Hosting live events can change the way you are perceived by your local community, as well as by your prospects all over the world. I have not hosted more than thirty of my own workshops and events and want to explain to you how this came to be and why I am encouraging you to do something similar in your business.
I can remember years ago when I visited Home Depot and saw the schedule for their live workshops prominently featured by the main entrances to the store. For the life of me I could not figure out why this was so important to them. Then I attended one on how to replace the tile on your bathroom counter top and suddenly the bright light went on in my brain. These workshops gave them the opportunity to show off their expertise, showcase their staff, and recommend their products. Very smart.
So how can we emulate this model in our own business? The answer is to start small and grow over time. The first event I hosted in my own city took place in a small room at one of the local hotels. They charged me twenty-five dollars and gave me a three hour time frame. I had five people show up, mainly because I only invited people by calling or emailing them personally. This was in 2006 and I did not yet have the confidence to ask more people to attend. It went very well. We had a mastermind style discussion, with each of us sharing our thoughts and ideas on the topic of marketing ourselves and our businesses online. And I still know all five of those original people!
Within a year I decided to partner with a woman named Dr. Jeanette Cates so that we could host larger events and workshops across the United States. We did five of these over a two year period until we both decided to go our separate ways. Jeanette and I remain good friends to this day and continue to support each other in our business endeavors.
With this experience under my belt I was ready to host even more live events and workshops to attract people who would be interested in what I was doing in my online business. Now I offer two live events each year, either in Las Vegas or Los Angeles, as well as three or four Retreats in Santa Barbara for my smaller groups. My goal is similar to that of Home Depot in my example above. I get to show off my expertise, showcase my clients, and recommend my own courses, products, and programs.
You can do the same thing, no matter what your level of expertise or your topic. This is exactly what I am recommending:
- Commit to hosting a small event within the next thirty days
- Choose a local venue and invite three to five of your friends
- At the end, ask for constructive feedback on your presentation
- Schedule another event within sixty days and invite more people
Typically I prepare a PowerPoint presentation to use throughout my event, but you can also do it with just some notes or handouts. I like to prepare a Workbook for attendees to use to follow along, as well as to provide them with resources, additional information, and my contact details. I also give everyone who attends a copy of one of my books to thank them for coming.
If you want to take this to the next level, plan out in advance what you will offer people who attend as a follow up to your presentation. For example, at my last event I offered my Platinum Mastermind program to those who wished to apply. I handed out applications on the last day and several people joined my mentoring group. You may also want to offer special deals on your books, products, and courses throughout your event.
I sincerely hope you choose to incorporate live events and workshops into your business in 2015. It will definitely change the way you are perceived by the community and increase your bottom line in the long run.