Torontonians are a busy bunch. With such a vibrant nightlife and events scene, there’s almost too much to choose from.

But who said Torontonians have to choose?

According to a study on the social lives of 2,000 people in Toronto conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Eventbrite, the average Torontonian attends three events a month. That’s 36 events in a year or 2,160 events in a lifetime!

As an event creator, you know the demand for your guided hike or Canada Day brunch is there. And while having social-loving Totontonians on the hunt for their next favorite experience is great, it’s not enough to ensure your event day sees capacity. You need to know what makes Toronto event-goers click “Buy Tickets” — or close the window.

For the insights you need to maximize your event’s reach, keep reading.

Torontonian event spending by the numbers

Toronto event-goers consider a good event more than worth the money. In fact, 45% of respondents would rather invest in a live experience rather than on something solely material.  From food to transportation, Torontonians are ready to spend at your indie concert or pop-up dinner — as long as the event in question doesn’t hit their pain points. For more new data on their spending, check out this video.

Cramped venues send Toronto event-goers running home

Top frustrations for Toronto event-goers are long lines (60%) and venues that are too crowded (55%). This means finding the right space for your event is vital.

With this in mind, choosing the perfect venue can seem like an impossible task. Which factors are most important? And which wishlist items can you let go of?

When choosing your venue with crowd management as a major consideration, consider these tips:

  • Use data from past and similar events to gauge how many people you can count on. If you’re not sure, consider launching early bird ticket sales before you’ve selected your venue. Use the demand for your early bird sales as a way to estimate total attendance.
  • Non-traditional venues can be very flexible. With big, open spaces like airport hangars and warehouses, you have more room to bring your vision to life, whether it’s a rave or a murder mystery party. Conversely, a smaller non-traditional venue may still provide value with open-air seating, floor-to-ceiling windows, or other stand-out perks that may help reduce overcrowding.
  • Your event will likely cater to a variety of ages and physical ability levels. When doing your first walk through, check for appropriate signage at the right height for those in a wheelchair, clear pathways and layout, and bathroom accessibility. Finding a venue that adheres to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is also a great option.

Food and performances draw Toronto event-goers back for more

When booking your speakers or entertainment, make sure you are getting the best of the best. For Torontonians, 69% of respondents attended an event to see a speaker or performer. (The most popular reason was just “to have a good time” at 79%.) So when you make those calls, try to get headliners with a loyal following, especially if it’s local!

Good food was another big motivator for Toronto event-goers. According to the survey, the average Torontonian will fork up an average of $47 CAD just on food at a single event they attend.

To ensure your attendees don’t leave hungry, follow these tips for choosing a caterer or food vendor:

  • Be specific about what you need. But leave room for the caterer or vendor to exercise their expertise and creativity. You’re looking for a creative partner to elevate your event, not a line cook to pump out 500 hot dogs (unless you are).
  • Choose caterers who align with your event’s vibe. If the caterer or vendor specializes in black-tie affairs, but you’re organizing a square dance, it might not be the right fit.
  • Look for flexibility. Many caterers or vendors come with standard menu selections. You might have other ideas or special requests. Ask if they can accommodate.
  • Inquire about a tasting menu. Tasting the food in advance will give you deep insight into whether this will be a good fit.
  • Look beyond the food. You’re hiring for the cooking, yes. But your caterer or vendor may provide services such as wait staff and cleanup as well. Ask about these skill sets up front.

Start planning your event — with the right data as a foundation

Fro more insights on the Canadian events industry, check out this tipsheet.

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