Welcome back listener to episode 64 of Freedom Ocean. This week, James and Tim talk about the importance of conducting live events, all the essentials to prepare your very own, the best self-saucing pudding, some jokes (from Tim…..that you might not want your kids to hear) and a hungry guest decides to speak up.
In this episode:
– The different types of live events and who should be doing them
– Preparing your content presentation
– The “Done With You” format
– The important steps in creating a simple structure
– How to leverage your events
– Pre-event preparation tips and crucial things to consider
Make live events a part of your business arsenal [Click To Tweet].
Offer your guests real results [Click To Tweet].
Leverage your events [Click To Tweet].
Address the existing problems of your audience [Click To Tweet].
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Here you’ll find Tim and James have some things to help your business become more powerful.
Tim: Welcome back, listeners, to Episode 64 of Freedom Ocean. I am Timbo Reid, one of your hosts, and right there is Jimmy James Schramko. Good day, mate.
James: How are you going, Timbo?
Tim: Couldn’t be finer, sixty-niner. Thank you for asking. Beautiful day. I’m sipping on a chai latte, and talking to my mate in Sydney.
James: That’s great! I’ve been nibbling on some pumpkin seed, nuts, a carrot and some of that green water.
Tim: Oh, yum. Oh mate, I’m salivating. Gosh, I’d give up that chai latte in a heartbeat for some pumpkin seeds.
James: Well, you know my pet cockatoo Bob likes them as well. It’s a fight to the death.
Tim: Is Bob’s surname Down?
James: I don’t think so.
Tim: Right, okay.
James: That’s two lewd jokes in the first sentence. You got 69 and Bob Down, what’s going on?
Tim: That’s how we roll. That is how we roll. You know, speaking of 69, I had a terribly embarrassing moment a number of years ago, on stage, where I was emceeing a primary school function, my local kids went to the local Catholic primary school, and that is important that we remember it as a Catholic primary school. And one of the teachers is up on stage drawing numbers out of the barrel for some competition, and he pulls out the number 69. You know when you’re doing one of the Bingo things, you know, clickety click, sixty six, legs eleven, you know, that type of thing? He says, “Dinner for two, sixty-nine.”
James: That’s outrageous!
Tim: Outrageous. Outrageous. And I’ve got the principal sitting at the table right in front of me, and yes. One of the dangers of emceeing things. You can bring loose cannons up on stage, and that’s always scary. Which is actually, a very good segue, Jimmy James, because we’ve got a bit to cover, mate. It’s a good segue into today’s topic, which is how to run an uncomplicated live event.
James: Perfect topic! Absolutely perfect.
Tim: Perfect. And I’ll tell you why, and you tell me why. But we both agree when I shared that topic with you that it lit us up. I’ll tell you why: a) it’s an alternate revenue stream. And b) there’s probably not a business about that couldn’t add it to their arsenal of things that they do in their business, because we’ve all got stuff to say, and we’ve all got clients who want to hear from us.
James: This is so true, whether you’re a teacher and you’re having a class event for your parents, whether you’re a software maker and you want to have a user convention, whether you run a community like you do and like I do, there’s nothing better than bringing people together for a live event.
Tim: There’s not. In the crazy virtual world we live in, there’s something very special about eyeballing the people that we love so dearly. And in fact only last week mate I had a meetup for the Small Business Big Marketing show, the first meet-up I’d organized. I know you’ve done a number for your FastWebFormula crew. But this was great. It was great. I was a bit nervous about it, and you do get nervous about live events. I mean the meet-up wasn’t the live event that we’re going to talk about today. We’re talking about putting on a stage show, so to speak. But it was a bit nerve-wrecking. I had 38 people RSVP, and just didn’t know whether I was going to be sitting with two people, or whether everyone was going to turn up. We had 26 turn up. It started at one o’clock, and was still going at seven o’clock when I left. But it was a lot of fun, so there was a lot of value in them.
So, mate, let’s talk live events. We’re going to do this in a way that is kind of in order, from the first things you’ve got to do to the last thing you’ve got to do. We’re going to try and do it that way. We’ll see how we go.
James: We both know it’s not going to end up that way. Because one of the questions I got Timbo, what type of event are we talking about? Currently, I’ve got three different types of events on my agenda. So, I feel well-versed in this.
Tim: So am I. By the way, listeners, lose any limiting beliefs around this. Listen to this show with the mindset that you can do this. You know, you might not like public speaking, you might never have put on an event before, you might think you’re not up to it, no one would come. Just kind of lose that kind of self-talk at the moment and hear us out, because James and I have both run live events. James has run one most recently, and I’ve put on a couple for my show and they are powerful things to do. So, types of events, Jimmy. I’ve got, you know, it could be a workshop, could be a kind of presentation, or it could be a series of keynotes. What have you got?
James: Yeah, so the sort of things I’m up to, I’ve got member meet ups for my community. I’ve got a retreat. I’ve got small intensive workshops for my mastermind and I’ve got a larger event, sort of the 150- to 250-size grand ballroom style event. So we can dive in anywhere.
Tim: Right. So let’s, again, in the spirit of uncomplicatedness, and in the spirit of wanting as many listeners to actually go ahead and do one, let’s talk about a half-day live event with maximum 20 people. Alright?
James: Yup, oh I tell you like one day or half day’s almost…
Tim: Well, yeah, extrapolated to half a day or…
James: I’d say a one-day event with a dozen people.
Tim: Right-o, happy days.
James: Super simple, yup.
Tim: Simple, simple simple.
James: Alright, how are we going to kick this off?
Tim: Paid. Yeah?
James: Yeah, of course, of course! What are you talking about?
Tim: OK, so we’ve got a full day, live event with a dozen people. Well, the first thing you’re going to need to decide on is…we’ve got two ways here.. You’ve got to book a venue, but decide on your content. What’s it about?
James: Yeah so I go one step before that. It’s related anyway but I’m thinking…I want to know what are the problems that my audience have because that’s what I’m solving with my event. So first thing starts with the problem out there that your customers experience that you intend to solve. That will help you plan your content. So same, same topic. Have I doubled up on your topic or do you go next?
Tim: No, no, no, you haven’t. That’s a strategy, for deciding on what your content’s going to be about, so once you clear on what problems… and you know, like any good business owner worth their salt is going to know the problems their customer have got. So therefore, you go and develop a live event around that. The next thing is, what’s the structure? What does that one day look like? Does it involve you speaking from the front of the room for the entire time? Is it a workshop where you speak, and then get your attendees to do stuff? Is it you kind of being the anchor person, or, is it you being the anchor person and then bringing in guest speakers, specialists?
James: Yeah, or is it you being the emcee and not producing the content at all? Or is it having someone else be the emcee and someone else present and you’re just facilitating one bankroll in this investor? You can take a very passive role if you want, and I’ve tried different variations on this.
So if you’re really petrified of getting up in front of a group, then you can just bring in an expert and just be the host or the facilitator.
Tim: But don’t be. I already know people have kind of dropped the… or have put the guard up and said, no, no, no, there’s no way I could host and talk for a full day, but again, you’ll be surprised. The workshop structure’s actually a really good one, James, if you’re not inclined to want to talk for too long. Actually getting people to do stuff is the best sort of solution for that.
James: Yeah, my friend Taki Moore is an expert in running these little events and he calls it a “Done With You” event. So it’s quite a nice little thing. It’s rather than just being spoken at, the participants are being taught something and then they do it and they walk away at the end of the event with an actual result. So that’s the exact same format that I’ve had when I’ve done 10 or 12 people for an OwnTheRacecourse intensive. People came, they learned the process and then we did it!
Tim: And I’ve got to say, as keynote speaking’s one of my main revenue streams, when I get booked or when I get asked if I can speak, the brief is I’d say 80 % of the time, if not more, you’ve got to give us how-to. People want how-to. You know, they’ve had enough of theory, they’ve had enough of what could be, they want to know the how, and that’s what they pay for.
James: Perfect! So, we know who’s coming, we know what problems they’ve got and we know the content that we’re going to deliver and who’s going to deliver that. What’s next? So I guess we’ve got to start thinking about the timing of this event. When is it going to be?
Tim: Well, there’s kind of two things happening at the same time, isn’t there? There’s the timing and logistics, the venue, the stuff that you need. I would also say at the same time, given you now know the problem that you’re solving, the content, the structure… This is old school, Jimmy, but I reckon go and create a brochure, to articulate your offer. And that brochure goes through, you know, it reminds people of the problem they’ve got, it offers up the solution, it describes the actual day and what they’ll expect and what outcomes they’re going to get, and even goes as far, old school, as having a booking form. Some way of registering and/or paying. Because that does two things. It brings the event to life, it becomes tangible both to the potential participant and you, the event holder. It really does. I reckon writing a brochure help articulate the message in your offer.
James: Well I’ve done that once out of about 30 events. I made a… well, I don’t support it. Because my opinion is different. I did a magalogue once, but that was to pitch…
Tim: A magalogue?
James: A magalogue, which is old school again perhaps. But it’s a sales-y piece that reminds people what they’re buying and I used it when I pitched in London because I was from another country. It was a virtual event and they were getting recordings actually of a previous event. So not quite the same but I’ll have to say that I wouldn’t… I don’t bother, I mean I’ve constantly sell out 230 person events without doing that. I have a more traditional method of picking a date, finding a venue that can cater to that date, setting a price and then setting up a simple sales offer on a web page and then an offer sheet. So the offer sheet is a sales piece of paper on usually on an A4, that if I’m going to sell this thing, and we’ll talk about that, from platform or face-to-face then I’ll hand out an offer sheet which is a reminder of what they’re getting and there will be a call to action and they will need a sales form or an online order option there. So that’s a hybrid.
Tim: Well, I stand strong on the brochure, because the listeners aren’t you. I do think you need a webpage of course, and I think the brochure should be downloadable from that webpage, and the copy on that brochure can be also from that webpage. From my experience and from what I’ve seen, I’ve been watching a few people hold events lately, they have had brochures. So look, that’s alright. We can agree to disagree on that, but importantly you’ve got to create something, whether it be a webpage or a brochure, a slide deck, whatever it may be, to articulate your offer.
James: Yeah, you definitely need an offer and it has to be able to be communicated and you have to be able to reach your audience. These days, it’s pretty simple to drive people from Facebook to an offer page but if you do work in an offline medium or if you have a traditional business and you’re sending out invoices or if you already do any print media or you send out envelopes, just piggyback it with your brochures, I’m fine with that. I used to put it in the newsletter at the car dealership. I’m OK with the brochure but I’m saying, you’ve said simple and that does add a layer of complexity. You have to have it printed or format it and print it and distribute it, whereas, you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.
Tim: OK, so a brochure. We’ve got to have a webpage, now that could hang off your website? Your existing website?
James: Yes. Yes.
Tim: Don’t go and create…now this is about uncomplicated live event, so don’t…
James: Yeah I just put forward slash live curate. I put a simple little:What is the event? When is it? Who can you expect? What can you get? How much is it?.Order here.
Tim: It’s getting complicated, but a video would be nice. That’s not hard.
James: Yeah, I usually put a video but if you have an iPhone and if you’ve listened to any of our previous episodes, we’ve trashed this one to death. There’s no reason why you can’t make a little video. You can certainly make a Screencast video or just go, I’ve got a little documentary on my current sales page at the moment which is kind of cool. That’s sort of a half-and-half.
Tim: So you’ve got your page. On that page, importantly, say… is that Bob I hear in the background?
James: Yeah, he’s demanding food. Can you believe it?
Tim: Aww, Bobby, what a good fellow. Listeners, just in case you’re wondering, James has a balcony, outside of the room in which he’s speaking, and Bobby the Cockatoo has befriended James. You’ve always been good with the birds, Jimmy?
James: And if you’re not from Melbourne, Tim’s referring to a balcony.
Tim: What did I call it?
James: A “bolcony,” you know like the Melbournians have a special word for that.
Tim: Wow. We’re just a little bit more upper-class down south, Jimmy. So mate, this is a big one. Make it easy for people to give you money. That’s kind of a general, kind of a…
James: Yes. Maybe multiple ways they could give you money as well.
Tim: Multiple ways. Well let’s go through. PayPal.
James: They could. Yup…PayPal and credit card are the two classic ways and they could phone you up and place a phone order. For example like I can just login to my eWAY terminal and type in an order over the phone. A phone-assisted order, that would be good.
Tim: You can get PayPal here, have a little toggle, that you can get now, that attaches to your smartphone, and you can now swipe people’s credit cards in the street.
James: Yeah, so…
Tim: That didn’t sound very good.
James: Well you would want to ask them first, of course.
Tim: Yeah, yeah, that’s right.
James: In full disclosure but also people could send you a cheque, they could do an electronic transfer, you know, old school works just fine.
Tim: But your bank account details on your site.
James: Yeah if you want to, if you’re going to be doing this a lot, you could even set up a BPAY number.
Tim: Yeah, nice. That’s just about going to the bank. I haven’t done that before. Is BPAY a brand unto itself, isn’t it?
James: Yeah so you know like your account and all that. They get their own little BPAY number and the tenancy company etc. So if you’re going to get fired up about this and be an event company, like a lot of people are making good money in this field. I think people would be surprised at how much revenue turns in these things.
Tim: So, make it easy for people to give you money.
Tim: Jimmy, alongside this, I think some this, the logistical stuff like getting the venue, all that, we won’t spend too much time on that.
James: That’s not a big deal, Timbo. No, I just drive to where I think I like to have the event. I ask for recommendations.
James: I cruise in. I have a look around. I find out who’s in charge of corporate whatever. They’ve always got someone there, nine to five. You say hi, give them your card if you’ve got one and they’ll show you the facilities, they’ll give you a quote and that’s it. I did that with the Amora, in Sydney. I’ve done it here in Manly. I just cruise in, check out the venue. Get the thing. Haggle with them a bit on the rates.
Tim: Big time!
James: Well, you can flip the terms around a little bit because they’ll always go a little bit high and then you’re going to have choices such as meals, whether you include meals or not.
Tim: You’ve got meals, you’ve got AV equipment, you serve catering, they’re the kind of main costs. I would also say don’t go nuts with the venue. The venue is a positioning tool for the event, so don’t run it, probably don’t run it at the local McDonald’s, although the catering would be cheap.
James: And think laterally! You can do these things on a boat, you can do it in your house. I’ve done Silver Circles in my house before… super easy!
Tim: I think absolutely think laterally about it. But most importantly, because I do a lot of speaking, there are some venues made for events, and others that are cool but aren’t made for events. For example, I spoke recently at a place in Adelaide, that was built in 1865, James. Back then, they certainly didn’t have PowerPoint projectors, lecterns, you know, microphones and things.
James: Well, think low tech though. If we’re talking uncomplicated, you know the last mastermind I ran in a hotel was a smallish room. It had a U-shaped table arrangement. You’ll get to choose the table arrangement, and I asked for one whiteboard. That’s it! I didn’t need a projector. I didn’t need computers. I didn’t need cables. I just needed a whiteboard, some marker pens, and a U-Shaped seating and that was fantastic for one day and then the meals, you do outside there. And at the end of it, I took everyone out to an amazing dinner at the waterfront like opposite the Opera House and it was remarked upon by everyone who attended.
Tim: Nice So look, venue, all those things, work it out. Don’t go and spend a fortune. Let’s get back to actually the structure of putting together…
James: Yeah. So the main deal is tech. It’s tech and meals that these things are just going to be important considerations and from my experience, there’ll always be someone who’s not happy with the meals, there’ll always be a vegetarian, there’ll always be someone who thinks it’s too spicy or too plain or whatever, usually there’s one. But my other advice is, put a bit of thought into the food because that is an important part of the day for most people. They’re thinking, I’m paying for this event… if you provide meals that is.
Tim: And your stuff is great, because I always look forward at the breaks to a little bowl of pumpkin seeds, and those carrots, amazing, amazing.
James: Yeah! Then you got to think audio and video because this is something that I like to do. It’s to leverage the event. Now the simple one that I do from my intensive, is that I’ve just got a little Olympus recorder which probably cost a hundred bucks from a store like Dick Smith or Radio Shack Style store and I stick it on the table near where I’m talking and I just record the whole day. The most recent one that I did, I upgraded. I got a $60 mic called the Rode smartLav and pinned it to my shirt and plugged it into my iPhone which I put on the Auphonic app and stuck it in my pocket. And I recorded my presentation for myself. And if you want to go all out, and you want to video it, then you can buy the Sticker camera with the long life on a tripod in the corner if you just want to record it for the sake of having a copy. But if you want to go pro, hire someone to come and video the event.
Tim: And I would. I mean, we’re talking uncomplicated live event here, but I think this is complicating it. I would spend the dough, and it might cost you 500 bucks, a thousand bucks to have someone in and actually properly record it for the day, but if you want to talk about repurposing and making money post the event, then I just think that’s a no-brainer. It should pay for itself in multiples.
James: You can get paid in advance. You can actually, with your ticket sales cover the cost of your recording. And in fact, for FastWebFormula 3, I pre-sold the recordings to the event for people who didn’t want to come to the event, those who couldn’t come because of where it was and the pre-sales of the recordings paid for the videographer which is from memory was about $10,000 for three days and I got all beautiful mp4, 16×9 format. They’ve two cameras set up. They were flawless! That’s not a lot, I’ve paid 20 grand for three days for the previous supplier.
Tim: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but Jimmy, come on, bring it back, mate. Remember our listener? Our listener…
James: But hang on. Simple doesn’t mean cheap and I want to just draw this… if you have 12 people, and you charge a thousand dollars a head, that’s 12 grand. Your venue is going to cost 1600 bucks. Your meal’s going to cost a couple of grand if you go to a fancy place and you could video the event for a thousand bucks. You still make a profit and you end up with a fantastic, high-quality info product. And that’s before we talk about what you sell at the event. You could pitch a $10,000 product and close a third of the room on that.
Tim: OK. But remember, uncomplicated.
James: It’s still not complicated. What’s hard about that? Charge for a ticket, pay your suppliers, make a profit, sell something else at the event. That’s… it all fits in a simple sentence.
Tim: It’s like, yeah, talking about heart surgery. Patient lies on table, open up ribcage, fix heart, stitch up. One sentence.
James: That’s simple right? Get a qualified surgeon in, get a patient, bingo!
Tim: Hey Jimmy, Jimmy, we haven’t talked pricing, and we probably should dedicate an entire episode to pricing, full stop. But in terms of pricing the event…
James: Well, to have done the sales page, we gotta have done the price. The price should relate to the size of the problem you’re solving. And quite often is related to the amount to which you’re going to sell the event if you’re going to be selling stuff at the event, generally the price comes down a little bit and if you want a lot of volume of people at the event, generally the price comes down a bit. So these packed-out stadium things you know, they’re like a $50 or $19 or $100 ticket. If you’re going to have 6 to 12 people, you can easily charge anywhere up to $5 to $10,000 per person for the right type of problem you’re solving but it’s more common than not, that you’re going to charge somewhere around $500 to $3,000 for an intimate event if you’re in a high solution zone.
Tim: I think that’s fair. And probably, the higher the price, if you want to, you can offer payment terms. May complicate things, but also makes it easier for some people to take the offer up and those payment terms might be, you know, 50% downpayment with 50% 24 hours prior to the event or something like that.
James: And if you want to go old school J.Abraham, you can do one of those. If you don’t absolutely love it by lunch time or half-way through the day, you could just come up to the back of the room and request a refund and I’ll cheerfully right out a check for you, you know that sort of stuff.
Tim: Love it. Let’s talk about promoting this. Everything’s in place now, we’ve got the venue, the date, the pricing, the whole webpage, the brochure, we’ve got all that going on.
James: And maybe some workbooks or a bit of merchandise, just sort of throw that in, yeah.
Tim: Bit of merch, yeah.
James: Like you know, I’ve got some workbooks now for my next event. And I’ve got some, you know, I always give out hoodies at my larger events. It’s so easy to do, ring the guy up, send in the logo, sends me proof, I say yes, I buy it, the boxes turn up to the venue, as easy as that.
Tim: Love it. So I’ve got some ways. Let’s go one for one on promoting. Obviously, an email ad to your list.
James: Yeah so pre-event marketing is letting people know about your offer page or brochure of whatever so that is piggyback fliers if you’re going to go old school with your brochure. Put it in something in you’re already sending. There’s no extra cost. I would strongly recommend if you have an expert that you get some content from that person, do an interview or podcast or have them on your show and talk about it in advance to warm people up to the idea that they should come along to get more.
Tim: Absolutely. And get them to also promote. Anyone who you’ve got speaking, get them to promote it to their list. Obviously getting on the phone. I’ve got, probably running some AdWords, or Facebook ads.
James: Yeah Facebook ads would be good. And also re-marketing to people who had come to this previous event and this was a suggestion of my, our common friend, Kerry Finch. That’s our friend in common, not that she’s common, alright. She suggested after I did one of my FastWebFormula ones, she said you should just invite the same people back and I’m like yeah, that’s a very good idea, I’ll do that.
So, go back to people who you’ve been already doing business with and talked to them about coming back to get updated, to refresh their knowledge, to use the idea that accountants and lawyers, doctors, solicitors, they all need to do continual training to retain their certification or status. And you can really take that stance. You know, like even, your driver’s license or you’re going to do your eye test every five years and stuff. People need to refresh if they’re going to be at the highest level in their field.
Tim: Correct, things change.
James: They do.
Tim: Social media would be another way of getting the message out.
James: Yup, and just dissecting that problem into little bite-sized pieces and dropping out little nibbles and you know, OwnTheRacecourse style video or audio content.
Tim: Yup. Getting interviews on other people’s podcasts, that share a similar audience that you think would be interested in attending your event is a good thing. And also, people who are attending – encourage them, because people like to go along with friends, so encourage them. You might even offer some kind of discount or incentive for, you know, bring a friend.
James: Yup, you can have volume, deals, you can have a post event retweet “Hey I just booked a ticket to blah blah blah, check it out here!” Those little retweetables are very good.
Tim: They are good. So mate, they are the kind of ways when you’re trying to get 12 people in a room, so they are some pretty easy, simple, cost-effective ways.
James: More than likely you can post a bit of Facebook post about it and you’ll get most of your audience there, if they’re engaged.
Tim: Yup, absolutely. So, we’ve pretty much covered everything. I was going to leave repurposing till the end. We have touched on it, we’ve talked about the idea of recording it. Once you have got at the end of the event, post the event, you’ve got the videos, what do you specifically do with them?
James: Yes, you’ve got post-event marketing and in my case I stick them inside my membership community as an encouragement for people to join. You could sell them to people who came to the event. I’ve done that before. You could sell them to people who didn’t come to the event as stand-alone items. You could cut them into little pieces and put them on your YouTube channel and then stick them on your blog and draw people to them.
So I’ve recently, at the launch of James Dyson’s OptimizePress 2, I went and found my recordings of him at two of my FastWebFormula events and put them onto my blog and gave them away and drove a lot of traffic to it. It gave immense value after the event. Also you could do a post event summary, a webinar or something and record that, too so you can get the people who are there to come back and see how much they’ve been able to change and implement since then and perhaps even generate some testimonials.
Tim: And that’s a really good idea in itself in terms of having just additional value, like high-perceived value to the attendee, low cost to you would be to run a pre- and a post- webinar, and it might be there’s some free webinar software.There’s obviously GoToWebinar, you could do a Google Hangout, and just pre-event you might want to run a webinar, actually answering questions on what people can expect and giving a little bit of a teaser as to what to expect, if you’ve got guests, you could have them on, and then post the event. Given that the event’s going to be full of content, it’s going to generate questions and people are going to leave that event, and a week later go, “Oh, I’ve got a question,” so having a webinar or a Google Hangout two weeks post the event is additionally great value.
James: Yeah so I usually run a free business coaching webinar before my event and I ask people in advance when they register on a survey, what’s your biggest challenge right now and I cover that in the webinar. So it’s like a self-saucing pudding. You don’t have to put a lot of prep work into it, just promise the webinar. Ask people their problem and then on the webinar, solve it and tell them when they come to the event that you’re going to go much deeper.
Tim: Jimmy James, given your dietary requirements at the moment, you wouldn’t be into self-saucing, but I’d like to digress. What was your favorite flavored self-saucing pudding?
James: I liked the butterscotch pudding.
Tim: So did I.
James: It’s hard to beat.
Tim: How good was the butterscotch? Everyone went for the chocolate. It was like, oh yeah, I’ll have the chocolate.
James: No, that’s a trick. The butterscotch. A good butterscotch pudding pretty hard to beat.
Tim: Oh, goodness me. Big Sister was the brand in Australia.
James: I still pick one up occasionally on a business flight on Qantas, that’s quite a tip there. You know three in the morning, somewhere in the ocean, no one’s going to know.
Tim: No one’s going to know, correct.
James: Just a couple of little things. You might want to have a… maybe have some tags or something if people don’t know each other? But if they do, you don’t need to do it, and you might also think about when you’re going to have to pay people – the cashflow thing. Like you know, I’ve just lobbed down to the Novatel here at Manly and they’re going to want 40 to 50 grand from me for an event next year and I’ll pay a 10 or 20% deposit on my credit card and then I can put the sales page up that week and have 10 or 20% back instantly, like I’m cashflow positive again. But you will have to cater for spikes so I actually use a separate account for my events so that I don’t touch the funds because you actually don’t own the money until after you’ve run the event and you want to be careful about how you call this if you have a PayPal or a credit card facility.
For example, I’ll pull in say $130,000 in ticket sales. I don’t want to touch that money, until at least I’ve paid all my suppliers. It might cost me $70 or $80,000 for the event. And then I don’t even spend the profit on it. I’m going to pay tax on it and everything in the meantime, but I can’t touch the money until after the event because it’s not my money until I’ve delivered what’s promised. So, I don’t like a long lead time before an event.
A long lead time can help you sell it, but it also means you’re sitting on… pretty much you owe people something. I don’t like owing anybody anything so I have a reasonably, moderate lead time so that I can collect the money close to the time that I deliver the goods. And I know that might sound backwards to most businesses who are perennially following up customers to be paid up after they deliver the service. But I don’t like to have too much of a pre debt.
Tim: Yeah, no. I agree with that, mate. You know, it’s interesting. We’ve kind of everything that you need to put on an uncomplicated live event. It’s inspired me to consider. I want to say a 100% yes, I’ll do one before the end of the year, and I reckon there’ll be some listeners out there right now feeling those butterflies, going oh, hang on, I kind of like what those guys have covered and I think I could do it.
James: Timbo, it’s super simple. I run FastWebFormula 4 by myself. I didn’t take on a project manager this time. It was actually the easiest one I’ve ever run. I just kept it very simple. Simple, I had an experienced team who have done several events. You’re going to need some volunteers once you start getting past 10 people. You might want a person to assist you at the event to meet and greet or handle weird stuff like, all those…
Tim: You’ll have someone in your community to do that. That’s the thing.
James: They’ll line up from here to Africa to volunteer for that. But I’ve got my mate, Ken, for example. Kerry always helpful, like she’ll sit in the front row and she will hold up a time card, like, you want to have your sessions timed if possible. Ken’s my bouncer. Sure he’s got five stints in his heart but he’s there to make sure that he regulates flow into the room and you know, it’s good to have someone say, “Hey listen, could you ask them if they have a bigger whiteboard or can you just check if we can get lunch at this particular time?” You want someone else. Not you because you’re busy promoting or presenting the event. You don’t have to be that person who has to worry about anything else. So you say I’m going to be up the front here, when I’m up the front, I want you to pretend that I’m not up here. Anything else, room temperature, seating, lighting, electrical stuff, food, it’s your responsibility. And you get someone responsible and reliable to assist you. You’re going to have a smooth run. So, I don’t think for a second you’re going to be able to need to do this by yourself because you’ll find it pretty easy to get a solo volunteer.
My first event that I ever ran, I actually got this friend of mine, Shawn who used to work with me at Mercedes-Benz and him and I had such a trust bond and had run so many events at Mercedes-Benz that I knew I could just have him handle anything. He was amazing! We somehow pulled off this huge event. But with this checklist we’ve talked about, with a bit of confidence and certainly listeners can ask questions on Freedom Ocean and we have a new commenting system. It’s very easy to ask questions. Come along and ask some questions. I’d be happy to answer them for you.
Tim: Bring it on.
James: Tim and I do this for a living. So, for once we’re talking about something we know about.
Tim: Bring it, mate. I’m going to love you and leave you. I move house on Friday, in two days, three days’ time. So this office is a shambles. There is much work to be done. I will go away and contemplate whether I do put one on before the end of the year. What have we got? We’re nearly September, so…
James: Well, I’m heading off to Hawaii for my retreat. That was simply a case of a little video, a payment button on the page, tell people about it in our podcast, and I’m now flying over there to a small group and we’re going to mastermind and brainstorm for a few days. It’s fully catered. It’s like walk-in, walk-out, don’t have to think about anything and put a fun activities, yoga and paddle boarding as well as business breakouts. And it’s great value for our participants. It’s fun for me to run. I’m going to Hawaii for a business trip. Maybe we’ll do an episode from there.
Tim: We will. No doubt, mate.
James: I’ll talk about how it’s going.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely, I’d love to do that. Alright, buddy. Well listeners, that is end of Episode 64 of Freedom Ocean. Head over to FreedomOcean.com. You can register and get all the little updates of what James and I are up to, you get transcriptions of every episode, and lots of marketing love. Jimmy, good episode mate, enjoyed that discussion, see you next time.
James: See you, Timbo!