How to produce holiday events for big companies?
November 17, 2010 5:10 PM   Subscribe

I've written a book that sort of makes me an expert on a particular subject. I'd like to leverage this "expertise" into providing entertainment for corporate parties, retreats, anything like that. But I don't know where to begin.

I say "sort of," because I'm not the end-all-and-be-all--that's just what the publicity people say I am.

But anyway: I've just published a book that's getting good attention. I don't think I'm going to make oodles of money on it, though I hope to at least earn back the advance. I *would* like to make some money, someday, at something, and the topic of my book is something that might lend itself to corporate parties or events or retreats. A comparable subject might be "DIY Circus Arts!" but less vulnerable to injury and litigation.

How do I take the first step at, say, getting Goldman Sachs to hire me to produce a holiday event that has "stations" for these circus arts? (Like at one station at the party you could learn fire-eating, one could be sword-swallowing, one juggling, etc.)

I'm doing a trial run for a friend's company's holiday party for free, so I'll know which circus arts work and which don't, in a party setting.

But after that, what to do? Build a web site, send out promotional materials, get liability insurance...what? How do I get the word out? Any thoughts appreciated.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This sounds like something that's going to require networking more than anything else. You can have promotional materials, a great website, and an interesting concept, but until you talk to the people who run the events for these big corporations, you're going to have a lot harder of a time getting in the door.

Doing an event for your friend's company for free is a great start. I would get to know the event planners for the corporations you're trying to break into and have informational interviews. Go to event planning conferences and rub elbows. Do some events, in a way, that are tied to your book and invite the people you want to impress.
posted by xingcat at 5:22 PM on November 17, 2010

Have you thought about contacting any mid-to-high-profile charities in your area who tend to put on fundraisers? Offering your services for a little above cost would be a great way to get some exposure and experience. Then make sure you have a ton of business cards and brochures on hand.
posted by smirkette at 5:43 PM on November 17, 2010

Find a lecture agency that works with a lot of corporate events - better yet, find several, and send all of them information about what you can do. You should be able to fin somebody who can advise you on putting together a package which would include video footage, headshot, activity description, and above all correct pricing!
posted by bq at 6:30 PM on November 17, 2010

First, don't expect a book you wrote to open the doors for you. It is a nice leave-behind or marketing material, but what will really get you business is networking networking networking.

Meet the high-ups, mingle with HR folks, get involved in high-profile community activities, do whatever you can.

Then get your website (make sure it looks professional) and start advertising online.
posted by Elminster24 at 10:14 PM on November 17, 2010

Youtube with a website embedded?
Offer to do entertainment at a Chamber of Commerce event (probably not too late for a Christmas party).
posted by parmanparman at 11:47 PM on November 17, 2010

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