Often times over the past few years I’ve heard many people say they are hesitant to organise events because of the perceived money and time it takes to be a host. I get it. I don’t have a lot of spare time OR a bucket load of cash to throw around either.
Being low in both of these things has meant that I’ve had to be creative when looking for social events to organise. Nowadays, my growing personal and business priorities have gotten in the way of hosting as many events as I would like so I’m hoping that there are those out there who can help continue my efforts in bringing women together in social networking events.
To help get you started, here are my top three easy to organise social events that won’t cost you extra money or time!
By far my favourite kind of event because it’s about as fuss free as they come!
HOW TO ORGANISE:
Find a local cafe that has large tables and is friendly to larger groups. Decide on a preferred day and time that suits you and start promoting the event. I like to check with a cafe to find out their quietest day and choose that day – not only does this mean we’re going to find seating more easily, it’s also giving the cafe a boost in their business for that day.
The AWSC can help you by setting up the event pages on Facebook & Meetup, plus promote your event through our social media, website and newsletter. It’s also a good idea to share the event links within your own networks and Facebook Groups specific to your local area. If a large number of people have RSVP’d then it’s a good idea to give the cafe a heads up a couple of days before that your group is coming.
Aside from attending the event itself, a few minutes to decide on the venue, day and time is sometimes all the time you need!
Everyone pays for their own order so the only cost to you will be whatever you order for yourself.
The day and time of your event will determine who attends. If you’d like mostly business/working women to attend then you might organise a breakfast or weekend coffee date, whereas most mums are likely to want to meet on weekdays after dropping older kids off at school and before younger kids need a nap.
Most local pubs will have a bistro area that sell old fashioned pub grub including steak sangas, chicken parmis, and seafood baskets. Lunch menus are often cheaper with many meals starting at only $10. Add to this the growing number of venues with kids rooms, and you’ve found a great location for a casual get-together.
HOW TO ORGANISE:
Find a venue that has large tables and a good variety of food. Next, decide on whether you’ll meet for lunch or dinner, and a preferred day that suits you. I always recommend doing a quick check of the pub’s social media to make sure there is no large events happening at the same time that may impact on your group. For example, it’s hard to hold a conversation if there’s a loud rock band playing in house!
Once you’ve chosen the date/time you can start spreading the word through the Aussie Women’s Social Circle network and your local social media contacts. Keep an eye on RSVP’s and a few days beforehand, call the venue to reserve a table based on the expected numbers.
Aside from a couple of hours actually attending the event, this one takes less than an hour all up, with checking the date you’ve chosen, calling the venue to book a table, promoting the event and tracking the RSVP’s. Setting up and promoting the event on the AWSC website & social media is mostly handled for you which saves you even more time.
Everyone pays for their own meals so the only cost to you will be whatever you order for yourself.
For these casual events, I try and limit the numbers to a smaller number such as 12. This means we can all sit at one table, and it’s easier to ensure a reservation. It also avoids the possibility of being asked to book a separate function room if you end up getting lots of RSVPs (which could incur costs in the hundreds of $$!)
Playdate in the Park
Ok, so the title above might have you thinking this one is only for mums but hear me out! It can be a literal ‘playdate’ with mums bringing their kids along and enjoying some socialising while the kids play. Or take advantage of the public bbq’s and organise a sausage sizzle or perhaps a Sunday morning brunch. You could gather everyone for a casual walk along the river or around a sporting field, or organise to meet at a local market or community event.
HOW TO ORGANISE:
Decide on what your event will be (BBQ, mums group, fitness, etc) and choose a day/time that suits you. Set up the event with AWSC and together we’ll promote your event. Your event type will then determine what else you need to organise. A mums group, for example, won’t need much at all, but a BBQ will require some more preparation.
Again this really depends on the type of event you choose. For a mums group or casual walk meetup, it won’t take much more than deciding the day/time. For a BBQ where you are providing food, then you will need time to shop beforehand.
To keep costs down, I’d recommend asking guests to bring a plate to share or to simply bring their own food. Alternatively, ask for a small cash contribution to cover expected costs – however, be prepared that if people don’t show up on the day you may find yourself covering more than your share!
What the AWSC helps you with
Once you’ve decided on the event/day/time, I’m here to help you with setting up your event through the Aussie Women’s Social Circle Facebook Page and Meetup Group. I will also include your event in the weekly newsletter, and share it within the AWSC Facebook Groups, and on our Twitter & Instagram feed.
There is absolutely NO cost to you for setting up social events and having it promoted through the AWSC. All we ask is that events follow our guidelines found here, especially in keeping things social in nature and blindsiding guests with a sales pitch (authentic networking we love, sneaky promos we don’t)
What happens if no one shows up?
I’m not gonna lie – this could happen. The trick I’ve learnt is to go in with an open heart and take each event as they come. I’ve had 35 people RSVP only to then have six show up, and other times there’s been 5 people RSVP yet 15 show up on the day.
I always have a ‘back-up’ plan with me and in fact, would take my laptop in my handbag for the first year of organising coffee dates – if no one showed then at least I could do some work. And yes, I have had events where no one has showed up! I used each one as a learning experience – maybe I didn’t promote it enough, maybe the day or time didn’t suit, perhaps the venue wasn’t right.
Sometimes it can be the fact it’s a new event and people don’t know you yet! It might take a few events for you to find your groove, start the word of mouth referrals and get a consistent attendance.
Just think, what’s the worst that could happen in the event of a no-show? You sit at a table by yourself and enjoy a meal alone? That is NOT a bad thing!
Who can organise an event with the AWSC?
Any woman currently based in Australia who has a keen interest in meeting new people! You might have recently moved to a new area and aren’t sure how to meet new people. Perhaps you’ve become a new mum and would love to meet other women who can relate to your new life. Or maybe you just see a need for a social networking group in your area!
When I first started organising events for women in my local area I had zero experience in organising anything! But now, I have a beautiful circle of friends that I would never have met otherwise. I’m an introvert with social anxiety, so if I can do it anyone can!
Ready to organise your event?
Let’s do it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with what event type you’d like to host. Allow a minimum of two weeks prior to your chosen date to ensure we have time to promote.