Meet the Experts: Handmade Events

One of my favorite things about Eventbrite is that anyone can create an event and sell tickets within a matter of moments. It’s amazing to see events flourish and to watch communities being grown around the magic of the live experience. With the wide variety of events that happen on our platform, we want to share with you some of the ‘experts’ we’ve come across. This month, we’re featuring Handmade Events, who have perfected the PopUp dinner party!

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1. How did Handmade Events start? 

 We were inspired by a photo we saw of a European event in the New York Times and thought it would be incredible to have a formal outdoor dinner party in our city. The first Le Dîner à San Francisco took place on October 14, 2011 and over 3,500 people gathered to celebrate at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. Overwhelmed by the interest, we instantly knew there was endless potential for this new and unique event format.

2. First events never go as planned. What were some of the roadblocks you encountered with your first event and what did you learn from it?

 We had no background or experience in this field, so there were bound to be some hiccups for our first event! For the most part, we were very lucky. The media loved the idea, the city worked feverishly to permit it’s first BYO alcohol event and the San Francisco weather even blessed us with a rare 70 degree night! The big flaw? We encouraged guests to ‘leave no trace behind,’ requesting the space be left in pristine condition at the end of the night, but not everyone complied. The next day our families came down to help sort and haul trash for over eight hours! These days we plan for waste and hire the San Francisco Conservation Corp to make sure the venue is left clean afterwards.

3. What makes Handmade Events unique? Why do people love attending your events?

Our events are unique because we really just provide a space with tables and chairs — it’s up to our guests to create an incredible night. So much creativity and work go into the fashion, the table decor, and the incredible feasts people bring. Whether or not you enjoy the night is ultimately up to you because it’s essentially your very own dinner party within one grand dinner party. People have called us the “elegant burning man” — at first we rejected the reference but today we really see the truth in it. People go to such great lengths and spend so much time creating their night, that is what makes the event as a whole such a beautiful sight to see!

4. Is there an Eventbrite feature that has been particularly vital in running your business?

Using Eventbrite has definitely streamlined the ticketing process and made our lives much easier, but we have to say that Danielle and Marc are the Eventbrite features that have been the most vital to our business. Eventbrite’s customer service is simply the best. Danielle and Marc have both gone out of their way for us multiple times — not only just with ticketing but also with their outside-the-box thinking and problem solving. We feel Eventbrite has an old fashioned understanding of customer service, we know they truly root for our company to succeed and we see them as a valuable extension of our core team. Danielle with the Handmade Events team!

5. What’s next for Handmade events?

The sky is the limit! We have 2013 dates set for San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, but also plan to take the PopUp Dinner Party to three additional cities in the US this year. Evening of Masquerade sold out in 2013 and will be back in 2014. We also have some new ideas in development and plan to produce some of the largest and most well-received events in San Francisco! 

6. If money, permits, and space were non-issues, what would your dream event look like?

Le Dîner à San Francisco 2011 was our dream event. We no longer worry about money, permits, or space — we just pray for cooperative weather!

Be sure to join us Tuesday, April 2nd at 11AM PST for a live Twitter chat with the Handmade Events team. Find Eventbrite and Handmade Events on Twitter, and be sure to follow the #MeetTheExperts hashtag!