Business at b2b training and conferences
I decided to write a short article about organizing educational conferences and producing experts. Today we see a huge number of business conferences, which are often unprofitable or self-covered in best cases.
I'll try to explain how to improve this process and build the right product line in your educational business.
Singer or producer
First, you need to understand who you are - "singer" or "producer". In the beginning, you may be both of them, but after a while, you will have to make a choice. A professional "singer" is someone who "sings" on stage. The brightest singer in business education is Tony Robbins.
Behind him, there is an entire production factory that helps him organize trainings, sales, etc. As a rule, no one knows producers, because they are producers, not singers.
Suppose you decided that you want to be a producer. You want to earn on the fact that someone will "sing", I mean, teach people something. For simplicity, we take an understandable niche - training in marketing, sales, and business. Your target audience is entrepreneurs and marketers.
You need to build a specific product matrix that will allow you to sell several times to the same client.
At the very beginning, you need to understand the main idea. There are products that need to be advertised, and there are ones which help you earn money. People make a mistake when they try to make money on products that work as lead magnets. If you don't have the appropriate product line, no matter what events you will hold, everyone will earn, except you.
Thanks to webinars, you can quickly check the demand for a speaker
- How does he speak?
- Is the topic relevant?
- Can he bring you leads?
- Is the speaker in demand?
CAC (customer acquisition cost) is the lowest. The application price will be significantly lower than one for paid events. Thanks to webinars, you can collect the base, warm it up and then sell other products in your line.
It may be a meeting where several speakers which you produce make presentations for 45 minutes. Usually, such meetings take place on weekends, or in the evening on weekdays after work. Attendance at such events should be paid, but at the price should be at the level of going to the cinema. It is important to understand the purpose. Your task is to introduce the speakers to people and take their time. People should have fun, not sink in learning new information. Many make a mistake when they begin to load a large amount of new information on listeners.
It's important for you to understand that all the information already is on the Internet for free.
People came to hang out, not to study. A third of them came because they didn't want to go home, another third came because they want to meet a guy/girl, and only one third came for new information. But nobody will ever tell you this. If you ask a question: "Why did you come here?" you will get the answer "To learn something new", but in fact, everyone came to hang out under the slogan of training. Moreover, people don't understand this at a conscious level. It seems to them that they are going to study.
At such a meetup, you introduce the speaker to the audience; see how he keeps in public. If everything is fine, you can make a few more meetups and webinars with him, invite him to the main conference and then sell his training to this audience. When people meet you offline, they become much more loyal to your brand. This tactic works well if you live in the capital or in a big city.
Today everything is online, and people want to chat in real life. This is our natural need and it will always be paid for. You sell a party, not knowledge. But people should think that they buy knowledge. Such events will be attended by 70% of new people and 20-30% of your regular community members. You need to create a community with a party.
These kinds of events won't be profitable, but it's a cheaper way to get leads. The client price will be much lower than for a paid product.
This is a brand event that can be held 1-2 times a year. In spring and fall. You invite all the speakers that you are producing in this niche, also you invite star speakers who can get people together. The star speaker will be a bait for people, and you sell those you produce. Such conferences should be large-scale, at least 500 people. It should feel like a conference, not an ordinary meeting.
The format can be different, several streams, reports of 40 minutes, 8-12 speakers. Such an event is also easier to advertise than training with an unknown speaker. Star speakers share some of their credibility with those you produce. The conference participants have a reason "why should
I listen to this unknown speaker". Thus, you make unknown speakers famous (of course, if you have the opportunity to produce famous ones, it's good. But it doesn't always happen).
Tickets at the conference must fully pay off all expenses for holding it. This is the rental of the hall, the fee of star speakers, the cost of advertising, etc. But here be careful. If you work correctly with the database and hold sequential events, then free webinars and inexpensive offline meet-ups will gather a lot of loyal subscribers. It's enough to send them a newsletter, SMS or make a redial. You don't need to sell them. It's enough to tell about your event. And if you did everything right before - people will buy tickets on their own.
When people attend your events, they begin to trust you. It greatly simplifies the sales process and you don't need to spend money on sales managers.
You can earn extra income from sponsors. If the conference is about marketing and business, then there will be many different companies that will gladly pay you money for the stand. You can get a profit at such a conference thanks to the sponsors. Tickets cover all expenses, and with the help of sponsors, you earn money.
Now we move on to the products that make money. One of them may be a workshop. This is an all-day event on which one speaker reveals a topic widely. Let's say, all day he will talk about how to implement email marketing
in a business, or how to automate a sales department. You can assemble a group of 100 people, and make good money. You can promise the speaker a fixed payment, a percentage of sales or percentage of the profit. It depends on what is more convenient. The larger base you have, the easier it's to convince the speaker to more favorable conditions for you.
Many people make the mistake starting to advertise such events through paid traffic. People come in and go away without buying anything. The maximum that needs to be done is to upload your database to the retarget and advertise a bit. Ideally, for such events, you should only gather people through your newsletter. You invest in attracting people to events that I mentioned above.
At the workshop, you should have a maximum margin.
Workshops can be held once a month. You can hold 10-15 events a year. You can do more if you have a good, segmented base. For example, it can be one series of events for entrepreneurs, another for PPC specialists, the third for email marketers.
It's the most marginal product that makes the most money. For example, you hold a 2-month training of 8 lessons on the topic "Complex digital marketing". There are many modules, and for each module, you invite a separate speaker. This format implies doing and checking of homework, etc.
Try to sell an expensive training or workshop with cold, paid traffic. It is very difficult, and if you are just starting, it is better to go along a longer, but more effective path. Of course, if you have extra money, then you may miss the optimization of your sales pipeline.
Try to build a business by organizing conferences. It's also very difficult. It's much easier to have several products in the line and recapture all the costs using Backend products.
Don't make recordings of conferences, meetings or webinars. It's better to make high-quality recordings of all your events and trainings, and then sell them by subscription. You can record a selling webinar with one of the speakers who sells a recording of his training. Next, you implement marketing automation
and add a pipeline. Subscribers will receive an invitation to a master class every few months where they can buy a product by subscription. The task of such mini products is to recapture investment in traffic.
You should have speakers with different temperaments. Someone loves funny people, someone love techies, someone loves motivators. One speaker should rock; the second should be like a professor at the university. People are different. It's important to understand what type of speaker people like, not what type you like. It's best to work with charismatic speakers. Because the niche in which you work is more business entertainment than business training.