Anyone can host an event during Forward Fest, as long as the event:
Is open and inclusive
Cross-promotes the Festival and other events
Is related to entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity
The first step to hosting an event is filling out the event form on the website. Once you’ve submitted, we’ll follow up and let you know of any questions.
You can choose any venue that you like in the greater Madison area; there are no required or “central” venues during the Festival. We find that events near downtown Madison often get more attendees than those farther away, but it’s totally up to you. Let us know if you need suggestions!
This year, many events will be virtual, and we can help you figure that out. Please contact us with questions.
The Forward Fest team is here to answer any questions you have and help you with anything you need! Our goal is to make this a smooth event for you and your attendees. We maintain the ForwardFest.org website, handle the Forward Pass ticketing, and can help set up your registration page, if you like. We will provide you with social media tools and guidelines to help you promote your event, and do some promotion to our email lists and social media followers. If there’s anything you need, just ask!
The Forward Pass allows access to a large percentage of Forward Festival events. As an event organizer, you can decide if you would like to participate in the Forward Pass or not.
When someone buys a Forward Pass, they'll get access to most events plus the Forward Fest app and web platform. Please let us know if you have limited capacity, so we can be sure that Forward Pass holders know your event is first come, first served for them.
You do not need to pay a fee to be part of the Forward Festival. You are welcome to host an event, as long as you follow the guidelines outlined in this FAQ.
You can sell tickets, solicit sponsorships, or ask for in-kind donations to fund your event. The Festival will recognize any sponsors that give more than $2,500 across all events (including in-kind donations, such as event space), which will get their names on signs at the Festival's 50+ events.
In order to do that, we ask that you please let us know of any event sponsors who commit to supporting your event.
There will be some attendees who find your event from the Forward Fest website, app, and other promotions, or through your listing with the Forward Pass. However, because the calendar is so busy, you should plan to get the majority of your attendees through your own network and promotions. Remember that your event can be any size you like - in fact, some of the most effective events are smaller in scale.
Forward Festive-ale is beer brewed specifically for Forward Fest by a local brewery. You can order this beer in kegs of various sizes on the event form, and serve it at your event. An invoice will be handled through your event venue, or sent directly to the person you indicate on the event form. Please be sure you are following the alcohol service policies of your event venue, which may mean having your caterer order the beer directly. We can help if you have questions.
Still have questions?
We'd love to help!
Join us as we virtually kickoff Forward Festival 2021! RSVP here.
Spring Tech Kickoff event. RSVP here
Event details due for listing on website (price, registration link, summary of event, location, and 100-character teaser)
Last day to add an event to the Forward Pass (FP prices set based on event details)
Forward Pass sales open
Last day to add an event to the early promo calendar
Last day to order Forward Festive-ale for your event
Last day to add an event and sponsors for Forward signage and event listings (can be on website if added later)
Last day to order a Forward Pass
Forward Pass pick up begins
First day of Forward Festival
The final day of Forward Fest
Please fill out the form below if you would like to host an event during Forward Festival, August 2021.
Your responses will be used to populate the event listings here on the website, as well as in other promotional materials. You will be contacted by a member of the Forward Fest planning committee after your form is submitted if we have any questions.
The event organizer kickoff for 2021 will be held on Friday, March 5 at noon. RSVP here
Don't have answers yet? No problem! Fill out what you have, and add more details later. Any questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forward Fest 2021 is on this year! We expect events will happen both in person and virtually this year. We are committed to the safety of our attendees, event organizers, and the community. Please use good judgement and abide by the requirements set forth by Dane County Public Health and the CDC recommendations.
We recommend you subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
Webinar from Meetup.com: "Bringing Events Online: How to keep your group engaged, healthy, and growing"
Article from Creative Bloq: "How to host a virtual event: 10 expert tips"