How to organize your own startup event

11 Oct 2014
| Last update: 06 Oct 2015

Do you want to be a startup host?

startup event

Your wish to run a startup event is only natural and admirable, but in order for your passion and dedication to be in the spotlight, you must make sure the event goes on smoothly.

People who are really passionate about their startups always get this feeling of wanting to be part of a bigger community, connect and tell their ups and downs stories, shake a sponsor’s hand, impress a bright mind in the field with their ideas or just share a few drinks with friends from the startup community. That’s why it’s so natural that you should feel a compulsive need of hosting or attending a startup event.

I want to encourage the people who want to organize and manage such events to do it. Do you want to be a startup host? I want to show you how you can plan this event and host it on your own.

First question: What is the type of the event? Answered.

If you get the chance to look over an event organizing plan on the Internet, you’ll see that the first thing you always need to solve is the type of your event, as it influences all forthcoming steps. In his post,  Timothée Pineau, also highlights the importance of knowing the type of your event.

This has already been answered: it’s going to be a startup event. It’s always great to be kept up-to-date on everything new happening in the startup ecosystem, so now you can do this by subscribing to our newsletter.

If you want things to be more clear, you should also think of the kind of startups involved, because addressing to a niche and setting a focused theme for discussion is often better. Then, your event may be concerned with tech startups, social ones, app ones, digital ones, startups in art or in education, you name it. Otherwise, you can opt for a more general trajectory, which is present in the local startup eco-system.

Wondering what other problems this answer solves? Well, take a look:

  • the general theme of the discussions
  • a suggestion of the people to be invited: business people, entrepreneurs, influencers, sponsors, successful peoples or even celebrities
  • the time necessary for the conference
  • a suggestion of a desirable location for the event
  • a suggestion of the scale of the event, together with the necessary/desired facilities: catering services (maybe, what type of food would be preferred: traditional or exotic), music
  • a suggestion of the expenses

Are you prepared to be an event manager?

Even though I very much appreciate the undertaking of responsibility, one’s ambition and dedication, I don’t like seeing people rush head over heels into things.

You should ask yourself whether you are prepared to be an event manager. Do you have the time, the personnel, the patience to organize it without a management company?

Thomas Johnson answers the question: Why you should hire an event management company to organize your events? seeing that there is reason behind your planning the event on your own: it’s cheaper and it is possible. Some people did it, so why not you?

He believes it is better to request professional help and the results show in the long run. This happens because if you want to organize your own event, you will be helped by the employees from your company/business/startup, who won’t be so dedicated to the event planning, because they already have other tasks. So, hiring an event management company seems better because they will be paid especially for planning your event and focusing only on it.

Event managers also already have connections with different service providers, so it won’t be needed of you to go here and there and see to all these problems.

Another point Thomas Johnson mentions is being helped to promote the event. Yes, this is of great use, but you need to consider that when it comes to a startup event, you and the people in your community know the people meant to be involved and how you can promote the event inside this community. I’m afraid the event management company can’t help you much on this particular point. You can, however, make use of their promotion strategies.

Plan a startup event with event management startup tools

I’m sure you’d still want to pull the event all on your own. If you find that you can do it and that even though you’ll invest more time, you’ll waste less money, you really wish to do it, maybe not so much because you can sort beforehand all the details of success, but because you want this to be an experience for you, I say you do it.

I also found something very useful for you, and because your event is a startup one, I’ve thought of presenting to you some event management tools, which are also successful startups.

Take a look at this infographic:

Plan a startup event on your own

As a quick introduction on how to organize the event on your own, I’d like to share with you a video from YouTube, which shows you “Five Key Steps for Organizing Your Business Event”:

  1. Create a detailed checklist
  2. Put together a strong support team
  3. Actively promote your event
  4. Have an intimate knowledge of your venue prior to the event
  5. Do a dry run of the event

Here, take a look:

This was just a warm-up, now let’s go into details:


  • Brainstorm: the event type, the time-frame, the location.
  • Decide the budget for: venue, services (food, drinks, music, serving, etc.), accommodation, VIPs, speakers.
  • Evaluate power options and other logistics
  • Prepare documentation to inform people how to join
  • Find volunteers
  • Find sponsors

Proposing the event:

  • Prepare an event proposal for sponsors. Try and be persuasive, efficient and show your passion. Don’t be shy of showing all the research you’ve done and that you are responsible and dedicated to what you do.
  • Consider carefully all aspects of the budget-planning. Document the financial structure, so as to know how much  it will cost.
  • Book the venue. Sign contracts with the vendors. Also, don’t skip any legal issues, such as permits.

Promoting the event:

  • Design your basic event marketing signals: banners, logos and the title of your event
  • Spread news! Do this by means of social media: forums, news posts, FB, Twitter, LinkeIn.
  • Make the event come true.

So, this is how you can successfully organize a startup event on your own. As I’ve said prepare beforehand and think twice before actually doing it, because you need to know whether you have what it takes. Be realistic and if you do organize your event, would I get an invitation? Tell me if you have any other questions about how you can pull this through.

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Ligia Mangra
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Ligia Mangra

Content Writer at Squirrly
A passionate writer. I love seeing a full moon and I like to rock 'n roll in life. Can't wait till my first novel gets published. Thumbs up, it'll be a fantasy horror!
Ligia Mangra
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