EVENTS101 is an education program designed to help events-producing organizations develop teams that can create, produce, and manage events that achieve mission, engagement, and fundraising goals.

Taught by instructors with decades of experience producing events from intimate fundraisers to large-scale fairs and festivals, our team brings practical, hard-earned expertise, a track record of industry innovation, and unique insights to the EVENTS101 classroom experience.

Students learn the theories and best practices that form the backbone of high-quality event visioneering, production, and operation, and will have the opportunity to examine real-world events that have gone right (or wrong) through historical case studies.


We deliver EVENTS101 training in four main ways: POPUPS, which are mini-classes that we produce in multiple areas throughout the year; TEAM TRAININGS, semi-custom programs delivered to a single organization; COMMUNITY EVENTS UNIVERSITY, a hosted or sponsored event designed to teach many community organizations at once; and TURNKEY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS, ideal for integrating our content tracks into local, regional, or national conferences and other industry events.


Hosted or Sponsored EVENTS101 trainings one- or two-day EVENTS101 learning experiences that brings live events training to staff from multiple, local, community-focused organizations. These EVENTS101 sessions are HOSTED by a single local organization, like a Chamber of Commerce, regional arts council, or local government that provides space, funding, and support for the training. They can also be brought to life by a SPONSOR who underwrites the event (such as a regional utility or donor) in partnership with a local nonprofit or other organization that can provide appropriate meeting space and support for the sessions.


EVENTS101 POP-UPS are full-day events education sessions that are presented regionally throughout the United States each year. Topics are selected based on recent trends in the events industry (e.g., COVID-19 health screening), student interest, industry best practices, and recent happenings at events worldwide that deserve attention (e.g., Astroworld). These events are open to the public and all are welcome, no matter your background, industry, or expertise in event production.


Team Trainings are private versions of the EVENTS101 program designed specifically to develop a single organization’s in-house event production or event presentation capacity. You’ll work closely with Foundation staff to create a one- or two-day agenda that covers the topics your team needs to crush their event production goals!


If you’re planning a local or regional conference and are interested in providing an education track to your guests focused on event production, Foundation’s EVENTS101 series can be a turnkey, plug-and-play solution to your education programming needs. Our standard training sessions can also be customized to the needs of your event and even potentially integrate case studies or speakers from your attendees.


Preparing your temporary, seasonal, or gig staff to perform at a high level has always been a challenge. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing economic uncertainty, event venues and producers are facing increased difficulty in finding staff to hire at all, let alone experienced staff, thanks to a near-universal multi-year gap in venue and event operations. Thanks to our background in envisioning, developing, and producing events – and teaching about all aspects of the events industry – we’re uniquely positioned to help you ensure your events staff is well-versed in the subjects needed to ensure your event or venue’s success this season. We’ll work with you to create custom lesson plans based on our library of events-production topics, like crowd management, guest services, life safety, and more. We’ll layer in specific requirements from your locality for things like alcohol control regulations. And we’ll incorporate any specific topics, requirements, or other preferences specific to your event or venue.

Interested in HOSTING or SPONSORING events training for your community?


EVENTS101 sessions are typically one- or two-day events that cover approximately six to seven topic areas per day. Our lessons are constantly evolving because the events and experiences industry is constantly changing. Whether it’s a global pandemic, exciting new technologies like RFID, crowd management disasters like Astroworld, or new approaches to engaging diverse or underrepresented audiences, our classes are updated based on the latest academic and commercial developments and the hard-earned expertise of industry professionals.

Our courses are taught by experienced events experts and are vetted (and often taught by) university professors with significant academic and real-world events experience. Imagine these sessions as university courses distilled to their essence and streamlined for today’s busy professionals.


Below are examples of some of the many topics we’ve covered in EVENTS101 and other teaching sessions in the past. If there’s a topic you’re interested in but don’t see listed, there’s a good chance we’ve already taught it OR that we’d be happy to create the class for your organization.

Designing and Producing Effective Mission-Focused Events

Nobody produces events just for the sake of doing it. Understanding the true purpose of your events is like having the address for your GPS app and is a crucial first step. This session paints a big picture perspective for your events, helping you achieve your mission success and objectives.

Events as Engagement: Building Relationships with Members, Guests, and Other Stakeholders

Engagement is the secret sauce for your organization, the magical ingredient that gives you the ability to connect with your audience. In this session, we’ll share our Foundation Engagement Model, a proven set of simple to understand points you can easily adapt into your engagement planning.

A Road Map for Event Sponsorship Success

Events are an outstanding opportunity to engage your audience and generate revenue. Often, though, we don’t know where to start and don’t understand the true costs of fundraising.  This session provides a clear road map to follow, allowing you to maximize your resources in a vibrant and successful event sponsorship program.


You could create the perfect event, but without the right marketing campaign, who will be there to enjoy it?  This session focuses on the opportunities and challenges of event marketing, and the strategies and tactics to be successful.


Confused about how great events ideas are born? This session will open your eyes to event visioneering and how to effectively match your mission and events concepts with the hard reality of budget limitations, staff bandwidth, venue accessibility, state and local laws, and more. Discover how to gain initial organizational and stakeholder buy-in, and how to effectively use event timelines in the event creation process.


Contracts for events-related services can be quite different than the contracts you may see in the normal course of business. In addition to a review of general contract best practices, this session will help you understand how to review events-focused contracts and effectively write your own; how to develop Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from vendors and contractors; how to handle agreements with venues and performers; key negotiating tips; and in-class exercises to help you up your contracts game!


Managing on-site financial issues can make or break your event. Should your event be all-cash, all-credit, or a mix of both? How will you build accountability in systems and staff to ensure cash and credit transactions are secure across your site, from admissions to stores, concessions, and more. How to plan and scale effectively for cash and credit processes and technologies, online and in-person ticket sales and admissions. How to partner with security and law enforcement to develop financial procedures to ensure all financial transactions are handled flawlessly, counted accurately, and transported securely to your bank.


Events are often complex, dynamic constructs with tasks and dependencies that evolve constantly throughout your production. Timelines are a critical tool for keeping everything under control, from the status of key contracts through marketing, permits, fundraising, and more. Students will learn an approach to timeline development that will help them successfully manage each phase of the event process, from development and pre-planning, through the production process, to event implementation and evaluation.


Organizations often have board members, committees, and constituency groups who want or need a say in various stages of event production. The trouble is that these groups often lack event production experience, which can lead to disaster for your event, thanks to missed deadlines, impractical or bad ideas, endless second-guessing, or worse. Just like it’s easier to ask your builder to move a wall or add a bathroom to your new house before the walls have been built, it’s so much easier (and sometimes fun!) to work with your board and others if you know how to guide and optimize their input to maximum effect.

7 Steps to Successful Volunteer Recruitment and Retention

Have you ever thought, “we can never find enough volunteers?”  You’re not alone, but the real issue is retention and relationship-building.   We’ll discuss volunteer motivations and how to cultivate their interest in your organization’s success.

Project Spotlight: The Fight Against COVID-19 Food Insecurity

As the COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses and disrupted supply chains, Fairfax County, VA tapped a member of our team to create and lead a logistics operation to ensure critical food supplies reached families in need. One year and 65 food distributions later, more than four million pounds of food were distributed across six Northern Virginia sites, along with 70,000+ pounds of pet food.


The best event producers constantly chase efficiency. How to make more money? How to make production easier? How to engage more deeply with our guests? Planning to do better at events is an ongoing process that depends on gathering, analyzing, and understanding data from past events. This class provides a big-picture perspective of evaluation objectives and detailed instruction on methods to gain vitally-needed information for future use.


Whether you’d like to improve an existing program or build a new event that effectively embraces your mission priorities, this class is for you! Students will be introduced to a guided toolset for evaluating and implementing programs and experiences that have mission focus, provide experiential opportunities for guests, and minimize resources needed for production.


Trained Crowd Managers are generally required by state or local laws in proportion to the total number of guests on site at your events. While state requirements and certification programs vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, this course provides some fundamental insights into effective crowd management, including powerful behavioral tools for engaging with guests, how to lay out your event and schedule your programming to positively influence the flow of crowds, and much more.


This session offers a guided how-to for the creation of an emergency plan (often required by state or local Fire Code), methods for mitigating risk in event production, and tips to provide a safe event environment.


“But what’s it going to cost?” Whether you’re in a for-profit, nonprofit, or government agency role, this is a question we’ve all heard from our bosses when we pitch anything, including events. A solid budget not only helps you envision and track hard costs but also helps you understand how your budget – and ultimately your event – will fare based on dynamic changes in scalable costs, changes in attendance, and other factors.

Unlocking the Unknown: Answering Your Questions (Even If You Didn’t Know You Had Them!)

The greatest challenge to producing events is not that you don’t have all the answers.  It’s that sometimes you don’t know the questions.  This session is an open dialogue, allowing you to ask any questions you have that weren’t answered in our other sessions.  Part networking, part Q&A, and part wrap-up to our Events101 Workshop, we’ll help you unlock the answers to your event planning and production questions!

Schedule an EVENTS101 Team Training for your organization today!