Terroir’s welcome sign

On Wednesday, Eventbrite San Francisco (@BriteSF) hosted an event for foodies at Terroir Natural Wine Merchant. Called An Evening with Food Heroes, the gathering featured an open wine bar and samplings from 8 Bay Area culinary artisans, who shared their product and their story. An Evening with Food Heroes also celebrated the release of Georgia Pellegrini’s latest book, which she was on hand to sign throughout the night. Check out Georgia’s blog for her take on the event—photos included! All proceeds from the event benefited Edible Schoolyard, a program of the Chez Panisse Foundation.

It was a successful event and everyone had a great time, so I wanted to feature my 5 top tips in planning an event like this.

Fruit from Frog Hollow

5. Keep capacity in mind when you pick a venue. The wine bar we selected was intimate, warm, and earthy, which aligned perfectly with the vibe we were going for. It was also an ideal space because no matter how many people were there at any given time it still felt full. There was one point when it got a bit crowded in the middle of the event but we capped the capacity at 130 which ended up being perfect. Because we knew it was a smaller venue, we also spaced the event from 6pm–10pm, with the idea that people could come for a couple hours when they had the time. Though many of the guests who came early also stayed late (must have been the wine)!

4. Feature a charity that fits and find a way to incorporate educational elements. At any event that is raising funds for a great cause, it’s important guests are at least aware of the beneficiary. We featured information on the cause in all promotional material, but at the event also had representatives from the Chez Panisse Foundation present with an information table so guests could learn more about the Edible Schoolyard program.

3. Getting publicity and coverage for your event is key.

Thrillist blurb

Get the word out in any way you can! We contacted bloggers, PR reps, and anyone that we felt was embedded within the Bay Area food community. Our event ended up being covered in Daily Candy, Thrillist (right) and 7×7, and each piece of exposure contributed to the event’s notoriety and ultimately a sold out event.

World’s most delicious jam

2. Know where your guests are coming from. With Eventbrite tracking links we were able to see where people were coming from and how many people both viewed the page and bought tickets based on the personal tracking links we created. For example, I know that 39 tickets were sold as a result of Eventbrite’s Bay Area Food/Wine newsletter. Also interesting? 1 ticket was sold just by posting it to my Facebook status!

Terroir had a great ambiance. Perfect space.

1. Partner up with others who can play an integral role with your event. We knew that Eventbrite user Georgia Pellegrini (who has used our site for many gatherings, including but not limited to a pickling class) was releasing a book around the time we wanted to hold a “foodie” event, so what better opportunity than to partner up? Both Charles Chocolates and Frog Hollow were featured in her book, so those connections were great for finding producers who would be interested in participating, and Georgia has a huge following on her website and blog. We also wanted to partner up with producers that would have a big “wow” factor at the event, like Pizza Politana which featured wood-fired pizza on the sidewalk directly outside the venue. And our friends at Foodzie had a number of ideas for producers that would be great additions to the lineup, like Clarine’s Florentines and Oren’s Kitchen.

For more information on San Francisco events, make sure to like BriteSF on Facebook and follow on Twitter! Also don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter below:

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