Your First Live Event: Start Small, Think Big
Hands down, one of the best ways to boost your credibility as the expert in your industry is to host your own live events. They’re a chance for you to show off your expertise, provide social proof (your guest speakers will do that for you), and get your name in front of more potential clients and customers.
So what’s holding you back?
Well, if you’re like most people, it’s fear. Fear of not being able to attract speakers. Fear of not being able to sell enough tickets. Fear of just putting yourself out there and saying, “I’m hosting an event.”
Here’s the secret though. Your event does not have to be a 300-person affair. Sure, you can have aspirations of that (and you really should), but that’s not where you begin. You begin with a small, intimate venue that holds less than 50 people.
Think about it. If you only have to sell 50 tickets, there’s a lot less pressure to perform. You’ll have lower out-of-pocket expenses, fewer people to please, and less equipment to worry about. AND, you still have all the benefits of being able to say, “I’m hosting an event.”
This live event will lay the groundwork for future events. Because you’ve got the experience, it will be much easier to add live group coaching or mastermind components to your top-dollar programs (if these services apply to your business model). You’ll have a lot less worry over managing all the pieces and parts, simply because you’ve “been there, done that” on more than one occasion.
Live events can take many forms, too, so don’t think you have to commit yourself to a multi-day, multi-speaker conference. Your first event might be a local Meetup, or a half-day workshop held at your favorite conference center, or even a free mastermind session tacked on to a larger event you’re attending. The point is to get your feet wet and pave the way for bigger and better events down the road.
So while you’re planning your event, keep these points in mind:
Promote and talk up your event as if it’s the biggest thing in your industry. Don’t lie, of course, but do be energetic and positive about it.
Get testimonials from attendees, and do it while you’re at the event. Don’t wait until they get home, because we are forgetful creatures.
Take notes. What worked, what didn’t, what could have been improved?
Keep it simple. Don’t try to host a multi-day, multi-room event for your first time out. Put that on your “someday” list instead.
But the most important point about your first live event? JUST DO IT. Step outside your comfort zone and enter the world of event hosts. Once you’re there, you’ll find that your industry credibility increases exponentially.