The coaching industry and live events…can we please talk about this?

Attendees from Ignite 2015.

Attendees from Ignite 2015.

A lot of people I talk to are not going to as many live events like they used to. When I ask them why, here are the most common answers:

1. I have already heard all of the same content from the past six events I went to. It’s just people regurgitating the same stuff.

2. I don’t want to be sold to for three days straight.

3. Most events overwhelm me with more information of the “right” way to do things. I don’t need to learn any more information, I need time to implement.

YIKES! And this is totally true. That’s why it’s time for a revolution.

After hosting over 100 live events and making every mistake in the book, here are nine #truthbombs that will set you free when hosting your own live event:

1. Live events can be a really expensive way to get clients.

Four years ago I was complaining about the money that my live event was costing me. The truth is I was really worried about how I would pay for my event.

My colleague I was talking to asked me a profound question: “Why are you hosting a live event if it’s so hard and expensive?”
My reply: “To fill my mastermind program.”
Her reply: “That seems like a really expensive way to make $100,000.”

She was right.

Hosting a live event to fill a program can be a great thing. But if it’s costing you $50,000 to make $100,000 then there are easier ways to fill a program.

That’s why I’m all about streamlining your budget so you get a huge ROI on your live event+ you ENJOY it!

See tip #8 to see my rule-of-thumb for my event ROI now that I’ve learned how to create a classy top-notch event on a budget.

Attendees from Ignite 2015.

Attendees from Ignite 2015.

2. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a 5- or 6-figure payday

A few years ago, a woman came to me asking if it would really cost a minimum of $50,000 to host her 3-day event with 100 people. That is what a few event-planning experts in the coaching industry told her.

Yes, it CAN cost that much and well beyond that. There is a big event in the coaching industry that costs a million dollars to produce. It’s four action-packed days. It’s huge entertainment and education. If that’s your vibe, go for it.

But guess what? A lot of people are done with the hype and that is good news for you if you don’t want to break the bank just to share your message with people in your own live event.

3. You do not need to fill a room with 100+ people to fill a program or have a really awesome payday.

The days of just getting butts in seats to prove you can fill a room are over.

A client of mine made $30,000 in sales from a 6-person retreat. Just six people who were transformed. The offer was easy. And people felt served and genuinely excited for the next step with her after the retreat.

What if you did that just once per quarter?

Consider these event types:

  • Full day workshops with even just 10 people
  • An evening workshop in your living room with five women
  • A retreat in an exotic location
  • Or a large multi-day event

What’s your event profit style (event type + audience size)?

One of the best moments of one of my events: This is my great aunt, my husband (being a good sport in the hat), me and my grandma. Ignite 2012.

One of the best moments of one of my events: This is my great aunt, my husband (being a good sport in the hat), me and my grandma. Ignite 2012.

4. Following the sales script you were taught will likely steal your power.

I see it all the time. Not only am I a business coach with expertise on live events, messaging and marketing, I’m an intuitive. I read energy. I can feel it in the room and I know what’s going on when it’s off.

I know when the speaker is about to make their offer and is is uncomfortable with their offer, their pricing or selling in general because their energy shifts.

The speaker gets nervous – they aren’t comfortable in their power, in their body or in the spotlight. So they over-ride that discomfort by following a script. A script they likely paid thousands of dollars to learn.

Sometimes they even joke about how nervous they are on stage (never do that by the way).

And sometimes they even get sales from it. But because they sold in a way that was out of alignment with their authentic marketing and sales style, it usually attracts the wrong kinds of clients.

And sometimes they don’t make any sales.

A colleague of mine filled her room with over 50 people and made one sale. She’s a sales expert. Ironic? She ignored her authentic style and followed “the formula.” Her way would have worked better.

Bottom line: When you know your marketing and sales style you sell in a way that feels amazing and attracts dream clients.

5. Hosting a live event actually may not be a fit for you at all

Some people want to speak to rooms that they don’t have to fill and that is totally cool. Some people want to be a paid speaker and just show up and deliver their message and leave. If that’s your model, awesome.

But if you are tired of waiting to be asked to be on other’s stages, maybe it’s time to think about how to put the power back in your hands.

If you are in the business of getting one-on-one and group program clients, there are three core ways to do that:

  • Network and invite people into strategy sessions
  • Speak and invite people into strategy sessions
  • Host a live event and either sell from stage or invite people into strategy sessions. This can also be online (webinar or teleclass).Either way, you have to talk with people and enroll them. Whether you are making on offer from stage or one-on-one, having sales conversations in your marketing and sales stye is essential.

6. Your speakers are replaceable, you are not.

A fashion show highlighting women of all shapes and sizes, including teens. Just one of the fun things I've done one of my events.

A fashion show highlighting women of all shapes and sizes, including teens. Just one of the fun things I’ve done one of my events.

A common mistake I see is event hosts filling their event with other speakers and they eventually weed themselves out of any real stage time. They essentially turn themselves into the emcee of their event instead of the main speaker.

I did this at my first event. I thought other speakers were better than I was and I wasn’t confident in my own message. I wanted to help others who had a message so I paid them to be on my stage.

Speakers you invite to share your stage are replaceable. I hate to say that but it’s true.

But guess what? You are not replaceable. You are the real power behind your event. If you disappear then so does the transformation you want to create in the world.


7. Filling a room is easy, filling the room with the RIGHT people takes alignment and strategy.

In the event world we call filling a room “getting butts in seats.”

I recently sponsored an event and part of my sponsorship was to have six people register for the event or my sponsorship rate would increase by $1,500.

I used to do this model and stopped doing it a couple of years ago.

Why? Because as I was trying to fill my six seats, so were the other sponsors and so was the event host…we were all giving away tickets…for free.

That strategy devalues your event. And there are event hosts who will tell you it’s a great strategy, and it can be if that is your business model. It’s not mine.

I believe it’s one of the ways the coaching industry and the events it produces are getting a bad reputation. Lots of people are filing their events with free tickets only to sell to attendees for three days straight. Ick.

You don’t have to fill your event with free tickets just to fill the room. There’s a better way.

8. Paying big bucks to an event company is likely a waste of money (yes I said it)

A few years back I inquired with a big event company to provide event support for my event. This was when I was hosting 200+ person events.

Just to find the location and negotiate with the venue had a price tag of $30,000. I thought maybe there was a typo and there was an extra zero. Nope, it was thirty thousand dollars for this company to find a venue and negotiate my contract with them. It was a lot more to have them onsite to manage the event.

There are times when you need a large team to produce your event. MOST entrepreneurs don’t need it.

Don’t let yourself get talked into the big price tags because that’s what you “should” do if you are serious about hosting an awesome live event.

Get creative. Use wisdom. And start where you are. If you have $1,000, then make the most of it. If you have $25,000 the make the most of it.

My rule of thumb is to generate 10x what you invest. Most of my 3-day events NOW cost around $10,000 and they typically generate around $100,000 in sales. My events are simple, beautiful and classy and I don’t break the bank to do it.

9. Live events require a lot of moving parts, some are really unsexy and even boring.

My least favorite part of live events is getting the nametags and making sure the registration list is accurate. I now delegate that part of my event and I never want to touch a nametag again. #keepingitreal

There are details like that and like unpacking event supplies (my second least favorite task), that are boring for YOU and just not your gig. That’s cool because the good news there are support people who are fabulous at that stuff so give it to them!

My event team freaking ROCKS! I love them and they love to be a part of my vision.

Your job is to be the visionary, market the event and provide killer content.

Here’s the best part of a live event:

When you see someone completely change before your eyes.

What you are teaching them is changing their life. And they will impact their friends, family and community.

And THAT my friends, is how we create global transformation. It may start with your in your living room hosting an evening workshop.

P.S. I’m teaching you everything you need to know to host your own live event without breaking the bank. Check out Luminosity: The Event Revolution for Soulpreneurs right HERE.