How to Host Amazing Events and Generate More Agency Leads

By Jason Swenk on May 25, 2020

Are you looking for a way to attract your ideal client? Have you considered hosting a live event as a prospecting tactic? An event is a great way to gather like-minded individuals and maybe even meet a few potential clients along the way. And yes, we all will be meeting in large groups again one day!

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • #1 Key to hosting a successful event.
  • How to get prospects excited about your event.
  • How to use adversity to build connections.

Today I had an inspiring chat with Jordan Kallman, co-owner of The Social Concierge, an event marketing agency. Jordan has spent many years in the event industry and has created events for some of the world’s biggest companies. Today, he’s here to talk about a few things you should and shouldn’t do in order to host a successful event.

#1 Key to Hosting a Successful Event

One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning an event is diving right in. Regardless of what type of event you have in mind or what type of guests you want to attract, Jordan says there are two things people don’t realize about planning an event.

  1. Hosting an event is a lot more expensive than you think it is.
  2. It’s harder than you realize to get people to show up.

Because of this, it’s extremely important to start with your why or your purpose. Why do you want to host an event? People don’t want to go to an event where they feel like you are constantly trying to sell something. They’re too busy and don’t want to waste their time. When most people go to an event they are looking to learn something new and build connections. The number one way to be successful and attract the right people is to dial in on your messaging and intention.

How to Get Prospects Excited About Your Event

Let’s face it — we’re all busy and we all have other commitments. If you’re like me, the prospect of going to another event is anything but exciting. Jordan says you should always count on a good number of people backing out or simply not showing up. If you want 100 people to attend your event, you need to invite 300. So how do you get people excited about your event and motivate people to show up?

  1. Give attendees an expectation of value. Be clear about what people will get out of attending your event. Will there be a special speaker? Will they learn something new? And if so, what? You have to give your guests a reason to want to be there. Time is valuable.
  2. Promote your event. Now is the time to pick up the phone and talk to your invitees. Tell them how they will benefit from attending your event. Don’t stick to just one channel. Promote your event through social, email, and behind the scenes videos. Over-communicate to align with expectations. When you get people excited before the event, they’re more likely to share the opportunity with other people.
  3. Build connections before the event. Get personal and connect people before the big day. No one likes to go to an event where they know they won’t know anyone there. Introduce a few people before an event and get them talking. People are more likely to show up if they feel like they already connected to other attendees.

How to Use Adversity to Build Connections

The goal of most events is to bring people together. Don’t let your guests sit through a boring lecture, counting down the minutes until they can leave. Plan events that allow people to open up and share a common connection. It all starts with being a good host. Greet your guests and let them know why they are there. But beyond that, there are a few basic things you can do to get your guests to open up.

  1. Try a unique approach to introductions. Chances are, if you’re holding an event, most of the people will be from the same industry. So instead of asking people who they are and what they do, be creative with your introductions. Ask attendees to talk about their passion or an area they struggle in. This can help people build deeper connections and find common ground.
  2. Don’t shy away from adversity. You’d be surprised how much a common struggle brings people together. During my mastermind retreat, we hiked 800 feet up a mountain on the first day. This experience provided a shared sense of accomplishment and a common challenge we all had to overcome. You don’t have to climb a mountain at your event; adversity can be as simple as talking about challenges in your field, or common struggles.

Events are a great way to get your ideal clients all in one place. But they take time and planning. When you take the time to carefully craft an event and make sure people show up, you’ll be on your way to being able to pick and choose who you work with.

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