I was a bit quiet last week (the laptop died and it is at least a million times harder blogging from my phone) but today I am back with the Book Events Series, in anticipation of the NZ Book Festival in TWO WEEKS’ TIME, people!
So yesterday, the wonderful organiser who is Louise de Varga, allowed us to have a sneak peak into the North Shore Events Centre. This led me to ponder the importance of researching events before turning up. Here are some tips for researching well!
Check out previous events
While this is technically the second annual book festival, it’s the first time on such a huge scale, so it’s a bit difficult to judge. I did find some photos and spoke to people who attended last year’s event, but Louise is advertising on a much bigger scale, the venue is larger and it’s been organised well in advance. In this case, checking out previous events is not very useful.
However, before I attended local markets to sell my books as a stallholder, I visited some of the markets to get an idea of the type / quality of products sold, and the demographics of customers. Before I went to LibraryCon, I checked out previous events’ photos, too.
Talk to people
I’ve noticed in this series of blog posts that ‘talk’ and ‘people’ come up a lot! In this case, talk to people who have done the event before, are currently attending, or are planning to attend. I’ve found most people to be open and honest about their opinions, and not only do I find out their opinions of the event in question, I often get recommended other events. For example, when I was at Orewa Street & Craft Market, I was recommended to the local school fair.
Inspect the venue
Is there parking? Do people need specific instructions to get there? Is public transport an option? How big is your allocated space, and what’s provided? If you can’t make it to the venue yourself, could you ask someone to take photos on your behalf?
Think like a customer
Putting yourself in the customer’s mind is a great way to consider an event and a venue. For example, the NZ Book Festival is a bit of a drive for some people – but there’s a range of people to meet and books to buy. There’s also an onsite cafe and stuff to keep the kids busy. It can be a whole day out – easily – which makes it worth a long drive.
There’s heaps of parking available, which would be a BIG plus for any event I was planning to attend, and there’s an ATM so I know I won’t have to worry about getting cash out.