As an experienced public speaker and event organizer, I have learned effective strategies to pack my live events with high-quality people. Contrary to popular belief, the success of networking live events does not depend on the number of attendees they gather. Drawing in large crowds is great, but your success actually lies who’s in your crowd. Allow me to share with you multiple strategies that can benefit you greatly.
Effective Networking Strategies For Live Events
1. Attend Local Networking Live Events
Local networking live events are a great way to get the first 30 or 40 people for your seminar. If you commit yourself to attend two events every week for the next four months, you’ll have lots of opportunities to grow your network. From here, you can book strategy sessions and eventually enroll people into your actual seminar.
2. Attend National Networking Live Events
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) September 3, 2017
Now, I want to talk about national networking live events. Throughout the course of the year, I myself attended three to five of these. Some of them I speak at, while some of them I just attended.
These events bring together some of the most high-quality people you will ever meet. How do I know that? Because they are committed.
When somebody is committed to a result, they’ll do anything to get it. That includes flying across the country for networking events. What I’ve found out was that these type of people tend to be more serious. They are the ones who end up enrolling in my high-end coaching programs.
I highly recommend that you set a yearly schedule to attend a certain number of national live events. Some might require you to shell out a significant amount of money. However, like you, those who are attending pay and invest their money and time too. That means the quality of people that you will meet there raises by, in my opinion, a factor of five to ten in terms of quality, high-end people.
3. Measuring the Commitment of High-Quality People
As I have mentioned earlier, it doesn’t take a lot of attendees to have successful live events. It just takes high-quality ones. I determine these kinds of people mainly by their commitment — how committed they are to actually get a result.
When somebody shows me that they are willing to invest their time at a national conference that lasts days, they’re committed. If they’re showing me that they are willing to fly across the world or country for this event, they’re committed. When I see that they are willing to invest their resources, they are committed. The quality of the person that you’re getting based on those commitment factors is much higher.
If you attend several local networking events weekly, and four to five national events annually, you can have a mixed audience. If local and national people come in, that creates a high-quality room and better chances of success.
I highly advise that you include national networking live events in your schedule. Is it an investment to attend these? Yes, but any type of marketing is an investment. You go with a mission — to gain a return on your investment.
4. Speak at Local Networking Live Events
Another thing you can do to pack your live events is to speak on stages. When you go to local networking events, you’re going to want to speak on their stages. There’s no better way to do that than by talking to the group organizer or influencer.
When you develop relationships with these influencers, your ability to get more people to your live events grows exponentially. This is because an influencer knows 20 people at their networking event, versus an attendee who might know only one or two. Knowing them also has a huge impact on growing your live events business. Why? Because you want to get on their stage.
I’ll share with you one way how you can accomplish this. When you talk to the event organizer, you can tell them, “Hey, I really enjoyed attending your event. I met some great people here, and also found out that a lot of them have an interest in the topic of (what you teach). I can give a talk on this topic. I’d love to get up in front of your room and give a 20 to 30-minute presentation on the five steps to this. Would you be open to having me up on your stage to speak?”
A lot of times, these local networking groups are looking for presenters or content. Getting up on their stage and speaking to their audience is a great way to get leverage. Knowing the influencers or group organizers of these local events is going to get you practiced, and it’s going to get you booked. In turn, it will create more leverage to get people to your live events.
5. Booking a Strategy Session
Now, when you get on those stages, hopefully, you’ll be able to make an offer for your live event and sell tickets. A lot of times, it’s hard to make a paid offer in only 20 to 30 minutes.
What I like to do when I get on a local stage is invite people to a strategy session. After presenting, you can say, “If you’re inspired by this presentation, I’d like to invite you to a free strategy session. There, we are going to (what they can expect from your session). I’m also going to talk more about the potential of you coming to my live event.”
That’s the plan, right? You speak to the group organizer, and you tell them you have a topic you want to share. When you get booked on the stage, you present for 20 to 30 minutes, then book a strategy session. From there, you enroll people into your live event. These strategy examples can build a very effective seminar business and can make networking live events easy.
6. Speak at National Networking Live Events
Now let’s raise the stakes a little bit to getting booked on national stages. This is a great way to create massive leverage that will impact your live events.
When I first started in the business, I spent a lot of time going to meetup groups. I also spent time speaking on local stages to develop my skill set in public speaking and to figure out the topics I can actually talk about.
Eventually, when I started to attend national live events, I would be bold and approach the speakers. One of the things I would say to them is, “I really loved your talk. I know that you have a seminar coming up, which I’d like to attend. As a matter of fact, I’ve already enrolled and bought a ticket.” Then I would go further and say, “What can I do to actually help get people in your seminar room? What would add value to you?”
These speakers would usually agree to my offer. I’d end up bringing people to the live events of the speakers whom I wanted to connect with. Why? Because I wanted to develop a relationship with them.
There’s no better way to get on the radar of a national speaker than by helping them gather a crowd. I did this on multiple occasions with two different people, and they got me booked on stages with 250 to 400 audience members.
7. Making Two Kinds of Offers
The way you talk to yourself determines your potential.The way you talk to others determines your results. pic.twitter.com/ne2fQ7KDoe
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) September 4, 2017
At each event I got booked for, I couldn’t sell. They gave me a 20 to 60-minute stage spot, and I did two things. At one event, I invited people to a strategy session, and then I enrolled them in my live event. On the other, I gave a special offer where I actually gave away tickets to my live event.
I’m all about having people invest money and pay for tickets to your live event. However, if you’re in a high-quality room, and you want to create a special offer for this group, there’s nothing wrong with doing that once in a while. However, I wouldn’t make a habit of it. I would only consider it if I wasn’t able to sell or if there are too many people in the room for me to book to strategy sessions.
This is more of an arbitrary thing than a rule of thumb so that you won’t lose the integrity of your offers and you can keep on being consistent with them.
8. Utilize Your Warm Network
This time, I’m going to take it a step further for you. One of the groups that people overlook for their live events is their warm network.
When you start your own live event business, the first thing you should do is to make a list of the top 20 people you already have in your network. The goal is to start off with 20 people and then grow it. That list grows by going to networking live events and getting booked on stages.
You should personally call every single one of those 20 people. They are what we refer to as “centers of influence,” or basic relationships that you have. When you call them, let them know that you are starting a new venture by telling them that you have a live event coming up. Then tell them what your seminar will be about and how it will be of benefit. Close your conversation with, “I just wanted to bring it up to you, because I thought you might be interested in attending.”
You talk to these people and invite them because they’re your close relationships. You can even give five free tickets to your best relationships by saying, “Hey, I’m going to give you a ticket to my live event. Normally, it’s (amount of your ticket) to attend. However, I want to give it to you for free, and I’d also like to ask you for a favor. Would you be open to spreading the word and introducing me to other people so I can tell them about my live event?”
You would be surprised at what this simple act can do for you. Communication breeds confidence. You can practice your invitation spiel through your warm relationships. Plus, when you give away free tickets to let’s say, five people, you already have five attendees to help you spread the word. Going to your warm relationships is a huge part of developing this business.
9. Create Your Own Networking Group
One of the things that I did to put on one of my first seminars was to create a networking group of my own in my local area. This was before I left my old job in the insurance business. I created a networking group with eight people that met every 90 days for four hours.
Through my desire to coach and share ideas, I was able to put together a group where I could exercise these passions. Here, we talked about our vision, dreams, goals, and how we could help each other. During the four hours that we spent together, we got to know each other.
When I created the group, I made sure to include influencers. They saw me as the leader who organized the networking group. That meant that when I told them about my seminar and asked them to bring five guests each, they were all on board. They also supported me when I launched a bigger event that had me as the lead speaker. By using that strategy, I was able to put up an event with 40 attendees.
I encourage you to organize a networking event where you can build your own meetup group. Starting your own networking events to expand your sphere of influence is another intelligent way to start packing your live events.
10. Create an Asset
Here’s another idea for you. Once you establish your first live event, you create what’s called an asset. You may not have had this leverage then because you didn’t have a stage, but stage equals an asset.
As you start looking for other speakers to be a part of your live event, you can offer your stage spot in exchange for another one. This actually creates opportunities for you to book speakers for your seminar, and it gets you on other people’s stages as an exchange.
For instance, you give a 90-minute spot to somebody on your stage, and you allow them to sell and offer up their programs. Then, in exchange, they give you a 90-minute spot on their stage so you can sell tickets to your live event. It’s a win-win situation.
Your Action Points
So now it’s time for you to start applying the effective strategies that I have shared with you. Write down the commitments you are willing to make for the following:
- How many local networking live events are you going to attend weekly?
- How many national live events are you going to attend throughout the year?
- What are your targets for your own networking event and group?
- Which local and national stages do you want to get booked in?
I want you to take a moment. Write down what you’re committed to doing. Create your schedule for the year and a strategy for how you’re going to go out and pack your live events.
I have just shared with you simple but effective strategies on how you can start filling your networking live events with high-quality people. These will require a commitment to discipline and activity so you can get the best results. If you fill your calendar and follow the networking formula that I just shared with you, you can build your own successful live events business.
Which of these strategies do you think will work best for you at your next networking live event? Let me know in the comments section below!