Should You Do a Live Event?
On the surface, hosting a live event might seem like something to do once you’ve got a more established or advanced business. The reality is anyone can do them, even if you’re just starting out. This week’s video is about harnessing the power of live events to grow your business (plus a few things I’ve learned from hosting 50+ live events).
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So this week I want to talk about live events because they are very much on my mind. I've actually got three live events coming up in completely different flavors.
I just wanted to talk about live events and why you might consider doing them even if you're just starting out or if you've got a great business, but you've never done one before. Because the reality is, just like a musician doesn't step in to play in a stadium … they start off in a bar first, and then they work up to an auditorium, and then a bigger auditorium, and then eventually they get to the stadium.
It's the same way with live events. I've been doing them since 2007. I've done 12 or 13 or maybe 15 big ones and probably 30 or 40 smaller events. They have completely transformed my business. I started very humbly. Now we've got these crazy amazing ones where I've got this huge staff, and all kinds of stuff going on, but you can just start out simply.
So here's three reasons why you should consider it, and then three things you've got to think about to have an effective event.
1 – Positioning and authority. There is nothing that can get you positioning and authority like having an event. I mean if you think about it, if you could just get on stage or speak on someone else's stage – it's super powerful with that audience. But, then if you could take it to the next level and be the person that hosts the events… it's massive positioning. You get to be seen as an expert. You get to be seen as a go-to person – it's incredible.
2 – Second reason is revenue… you can make a lot of money with events. There are several different ways and we'll get to that over here, but they can be great revenue generators.
3 – The third one is the strategic by-products. They are absolutely crazy. I got this term from Dan Sullivan. If I look at my business and where I am at right now, and we're at a new peak in this business, and it's going great, and I can trace back almost every great thing that's happening in my business … I can trace it back in one form or another to one of my live events. Some of them going all the way back to that first event I did in 2007. The connections you make, the partnerships you create, the content you deliver, the community you build, has huge long-term impacts that you just can't even foresee. For instance, Product Launch Formula is now licensed in three languages outside of English, and we're about to have our fourth language coming up very soon. None of that would have happened if I didn't start doing live events a decade ago. Some of those things took years to develop but those connections, that tribe you create in a live event… there's nothing like it.
1 – You have to worry about filling the event. That should be the number one thing as you start to plan an event. You can do this very, very simply. It could just be a little tiny conference room at your local hotel that holds 12 people. Doesn't cost much to get that room for a day or two or three. It could be just a couple hundred dollars. But, you have to think about who you're gonna get there, and what experience you are going to create for them. Who's your avatar? I mean, this is basic marketing. Who is your avatar? Who is your perfect person to be in that room? What outcome can you promise them, to get them in that room? Then you back out from there and say, “What marketing is going to communicate that value to them?” It's basic marketing. It's a great place for Product Launch Formula. PLF is all about taking your marketing and turning it into an event. If you're doing a live event, an in-person live event, you don't have to work very hard to turn it into an event, because it already is an event. It's an event with built-in deadlines. It's an event with built-in scarcity. And that can be super powerful for filling it.
2 – Worry about the experience. It doesn't have to be perfect. You can get on stage and be yourself. That's what my whole brand is about. It's just me being me. But, I have learned a few things over the years from doing all these events. The first one is: the start of the event is important. Another one is: the end of the event is important. It's just like playing a song, if you're a musician and you're performing. Then, if you nail the beginning, nail the end, it doesn't really matter what happens in the middle. That's the same way with your event. Think about the beginning of the event, and the end of the event. Then think about each day, if it's a multi-day, the beginning of the day and the end of the day. Then within each presentation, each segment of the event, think about the beginning and the end. Get those right, and you win. Get people moving around, get people in different states, get people connecting, giving them exercises. I just gave you four tips. The events I do are just otherworldly. If you're watching this and you've been to one of my events, scroll down, leave a comment, and tell people about my events, because they are incredible. Yes, here I'm bragging, I'm patting myself on the back, but they're not like any other marketing events or business events you've been to. Because we get people… we get them moving, we get them excited, we get them working on stuff, so they walk away with a real tangible action plan. I could go on and on bragging about my events, but the thing is, you have to worry about what the experience is. You have to think about the narrative of the event, of how you're going to change people from when they walk in the door to when they leave. Both in terms of the content and in terms of them having a plan to go forward. In terms of how they feel about themselves. In terms of how they feel about the community that you create within that room.
3 – Then you need a revenue plan. Think about your revenue plan. There's a number of ways to pull revenue out of an event. One is ticket sales. You sell seats to your event. Another one is to make an offer at the event. I'm not talking about those old-school pitch-fests where you have no content, you have speaker after speaker after speaker coming up, and giving a no-content-talk or a very light content, and then a massive offer. Not talking about that at all. But, what I am talking about is have the event naturally lead into the next step and I do this at my events. I'll have one offer, typically, that I make. Even at our LaunchCon event coming up, it's going to be absolutely amazing. That's one of my three events that's coming up. It's the latest and greatest cutting-edge (content) in the launch world. The faculty is a hundred percent people in my mastermind. So it's going to be me, and people in my mastermind. At some point in the event I'll actually make an offer. I'll make one offer, that's what we'll have at the event. Otherwise it's going to be pure content. But that one offer will make a substantial amount of revenue. Another way to bring in revenue once you're down the road and you have a bigger event, is sponsorship. We don't do a lot of that, we do a little bit of that. Sponsorships can be great. The other one is just all the amazing by-products … all the things that can come to you from it. Like my licensing deals that came directly, not because I went out looking for it, but because I built relationships within my events. The relationship building within a live event … there's nothing like it … that positioning. There's nothing like it. And, the strategic by-products can be huge. When you're starting out you do have to worry about the revenue plan. You do have to worry about paying for your costs. You do have to worry about having it be worth your time. I'm at the point now where I can do an event like LaunchCon, and yeah, we sell seats for $1,000, but it's incredibly under-priced. It's an extraordinary event for that pricing, We'll bring in money from that. I know I've got that money covered. That'll pay for that huge staff I've got there. I'll make an offer there. That'll get me profitable, but I know the experience we create, it's just so incredibly high value, that the strategic by-products that come to me will be absolutely massive.
So, yeah, live events, consider doing them far earlier in your career than you think you should, because they can be a ton of fun, and there is so much good that can come from them. They're absolutely epic. If you already have a business, and you're not doing live events, consider them because they're fantastic – they're amazing. Like I said, I've got these three coming up here. In this headquarters, there is a meeting room. Next week I'm gonna have this small, probably ten or twelve people here, just a tiny little mastermind. That'll be fantastic. We call it the charity mastermind, we raised $120,000 for ‘Charity: Water' (that's a fantastic non-profit) by doing this mastermind. Then I've got LaunchCon coming up. We'll probably have eight or nine hundred people at that one. That'll be absolutely epic. That's in November. And then December is this one I can't even really talk about yet. It's the live launch implementation workshop. It's going to be super super cool, and that's going to fit in the middle… that's going to be more in that fifty to a hundred people (range) so it's going to be small, it's going to be intimate. There's a lot more connection and facetime between me and the audience. I can't do that when there's eight hundred or a thousand people, so that one's going to be really cool. Three big events coming up for me in the next three months. I'm excited.
Think about doing live events earlier in your business and career than you probably have. If you already have a nice business consider live events. It can be a huge level up for you.
I'm Jeff Walker.
Wherever you're watching us, scroll down, leave a comment for me. If you've been to one of my live events, tell people down in the comments, because I'm proud of what we do, I'm proud of what we create.
Let's go get 'em this week.