PLANNING

SWOTT ANALYSIS

GANTT CHARTS

AUDIENCE

As I am the founder of Sass and Snarl, we have 2000+ followers all dedicated to making it in the music industry. Our followers are 67.1% female and 41.1% are aged 18-24. This means we have a target audience of young women in music. As we are using zoom for the conference, the subscription only allows 100 attendees for each session. Me and Megan both agreed that we think we could sell between 50-100 tickets so we made out ticket limit 100 attendees. We now realise that we could have sold way more but this might have meant we’d have complications with zoom capacity and our attendees not being able to go to a few of the panels.

Target Market:

Global – Sass and Snarl is a global community and as we are producing virtual events, this makes it accessible to everyone.

Women – As two young women and a focus on representation, it was obvious to aim our audience to women.

Students/Young Women – We’re looking to target young women starting their careers in the music industry.

Music/Career Interests – Anyone who loves music or wants to be in music.

All Ethnic Backgrounds – Push for diversity.

I think our target market was spot on and definitely reflected within the events but I understand for change to happen we need to bring more men into the conversation to work with us as an ally.

ROLES

We decided that we would work on the event that best suited our knowledge in events. Therefore, I was working on the conference and Megan was working on the DJ Showcase. Megan took lead on tasks such as the contracts whereas I put together the graphics. We also worked a lot together to formulate ideas, solve issues, set a schedule and ask for advice.

Staff Roles

For the conference, I needed myself and someone else to manage each of the arenas as well as have hosts to lead a few of the panels. As Megan had to work that day, I enlisted help of my boyfriend to control arena 2 as I did Arena 1.

I also got third year Music Business Students Rebecca and Jazz to host a panel each. I chose these people as I know I can rely on them and they always produce great work.

For the DJ Showcase, Megan got her boyfriend to help and I also was in charge of socials that day.

TICKETS

We knew that as a non-profit event we wouldn’t have to sell tickets but with the capacity of only 100 people on zoom, we’d have to have a way of keeping to that maximum. As I often use Eventbrite and knew that you could sell tickets with the important option of donation, this would be best!

It was important to us to have the event for free. With the line-up to The Great Escape Conference in May being incredible and their focus on the future of music being a huge interest of mine as a young creative, I was really excited to go. Only to find out that tickets were £50. How are they meant to be doing an event on the future of music if the future of music can’t even afford to go? This is why we decided that tickets would be free and even though we wouldn’t have as incredible of a line-up or make any profit, this allowed everybody to be able to attend if they wanted to.

Eventbrite was a great service as it updated me with ticket sales and donations and allowed me to send out quick mass emails to all of the attendees.  We put this ticket link in our bio to make sure people had quick and easy access to buy a ticket.

MARKETING

Press Release

Megan wrote and put together a Press Release and sent it out to different organisations and institutions across the music industry. You can find the Press Release here:

Announcements

We decided to first announce the events without all of the speakers and DJ’s because that would be a lot of information all at once and there wasn’t a clear way to post about it as one single post. We announced this on the 16th and got some great traction from the Sass and Snarl followers.  We decided to announce the event two weeks before as this would allow us just enough time to build traction but also for it not just to get forgotten or the opposite and constantly shoved down people’s throats.

On the 19th we announced the DJs but with Sass and Snarl focusing more on career/industry prospects over actual music, it didn’t receive much attention.

On the 23rd, we announced the speakers for the conference. This received amazing feedback and sparked excitement among the community. This is when 50% of the tickets were bought.

On the 27th we announced the schedule and had organisations from around the music industry share. On this day we sold out. I think the reason why we sold out was because of the post I put into the Young Guns Network Facebook Group which is full of young creatives in music all looking for opportunities!

Throughout this, I mainly posted on Instagram as that is where a lot of our following is and this was also easy to put the ticket link in our bio. I also set up a Sass and Snarl LinkedIn page which has been great for building traction among professionals such as Carla Marie Williams even liking our post. Megan posted through our Facebook and created an Event page.

What we could have done better would be trialling Ads and engaging with our audience more so for example a giveaway or campaign to create more interactions and engagement bringing even more traffic to the events.

BRANDING

The incredible Jordan Gadeke, third year at the University of Gloucestershire, put together our branding. I found Jordan when he was shared on the Lazy Oaf stories which is one of my favourite brands and reached out only to realise we went to the same uni. We spoke about what I wanted from the branding and how it could match with the Sass and Snarl branding and we’re both really happy with the turn out. Other than the main image I made all the other graphics such as the posts, the brochure and the website.

The brochure and the website were really important to conveying to our guests the information about the event that they would need. Putting an entire web page was not easy but worked out well in the end and was 100% necessary to help display all the information. As I was happier doing all the graphics and knew what I wanted to be displayed through Sass and Snarl, this was a really big chuck of my role as I created the: Individual DJ Announcement Graphics, DJ Lineup and Set Time, Facebook Banner, Cover Photo Graphics, Panel Graphics, Conference Schedule, Website, Brochure and Condensed Arena Graphics.

In future, I would love to work more with graphic designers and web designers but because of our budget, I think we did well with what we had.

TECH

Platform Decisions

For the conference we are using Zoom. We needed to get a pro account and webinar subscription. This allowed us to have 100 attendees come to each panel and for us to only display the speakers whilst the attendees could communicate through the chat and Q&A function which was handy for many of the sessions. It also meant we could start a practise session to enable us to check that everything is okay and then we could hand over host controls.

We decided to go with zoom rather than Teams or Google Meet because it is a more universal platform and my laptop doesn’t work with Teams on it. Google Meet was the cheapest option but we decided that because I use zoom anyway and have a better understanding of it, it’s best to stay with what you’re comfortable with.

For the DJ showcase we are using Mixcloud. Mixcloud rules out all of the copyright issues you would get from platforms such as Facebook. Here you can see about how Megan assessed the platforms:

Mixcloud Positives:

  • All copyright holders get paid royalties for use of music.
  • No copyright cuts
  • Excellent Stream Quality
  • Easy to use
  • Broadcast via OBS
  • 320kbps stream quality
  • Records stream for viewers to watch later

Mixcloud Negatives

  • Subscription Fee £9
  • Viewers need free account to interact with stream
  • Sass and Snarl does not have an established fan base on this platform.

Facebook Positives

  • Established fan base
  • Most popular for Livestream DJ events in the dance music category
  • Free to livestream
  • Records stream for viewers to watch later
  • Broadcast via OBS

Facebook Negatives

  • Guaranteed Copyright infringement cuts
  • Does not provide a license to perform using music not owned by DJ’s

Instagram Positives

  • Established fan base
  • Free

Instagram Negatives

  • Likely copyright infringement cuts
  • Faulty when recording long sets
  • Does not provide a license to perform using music not owned by DJ’s

Twitch Positives:

  • Allows people to donate
  • Easy to use
  • Chat section
  • Not many people go to this platform to watch DJ’s perform live stream sets

Twitch Negatives

  • Likely copyright infringement cuts
  • Used mainly for gaming
  • No established fanbase

In future I wouldn’t change our platform decisions especially for the conference but as I am not a DJ and don’t mix a lot within that community, it might be interesting to explore other platforms for another showcase.

PROGRAMMING

Speakers

I wanted as many women who have an insight into the music industry as I could get. This helps inspire the young women of the music industry and carries on the conversation for a push for equality. Using powerful organisations such as KeyChange, Girls Against and She Said. So helped me put forward so many different panels. I also used a lot of the polls through our stories to help me decide on panel topics, here you can see my planning for each session:

Virtual Arena 1

In Virtual Arena 1, I wanted to create a space for investing in the future of the music industry. A place for important discussions to inspire the next generation.

Girls Against: Safe Spaces at Live Events

In one of our first meetings we spoke about how their needs to be a conversation about live events as we hopefully move back to normality in the summer. The topic of having safe spaces for marginalised genders is something all events should be talking about which is why we put this forward. We then chose panellists from around this area to be involved.

Gatekeeping in Music Education

Abigail Pettican reached out to me after coming to one of our workshops saying how she is doing a lot of posts to bring forward important topics. This was one of them. When I first started doing workshops, I would have loved the ability to speak at an event so I thought that this would be a great opportunity to give somebody that chance and help put themselves out there.

Music Industry Networking Session

The ability to network is really important in this industry so I teamed up with Nicky from MeloCompass to help me put on this session. Sass and Snarl had never done a networking session before, so it was a really great opportunity to bring the community together.

Lucy McCourt: Social Media and Music

In our polls, a lot of people asked for Lucy McCourt so I immediately got her involved. We decided that this panel should focus on social media and the importance of young women’s voices being heard. We then gathered up some of our favourite young women killing it in the scene right now, featuring a lot of speakers from our Future CEO campaign.

Girls Against: Future of Festivals

Girls Against decided that they wanted to do a second panel with us on festivals and as they have done huge projects with festivals in the past, we thought this was a really exciting topic that they could talk a lot about. They then used their connections to build a really strong panel.

Platforms Supporting Women in Music

Representation is really important to our community and to this event so being able to bring huge organisations such as KeyChange and She Said.So created a great opportunity to talk about how they can work together and what the future holds.

Virtual Arena 2

In Virtual Arena 2 we focus on investing in ourselves and our careers. As a community of young creatives, we hope to show them how to put themselves out there and build their presence in music.

F*ck Being Humble

My favourite platform on Instagram. This is the same workshop that I attended when I started Sass and Snarl. Knowing the interactive nature of Stef and her workshops, I know this workshop will inspire and motivate our attendees to shamelessly self-promote.

Vick Bain: Why Music Is The Career For You

After speaking with Vick about young women being discouraged in the Music Industry, we decided that her talk should be about the positives and be there to inspire young women to join the industry.

Careers in Music Panel 1 and 2

Our polls showed us that our community are interested in lots of different careers in music so we decided to put two panels together with three panellists on each to allow enough time to allow each speaker to share. In these panels we covered Sync, Events, Advertisement, Radio, PR and Management.

How I got the panellists:

Using my Sass and Snarl network, a lot of the panellists I already knew and had worked with before! Other than that, it was a lot of emails and LinkedIn messages! I’d always send a quick email to see if they were interested and then follow up with all the information and make sure that they are okay with doing the event for free. Once they had agreed, we would confirm a time, I’d send the contracts and documents, I would then send them a plan of topics they would discuss and get them in touch with the host of the panel to prepare! On the Monday, I then sent out the panel invite for them to join! After the event, I then sent everyone a thank you message as I couldn’t have done any of it without them!

Hosts:

We had 3 workshops which were led solely by the speaker and then had six panels. For the panels we needed a host to lead the conversation, for the Girls Against panels, Co-Founder Bea lead the panel with one of their reps, Lucy obviously led her own panel which left 3 spots to fill. I asked the wonderful Rebecca Rees and Jasmine Johal to lead them and in the end I had to host the other. I sent them over a quick message and we had several meetings together to discuss the panel structure and plan up to the event.

DJ Showcase

Megan’s initial plan was to have 9 artists play 1 hour sets each from 1pm. These would include different genres to get lots of different bits of music involved. But with clubs reopening and our small budget for DJ’s, Megan had a lot of trouble finding DJ’s from a lot of different genres so Megan then decided to put it down to 6 DJs.

Whilst Megan was creating the contracts, one of the DJs she confirmed had to cancel so she had to replace that spot which ended up with the line-up looking like this:

Lucidik (Disco, Funk)

Vindya (Techno

JustJo (Garage, House)

Miss Lisa (Jungle, DnB)

Ama (Jungle, DnB)

I personally wouldn’t change a single thing about our lineup, everybody that spoke at the conference and played for the showcase was incredibly professional and insanely talented. I definitely think we could be more diverse and have other discussions for panels such as disability and race to make sure we are addressing representation as a whole.

CONTRACTS

Megan put together the contracts and staying safe at home documents for her DJ’s which I then edited to suit the speakers I had booked.

Megan wrote up these contracts to ensure that:

  • Each guest clearly knows their duties
  • To provide a timeframe
  • Agree on Payment options
  • Avoid any future confusion
  • Cover our backs
  • Acknowledge we are working professionally and lawfully
  • Obtain necessary permissions

Megan also wrote out a Staying Safe at home document to ensure that everybody was staying safe whilst at home. In this, they had relevant links to make sure that everybody was informed. I also had to fill out a risk assessment form as I had to use our University room for the conference.

For the conference, I only paid for two of the speakers Stef and Vick and they happily signed the documents and had no issue. When I was sending out the rest of the documents, a small amount of them weren’t happy with signing the contract because they’d never had to for an unpaid panel before. As these panellists were pretty experienced with panels and they were definitely trusting me more than I was trusting them. In the end, everything was fine, everyone showed up and there was no issues.

I think in future, I should demand for these contracts to be signed because even though it didn’t cause any stress this time, it definitely could in the future.

Here you can find the contract I sent out as well as the health and safety document and the risk assessment form.

MEETINGS

Team Meeting

Me and Megan have regular meetings to discuss our progress and are always sending updates via messenger. As we both have busy schedules, we try to fit meetings in where we can and these have ranged from 20 minutes on a Monday afternoon to 2 hours at 1am. In these meetings, we will set weekly goals, discuss next steps, tick off bits of work and support each other.

Simon Metcalfe – AIM

I reached out to Simon when I realised I wanted to put on a conference and as he ran the conference behind the scenes, he had lots of really great insights on how to display my website to make it as easy for the attendees as possible which was something I really liked about AIM Sync. He spoke me through how to use certain functions and software and how to interact with the panellists to ensure that everybody is comfortable. This meeting gave me a lot of insight into what I would have to do on the day which was really helpful.

KeyChange Meeting

Me and Megan spoke to Marie Fol and Maxie Gedge from KeyChange to ask if they’d like to be involved in our event. The meeting lasted an hour and we discussed our plans for the event and their involvement. KeyChange gave us advice on how to support our DJ’s and the importance of paying them. Me and Megan took this really seriously and made this a big part of our further planning. KeyChange also agreed to take part in one of our panels and share the event across their network.

Stefanie Sword-Williams Meeting

I had a meeting with Stef to discuss the workshop she would be delivering for the event. Being a huge fan of her “Let Me Blow Your Mind” workshop this is what we agreed on. As Stef has over 20k IG followers and has worked with brands such as ASOS, Warner, Google etc. her fee was way over our overbudget but Stef agreed to £100 for the workshop to be an hour instead of 1 hour and 30 minutes. I think this was a really great result, especially as I was so nervous to talk to her! We also spoke about getting a discount for our attendees for her book which I always recommend but I couldn’t reach her publishers in the end. I think next time, I would have made this more of a priority as this would have been really great to share.

Girls Against Meeting

Girls Against were a huge part of the conference in which I had regular contact with one of their founders Bea Bennister. At the start I got in touch to discuss the potential possibility of them hosting a panel. Their enthusiasm for the event them lead to them wanting to host two panels which I was really excited for considering their contacts and projects in the music industry. We then had another meeting with a few other of their reps to discuss panel topics and speakers.

Rebecca Rees and Jasmine Johal Host Meetings

I had a few different meetings with Jasmine and Rebecca for several reasons such as help finding speakers, panels they’d be interested in, marketing and PR ideas as well as host duties. These meetings were to help progress the event and to plan and talk about the panel they are leading!

I think in all of these meetings I came prepared and really open to what everyone had to say. I think in future, I should be more confident and professional as it is nerve wracking talking to professionals when you are just a student but that doesn’t mean I should be scared of talking to these people

Here you can find the agenda and notes I made from the KeyChange meeting:

MONEY

As this is an event for Sass and Snarl, I’m happy to be putting my own money forward and using the money that I saved from the workshops I did over the summer. From the summer I made £300 and knowing I wanted to put it back into Sass and Snarl, this event is exactly that!

After speaking with KeyChange we realised the importance of paying our DJ’s so I put aside £60 and Megan put aside £30 and we also used the seed fund we got of £30 to ensure that all DJ’s were paid £20 each.

For the conference, a lot of our guests agreed to speak for free as it was for a good cause. The speakers I paid for were Vick Bain and Stef from F*ck Being Humble. Vick Bain agreed to £50 for the 30-minute workshop and Stef went way under her rate to put on an hour’s workshop for £100. Having big guests like these drew in a lot of attention and they had a lot of expertise to offer which our guests loved.

Other than this, we had to pay for two zoom subscriptions as we had two virtual arenas and this was £86 altogether. However, these will be used over the next month for other events. We could have had the option to use Teams or Google Meet but with my laptop refusing to use Teams and an unknown knowledge of Google Meets, Zoom felt like the most comfortable option as I was using it anway as well as it being universal among all of our panels and attendees.

It was important to us to have the event for free. With the line-up to The Great Escape Conference in May being incredible and their focus on the future of music being a huge interest of mine as a young creative, I was really excited to go. Only to find out that tickets were £50. How are they meant to be doing an event on the future of music if the future of music can’t even afford to go? This is why we decided that tickets would be free and even though we wouldn’t have as incredible of a line-up or make any profit, this allowed everybody to be able to attend if they wanted to.

With every ticket we gave the option to donate which worked amazingly. Out of our 100 tickets, we managed to raise £63 and with our Go Fund Me included, this meant £83 could be split between our two charities.

On reflection, I think that we could have slightly upped the ticket prices to around £2 – £5 which might have meant we could have raised more. Maybe in future we could put money towards the branding and marketing to sell our event more.

I had also reached out to Joe Frankland to see if he could help me find funding but as this is for a University project, they don’t allow it. So when I put on my next event, I will be sure to reach out for some funding.

%d bloggers like this: