Goals to Set When Planning an Event

Revenue is, of course, an important factor in planning any event for your brewery, but it shouldn’t be the only goal.

“Nobody wants to plan a financially unsustainable event, where you’re losing money time after time,” said Burial Beer’s Jessica Reiser.

Reiser, along with Fort George’s Brian Bovenizer and Veronica Kral of Firestone Walker, shared a few goals to set when planning an event, be it in your taproom or a larger event during the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference.

Identifying the “Why?” behind your event will assist in setting realistic revenue goals, they pointed out.

“You then can identify the scope and potential impact of the event,” Reiser said.

When it is an event at your taproom, increasing revenue for that day can be easy.

“It comes with a manageable overhead since you’re using your space and internal resources,” she explained. “This particular scope will lead to a higher profit margin for that day at the taproom.”

READ MORE: Behind Planning a Nationwide Event

Yet, if you are hosting a larger event like a beer festival, because of overhead costs it can bring in a decent amount of revenue. But that net profit number is an expectation that definitely needs to be managed, she said.

“You’ll find that larger events are about connection and how to throw the best experience possible without losing money, ” Reiser admitted.

Making money is a great idea, but managing how many people actually go is important. As Bovenizer explained, it’s not just about having more people.

“Nobody wants to go where nobody’s at the party. But you also don’t want to go to a party that has super long lines, poor bathroom situations, and cramped spaces,” he said. “We’ve all been there. It’s uncomfortable and it can be really detrimental to the event that you’re throwing.”

Trying to find that sweet spot is hard for regular taproom events, as you may not know how many people are going to come. But, Bovenizer said using social media tools to track who is coming and who is there can help gauge metrics. For a larger festival type of event, trial, and error and seeing how other events in the area can help gauge what to expect.

“You need enough attendees to make your budget work out but if you have a bad first impression, it can be tough, because it is all about the brand of the event and your brewery,” he said.

A consumer’s positive experience at an event can help create deeper connections with products, and Kral pointed out that a lot of breweries are trying to give that experience to attendees.

“If that’s your ‘why,’ there are some easy ways to look into your success within those,” she said. “It can be something as easy as monitoring your customer engagement on social media platforms.

“There are great reporting features on most of your websites, web analytics where you can see an uptick after a good event.”

The Firestone Walker taproom has a loyalty program, and she said after a summer concert series, the brewery may see an uptick in users to that program.

“There are some definite measurable ways that you can see success through experience and connectivity,” she said. “I would encourage you to define that and plan for it and then use that in your future planning.”

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