At CharTec, we have events all the time – both for CharTec purposes and for our local MSP, ARRC Technology.  You could say we’re a rather well-oiled event planning machine.

Or at least, we like to think we are.

But even for an MSP event planning machine as well-oiled as we are, the going will get tough, those emotions will get all out of whack, and someone’s feelings will get stomped on.  It’s just how the cookie crumbles.  Why?  Because planning an event is a difficult, stressful, and tumultuous experience that most people prefer to avoid at all costs.

Definitive Guide on MSP Marketing

Unfortunately, though, events are good for business.  They can help your business gain credibility, increase leads, and build a solid reputation.  And although you hate pulling them off, people love going to them. So… in other words, events are a necessary evil.

Recently, we hosted a webinar on how to plan a successful event for your MSP, so we thought we’d break some of that down for you… mostly because we know how much all of you are hurting out there.


Everything starts with the location.  What are you planning to do and why?  Is this going to be a reoccurring event or a one-off?  Are you considering 20-50 people or more than a hundred?

Whatever it is you decide on should ultimately help you decide where your event will be hosted.  If you can pull it off, we always recommend having events on your home turf.  That’s the best option simply because you know what resources you have at your disposal.  However, this isn’t always an option.

Looking for different ways to engage your clients?

If you can’t have it at your building, there are a few possibilities to consider.  For example, you can partner with a current client (which is useful for marketing purposes because their friends suddenly become your friends).  You could also have the event at a library, a local restaurant, or a community center.

Wherever the event ends up, just make sure you’re strategic with this decision.  Does it accomplish what you need it to accomplish?  Will it hold the number of people you’re planning to invite?  Does it allow for open conversations?  Can you eat there?

This last one might seem trivial, but it’s an important consideration.  Food will always make an event better.  If there’s no logical way to serve and/or eat food, then you should pass on that location.


After you have a location, you should narrow down a topic.  Most IT Providers naturally feel the need to explore really intricate topics (to build credibility, of course).  But to build credibility, you need to think in much simpler terms.

What will be useful to your clients?  What obstacles are they encountering?  What part of their days can you make better with a little IT education?

What you need to do is identify a problem, and fix it.  Don’t think about the sell.  Only think about solving their problems and making their days more efficient.  The sell will follow.

We’ve had success with topics like Excel 101 (simple functions, tips, and tricks) and Everyday Disasters (common ways people lose their data and how to avoid them).


Unless you’re throwing a customer appreciation event, we recommend charging for educational, Lunch & Learn type events.  It doesn’t have to be very much – just enough to cover the cost of food.  We typically charge our current client $10 and non-clients $25.

Looking for more ways to generate new leads?

Charging clients for events is more important than you might think.  When something is free, it’s easy to assume it isn’t valuable; however, an admission price will help to create a higher perceived value.  Basically, it leads people to believe they’re attending something useful (whether it is or isn’t useful, is another story).


There’s more to an event than location, topic, and cost.  You need to account for pre- and post-marketing, as well as the time, resources, and prep that will go into the actual event itself.  If you’d like to explore all of that a little further, watch our exclusive webinar on The Right Way to Plan an Event, hosted by CharTec’s Marketing Manager, Michelle Cobb.

Watch “The Right Way to Plan an Event” webinar