Can you get a 1,940% RETURN with only 15 people in a room? (the answer is yes!)
If you have been in my world for a while, you’ll notice that I don’t talk about numbers. I LOVE getting strategic with income streams, working with my clients to get the best possible outcomes and looking at budgets and crunching numbers for sure, but I’ve never done the ‘make $10k in one day!’ post. Mainly because I know as business owners we tire of seeing promises like that, but also because my philosophy has always been that the money will come if you do two things:
1. Plan effectively.
2. Do quality work.
But I’ve realized that I really need to show you more of what’s under the proverbial hood and give you some real life examples of what you can achieve with your own events.
As I am deep in the event trenches every single day with all types of entrepreneurs, from those who are just starting out and making no money to those who are ticking over 7 figures, I see all sides of the spectrum.
And because I do have such an in-depth view and am constantly working with people on their events and their business, I am privy to patterns, learnings and knowledge that others don’t.
I really dislike it when I see info out that says it’s super easy to make tens of thousands from your events eg. Get everything sponsored then sell 5 x $10,000 packages and voila - make $50,000! It’s not that easy, especially for people in their first couple of years in business who are still building up their profile. There is SO much more too it. If it was that easy, everyone would be making megabucks off it.
At the end of the day, this just gives people unrealistic expectations and makes those who can’t achieve a $50,000 pay day feel inadequate and like there is something ‘wrong’ with them.
Events are a spectacular beast and you really have to put the work into understanding how to utilise them so that it’s not just you profiting, but that your attendees and your community getting value as well. And that’s key - don’t go in there just for you, go in there for them. The more value your attendees receive, the better your outcomes.
As an event coach and an event professional specifically for entrepreneurs and small business owners, it’s my job to give you the reality. And the reality is that not everyone can make $50,000 in one evening at just any point of their business career. But here’s the thing – you can make $200 from your first event. Then $1,000 at your next one. Then $2,500 at the next and so on.
Just like anything, if you put in the time and effort, it will grow alongside the other parts of your business.
So, it’s all well and good for me to keep talking, but you want to know that what I am saying is real and attainable for any business owner, not just the ones up on stage with an audience of 1,000 people staring eager-eyed and ready to buy anything they can.
Although we are great at what we do, not all of us have the rock star profile of some key players. And we most certainly do NOT have their budgets.
And that's ok.
I know that you can help people in a meaningful and powerful way - without doing a 10 date tour up the coast (although that would be nice one day!).
I know that you can achieve amazing things - with only 8 people in a room that cost you $250 to hire.
I know that you can absolutely make an impact and become an industry leader – with your mum and your best friend helping you set up and greet guests.
You don’t have to have a huge event to be a success. Sometimes you just have to trust that you are enough. As you are. You can achieve these numbers for yourself, I know you can.
So, here are three real life scenarios that have unfolded in the last year right in front of my very eyes. I have purposefully put in varying amounts of expenditure and return to show you realistic possibilities:
Even if this just inspires you to do one small but crazy good event that sees you stepping up and shining bright, then that would be amazing.
Let’s start with the example with the lowest return on investment – 817%!!
// REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 1:
Event Type: Professional development and networking day
Ticket price range: Under $100
Promotion: Social media, newsletters, existing contacts and speakers
Attendance: 35 people
Investment: Venue, light catering, drinks, flowers - totaling $3,068
Available programs for sale: Group coaching
Program promotion: No selling from stage, minimal mentions
Return on investment: 4 sales, $28,160 return or an 817% ROI
// REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 2 //
Event Type: Afternoon workshop
Ticket price range: Free
Promotion: Via social media, newsletters and existing contacts
Attendance: 7 people
Investment: Venue, flowers $200
Available programs for sale: 1:1 coaching
Program promotion: No selling from stage, minimal mentions
Return on investment: 2 sales, $3,990 return or an 1,895% ROI
// REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 3 //
Event Type: Workshop
Ticket price range: Under $100
Promotion: Via social media, newsletters, existing contacts and FB ads
Attendance: 15 people
Investment: Venue, drinks, flowers, Facebook ads $2,940
Available programs for sale: Premium coaching
Program promotion: Formal invitation to join program
Return on investment: 5 sales, $60,000 return or an 1,940% ROI
Yes, you read that right. A ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND FORTY PERCENT return. Sorry for the caps but I still find it incredible! Events can be such a great investment for your business that don’t need to cost thousands to get great outcomes. As long as you don’t have big production costs, they really are an affordable option to get clients in the door. That’s why so many of your entrepreneurial idols use them.
And don’t forget that if you don’t have a premium offering to sell like 1:1 coaching or masterminds, that’s ok! If you want to sell a new book, an online program or some eBundles at a special price, that can definitely be a great earner for you too!
One of my clients sold $1,575 worth of eProducts at one event and $1,755 at another. As a digital offering that only costs the time it takes for her assistant to input the email addresses into the system, that is definitely nothing to sneeze at. $3,330 would pay for groceries for 6 months or more!
And if you are deeper into your business and have a bigger community that you just want to get to spend time with, you can offer an event where you don’t sell anything and the tickets sold is the sole cash injection.
With my clients I have seen ticket returns of anything from $3,000+ for a 2 hour event, $7,000+ for a presentation and networking evening, to $11,000+ for a workshop.
Of course, these events do wonders for their profile too with all the promotion in the lead up making them a hot topic, everyone raving about them on social media, attendees bringing their friends along, blog posts being written about them afterwards etc. so although they are not selling anything on the day, they are definitely benefiting from all the exposure (which is handy when you are looking to launch something in the coming months...).
There are many variables that will impact on your ability to earn an income from events but if you start with a low investment, you will soon be able to see what is effective for you and your business.
Keep these points in mind:
// KNOW YOUR WHY
First and foremost, understand what your purpose is.
Why do you want to hold the event?
Is this a marketing activity to try and fill your offerings? Is this an income stream of its own? Is this a complimentary value add as part of a high ticket offering?
What would you like your guests’ experience to be like?
What content do you want to offer them?
What do you want to sell on the day, if anything?
Empower yourself with this knowledge early on and don’t leave it as an afterthought. In my flagship eCourse Workshop Wonderful, I have dedicated a whole module to knowing your why at the very start of the course so that you not only know exactly what you are doing from the start, but so you can plan effectively around it.
There’s no point knowing you are going to sell your program on the day and then realise at the event that you don’t have a way to take people’s deposits or details. Or that you want to sell your books and programs, but you don’t get help on the day so you are stretched between taking order forms and trying to answer queries, while still being a host to everyone else and taking care of their needs.
// DON’T MAKE IT ABOUT YOU, MAKE IT ABOUT THEM
You don’t have to spend thousands to have a beautiful looking event that provides meaningful content to attendees. As you can see, a $200 investment was all one event needed to pull in some 1:1 clients. But they key was providing an event that was less about the host, and all about the attendees in the room.
The little touches were for them, all the detail that went into setting up a comfortable and inviting room was for them, the content that was implementable and useful was for them. It screamed one thing – quality. People will experience that and immediately want more.
Look after your attendees.
// BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY CONSISTENTLY
There’s nothing worse than scrambling for exposure after you launch an event and are trying to fill the room. Focus on consistently building your community throughout the year and when you do start promoting an event, it won’t be as hard to fill.
Focus on building up your mailing list, get social on social media and be seen by the people who need you.
My clients who have had the most success with their events are the ones who have focused on the people they want to serve. They are diligent and persistent in their efforts to give value and be a leading light. They have built up a great reputation in providing value in both free and paid offerings that when it’s time for them to say, hey, I’ve got something for you, they have people who purchase in a heartbeat.
Even if your community only has 50 people, dive in deep and connect with them on a heart level. Be genuine in your motives and know that more connected you are to them, the easier it will be for you in the long run.
// REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU SELL OR NOT, PEOPLE WILL STILL WANT YOU
Even if you don’t want to sell anything at your event, it is always a good idea to be prepared for people who may approach you afterwards and ask how they can work with you.
Look at your calendar beforehand and know exactly how many spots you have open for a particular service. Practice talking about your services out loud if you haven’t done it a lot and get confident. Be prepared to take someone’s card or email address and then follow them up personally after the event.
Don’t shy away from the fact that some people will really, really want to work with you after they see you speak.
// CREATE AN EVENT THAT IS A REFLECTION OF YOU
I give away a whole 54 page eGuide called Remarkable for the sole purpose of helping people create events that are not only well thought out, but also a beautiful reflection of them. Each event has its own personality and as a business owner or entrepreneur, you want that event to scream your name. Not the venues, not the caterers, not the sponsors, not even your guests speakers – YOURS.
Get your free copy here:
With some smart thinking, by knowing what areas to invest in, understanding how to leverage your event in the months and years to come and by being proactive rather than reactive, you will be heads and shoulders above the rest and be an incredible event success.
So go on, give yourself the opportunity to shine. You might just find that you love it!
And if you are serious about taking your events to the next level, experiencing marketing and financial success AND creating an experience that will wow your guests in all ways possible, my flagship eCourse Workshop Wonderful, was created specifically for you. This 8 week program enables you to create purposeful events with powerful outcomes and gives you everything you need to make events a successful and thriving part of your business model. You can check it out HERE and when registrations open. Here's a little sneak peek of what's inside:
I hope that you take all of this information and start planning away on a beautiful event that is fulfilling for both your attendees and your business. I know that you are capable of great things!
Do keep me updated with what events you are putting out there and as always, happy planning! x
P.S. If you know other business owners that could benefit from this article, please share it with them!