When I saw this event coming up and that it looked expensive to put on (full day, multiple speakers, expensive venue etc.) but was free, I immediately expected a pitch fest and some hard selling (which is fine, they have to pay for the event and make money some how). The question for me was whether the value being delivered would be worth spending a full Sunday and having to withstand a barrage of pitches (I have actually been burnt before by a free Sunday event which turned out to be an absolute load of garbage. I didn’t stay along enough to see if there were any pitches but I’ll never get that morning back so I was especially weary about this event). I decided to go along because of The Entourage‘s reputation, their pre-event marketing materials (more on that later), social proof – I knew some friends were going and, well, because its hard for me to turn down a free business event :D.
I won’t hold you in suspense, the event blew away my expectations and delivered a huge amount of content with only a small amount of low pressure pitching. I was going to use the word “value” as the information definitely felt valuable but I really have no way of confirming that yet so I’m using the word “content” instead. Further, I have no doubt that some of the perceived value came as a result of the presentation of the content and the whole event rather than being related to the content itself.
In this post I want to report both on some content highlights but also how the event was marketed and run because I thought that was really interesting from a marketing perspective. First of all, the content. There were many speakers throughout the day, some delivering on specific topics, some telling their business stories.
- Ask prospects the questions that will qualify them for your product or service – Identify your perfect customer, figure out the criteria that qualifies them as such, figure out what they would have to say to qualify themselves, figure out what questions you would have to ask to have them give answers that qualify them, ask those questions to prospects so they “talk themselves into it.”
- Educate prospects with “Ink Spotting” – give interesting and relevant facts and figures that get prospects to say “I never knew that”
- Utilise leverage – doing more with less
- “Building an attraction model” – credibility and professionalism, be visible (put yourself where opportunity can see you), be remarkable (makes people talk about you)
- Publish – surround your audience (potential customers) with content that solves their problems
- Create strategic partnerships – identify those that share your target customer and create a win win partnership with them
- Recency and frequency – the company that is front of mind is the one that has contacted them most recently or frequently
- Own your own audience
- Get PR – leverage off an existing issue, be the exception to the rule, turn disadvantage into advantage
- Hire your weaknesses
- Be clear on what you are trying to achieve
- Identify who can help you, understand their goals, identify how you can help them, pitch a compelling win/win
- Get credibility – media and coverage, write a book, get creative e.g. symbolic shareholders
Several speakers talked partially or completely about their own stories which provided great motivation and an opportunity to learn with examples and case studies. The highlight of these was the story of Braap Motorcycles from founder Brad Smith. Its a great story and was an amazing presentation which felt very genuine. Other speakers talking about their own experiences included Matthew Michalewicz who was very funny and a great speaker and Lisa Messenger from Renegade Collective who had a lot of energy and was all over the place but had some great stories from her many businesses and revenue streams.
The Entourage’s primary product is a training course called The Scalable and Salable Advisory Program and their primary method for getting customers (as far as I can tell) is through their free Unconvention events that travel all around Australia. It felt like the whole event process, from marketing to the event itself to post event, was very well refined so I thought I’d share some points about it which you might be able to apply to your own business.
- Great sales page
- Regular email marketing – I actually registered for the Unconvention in 2013 but they didn’t get enough interest to run it. However, I was added to their email address and had regular email content between then and now so that when I received the invitation for this year’s event I was ready to register
- 8 step video series leading up the event with a taste of the information that would be presented
- Opportunity for people to buy an ‘up sell’ to a prime seating position in the front row of the event and after party with the speakers
At the Event
- Professional venue and setup
- Energetic MC to warm up the crowd and keep the day moving along
- Sound effects guy to add music and sound effects to the presentations and in between
- Opportunities to upgrade to the prime seating and after party throughout
- Low pressure pitching for an ‘Exploration Session’ which is a required first step before getting into the Scalable and Salable event
- Never once mentioned the cost of the Scalable & Salable program
- Post convention webinar to go through the learning from the event (I couldn’t make this)
- Further follow up emails
Overall it was very interesting to see how the event was executed as well as the event itself. I would definitely recommend this event to others looking to start and grow a business.
What do you think?