Over the past four years, I’ve been creating events through POP UP YOGA DSM, FemCity Des Moines, and Brand Launch.
By getting creative and finding unique ways to provide value in exchange for dollars, I’ve been so grateful to build three event-driven businesses very strategically and am here to share some of the “how.”
This week, I had a chance to break down these strategies + a variety of tactics on the FemCity podcast. You can listen here or read this post. Or both. 😉
Something important to know is that I love creating experiences and building community. This is the core of who I am and what lights me up. I think it’s important to honor your own desires and follow your joy (even if it’s not through events).
There were three specific types of events I chatted with Violette about on the podcast:
1. Sponsorship-driven events
2. Workshops and events for profits
3. Events created to upsell
Let’s dive in…
POP UP YOGA DSM is a perfect example for sponsorship-driven events. We created POP UP YOGA DSM to make yoga more accessible, which for now means our events are always free. And while there is minimal overhead for yoga, we still have a website to pay for, sound systems, and other small items. So how do you pay for these things without revenue coming in?
For the first couple years we used our own resources and partnered with Raygun for a small portion of PUY tank sales (which is something I absolutely love about Raygun btw). The next couple years we started creating opportunities for sponsors that aligned with PUYDSM. In exchange for their sponsorship dollars, we would create purposeful content and introduce their business and brand to a large audience of our followers + attendees.
It’s important to know that in the beginning, we started building our email list so we now have hundreds of subscribers and nearly 5000 social media fans + followers. Not only that but we typically see about 40 attendees at every yoga event (and sometimes up to 200!). By cultivating this email list and great social content, we created a new platform that elevates our sponsors’ businesses.
WORKSHOPS + EVENTS FOR PROFITS
There are so many different events happening anywhere and everywhere that help businesses generate revenue. Whether it’s a calligraphy workshop or an event teaching people how to launch a podcast, there are endless ways to provide people with education, training, or a fun experience in exchange for dollars.
I absolutely love hosting events for FemCity Des Moines. It’s the perfect way to bring positive women in business together to learn about a specific topic, get to know other women in business, and grow their knowledge and network. If I can lay out what people will get out of their experience at a price they are willing to pay, everyone leaves feeling great.
Truly, the opportunities are endless for the types of events you can host. But be sure to consider your timeline in marketing your event.
“Build it and they will come” is a total myth, unless you have a huge following. The everyday entrepreneur has to be really thoughtful in how to get the word out about their services, products, and events.
A few considerations as you aim to get people to your event:
1. Promote your event at least six weeks ahead of time.
2. Generate an email list to send your event invite to.
3. Offer a promo code within a specific timeframe to create urgency + action.
4. Post on social media and invite people, tag people, send messages, and ensure you’re sharing it with the right individuals.
5. Put it on a community calendar.
6. If it’s unique or big enough (think conference for example), send out a press release.
My point is that you can’t just put together an event in a week and expect a good turnout. There are many factors such as price, location, and topic that impact sales, however I strongly believe a great marketing execution will bring you success. If your event totally bombs, consider reaching out to your group of friends and business allies and ask for honest feedback.
EVENTS CREATED TO UPSELL
When Whitney and I created Brand Launch, we hosted about five different affordable events to get people exposed to our brand and the business offerings. We strategically created ticket costs that were lower so we could open the door to as many people as possible.
After our hour-long luncheons or happy hour events, we gave people the opportunity to work with us in the future through consulting or a weekend retreat. Specifically, for the retreat we offered a coupon for all attendees to use that would expire within 48 hours. The people who were excited and serious about our topic about Personal Branding signed up right away!
Creating opportunities to upsell give your audience + fans a way to move through your value ladder. This creates loyal customers, happy clients, and importantly, referrals.
In the past, I have hosted an event called “Meet FemCity Des Moines,” and by partnering with a sponsor, we could provide light bites + make the event free. We put together a powerful panel of women who are business members to share their experience with FemCity Des Moines and at the end I offered a promo to use by the end of the month. Although this event brought in no direct revenue, the 40+ business memberships purchased made the event possible, which also allowed us to highlight our amazing sponsor!
As I mentioned, these events don’t just happen. I’ve spent the past several years formulating how to execute events that are well-attended, generate great revenue, and/or provide sponsors and partners the opportunity to shine bright to a brand new audience.
If you are itching to create an event and are looking for an initial consultation, drop a note here with your contact info + what you want to create and I’ll get back to you in the next 48 hours.