You’ve heard that when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.
At Eventbrite, when life hands us lemons, we blog about it.
My name is Tighe Flatley, and this is my first post as Eventbrite’s Community Manager and Blog Editor. By way of introduction, here’s a bit about one of my first forays into event organizing.
During the summer I was 10 years old, my friend, Colin, called me with an idea.
“I want to adopt a dog from the pound,” he said. “Come over to my house with all the lemonade packages you can find.”
An hour or so later, we were planning our week-long lemonade fundraising drive. We made the first batch of lemonade in Colin’s kitchen and set up our stand at the end of his driveway.
Despite our best efforts on day one, we collected only a few quarters. Most neighbors did not stop. We sulked back to the house, empty cups in hand, the sting still fresh from the cars that sped past our pitchers – fresh lemon juice rubbed in our wounds.
Our lemonade pitchers, however, were half-full. We wanted that dog, so we drafted a new game plan.
The next day, we set up our lemonade stand on a busier street, where more commuters would see our event. We recruited friends to hold signs a few hundred feet before the stand to prepare drivers ahead of time. We advertised each 25-cent glass of lemonade as the chance to “save a dog,” figuring that the heartstring tugs would have us rolling in the Washingtons.
Our follow-up effort proved a greater success. After a few days of lemonade sales, we approached Colin’s parents with a jar of bills and coins that would have brought home a pound puppy.
Unfortunately, Colin’s parents’ minds had been made up all along; there would be no dog. We were disappointed, but saw a new opportunity to make an impact: we donated our earnings to the dog pound instead.
Despite not purchasing that pup, Colin and I developed some great skills through the experience. We thought of ways to bring in more traffic and profit by updating our strategy. We maintained flexibility with our game plan when it became impossible to meet our original goal. And, perhaps most importantly, we did not let detractors bring us down, but were empowered to do better next time.
Your events may not be neighborhood lemonade sales, but these lessons are easily applicable to our work today. I hope that we’ll continue to explore learnings such as these as this blog becomes your go-to resource for building successful events. Whether you are an event-organizing novice or vet, I’m so excited to incorporate your input, questions, and advice in our future posts.
That said, remember to stop by your local lemonade stand this summer; you may be supporting the bloggers of the future.