Episode 8: Amplifying Your Message: Tracy Phillips’ Expertise in Crafting Conversational Video TestimonialsOctober 9, 2023
Episode 10: Quiet Powerhouses: Harnessing the Right Mindset for Growing Your Business with Julie GreenhamOctober 23, 2023
The Best Registration and Sales Strategies Behind Free and Paid Events
What motivates people to invest in attending events? How can event organizers increase attendance and sales? In this captivating podcast, host Jennie Wright dives into the factors that influence attendance at different types of events, from free online events to in-person gatherings. But just when you think you have all the answers, she leaves you hanging, desperate for more insights on how to drive success in the event industry.
Discover the motivations that drive attendees to your events, unlocking the key to attracting a larger and more engaged audience.
Explore the powerful impact of offering value in free online events, and how it can lead to increased attendance and an enhanced reputation for your brand.
Uncover the essential considerations for creating and promoting paid online events, ensuring a successful return on investment and a satisfied audience.
Understand the factors that influence attendance at in-person events, and learn how to leverage them to boost turnout and create a buzz around your event.
Master the art of creating a positive event experience, leaving attendees with unforgettable memories and inspiring them to spread the word about your future events.
Resources from this episode:
On This Week’s Episode:
In this episode of the Acquire podcast, host Jennie Wright delves into the factors that influence attendance and sales at different types of events. Drawing from her own experiences, she reflects on attending an in-person event organized by her friend Julie Greenham and the motivations behind people investing their time and effort to attend events. Jennie explores the dynamics of free and paid online events, emphasizing the importance of providing value and a good return on investment for attendees’ time. She also discusses the unique challenges and opportunities that come with in-person events, such as logistics, convenience, networking, content relevance, and creating a positive attendee experience.
Throughout the episode, Jennie shares key takeaways and insights for event organizers and marketers to consider when planning their events. Whether it’s an online or in-person event, the focus should be on providing value, addressing attendees’ concerns, and creating a welcoming and engaging environment. Tune in to this episode to gain valuable insights on boosting attendance and sales at your next event.
Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:02 – Introduction
Jennie introduces the podcast and discusses the Elevate event she recently spoke at in Toronto. She explores what motivates people to attend events in person and the dedication required to participate.
00:02:26 – Free Online Events
Jennie discusses the decision-making process for attending free online events. She emphasizes the importance of offering value and ensuring a good return on investment of time for attendees. Lead generation is a key goal for these types of events.
00:03:59 – Paid Online Events
Jennie explains that the decision-making process for paid online events is similar to free events but with the added consideration of the value for money. She advises against using paid models for summits if the goal is lead generation.
00:04:55 – In-Person Events
Jennie discusses the unique challenges and considerations of in-person events. She highlights factors such as time, cost, networking opportunities, convenience, content relevance, and clear communication. Inclusivity and diversity in speakers are also important factors.
00:08:54 – Observations from a Recent Event
Jennie shares her observations from the Elevate event she attended. She notes the commonalities among attendees and speakers and emphasizes the importance of creating a comfortable and inclusive environment. Attendees actively participated and engaged with the content.
00:12:50 – The Promise of Attending Events
The speaker reflects on a past event that didn’t meet their expectations but realizes that it taught them valuable lessons. They now have a process for deciding which events to attend and speak at, including checklists.
00:14:04 – Selling After Events
The speaker discusses the excitement of post-event sales and shares their best advice for increasing sales. They emphasize the importance of community, consistency, and clarity in building trust and maintaining engagement with attendees.
00:15:49 – Building Community and Consistency
The speaker highlights the importance of building a sense of community among event attendees. They explain how networking and creating memorable experiences can strengthen the community around a brand. Consistency in messaging and quality is crucial for building trust.
00:17:09 – Clarity in Sales Messaging
The speaker emphasizes the need for clarity in communicating the value of products and services during and after an event. Real-life examples and case studies can demonstrate how solutions address attendees’ needs. A clear sales process with a defined call to action is essential for confident decision-making.
00:18:35 – Personalizing Events
The speaker encourages event organizers to create events that align with their own style and preferences. They emphasize the importance of clarity, consistency, and community in achieving success. Organizers should feel empowered to add or remove elements that suit their vision.
Jennie Wright [00:00:02]:
Hi. This is the Acquire podcast from the Odd Phonic Podcast Network. I’m Jenny Wright. Welcome to the podcast where I dive deep into the skills of lead generation, list building, and online events for your business. My goal is to empower marketers And entrepreneurs with the knowledge and strategies to master these essential business growth tactics. Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the Elevate event in downtown in Toronto. It was organized by my friend Julie Greenham. If you’re curious to know more about Julie, stay tuned for episode 10 where we’re gonna hear directly from her, so check that out.
Jennie Wright [00:00:33]:
This one day event took place in a really charming old building downtown Toronto. It even had one of those antique elevators, you know, the ones with the fenced doors. It even had a lift operator. It was really neat. The hall for the event was in a very modern space, and it was a complete and total contrast and surprise from what the building looked like on the outside. But what struck me was the diverse group of women who attended. Some had traveled miles to be there coming in from all over Ontario. That says something not only about the host, Julie, and the work she’s put into building a following, but also the dedication of the women who attended.
Jennie Wright [00:01:08]:
So here’s my question. What motivates people to invest in a ticket, endure a lengthy commute, and then spend 7 hours at an event In person, what does it take to get some people out of their comfort zones from working from home or their daily lives? I’m pretty sure some of these women had to arrange childcare or after school pickup Just to show up. If you think about free digital or online events, it’s pretty simple to get somebody to register for free for pretty much anything, but simple doesn’t always mean easy. There’s so much less friction. There’s less expenses, and the logistics are so much easier. The big thing with that is making sure that you’re speaking to your ideal client, the ones who will actually benefit the most from your event. I had a really great conversation in episode 2 with Jason Wheeler about just that. He’s really into reaching the right audience by niching in, and you should consider listening to that particular episode, and I’m gonna link it in the show notes.
Jennie Wright [00:02:01]:
I really wanna break down the differences in events and what your potential customer is thinking as they’re seeing these offers for online free and paid and in person and free. Then I wanna break down how you can maximize these types of events for sales into your programs, products, and services. So let’s start with free online events first. I know this space incredibly well. So we’re gonna talk about the decision tree of yes to a free online event, and, honestly, it’s not that complicated. And over the pandemic, since it really was our only option, these events flourished. We were all in our sweats or our pjs. We were signing up for everything because, come on, we had the time, and you didn’t have to go anywhere or really do much of anything but be there virtually.
Jennie Wright [00:02:43]:
And the big question your ideal client might be thinking in their decision tree is, 1, Do I have the time to watch or listen or participate? Number 2, is there a replay that I can access if I miss this or after it’s over? And number 3, is it interesting, helpful, or useful for me or my business? With free online events, the goal should Always be lead generation, attracting your ideal client or your perfect customer into your community. But with free, You still have to win people over by having a good ROI in return for their time. Time, just like money, is a resource. It’s finite. We only have so much, and you really have to make sure it’s worth it for them. Just because you’re offering something for free doesn’t mean that you can suspend offering value. I go into this a lot more into a lot more detail on how to optimize your lead generation for events and your landing pages. And in episode number 5, unlocking event success, the science of lead generation optimization, and I’ll make sure to drop that link in the show notes as well.
Jennie Wright [00:03:41]:
Next, let’s talk about paid online events. Paid online events adds another layer of decision making to the part of your ideal client, and they need to overcome at least a few more potential obstacles In order to make this happen, number 1, do I have the time to watch, listen, and participate in this? Again, this is the same as free. Is it valuable to me or my business just like in free? Will I learn or gain insights into something tangible that I didn’t already know? And is there value for money? Will it be a good return on investment? This is where it’s different. It’s still a short list, and it’s still very ROI dependent. You’re not just asking for their time, but now you’re asking for money. They will need moderately more assurances from you in order to make that happen. And just as a note, I absolutely do not recommend that you try paid online event models for summits if your goal is to build your email list and lead gen for your ideal client. You need to decide ahead of time if you’re gonna obtain leads or cash.
Jennie Wright [00:04:40]:
When you add in a cost To attend an online summit, it will absolutely reduce the overall amount of attendees for your space online. Now let’s talk about in person events. This is a different beast completely, and it’s very, very interesting to talk about. It’s also more significantly risky for you as the host. Truthfully, there are very few uses for a free in person event because as the host, you’re assuming all the expenses Unless sales from the event help you recoup that money, it’s a lot of risk. Most of the time, people create these events to get a large number of attendees to Preview an expensive product or service, think timeshares or real estate. And time is still gonna be a factor, but now you have to include travel time. There is now the expenses of travel, gas, parking, and what if they have to buy their own food and beverages? You have to include that as well.
Jennie Wright [00:05:31]:
And then finally, the thing that you’re going to promote or demonstrate of interest or relevancy has to be something that is necessary for your ideal customer in this space or it’s not gonna be of interest to them. They’re not gonna do anything. So your audience would have to be made up of high potential clients that would be willing to buy your offer At the event or very shortly after for this to be an ROI in your space, so you have to make it mutually beneficial for you and for them. What we see more often, and what is definitely more useful is paid in person events like the one I went to last week. So So I wanna deconstruct the reasoning behind why your ideal client will come in and be part of your in person event. So we’re gonna start with time. Again, Do I have the time to attend? Is this free of other constraints in my life? Do I have to figure out possible childcare or are there other family logistics that are gonna get into play? As a woman, I need to think about safety. Is this event being held in a safe area? Is there access to transit or a subway? Are there options available within a short and safe walking distance? Is there safe parking with good lighting nearby? Accessibility, we need to think about that as well.
Jennie Wright [00:06:39]:
Is a venue accessible For people who have mobility issues or other accommodations and needs. We also have to look at the cost, the overall cost of attending and cost you know, including the cost of tickets. And like I said earlier, travel expenses and so on, those all have to get factored in. We also have to look at networking opportunities. This is something that in an in person event, it has So much more leverage over online events. We have to make sure that there’s networking components because this is gonna be the big draw for people actually showing up. Let’s also talk about convenience. This one has a lot of different layers.
Jennie Wright [00:07:11]:
What is convenient to you may not be convenient for somebody else, so this one’s gonna vary. So if you like to travel a lot, convenience is different. If you don’t like to travel a lot, then you are gonna have to put into a lot more factors as to, like, why you would make this decision. Also, comfort and amenities, let’s face it. Does the place that you’re going have a good bathroom? Does it have have access to healthy food, or is it just bad coffee and stale cookies? I’ve have you been there? I have been there. Quite a few, actually. Is there inclusivity and diversity in the speakers? Are we seeing a representation? Are we seeing ourselves represented on the stage? Are we seeing other people from other communities represented in the speakers and on the stage? This is really important. We have to think also about content relevance and value.
Jennie Wright [00:07:56]:
Is the subject matter what I need to be hearing right now? Is it what I need for my business at this space? And then also there needs to be clear communication for the event in a good vibe, and this is right from the landing page. This is from the email that you get. This is for the information once you purchase your ticket. This is all the follow-up information, and does it make sense? It really does have to have a continuity to it. Our brains are programmed to find things that are out of place. And if we don’t feel like things are happening in a really good way and where we feel like it’s consistent and really good communication, our red flags start to go So, yeah, that’s a much longer list. That was 12 things right there, and it makes a lot more sense to think about these kinds of things for getting people to buy a ticket and show up in person than Online online and paid or online and free. For the event that I spoke at last week, I actually sat in the back of the room when I wasn’t speaking.
Jennie Wright [00:08:50]:
One of the reasons was to give the women who were paying to be there a seat close to the action, and the other one was quite honestly, I wanted to watch the room. What I saw at Julie’s event was that Everybody who was there and everybody who spoke had several things in common, not only in what they did in their businesses, but the approach in their businesses. And those overlaps meant that everybody felt comfortable being there and around each other, in talking, in participating, in opening up, and listening to the other speakers. I saw a lot of women taking notes, taking pictures and slides that were showing up on the overhead screen. And everybody got up and participated in this group stretch that we did, and that was offered after a few hours of the talks. Everybody was ready to get up and everybody did it. And then when I had my chance to speak, I was still observing the audience for eye contact and nodding, facial expressions, and body language. I was seeing if they were taking notes.
Jennie Wright [00:09:42]:
Luckily, they were, and quite honestly between you and me that definitely boosted my confidence and then my own experience I I can’t have an episode about In person events without talking about my own experience from a very long time ago. I was about 18 months into my business. I actually got on a plane. I went to a different country, rented a car, and drove across a desert to attend an in person event because I couldn’t get a direct ticket to where it was the moment I got there and this was a big one it was about 2 50 people or so I absolutely regretted going Walking around the venue, I didn’t feel connected to anybody else that was there. Listening to the talks once they started, I didn’t connect with Any of the speakers or the themes and everything felt really disingenuous. And then as always came the pitch from the host. This felt really heavy handed. It was continuous, it was unrelenting and it really was for a huge swath of the event.
Jennie Wright [00:10:42]:
It felt like we were being hammered with this pitch. There was no networking which was another thing I noticed and everybody was very clicky and stuck in the corners of the room. I distinctly remember that we had to go into another room and there was a big christmas tree and they actually gave us This rope that was all tangled up. Everybody tangled each other up in it, and we had to figure out how to untangle. It was like a team building exercise. But I was doing this with people I hadn’t even met, Didn’t know their names. Didn’t know what they did. I was just expected to problem solve with these complete strangers.
Jennie Wright [00:11:16]:
Had they spent the time on the networking piece, letting me get to know Who the people were in the room introduced each other, that sort of thing, it would have been a lot better, but doing a lot of this with absolutely, like, There was no introduction to anybody whatsoever. I felt so alone. On one of the breaks, I went into the bathroom and I cried my eyes out. I just wanted to go home and I knew that going there had been a massive mistake. If I knew that this was gonna be how it was, I absolutely wouldn’t have gone. The value promised to me was not delivered, and throughout the event, it seemed like a lot of us were still hoping that there would be some Something. There would be something given to us. Instead, we discovered more aggressive sales tactics and some of the worst sales the worst way of approaching sales I think I’ve ever seen, to be honest.
Jennie Wright [00:12:04]:
And a quick note, never make people feel lesser or like a failure because they didn’t buy your product. Again, we were being hammered with, if you don’t do this, it’s your fault. If you don’t do this, it’s because you’re not ready. If you don’t buy this product, it’s because you’re standing in your own way. In my head, I also heard the voice of my partner telling me but this needed to be a revenue positive trip for it to be worth it. The ROI had to be a good thing. I remember thinking that I had to do this, So I started my own networking. I got over being like, feeling really uncomfortable, and I networked like crazy.
Jennie Wright [00:12:39]:
I came home with a bunch of almost yeses and some really strong leads, but only because I worked the room like I had never worked a room before. When I got home, I Pondered this a lot. I asked myself why did I even go? What made me do this? I needed to understand and deconstruct what I felt was so necessary to participate in this. And what I came to is that it was the promise of what I’d get from going, something intangible but something I wanted, Answers on how to overcome a hurdle and a step by step on how to make it happen, which by the way I did not get. And also The promise that was touted on all the promotional materials was literally not anything like what they talked about when we got there. Now Now that was a bad experience and in many ways I wish I’d never gone, but overall now 10 years later I’m actually glad I did but for totally different reasons than the ones I just explained because now I have a process, a process I go through before I say yes to attending any event and an even longer process before I say yes to speaking at 1. I have checklists. So I wanna shift gears here to something that I was touching on a bit earlier, and that’s how we get people to buy.
Jennie Wright [00:13:49]:
And my example was in person versus online paid events and also free online events. So let’s talk about how you can sell. So we broke down the light version of these decision trees a bit earlier on what people tend to go through when they’re deciding on attending your event. Online and free, online and paid, in person free, and in person paid. And what I wanna talk about more is how you sell after an event Paid or free regardless if it’s online or not. Post event sales are incredibly exciting for me. It’s very validating To hear from my clients after events that we’ve produced, together that the client has closed 30 or 40 or $50,000, some as high as $100,000, it Makes me very happy because then I know that all the planning and everything that we did to make it happen worked. And that’s why these events are so powerful.
Jennie Wright [00:14:37]:
That’s why they continue to be something that We love doing as business owners and that people love attending them. Even now, they’re actually coming and doing it in person, and I’m going to give you my best advice for increasing for sales before, during, and after your event. It’s community, consistency, and clarity. Events bring people together, and you’re instantly We’re starting to build a community. If you can get good at what it looks like for you to build community and then maintain it, the people within that community are potential like, potentially closer Closer to you than your email list would be. If you spend the time working on building relationships with the people who register or attend your events, you’re going to build up trust, which is the most valuable currency in your business. The sense of community starts right from the moment they register and continues well beyond the event’s end. It’s about making registrants feel like they’re part of something really special with other like minded individuals.
Jennie Wright [00:15:32]:
If you can encourage us and build networking into the very Fabric of your event, a natural extension infused at the right moments, you’re going to see some magic. The more your attendees connect with each other and get face I’m with you. The stronger the community around your brand becomes. Memorable experiences add to the value that you’re creating, helping you gain more With consistency, that’s the backbone of your event’s success. Again, I told you earlier about red flags. If we’re not consistent, people start having red flags. It’s about maintaining a consistent message, tone, and quality throughout the whole experience. Your attendees should feel a Seamless flow from registration to the very last session and also in your follow-up.
Jennie Wright [00:16:14]:
This consistency, again, builds trust, and it builds confidence in you and brand. If your event offers really valuable content and memorable experience and also has that consistency, attendees will naturally Associate those qualities with what you offer. And then after your event, the key to maintaining consistent communication with these people is a absolute Key to making this all work, don’t let the energy and enthusiasm from your event fizzle out. You have to keep the conversation going through follow-up emails, offers an engagement within your community. The consistency of engagement shows that you’re not just interested in them as a one time transaction, and you’re committed to their long term growth. And by being consistent in delivering that value, you can transition the excitement generated during your event into post event sales. And let’s talk about clarity. Clarity is crucial when it comes to creating sales during and after your event.
Jennie Wright [00:17:09]:
Attendees should clearly understand the value your products and services bring and how these offers align with their needs and their goals. During the event, I really want you to communicate the benefits of your offerings in a way that resonates with your audience. Use real life examples and case These to show how your solutions have solved problems similar to what your attendees are facing. And then after the event, keep your sales message clear and concise. Provide a pathway for attendees to take action, make it easy for them to move from interested prospects to satisfied customers. And your sales process, if it’s Complex requires multiple steps. Ensure that is incredibly well defined with a clear call to action and explainers. Clarity in your sales message and process reduces friction and that helps attendees make confident decisions.
Jennie Wright [00:17:56]:
So this has been A pretty complex episode. We’ve talked about online events. We’ve talked about in person events. We’ve talked about sales from those events. I got to tell you a little story about me and a bad event. Luckily, that is the only bad event that I’ve actually really attended, and I think if you think about it if you have been attending events both online and in person you could come up with a list of things that you either love or don’t love as these events and you can use those in any of your future events so that you can make sure that they’re exactly how you want them to be. Remember online events or in person events Don’t have to be so formulaic and molded. You can make it about you and your way of doing things.
Jennie Wright [00:18:39]:
You can add things in and remove things that don’t make sense for you. Don’t feel like you have to follow a certain method that doesn’t feel comfortable to you. As long as you’re creating clarity and consistency and community, you’re going to see some success, and I want you to remember that. It’s really important. So if you really enjoyed this episode and I hope that you did please go and check out the show notes I’ll make sure that everything I talked about is listed out there and make sure that if you’re enjoying these episodes that you do follow the podcast on whatever platform you’re listening. I’d love to have that Be something that you listen to on a weekly basis. I’ve got so many good episodes coming up between now and the end of the year, and I’m already starting to book for 2024. So I’ve got some really great shows coming for you if you like what you hear go ahead and hit that subscribe button let me know what you think and don’t forget that you can hire me and my team to help grow your businesses through lead gen, list building, and launches.
Jennie Wright [00:19:34]:
Thanks so much for listening to the acquire podcast on the Odd Phonic podcast network. You can check it out at oddphonic.com and you can also find me at jennywright.com Thanks so much for listening, take care