A little over a week ago I hosted a Leadership Conference here in my hometown of Owatonna, MN. The event was called Leadercast, and it is one of the largest one-day leadership conferences in world. I hosted an authorized rebroadcast of the live event that was held back on May 9th. Promoting an event of this caliber was a brand new experience for me. I learned a ton through the process, and I realized that these lessons can be applied to nearly any type of event that you want to promote. So let me share some of what I learned.
You need a team. I was grateful for the folks that helped me promote this event. They were generous with their time and encouragement. It’s the encouragement part that is so critical. During promotion, it is easy to get discouraged with the process. People don’t respond as you hoped, or signups are slow. It is then that you need people around you to encourage you and provide ideas. You can’t afford to lose momentum and a team will help keep you focused.
You need to connect with the right people. It wasn’t until late in the process that I reached out to a couple of individuals that could have been very helpful in the process of promotion, but there wasn’t enough time to have a serious impact. When you team up with folks, you need to connect with influencers. These are folks that tend to be where the action is and they know how to promote. When they move, other people follow. This is the Law of E.F. Hutton who was so influential that when he spoke everyone listened. Attract the right leaders to your cause and this will help you build a following.
Start sooner. The bottom line is you need to have time to promote. The community has to get used to the idea, and it takes time to sink in. People need time to discover who else will be attending your event. If you are looking for businesses to send employees, they need to have your event on their radar at least a couple of months ahead. For an event like the one I was promoting, four to six months would have been ideal. Planning earlier will save panic and missed opportunities later. You just need to get out of the gate as soon as possible.
Get personal. Share your enthusiasm for what you are doing, and do as much as you can in person. Speak to clubs, to churches and to businesses. You see, people likely don’t know that they need what you are promoting. They may not “need it” yet they will benefit from getting involved. It helps people to make that connection when they can hear from you in person.
Don’t let fear keep you from action. The best lessons are learned while you are in motion. Action builds confidence. People usually regret the things they didn’t attempt, not the things that didn’t go as planned. Today I know a lot more about promoting an event like Leadercast and my next attempt will be an even bigger success.
Live events are a great way to get noticed and to build your brand. No matter what your platform is, I encourage you to consider some kind of live event. It could be a conference, a workshop, a sale or even a concert. Give it some time to work. Create a plan, and work your plan. If you follow these five key lessons it will help you achieve the success you are looking for. If you have an idea for a live event of your own, I would love to connect with you about it. Leave a comment below and let’s get you started!