Running Two Annual Conferences for Entrepreneurs in Bangkok and Austin with Catalina Alvarez from Dynamite Circle
This is an amazing interview to hear from to a conference organizer about how she plans, markets and runs large events. Catalina manages two annual conferences in Austin and Bangkok for a group for ‘location independent entrepreneurs’ called the Dynamite Circle founded by Dan and Ian from The Tropical MBA which I’m also a member of.
On the interview we discuss:
- How Catalina moved from Spain to Miami then went to work in China aged just 18
- What it was like living in Shenzhen
- How she came to work for the Dynamite Circle
- How they sell a lot of tickets for the next year right after the end of the conference, and before the dates are even announced!
- The pros and cons of holding an annual conference in the same venue versus moving it around
- The problems in Asia with customs when your shipping packages from sponsors worldwide
- How the payment schedule works when working with conference hotels
- Why you might not want to use a hotel for the first year of a conference
- How conference hotels in the US are way more expensive then in Asia and charge for every extra
- How they start very early looking for sponsors and speakers
- How people love to hear real stories from their peers rather than professional speakers
- How they go for ‘actionable;’ rather than ‘inspirational’ sessions
- How they send a feedback form right after the event
- How they run three whole days of pre conference sessions at the hotel
- How they sometimes have to find replacement speakers at the last minute
- The structure of their conference team
- How they organize a team of volunteers to help run the actual conference
- How they use Attendify App and EventsFrame
- How the party venues change hands so often in Bangkok that they always need to find new ones
- How they have a ‘Master of Ceremonies’ for the whole event to introduce everyone on stage and also coordinate the parties.
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