your comments.
P.S. to learn more about Tuan, visit dudebudha.com
[00:00:00] Melanie: Hi event planners, itâ€™s Melanie from eventplanningblueprint.com. Welcome back to another episode of EventPlanning BlueprintTV. Our guest today is Tuan Nguyen and we are going to be talking about how to get started in event planning by volunteering. And this is a question that comes up a lot â€“ â€śHow do I get started? How do I get experience?â€ť I know if youâ€™ve been watching me for a while, Iâ€™ve shared with how I got started with event planning many, many years ago â€“ I almost donâ€™t want to say how many years ago, and that was through volunteering.
So Iâ€™ve invited Tuan here to be with us today because he has an incredible story to share with you about it. So Tuan, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to Event Planning Blueprint and I would love to hear â€“ letâ€™s just hear about you first and then weâ€™ll get into your story.
[00:00:50] Tuan: All right, thanks for having me, and hello viewers. Howâ€™s it going? So I guess Iâ€™ll start with where I am today and then Iâ€™ll trace it back, because where I am today is all due to volunteering, 100 percent. And so right now I run a little side project. Itâ€™s called DudeBuddha. I help curate lessons for awesome business followers. I want to bring more engaged business followers into this world, but thatâ€™s a side project.
What I actually do for a living, the biggest one is Health Genie. I offer business advisory services to dental group, so Iâ€™m a consultant and I have four staff and itâ€™s pretty cool. And then I offer online courses for government employees who are about to retire and they want to start up their own business. So itâ€™s very niche and itâ€™s a lot of fun to work with people who donâ€™t want to retire who have too much energy to work.
So how did I get there? Well Iâ€™ll even take one step back. Before that, I started four online directories with a bunch of friends, made millions of dollars and donated virtually all my side of the money to charity. And so then people ask, â€śHow did you get started with online directories and the Internet?â€ť And it all started with volunteerism
So long story short, as an immigrant coming to Canada, I was very grateful to volunteer to the community, so I always gave back to the community and I started very young. I would organize little volleyball tournaments, birthday parties, fundraisers. Everything was a fundraiser and I didnâ€™t realize my commit to fundraising would create such a strong, professional status for me in this world.
And then when I hit business school, I did business and I started realizing how people make money, and that was when it was a complete eye-opener, because I grew up in the projects. I grew up on welfare my whole life. And so when I started realizing how people made money, a lot of my classmates were trying to figure out how to create a business. I was thinking, â€śWow, I can apply this to volunteerism and raise more money for charities.â€ť
So already to me was just gathering people, so for me, the art of volunteerism and event planning, the beautiful thing about events is itâ€™s a gathering of people to celebrate something, to learn something, to contribute to something, and everybody grows in every event, right? So I noticed thatâ€™s what event planning for fundraising was.
And I actually saw the opposite. I was just fundraising and I leveraged event planning to fundraise. It wasnâ€™t event planning to fundraise. So I came from the other side of the equation.
And little did I know that my intention to maximize, because I only had 10 to 15 hours a week of volunteering, little did I know that my intent to maximize what I can raise, how many people I can mobilize, how many people can I reach to market the event to get people to buy tickets and all that stuff, little did I realize that that created a skill set to allow me to create really, really successful events, not just in terms of attendees, but in terms of the bottom line, making money for the charity.
And so because of the commitment to bringing value in and raising money for charity, it led me into networks of professionals who were very influential, and it was they who pulled me into the world of entrepreneurship. And Iâ€™m grateful to these mentors of mine because I was just literally fundraising while being a tax accountant at the same time, making my $27,000 a year.
And it was amazing to see these individuals with a lot of experience watching me fundraise, watching me plan events, watching me be really meticulous in everything I do. And they said, â€śDude, man, youâ€™ve got something more special than just fundraising. Youâ€™ve got to get into the world because youâ€™re being wasted in the accounting firm,â€ť not that itâ€™s bad to be an accountant, but for me.
So thatâ€™s the story where it led to a series of entrepreneurship, mentorship, partnerships and we launched a lot of really cool initiatives, both from a community perspective and from an entrepreneurship perspective. So Iâ€™m very grateful for what Iâ€™ve done.
[00:04:46] Melanie: I love that. And you also wrote a book on event planning. [00:04:50] Tuan: Yes, I did. I wrote a book on event planning for two reasons. One â€“ people always ask me, â€śHow do you plan an event?â€ť and the other thing was my online directories, one of my sites was OttawaConventions.com, and itâ€™s sold. I donâ€™t know what it is right now to be honest, but from a search engine optimization perspective, I knew that if I had really, really focused content on event planning, anyone who would search for events would land on my website, Ottawa Conventions, which eventually became Canadian Conventions and it was in 16 cities, and it was really just a directory for anything to do with events â€“ so all the locations, sound and lighting, we even had a section for volunteers, those who wanted to volunteer. It was a pretty wicked, wicked directory just for event planning.
That lasted a few years until Google stepped into the directory space and then I moved onto other things really.
[00:05:51] Melanie: Thatâ€™s awesome. And so I know that you have a process for getting started through volunteering. Can you share some of that process with our viewers? Like I said at the beginning, I get this question a lot â€“ â€śHow do I get experience in event planning? How do I get started in event planning?â€ť And weâ€™re here to talk about that. So Iâ€™d love to hear about it. [00:06:11] Tuan: Yeah, for sure. So most of my friends who actually love event planning, they like the idea of organizing, they like the idea of gathering people, but thereâ€™s one thing that I believe needs to be done first, which is a look at yourself.
I always say event planning or volunteerism or volunteering is the one of the best teachers you can engage. And so through volunteerism, you can ask Mr. or Mrs. Volunteer to teach you something, anything you want.
So I, for example, Iâ€™m good with numbers. Iâ€™m good with organizing. Iâ€™m very meticulous. But the truth is because I grew up speaking Vietnamese, English and French, my communication skills, Iâ€™ve lacked a lot of confidence. And early on, without realizing, I set goals, personal goals for myself to be a better person at the end of volunteering.
So the first thing is even before saying who you want to help, what you want to do, all that, is recognize that youâ€™re going to have to create an opportunity to grow as a person. Thatâ€™s number one.
And so for my friends, theyâ€™re the opposite. Theyâ€™re like super creative, and most of my event planners are super creative, super meticulous, but guess what? Iâ€™ll be honest, at least 60 percent of the event planners I know organize an event and lose money. So guess what? Financial literacy is very important.
And so when I work with my friends who are in event planning and I help them out, I tell them, â€śStart a volunteer project, but before you start, tell yourself you need to improve financial literacy.â€ť And what could that mean? It can mean whatever I do, Iâ€™m going to bring in someone from an accounting firm to manage my money, but Iâ€™m going to actually work closely with this person the most, because Iâ€™m going to learn how theyâ€™re going to set this up because then you can improve your financial literacy skills. So there are a lot of things you can use through volunteerism. So thatâ€™s one, of course.
And then the other thing, weâ€™re going to go through your typical â€“ this is probably very predictable, but youâ€™ve got to ask yourself what motivates you, what bothers you in this world that you really want to make a difference.
[00:08:22] Melanie: So what are you passionate about? [00:08:23] Tuan: Yeah, and Iâ€™ll be honest, I went through a depression because I was addicted to volunteerism actually and I helped everyone I could. But then when I kind of had this bout of depression, itâ€™s because I started helping things that didnâ€™t resonate with me as much. I felt the quality of my work eventually start dissipating.
So itâ€™s really important to be honest with yourself, and thereâ€™s a combination of things â€“ finding out what you love, like five or three things you really care about, and then there are five or three things out there that can marry you, marry with what you love to do and care about that can provide you greater opportunity to grow.
So Iâ€™ll give you an example. I was hospitalized as a child, so childrenâ€™s hospitals are very important. I can help a small local charity here in Ottawa with a fundraising initiative, but I chose to go to a big name first, like SickKids in Toronto. And leveraging and giving back to a big name allowed me to sell my event better, allowed me to attract the brands that are well known, and I did that for two years. I was known for this guy who helped SickKids. And the network that supports SickKids is massive too, the professionals, the people, the sponsors, theyâ€™re big, big people, and believe it or not, you get noticed when youâ€™re really into it.
And so fast-forward two, three years later. Now Iâ€™ve leveraged my notoriety, my network of very powerful people Iâ€™ve now built relationships with, and I organize little grassroots events for the smaller charities and I help the small guys, because my passion is always helping the small people.
So if you guys are out there and youâ€™re starting, first really know what you want to grow for yourself and admit to yourself where your strengths are know that, Iâ€™m not going to say to focus on your weaknesses, but understand the areas where youâ€™re weak in. You donâ€™t have to be an expert in the space, but especially with things like money, you donâ€™t want to lose money. Itâ€™s the biggest reason why event planners stop event planning, right?
[00:10:15] Melanie: Itâ€™s true. Itâ€™s true. Actually, I openly share this story all the time with people because when I started my event planning business, my very first event, I lost money and it was a huge wakeup call for me. And it was like, â€śOkay, I can either quit, which would be really easy to do and go work for the Man again,â€ť and I was not into that at all or I can learn what it actually means to be profitable in my event business and how do I do that. And thatâ€™s what I did. I was like, â€śI donâ€™t want to lose money every time. This is fun and I love it, but Iâ€™m not in business to lose money.â€ť
[00:10:51] Tuan: Yeah, exactly. So right, exactly. So youâ€™re really going to have to know the financial side. So if you guys are there, one thing that I recommend is whether you include someone in your event or whatever volunteer project you want to create, definitely have someone who can help you with the financial side. I donâ€™t want you guys to do something you love and have to quit because you canâ€™t afford to keep doing it.
And so preparation is key, and thatâ€™s number two, or actually itâ€™s number three. So number one is choosing and knowing how you want to grow. Number two is deciding whatâ€™s really important to you. Number three is the research, which is finding things that are really aligned with you.
You can go network. You can go to the Internet, social media. You can call people, businesses. I really take all these steps. And itâ€™s also okay to try a few different things. I have done several events that didnâ€™t work. I have lost money â€“ donâ€™t get me wrong â€“ doing events, but I tested events where I wouldnâ€™t lose a lot of money. Do you know what I mean? So if I wanted to try something out, itâ€™s okay to start with a smaller event. You donâ€™t have to start big. Everyone tries to start big. I did really small events at first, but funny enough, some of the events that still go on today, itâ€™s been 20 years, they were all small events and theyâ€™re a little bit bigger than they used to be, but they now raise four or five times more money. Theyâ€™re just that much more efficient.
[00:12:20] Melanie: Right? [00:12:22] Tuan: And we just know how to create value to attract the money, which I can talk about later on if you want in terms of like how to attract money. Thereâ€™s a way to attract money in event planning. [00:12:34] Melanie: Yeah, letâ€™s do that.
[00:12:36] Tuan: Yeah, so there are types of volunteer projects, which I wonâ€™t talk about that more because if youâ€™re doing event planning, thatâ€™s what youâ€™re doing. I normally talk about types of event planning where you want to be a volunteer, you want to be a manager, you want to be a leader. Iâ€™m going to assume in this case all the viewers here want to lead and take the charge, so thatâ€™s very, very important.
[00:12:53] Melanie: I like that assumption.
[00:12:57] Tuan: Okay, awesome. So once you do the research in your line, I could provide if you want later on a list of questions that you can research and ask organizations. I have 10 to 20 questions you can ask the organizations whatâ€™s their purpose, whatâ€™s their mission, how do they support projects even. How do SickKids support projects? How can you leverage your network? If itâ€™s a small organization, of course, they will rely on you, but I always start with kind of a bigger one just to feel, just to get a bit more support, and then you eventually break away.
[00:13:35] Melanie: Letâ€™s put those questions in the blog post.
[00:13:37] Tuan: Yeah, I will.
[00:13:39] Melanie: Yeah, so if youâ€™re on YouTube watching this, make sure you head over to the blog post. The link will be below so you can click on that and get those questions.
[00:13:48] Tuan: Yeah, thatâ€™s awesome. Itâ€™s very important to have mentors and advisors in your life. So I could tell you my top three advisors who helped me â€“ a man named Max Keeping, heâ€™s a former VP at CTV News, and then Harry Rosen, the suit guy, and this guy named Dave Reddy, who was the VP at SKIO, which is the SickKids in Ottawa. These are the three men who mentored me for a decade.
[00:14:12] Melanie: Nice.
[00:14:13] Tuan: Dave is the guy who knows how to take business concepts and strategies and apply it to fundraising. I knew these were very important elements of fundraising and event planning. Max Keeping was about communication. Heâ€™s CTV, right? Heâ€™s about people. Heâ€™s about inspiring. So I learned so much from him too. So you have this support group that allows you to flourish as a leader and as an event planner.
So I always have a group of advisors who I connect with once a month, or if Iâ€™m planning the event, I say, â€śHey, Iâ€™ll be calling you once a week up to the event. Is that okay?â€ť Theyâ€™re like, â€śYeah, itâ€™s cool.â€ť
[00:14:48] Melanie: And so did you approach them about mentoring because I think mentorship is very important and Iâ€™ve had a number of mentors in my life as well and still do? And Iâ€™ve always been the one to ask them, â€śHey, will you mentor me because I want to learn from you?â€ť
[00:15:02] Tuan: Absolutely. I approach them and I said, â€śListen. I think youâ€™re amazing. I respect what you do and Iâ€™d love to learn from you.â€ť And I was 19 years old when I said this to the first guy, and by 25, I had so much mentorship and I did very well in fundraising and itâ€™s all volunteer and I raised a lot of money for charity.
[00:15:21] Melanie: Yeah, weâ€™re going to talk about that in a second, and weâ€™ll go through the process and talk a little more about the money side of it and how to make money.
[00:15:28] Tuan: Yeah, and after that, you literally start picking a project and then you move forward, because Iâ€™m not going to talk about the actual event planning process, because itâ€™s a whole separate discussion â€“ how to plan an event and all that. But get to that point where you know youâ€™re going to do it and now you have an event. Now you know what youâ€™re going to go and applying what you love to this group.
So Iâ€™ll talk about something real quickly about sports. I love sports. I do tons of fundraising with sports. I love music, fashion, dads singing â€“ so one of my flagship events is a dads-inspired Broadway fashion show, and itâ€™s done by business students, but the crowd, theyâ€™re all business professionals. Itâ€™s like 500 people, 400 business professionals and only 100 students. And I did that on purpose. Itâ€™s raised over a million dollars already in the last 10 years, all done by students, right?
But I take everything I love and I incorporate it into a charitable event. So if you like music, if you like cars, if you like horticulture, if you like pets, all this can be incorporated into something you love and actually contributed to something you like.
I like pets also and Iâ€™ve done fundraisers with dogs, primarily because Iâ€™m allergic to cats even though I love cats, but with dogs and it was fundraising for Childrenâ€™s Wish Foundation. So it doesnâ€™t have to be dogs for a humane society. You can literally direct the funds to anyone because a lot of dog lovers love to help kids too. Itâ€™s not because weâ€™re a dog lover that we only want to help the humane society or whatever or SPC or whatever it is, you know what I mean?
[00:17:00] Melanie: Yeah, you just have to get a little bit creative and start merging some of your passions, like youâ€™re multi-passionate and youâ€™ve merged many of those to have one event.
[00:17:08] Tuan: And once you get into this rhythm, it becomes a really natural cycle where you realize, â€śIâ€™m going to do this. Iâ€™m going to raise money with it. Iâ€™m going to plan an event, gather people to do it. Iâ€™m going to mountain bike, Iâ€™m going up and down every weekend. Iâ€™m going to gather people to go with me and Iâ€™ll ask for 20 bucks from each of them and Iâ€™ll raise 500 bucks to give it to this.â€ť It just becomes natural after a while.
[00:17:28] Melanie: Yeah, and I like that you also pointed out a little earlier that it doesnâ€™t have to be big. I think especially with social media, youâ€™re always seeing pictures and you have this idea that itâ€™s so easy and people are throwing these massive fundraisers and events and theyâ€™re so successful, and you donâ€™t necessarily need to start that way.
[00:17:46] Tuan: Yeah, for sure.
[00:17:47] Melanie: Sometimes the best events are the smaller, intimate ones.
[00:17:50] Tuan: I can share stories. I have so many things.
[00:17:51] Melanie: We love stories.
[00:17:53] Tuan: This guy, Sean, if youâ€™ve seen my TEDx talks, I talk about this one guy, and he was just raising money for his late wife and he just mountain bikes up and down a hill just in nearby Ottawa. And I said, â€śYo, just invite some friends and collect 10, 20 bucks. Itâ€™s whatâ€™s important to you. She would want you to do something you love for her. So just do that.â€ť
So at the beginning of the summer, he does that. By the end of the summer, heâ€™s getting 100 people up with him every weekend and he raises I donâ€™t remember how many tens of thousands of dollars when itâ€™s totaled up.
And within that group, because people talk to other people, â€śYo, are you going to join me on this thing? Itâ€™s great,â€ť one of the guys in the group was an executive for a company, which ended up hiring him and offering him a job, because he was not an event planner, right, but it started getting bigger and bigger and it was like, â€śOh shit, Iâ€™ve got to think about this and that and now there are senior citizens so Iâ€™ve got to change the course so itâ€™s more doable and more family-friendly and all that.â€ť
He started turning something that was just a weekly thing with 10, 20 guys and it grew so much to an amount that he became an event planner and he hustled and he reached out to me and he reached out to people for mentorship and by the end of it, the CEO of I think it was MBS [00:19:09] was the company, I donâ€™t remember to be honest, but he was so impressed with the meticulousness of this guyâ€™s ability to host an event, plan it, organize it, consider the people who are participating. It was just amazing to see this. And now heâ€™s in California.
And how did it happen? Volunteerism and planning an event around something he loved. Who would have thought?
[00:19:30] Melanie: Yeah, who would have thought? It wasnâ€™t his intention obviously at the beginning. He wasnâ€™t even charging any money for it. And yeah, I love that. And it makes me think too â€“ if people are watching this video, youâ€™re obviously interested in getting started in event planning, but you are probably interested in volunteering as well, so maybe just sit down and take stock. Write out 10 different things or maybe itâ€™s more than that or maybe itâ€™s even fewer, but just take stock of what it is you do in your life on a day-to-day basis, like thatâ€™s a great story. He was doing something for his wife and that he loved and all of a sudden, itâ€™s like this great event.
[00:20:09] Tuan: Exactly.
[00:20:10] Melanie: And people are recognizing him for that and hiring him.
[00:20:12] Tuan: Exactly.
[00:20:13] Melanie: Yeah, so I think that it would be good to pause the video here for a second and write down all those things as theyâ€™re coming to your mind.
[00:20:20] Tuan: Awesome. I love it. I love it.
[00:20:23] Melanie: All right. Thank you for sharing that story. I think it was inspirational and also really kind of created a nice picture.
[00:20:33] Tuan: No problem. My pleasure. So why donâ€™t we talk about fundraising?
[00:20:36] Melanie: Yeah, letâ€™s do that. So I just want to recap because Iâ€™ve got five points here in case anyone missed them. So financial literacy is important when youâ€™re getting started. Number two â€“ this is how I wrote them down so my eyes are going to shift a little â€“ what are you passionate about? Number three is preparation and research. Number four is mentors and advisors. And number five is to pick a project and the event. Did I miss anything?
[00:20:55] Tuan: And the one thing is to just make sure you know how you want to grow. The first step is a reflection of yourself as an event planner and saying that financial literacy is one of the areas that I insist on including, but you might want to improve speaking skills, leadership skills, strategy, whatever, software to plan, like MS Project or whatever. Just tell yourself, â€śThese are my goals personally from a professional development perspective when I do this,â€ť because this is how you can track yourself from mini-events to mini-events, and youâ€™re actually growing so much through this process if you get started like that.
[00:21:30] Melanie: Great. Yeah, I mean youâ€™re growing personally and growing the event. Yeah, good point. So letâ€™s talk about how to raise money through volunteering.
[00:21:38] Tuan: Yeah, so I mean Iâ€™ve taught this many different ways so Iâ€™m going to try to do a little quick one. At the end of the day, everybody has to win, right? And Iâ€™ll tell you the biggest challenge in terms of helping somebody win is the sponsor, the people giving the money, the people buying the tickets.
So event planners usually know typically how to give their guests a great time, so itâ€™s not difficult to show value to sell a ticket. Youâ€™ve got this event happening, youâ€™ve got this show, this speaker, whatever, like dancing, like dogs, so that is the easy part.
But where you actually make the money to cover core funding, like operating expenses, is typically through sponsorship. You want to make ticket sales to be the gravy and the sponsorships the cover, the operating cost.
And so how do you create value for sponsors? In the past, we would say to have the MC mention your name, weâ€™d have your logo on the screen and on the website. But people are way smarter than that now. Theyâ€™re like, â€śSo youâ€™ve got 10 people visiting your site a month. Thatâ€™s no value there.â€ť Youâ€™ve got to be more strategic, right?
And so Iâ€™ll give you an example. If you say Iâ€™m going to target dog walking â€“ Iâ€™m coming up with this off the top of my head here because Iâ€™m challenging myself to come up with something right now, not to give you something Iâ€™ve done before â€“ and if you get a group of people who love dog walking and you decide to say, â€śOkay, you know what Iâ€™m going to do? Iâ€™m going to target families that are typically into athleticism or sports or whatever,â€ť like theyâ€™re a particular niche of people, so Iâ€™m really into sports and my neighbor across the street has a dog too â€“ letâ€™s say I have a dog â€“ but you can tell that guy is not into sports. Heâ€™s not athletic, you know what I mean? But heâ€™s a great programmer, but weâ€™re not targeting him. Weâ€™re targeting people who are athletic. So then your whole marketing, your Facebook campaign or whatever youâ€™re reaching, youâ€™re calling friends, or all the partnership and the outreach is trying to drill down this particular market.
So then now you can go and ask someone who sells bikes or athletic gear and say, â€śWeâ€™re only targeting these people, so then weâ€™d like to expose you to these people. Weâ€™re consistently delivering you a very consistent crowd.â€ť So thatâ€™s what I do. I focus on bringing the crowd, because thatâ€™s whatâ€™s going to bring the value to the money in terms of getting visibility to people they care about.
They have to win. They do have to win. And theyâ€™re willing to help you. All these businesses are willing to help because they know how they can help you. But someone has to take the extra mile to think, â€śHow can we help them?â€ť And so first, being visible to the right group of people â€“ itâ€™s all visibility. If you can track it to sales, thatâ€™s great, but most sponsors, they donâ€™t think about how sales can result out of it. They know itâ€™s an outreach, a relationship starter, all that kind of stuff. So Iâ€™m going to share one secret for you guys that works phenomenally for me.
[00:24:45] Melanie: We love secrets, especially when you share them.
[00:24:48] Tuan: One of my hacks, right? So I do an event thatâ€™s focused on athletic people and itâ€™s a skateboard. So Iâ€™ve got a lot of young punk cool guys so now there are 150 skateboarders doing it. Itâ€™s â€śI Skate for SKIO,â€ť so â€śI Skate for SickKids â€“ I Skate for SKIO.â€ť And so we started reaching out to retail outlets who donâ€™t have typically a lot of cash flow. They sell skateboarding gear and all this stuff, but they have a massive email list. They have a massive newsletter. And then thereâ€™s Tough Mudder and Wilderness Tours and all these people who do canoeing and outdoor stuff, itâ€™s all along the same lines of the same people.
And so I reached out to all of them and Iâ€™d say, â€śCan you just do a blast for us and that would be the greatest value to help this event.â€ť And I explain to them, â€śBecause Iâ€™m going to put you guys down in my sponsor package and I am going to go to Royal Bank or someone, anyone, and say, â€śListen, you sponsor me. These are the 20 people who committed to doing a blast for this entire month leading up to it, and these are all their reaches.â€ť So one has 100,000. Wilderness Tours has 150,000 people they reach. And then when you add it up, itâ€™s millions of impressions and visibility and access to people, right?
And so for the platinum, youâ€™re going to get all of them, because itâ€™s your title, so itâ€™s going to be right there. And as you go down to bronze, you start taking less away, less visibility. So thatâ€™s one thing â€“ thatâ€™s how you attract sponsors. So thatâ€™s one side.
Okay, now Iâ€™m going to give you the other side. Now youâ€™re getting potential sponsorship money, and typically when I tell people I have a package, a sponsor package, itâ€™s 1,000, 750, 500 â€“ Iâ€™m going to keep it simple numbers. Which one would you like to try to sell the most? And most people tell me, â€śTuan, Iâ€™m going to go and sell all these gold sponsors for $1,000 instead of bronze, which is $500. But the way I structure my sponsor packages, itâ€™s like a retail shop. The bronze actually has the highest margin of them all, because Iâ€™m only giving one ticket away for bronze, because itâ€™s just bronze. But if you go to silver, itâ€™s $750, Iâ€™m giving them three tickets. And when I go to gold, itâ€™s $1,000, itâ€™s six tickets. So when you kind of divide it out, the per ticket revenue decreases as you go up.
So I typically go and say, â€śHey, can you give me $1,000?â€ť â€śOh, sorry Tuan, I donâ€™t have $1,000.â€ť â€śWell how about you give me $500?â€ť And imagine each ticket costs you $50 when you include overhead and all that â€“ Iâ€™ll keep it simple. Youâ€™re making $450 per head. And if you have a table of 10 people and you fill it with all bronze, youâ€™re making $4,500 per table. At 50 tables, youâ€™re raising a quarter of a million dollars just focusing on bronze.
So thereâ€™s a way to manage your budget and your offer and how you create extra value to get you the money are things like these newsletters. Itâ€™s things I call non-cash benefits, but are very valuable, because you took the effort to go and collate all that benefit that is going to cost no money to you. It costs you time. Thatâ€™s it.
So you combine all that and you offer it to potential sponsors. It increases your chances of them giving you the money. And when you think about margins and you think about how you can create that value and bring in the high margins and that, then youâ€™re creating an event where you actually wonâ€™t lose money. There you go.
[00:28:26] Melanie: I like that tip. Thatâ€™s awesome. Thatâ€™s fantastic. And like you said, itâ€™s a lot easier to sell the $500 one than the $1,000 ones and you end up making more money off of them for your charity. [00:28:38] Tuan: Exactly, and Iâ€™m going to end with this. Post-event â€“ â€śThank you for supporting us. We raised $100,000,â€ť and then you list everyone who supported you. Imagine you sold the event all bronze. Thatâ€™s a lot of bronze, which is what I did, back in the day when paper was really important â€“ now itâ€™s all online â€“ but newspaper was big back in the day, and people would look at two events beside each other, two thank-yous, and my event versus the other personâ€™s event. They had four sponsors and a bunch of little ones. And I have 150 sponsors and 150 logos on my thank you.
And so people would look at this and think, â€śIt looks like the whole city attended Tuanâ€™s event, like everyone was at this event. Why did I miss this event? Theyâ€™re all here. It must have been amazing.â€ť So from a PR perception perspective, my event always looked like it was more attended, more popular versus someone who just secured a $50,000 title sponsor, which is like putting all your eggs in one basket, while me, I lose two or three bronze sponsors the next year, I just have to recover those three bronze sponsors. Because I have the mutual fund approach where I can avoid the risk of raising less money in the next year because I have a lot of small sponsors that if I lose one, I can recover, no problem.
[00:29:51] Melanie: You recover, absolutely. And itâ€™s impressive to see that list as well and also a lot easier for the next event to get people out to the event and get more sponsors and show sponsors, â€śHey, here are all the people we had. Donâ€™t you want to be a part of this?â€ť Itâ€™s like theyâ€™ll feel left out if they arenâ€™t there. [00:30:10] Tuan: Yeah, exactly. [00:30:11] Melanie: Yeah, thatâ€™s fantastic. Thank you for sharing all of that knowledge. That is really great. And so weâ€™re going to wrap this up. Tuan has shared an amazing process with you in terms of how to get started using volunteering or by volunteering and then how to make some money when you are running your own event or even if youâ€™re working on a committee. These are great suggestions to use with that committee.
And so Tuan, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it. And event planners, thank you guys for being here as always. And I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Let me know what youâ€™re passionate about. Iâ€™d really like to know. It can be about event planning. It can be about absolutely anything. Give me a list. It can be one thing, it can be 100. I donâ€™t mind. I love to hear from you.
So make sure you do that in the comments below and if you havenâ€™t already, subscribe to our YouTube channel at EventPlanning BlueprintTV, and as always, come on over and visit me at eventplanningblueprint.com and make sure you sign up for our free weekly advice because I like to give giveaways and special treats to our list. So I look forward to seeing you there and we look forward to seeing you next time on EventPlanning BlueprintTV. Thanks.