Part 3: Hosting
Yes, there are speakers who don’t care and their focus is to get as many sales as possible, whether it’s a fit for someone or not.
I’ve been behind the scenes at enough multi-day events to hear the conversations about how to GET as many sales from people and it doesn’t matter who the person is, what they really need, or if what they’re being sold is actually a fit for them.
In my experience, there are a LOT more people who actually care then don’t care.
Remember in the very beginning of this article series and I shared that one of my events called THRIVE was more salesy than I was comfortable with? How did I let that happen?
Why did I let that happen?
The answer is simple: I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do.
Fear or Out of Alignment?
When I expressed my concern that it was too salesy to my mentor, I was met with “Oh that’s just your fear talking. I promise this will work.”
That was one of the many experiences I’ve had that taught me the difference between being out of alignment and fear.
At the time, I was experiencing both fear and that something was WAY off for me. I didn’t know how to discern it and I was paying people lots of money to tell me what to do and no one was asking me what was true for me.
I now make very different choices when hiring people to mentor me.
There are many models to host events. The main three are:
- You can pay speakers
- Your speakers can sell and split their sales with you.
- Your speakers can pay you to speak on your stage.
I have used all three models and there are pros and cons of each model depending on the strategy of your event.
The first women’s conference I held in 2009 hosted over 200 attendees. I lost $40,000 on that event and my speakers all made money. I made my keynote speaker, a LOT of money over the next few years by having her speak at my events. I made other keynote speakers a lot of money too. They used my platform and ability to fill a room to their advantage, as they should have. That’s the advantage of being a speaker.
I then learned that I could make money too from my hard work and I changed my model. I no longer pay speakers. That may change if my intuition is on board with it AND it fits my event strategy.
After making my speakers a LOT of money, I changed my model to a sponsor model where my speakers had to pay me to speak at my event and in return they could keep 100% of their sales.
Some speakers are highly offended by this model.
I get it.
Speakers – you have to choose the event model that works for you.
Event hosts – you have to choose the event model that works for you.
Choose Your Speakers Wisely
There are plenty of speakers in each genre and topic and if you think a big-name speaker is going to pull hundreds of people to your event then you may be disappointed and it may not be worth shelling out that $20,000+++ to have a keynote speaker like that at your event.
And it might be.
That’s just it, there is no ONE way for everyone or every event.
After hosting a lot of events, I got over my fear of being too salesy.
While I’ve made offers to my programs at my multi-day events, I’ve chosen to have it be authentic and in integrity for what works for me.
There are some participants who’ve been turned off by the offer and others who are just fine with it.
Rather than having a low entry point to attend the event and a pitch, I’m moving more toward a higher priced-event without an official sales pitch.
Mentors have warned me against moving to this model that and I’m willing to take the risk.
Why host an event?
Hosting events can be an incredible way to make great money. It can also be an expensive way to make great money. It can be an expensive way to lose money.
One thing I believe and I’m seeing a lot more people echo this is people are craving authentic connection. Online marketing, webinars, and telecalls are great and it doesn’t replace getting in the same room together.
Just as the housing market crashed in 2008 in the US and the impact that had on consumers, the coaching industry has been going through a version of it and we’re not through with it yet.
Consumers are waking up.
Service providers are having to re-evaluate their strategies because what worked last year doesn’t work today. Consumers are demanding more and are being more discerning about where they invest their time and money.
I think discernment is a great thing. It’s creating a demand for service providers to step up, which has needed to happen for a while.
There are still going to be those slimy events, until enough consumers demand more.
The bottom line
Use your intuition. Be empowered and aware with your choices!
Don’t just blindly follow the marketing that someone puts out. Trust your gut. Ask questions. And please honor yourself.
At the end of the day, YOU, the consumer choose where you spend your time and money. Trust your gut. Honor what’s a yes for you.