This post is a bit late; I’ve been too busy working on a Halloween costume. But it’s up, all the same
For those of you that missed it, Digital Summer was a party last Wednesday (produced by the lovely Liana Burtsava and Eliane Fiolet, and hosted by Girls in Tech and Ubergizmo) that brought together tech, photography, and fashion for one of the hottest mixers I’ve been to in awhile. When all was said and done, they also raised money to plant nearly 1000 trees in Honduras! Yay for good times and good causes!
But what exactly happened that made it oh so right? While ideally I’d like to sit down with Liana and ask, here are some tips I saw that might help your next event get there.
- Set a high standard. By making their banners beautiful and artistic, by setting a dress code, and by announcing a semi-professional photo shoot area at the event, people came, and looked good. People want to feel pretty, and be surrounded by pretty people, and Liana and Eliane made sure everyone knew this would be an event for that. Man, I saw people in suits that I didn’t know owned anything other than their company tshirts.
- Keep a (pretty) line outside. This related to #1 – a line of people in tshirts and jeans is much less interesting than a line of beautiful women and international men. Sure, people complained about the line, but really not that much. And folks on the street asked what was going on. Have the venue open 5-10 minutes late. Tell the doorman there is no rush to get people in. But be aware, this is a fine line (no pun intended), and keeping people out in the cold or out too long will breed discontent.
- Be liberal with media titles and promotion. Make people feel important. When I knew I’d be able to skip the line as media, it inspired me to write more about the event; to earn that privilege. I pimped this event to numerous friends and colleagues because my logo would be up there, and I wanted people to see.
- Unite sexy genres. A tech mixer comes off as dull to the laymen. Sure, he likes social media and all, but aren’t all techies just geek guys, he asks? My most popular events have been when SFbeta teamed up with Virgance (green tech is sexy) and when we worked with Glam Media (with a name like Glam, what’s to miss?). Liana and Eliane did this beautifully. By working with tech bloggers, Girls in Tech,and local fashion and make-up artists, they were able to make a tech mixer that catered to women, to fashion, and to the media, without anything feeling forced. This increased their audience without decreasing experience.
- Free drinks. Well, media got a free drink, but otherwise, thiey didn’t do this. But they didn’t need to, since they hit the other points so well. Offer a free drink to every attendee at your event, and you’ll draw the crowds.
- Hawt sponsors and partners. Sponsors are most certainly not just for the money. Sponsors promote the event to their clients, they give away schwag, and they get their name on everything. If you can be picky, do it. HP was there, showing off their awesome touch screens and mini-laptops. There were also Coveroo iPhone etched covers going on and eye-lash extensions being added by star artists Bianca Lucescu and Candy Walker. I dont know if either of those were paying sponsors, but that doesn’t matter. They were a perk for attendees, and that will more than pay for itself. Even if you don’t have sponsors as cool as these, work with them to design something engaging they can do or give away; it’ll leave them feeling more pleased with the investment, and will draw more crowds.
So congratulations ladies, on a wonderful evening! And good luck to the rest of you; I’m sure you shall be fabulous!