This past month I threw my first ever event independent from another organization or business. I teamed up with one of my best friends from high school, Estuardo Perez, to throw a large scale event at a local campus bar, designed to give local businesses more exposure to the student community and bring the University of Oregon community together for a fun night we can all look back on. Estuardo and I had been talking about throwing an event like this our last year of college for the last three years so throwing this event had been in the back of our heads for awhile. We both have a lot of experience in the media industry and with event planning so we thought it would be effective to come together and use each others expertise to really plan something great. We decided to make the theme of the night a throwback music theme (90s and early 2000s) to really generate excitement on campus and mix up the music that is usually played at the local bar. We also noticed that Thursdays are the bar's slowest nights so we wanted to challenge ourselves to see if we can really make a difference in drink sales on a Thursday night. Although balancing the planning of the event along with other jobs and school was hard at times, the work and time we put into making this event happen was all worth it in the end.
Making this event happen required us to create relationships with many different people that would help make the event go as efficiently as possible. First, we had to get the manager of the bar to agree to let us throw the event there. Then we had to seek out businesses with similar branding to sponsor and table at the event, in which they would hand out samples and free goodies to people as they came and went. Then we had to find a DJ that would put together a playlist based on the throwback theme and would perform at the event. We also had to work with the manager to come up with drink specials for the event that would tailor towards college students. The final and most important step of planning the event was promoting and marketing it to the community. We created a Facebook event page and used Instagram and Twitter platforms to promote the event. We also created a banner and placed flyers around campus, advertising the event.
In conclusion, the event was a total success. With a zero dollar budget, it was amazing to see how it all worked out. We increased drink sales by 49% and the bar surpassed $9,900 in drink sales in one night. We were also able to facilitate four businesses to sponsor at the event and attract over 2,000 students to come to the event. It looked like everyone had a great time and we received great feedback following the event. Based on the success of our first event, Estuardo and I are excited to throw more big events as the year goes on and we plan on building on each one to make our events better and better each time. This has been a great experience for me and I hope to take what I've learned into my future career.