It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.
I've been traveling more than usual this year to live events (seminars, conferences, etc). So, this week, I asked my friends the following.
“How many events do you attend in a year?
How do you choose which ones are worth your time and effort?”
I think you'll find their answers interesting.
Lou Bortone of Video in a Day says:
I usually attend about 10 events and conferences per year. It used to be a lot more, but I've gotten very selective (and I don't want to spend my life on airplanes!)
My “filter” is three-fold:
1. Will I be speaking or presenting at the event?
2. Is the audience primarily my target market?
3. Will there be karaoke? (Kidding, but I do prefer events with fun peeps!)
The main consideration is whether or not I'll be speaking. If not, I usually turn down the event. The exception is if I'm in a coaching program or mastermind group that has meetings and events. Obviously, if I'm paying for a big mastermind program, I'll make every effort to attend…
David Perdew of NAMS says:
To tell the truth, I’m not sure we can attend enough live events.
People complain about not having enough money to attend live events, but if you’re not making 10 times the cost of going to a live event immediately following the live event, then you’re not doing it right.
1) Go for free (I’ll explain how…)
2) Focus on profit
I’ve been to a live event every month since April this year (except May).
Not only have they all been free (yes, I paid for all my tickets…), but each has made me tons of money.
When I decide to go, I’m committed. When I’m committed, I tell people about it. When I tell people about it, I use an affiliate link to get my money back even before I go. Always. That’s how I make sure I’m not paying out of pocket for any event – i.e. Go for FREE!
Then, there’s profit…
When I attend an event, I look for someone – at least one person that I can JV with on a cool promotion that’s good for my folks. Then I mail my community about that opportunity and Voila! Cash in the inbox.
Much more cash than the cost of the event – much more. My average this year has been about 10 times the cost of the event.
Sometimes, I schedule two Joint Venture promotions.
That’s the primary benefit – immediate cash.
The long-term benefits are ongoing relationships.
I’m not a natural networker, so it’s a little bit of work for me to stick my hand out and introduce myself to people I don’t know. But once I do that, I can talk to anyone.
And out of nervousness, I talk too much.
Then, I have to remind myself it’s time to listen and ask questions.
Watch me at the next event. You’ll see this pattern in me.
Know your patterns too and go to events – lots of them, especially NAMS from Feb. 7-9 – to meet the right people and increase your income.
The relationships you build at events turn into business profit faster than anything else I’ve ever done.
Video from of our Weekend Retreat at David's Cabin in the Woods:
Note: Seconds 42-45 crack me up every time I watch this.
Kristen Eckstein of Self Publish on Demand says:
How many events I attend each year varies based on:
- how many I'm asked to come speak at
- the ones I regularly attend whether I'm speaking or not
- special events put on by my coaches like mastermind retreats.
Most years I attend and/or speak at about one event each month, so up to 12 per year.
The types of events I attend are the ones where my target audience hangs out. Before I defined who my target audience was, I wasted time, energy and money attending events that did nothing for me or my business. Now that I know who my audience is, I go to business conferences and events where entrepreneurs hang out and develop working partnerships.
Specifically, my favorites of these events are the NAMS (Novice to Advanced Marketing Systems) workshop and small mastermind retreats such as Bob Jenkins' Hotseat Holidays and Nicole Dean's and Kelly McCausey's Beachpreneur weekends. The relationships formed at these particular events have catapulted my success in the past few years. I would not be as far as I am today without them.
You may wonder why I don't attend author events… after all, I am a book coach. My specialty is in non-fiction business books. The few author conferences I've attended have had hardly any business-minded attendees. Only business-minded attendees understand what power a book used as a marketing tool can give their reputation, credibility, and bottom line. Typical “authors” want to write – and nothing else. They aren't my audience, even though people may think they are. (Of course, if I get asked to speak at one of these events I may consider going for that one out of every 10 in the audience who is in my target market.)
I encourage you to figure out exactly who your target audience is, then schedule at least one event per quarter to check out. If you find an event that's extra amazing for you, such as I did with NAMS, make sure you attend as many of those recurring events as possible. The more you attend, the deeper relationships will form.
Oh and if you're struggling with finding out who your target audience is, I (of course) recently authored a Kindle book for that… Author's Quick Guide to Finding Your Target Market. No more excuses! 😉
Fun picture from NAMS (after hours):
Jeanette S. Cates, PhD of Plan Your Online Business says:
I used to attend 6-12 events per year, but in recent years I have cut back a lot. Part of that was personal choice and part was because there comes a point in your business when you don't need to be at a lot of events unless you are speaking.
In the past couple of years I have attended only 2-3 events per year – Jim Edward's JimBoat, Armand Morin's live events and Product University with Robert Plank and Lance Tomashiro. I know them all personally, enjoy their teaching styles and am inspired to action from their events.
I've also attended a lot of “live” events online. It's more comfortable, more convenient, a better use of my time. And I can keep my travel time for vacations! But it does require focus and discipline to be sure you actually “attend” with your attention and action.
Each time an event is offered I look carefully at the agenda and who is presenting each topic. Then I ask myself –
- Do I need to know this for my business right now?
- Is this the best person I know to learn from on this topic?
- Is there an advantage to meeting the presenter in person, if I don't already know them?
- Is there enough content in this event that it makes the trip worthwhile?
I believe it comes down to where you are in your business, how much you enjoy travel, and what you need to learn. Regardless of those considerations, attending live events is a MUST if you want to build your business.
Connie Ragen Green of Affiliate Marketing Case Studies says:
I currently attend or speak at about ten events each year. My all time high was in 2010 when I was at sixteen events, and two of those were my own.
Being able to connect with people face to face has helped me to grow my business bigger than I could ever have imagined.
During my first two years online – 2006 and 2007 – I did not go to any live events. I held the belief that I could not afford it, I did not need to leave home, and that it would not be worth my time, energy, and investment! Was I sure wrong!
My first event was in the spring of 2008 in Atlanta. It was costly for me to purchase my ticket, pay for the flight across country from Los Angeles to Atlanta, and to stay in the hotel. I did not know anyone there, and when I saw almost a thousand people I felt like going back to my room to hide. I'm an introvert and was not comfortable with all those people.
I managed to make a friend, and together we made it through the first day. Then something magical happened and we both started having fun! The result was that I connected with many people whom I would not have met otherwise, learned so much from the presenters, and even earned some money within a few weeks because of affiliate links I shared.
These days I'm asked to speak at several events each year and also host my own live workshops. You MUST attend some live events, and choose the ones that will help you to achieve your goals.
San Francisco Pic with Connie (BEST. WEEKEND. EVER.):
Kelly McCausey of Solo Smarts Podcast says:
When I put my suitcase away for a long winter's nap at the end of October, I will have traveled eight times in 2013.
Here'w where I've been:
- January: Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Francisco, CA
- February: NAMS9 in Atlanta, GA
- June: Meetup on the Beach in Destin, FL
- July: Earn 1K a Day in Las Vegas, NV
- August: NAMS10 in Atlanta, GA
- September: Marketing Mayhem Live 2013
- October: Weekend Marketer Live in Las Vegas, NV
- October: Beachpreneurs in Pensacola Beach, FL
I've enjoyed the travel immensely. Airports are starting to feel like home and I certainly loved my first experience with First Class.
Meeting new people and deepening existing relationships has been an important benefit.
Looking forward to 2014, I would love to aim to travel at least once each month – if I can find events that appeal to me. (IE: Help me meet new people!)
So far I know I'll be attending NAMS in February and August and very likely visiting Las Vegas again for Earn 1K a Day in June. And I do know where I'll be In May: In Toronoto, CA hosting my own multi-speaker event, Exposure & Profit!
Gratuitous cute picture of Nik & Kelly:
Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
Wow! Great answers everyone.
My husband is not teaching right now, so I've been traveling more than usual to boost my connections and my business in the next year.
In fact, I keep my suitcase half packed with duplicates of certain things just to make my life easier. 🙂
I normally don't have this busy of a travel schedule. My kids don't like me to be gone too often. But, I do attend a handful of premium conferences during the year.
However, right now I'm on overdrive a bit. Here's where I'll be…
- October 2013: Beachpreneurs, Pensacola Beach, FL (I'm Co-Hosting with Kelly McCausey) This is a ladies only weekend business mastermind and retreat being held in a 9 bedroom house on the beautiful beaches of Pensacola Beach. Click here for Details.
- January 12-19th, 2014: Marketers Cruise I've put this off for years because the cruise is LONG, but I have finally decided to make it happen. Click here for Details.
- February 6-9, 2014: NAMS, Atlanta (I'm Teaching) Why I like this event... NAMS is family. I look forward to it every 6 months and wouldn't miss it for the world. The instructors are amazing, warm people. The students are, too. I couldn't ask for a more enjoyable way to spend a weekend. Click here for Details
- April 8-10, 2014: Ray Edwards (I'm Planning on Attending) Details coming soon.
- May 16-18, 2014: Exposure & Profit, Toronto, CA (I’m Keynote) Click here for Details.
- June 2014: Earn1kaDay, Vegas (I'm Teaching) Click here for Details (get recordings from last year)
- July 31st-August 3rd, 2014: NAMS, Atlanta, GA Why I like this event... NAMS is family. I look forward to it every 6 months and wouldn't miss it for the world. The instructors are amazing, warm people. The students are, too. I couldn't ask for a more enjoyable way to spend a weekend. Click here for Details and Tickets for the February Event (July isn't for sale yet)
IMPORTANT!!!! –> If you attend any of the events on this page, be sure to come up and introduce yourself and let me know that you're on my list or read my blog or whatever! I would love to meet you!
But, be careful, I'm a hugger. 😉 <– IMPORTANT
What about You?
- How many events do you attend?
- What benefits do you get?
- How do you choose which ones to go to and which to pass on?
- Got any coming up that I might want to attend?
PS. Here are some related blog posts about live events…
- What Should I Pack for an Internet Marketing Conference?
- What Should I Wear to an Internet Marketing Conference?
- Networking the Right Way (NAMS)
Want to learn why I attend Live Events? Here you go…