On Organizing Events
My advice to new organizers
Good god(s), I am giving advice to “new” organizers. What does that make me? An OLD organizer? Please tell me you realize I am making this shit up as I go. Ya know what never mind, let us focus on the topic at hand.
First, pick a vetting standard and stick to it. I get it, you didn’t ask to be a leader and yet you clearly are based on your initiative and actions so welcome aboard, it’s not so lonely at the top if you’re not scared of being vulnerable, but I digress.
Step one is set your vetting standards and stick to them and don’t apologize. There is NOTHING wrong with having standards of conduct or a door list or rules or the like. After all, you are the one taking initiative and organizing so go right ahead and set the bar high, for both yourself and your guests because you (and they) can do it. Meet me, meet a friend of mine, go to a munch, attend a class first, whatever your vetting standards are, pick one, and stick to it.
Second, contact other organizers in your area and say hello. No, I am not telling you to seek their permission or blessing to follow your passion and do what you want, I am telling you to say hello.
They have been there, they have done that, they have learned a thing or three on the way. They will give you feedback that largely is a reflection of their experience and not you but that does not make it invalid or useless, in fact, if you listen carefully to them you can skip right on over their mistakes and get busy making your own ;-) Try to avoid conflicting schedule when possible, smile graciously, listen closely, then do it, create the event, and move on.
Third, charge a door fee and have rules. Do not charge a door fee out of greed or because you are trying to make money but do it because, as that dusty old book called the bible taught me (on the rare occasion it was right) “Where your money is so shall your heart be”. When people invest money to come to what you are doing they are clearly committed and prioritizing what you are doing and ergo, when they see the rule sheet and sign (or initial on) the dotted line they are now emotionally invested in you and what you are doing and will act accordingly.
Fourth, if you do happen to make money from the event after beverages and venue costs, invest it back into the very people who gave you the money in the first place. Some events I have lost money but mostly I am on the plus side by a bit and you know what I do with it? I spend it, on house rope, or rigs I donate to events or you get the idea. If you are doing this for money you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Go ahead and break even or make a few bucks but then do it again and invest those bucks forward, your heart and mind will thank you for doing it over and over again.
Lastly, have fun or you will burn out, I still love organizing education and teaching rope and they day I stop loving it I’ll stop doing it, period.