Event Planning Business – Real Story

Have you ever considered going into an event planning business? In the modern world this is a really developing area. Artgetting talked to Sean Hood (Edinburgh, Scotland), who organizes events inviting DJs to the different parties.

As far as I know, you’ve been organizing events in Edinburgh for several years, please, tell us what your business is based on, and what your team does.

Sean: I co-own and manage two events businesses which host regular music events in the UK. We book internationally recognised artists both independently and in collaboration with record labels, festivals and promoters. Our events are focused towards people who have a strong relationship and knowledge of dance music.

– How did you get the idea to do just that kind of business? What attracted you to it?

S.: Me and my classmate both shared a love of dance music. We were active supporters of our local scene and the idea of our own brand evolved from a practical assignment in our second-year events management module.

– What are the largest events you organized? Which one do you remember the most and why?

S.: FLY is as big as it gets, so our (SLVR) FLY Club take over at Cabaret Voltaire was a standout. But the L’anatomie launch party at Sneaky Pete’s is my personal highlight – we booked Marcus Worgull of Innervisions. Everyone danced 5 hours straight, we literally had sweat dripping from the walls.

Tell us about communication with DJs and their agents, because undoubtedly, this was the key task of your business.

S.: There is not much to tell. It is weeks’ of emailing back and forth. We overpaid in the beginning, as we were young and lacked experience. We soon learned the art of negotiating and felt more comfortable approaching bigger fish.

-When you started your business where you found the first customers?

S.: Naturally, our crowds are predominantly student, as Edinburgh is home to four major universities.

– What can you advise to those who want to organize events? where do they start?
Take it very seriously or you will lose a lot of money!

S.: Find likeminded people and share the costs of putting on an event – you will gain much experience, have fun, and expand into better things in the future. 
The idea is to sell as many tickets as possible, so do not scrimp and save! Book successful artists and reputable venues. Spend money on a real graphic designer with relevant experience for promotional materials. Find warm up acts that will attract a crowd from beyond your own social circles to the event.
By doing the above, you will have long term success and avoid being a two-bit dime a dozen promoter trying to sell out an awful venue with friends as residents messing around on a laptop.

-What’s the hardest thing about this business?

S.: For us – Edinburgh. The local scene is very dense, and it is a small city by European standards. People prefer to drink and have party at home . It’s important to find acts that will guarantee ticket sales and venues that are intimate enough to sell out.

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