Someone has to say this, so it may as well be me. The first time I wrote a blog about this was on Myspace…which tells you how long I’ve been running paranormal type events.
Now, this isn’t a blog about the price of paranormal events. That’s a blog for a different day.
This is a blog about people who throw their hat in the ring and decide to have and promote a paranormal event or convention with little, if any, event planning or promoting experience.
I feel I have to address this as I watch events continually get canceled and/or speakers being canceled sometimes days before an event because “ticket sales weren’t that great.” It’s not fair to people who bought tickets expecting to see certain people there. It’s not fair to your speakers who have allocated valuable time and possibly said no to other bookings because of your event.
Attendees shell out a ton of hard earned money to attend these things. Some go so far as having bought flights and booked hotels, only to find out their event isn’t even happening! I’m sorry event planners, but that is shameful and it reflects badly on all of us who host events.
I’m going to tell you the cold, hard truth about having an event. If your web site is shoddy, if you don’t pay for marketing, facebook advertising, press releases, etc – your event is NOT going to sell – no matter who your speakers are. You can’t book a big name and expect the world to know about it magically.
Second – if you are hosting a paranormal event – there better be enough money in your bank account to cover all the costs of that event if your ticket sales aren’t what you’d hoped. It should never be an option to cancel or change your line up according to ticket sales. It’s a business – sometimes you win, sometimes it doesn’t work out. (Trust me, I’ve had many events lose money in my time, ha!)
Lastly, paranormal events are HARD. They are a hard sell. It’s so easy to see what people are charging for tickets and then say, “oh, I could do that and make some money!” But it’s such a specialized, curated market that without precise vision and hours and hours of work and planning, it will not work.
I am all for other successful events out there. Lord knows I love attending them as a speaker because I get to show up and not run them, (yes please!) But it makes my heart hurt every time I see another cancellation. Events are my livelihood and the livelihood of many others I know and I’m meeting way too many people these days who are afraid to book a paranormal event because they’ve been burned in the past.
If you’re an attendee looking for an event – look for an event that has happened before, look at reviews online, look for a professional web site, ask around about others’ experiences. It’s pretty easy to tell a reliable event company from others.
These gatherings are such a cool way to meet and make friends in the paranormal field. It’s sometimes the best way to get to investigate some of the most famous haunted places in the world with some of the coolest researchers and para celebrities in the world. Let’s all work together and see if we can make the paranormal event industry a thriving and positive marketplace.
Hear! Hear! I applaud you, Amy! You’re spot on!