On stage at Ignite Your Spark 2012.

On stage at Ignite Your Spark 2012.

You cannot imitate the kind of transformation that happens in a live environment but even so, I stopped doing my big events this year. Why? I couldn’t do the event formula any longer.

I have a knack for pulling together a big vision with the right colors, content, flow and ambiance together to create a big impact.

Live events in the coaching industry are getting a bad rap and for good reason. Generally, event hosts are assuming (although I believe they are unconscious about this) that you are not smart enough to make decisions without pressure, that you are desperate, or both.

Live events break down into: 1-filling the room, 2-giving content/value, 3-making an offer, 4-repeat. The bigger the event, the more details you manage.

Here is the coaching industry standard: Host a 2-3 day event, fill the room how ever you can, make your big offer on the afternoon of day #2, tell people the what and just part of the how so they “are more motivated to buy your big offer,” give people a show and they will be impressed. The end. Repeat every time you want to have a 6- or 7figure payday.

Easy peasy right?

People are seeing through this formula.

You’ve been there right?

You give your $97 or $197 refundable deposit. You show up and register with 100-1,000 other people who have done the same thing. And you get your refund check along with your name badge.

You feel the energy, staff is wearing their branded shirts and the events signs that are strategically placed, let you know that something big is happening inside that hotel conference room.

African dancers at the finale session of Ignite Your Spark 2012.

African dancers at the finale session of Ignite Your Spark 2012.

You go in the room with loud music and low lighting…then you see it: The opening act.

Sometimes it’s the speaker, sometimes it’s top-dollar entertainment and you start feeling that thing in your gut that says “Yes, this is cool. I want to do this.”It’s actually pretty fun!

(Or sometimes, that feeling in your gut is telling you to run far away.)

The acts continue with speakers and their strategic presentation to inspire you and sell their resources. And when the speaker does well, you are authentically engaged and enrolled in how they can help you. Other times, you are made to feel like an idiot if you don’t buy what they are selling.

The first thing that has got to go is the shaming.  

I remember my very first THRIVE event and when I was giving my offer from stage and I had a rush to the back of the room. Damn, it felt good.

I had over two dozen people apply for one of my 12-month programs so I created a second program to accommodate everyone who I could truly serve. It was awesome. I have built my business predominantly from my live events and I LOVE events so it was a huge decision to not do Ignite Your Spark or THRIVE this year. Why I stopped was very simple:

People are smart and they want more. They want to network with other INVESTED folks (not freebie tickets), they want REAL content and they want REAL solutions. And I wanted to give it to them but it was going to cost more than a $97 refundable deposit. So I changed my event model to hold my client retreats, exclusive retreats with 6-10 women so I could really give the kind of content and transformation I wanted to.

Plus I wanted to take the year and create the kind of event I would want to attend and that is coming in June 2015! I’m SO excited!

Here are some tips to choose the events you attend and events you should host:

1. You get what you pay for.

One thing that always cracked me up is every once in a while I would have an attendee at one of my events complain that there were too many sales offers being made. But they paid $97 to be there. If you pay $97 to attend a 2- or 3-day event or you pay a deposit and get it back, of course people will be selling to you. Do you seriously expect to pay next to nothing and not get any resources offered to you?

Typically the more you pay for an event, the more content you will get and less sales. Not all of the time, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

If folks are complaining about being “sold” to too much, it usually comes down to one of two things: They bought a cheap ticket to an event and that is going to happen OR, they have issues with selling themselves so they are quick to be offended if people sell to them.

If you are going to attend conferences like that, you can expect to receive invitations for more resources.

2. Why are you really there?

Are you really attending a 3-day event to transform your entire business from the inside out? Or your marriage? Or your health? Or what ever the topic is?

You can’t rewire your entire life or business in three days. Yes you can learn some great stuff and you can have big breakthroughs. But it’s when you get home is where the real transformation occurs. Are you really going to DO something differently? Most people fizzle out at home, which is why offers made at conferences and events are so valuable. When an offer is made from an event, from an authentic place of service, AND you buy it + you take action and really show up, you won’t be one of those folks who goes to event after event hoping the next secret tip will change your life and you won’t have to really invest in yourself to make it happen.