Cost & Benefits of Events

Trail Blazers

Ode to Events

I know, the first thought is, what? I thought you were in a monogamous relationship with budgeting.

Yes, budgeting is my first love, because of what it can do for you. Freedom, peace, no debt, high credit score, and on and on and on. You know me, if you’ve heard me, I can go on and on and on.

Sometimes we need a side piece and for me that has always been events.

I grew my financial advisor practice through events. When I walked away from millions under management and a team of 62 to start coaching women, I built it through events. Trail Blazers, I hope you’ve heard of it.

I’ve been running monthly women’s events for 8 years! The first 6 or so was under a different name, and the last couple have been Trail Blazers. That’s what, 96 events? Plus some one-off workshops and a Summit or 2.

Does my wedding count? I planned that like a Boss. You should have seen me in my wedding dress with a walkie-talkie in my hand.

Then I teamed up with Kim Bynum and we started doing large scale events. We saw a gap in how women’s events were being run and wanted to give women business owners a resource for community, connection and inspiration but we also needed meat. Tangible value added advice and next steps.

That is why we started Navigate | A Women’s Summit (formally known as Women’s Expo). We had over 200 women, 23 speakers and 20 vendors at our first BIG event. I LOVED it! We received so much great feedback that we decided to do it again in the same year.

That seemed like a GREAT idea 3 champagne toasts in.

But let’s talk numbers. Can you guess how much an event like that costs? With my Boss negotiation skills we pulled it off for the low price of $12,000. It was a great brand builder for us and a way to give the women of our community a platform; a platform to speak, to be a vendor or sponsor, or an attendee and connect with these amazing women.

The women who were speakers or vendors saw some considerable results. One vendor sold over $15,000, another speaker had a 92% conversion ratio into her offer. Speakers landed other speaking gigs. Attendees felt a vibe unlike any other women’s event they had been to. I was told “it felt just like a Trail Blazers event.” Score!

So, April I don’t want to do BIG events, what’s a “small” event cost?

I’m so glad you asked.

Let’s take Trail Blazers as a random example of monthly costs

  • Space $250

  • DOFI (Director of First Impressions) $75

  • Catering should cost $10+ a head - $400

  • Wine $80-ish (thankfully Kim brings her own)

  • Plates, cups, utensils, serve-ware, toothpicks, napkins $50

  • Eventbrite transaction fees 3% - $24

  • Paper, nametags, printouts, etc $40

  • Water - $2

  • Promotion, Graphics, Slide deck $Time

Cost $921

Can you do it cheaper? Absolutely.

Picking up platters from Publix can cut costs down, you will just be trading aesthetics and time for the savings. I spent the first 3 years DIY-ing the food and trying to make it look like it wasn’t. Connecting with Jasmin at Blue Sage Cuisine was one of my BEST investments.

Do you need a DOFI? Hell yes! But…you can check in people at your own event while juggling last minute things that need your attention and try juggling all that before you go up and speak.

That is what is costs in dollars. Now let’s talk about the investment of time.

It is hard to get a following, to get people to trust you that your events are good; a good investment of time and money. Jax is especially hard I believe. This is a last minute town that doesn’t like to RSVP and for the girl that has already planned her Halloween party, 2 months ago, that is rough on the adrenal glands (stress).

So while trying to run your business, grow your business and have a life, you will also be working on growing your reputation around events. Unless you find someone to do that for you.

Let’s talk Payoff!

Like a budget, events can give you so much! Freedom, cash flow..

I mentioned a few examples above from the attendees at the last Summit Kim & I did. I can also tell you example after example from my own experience of earning $6,000-$22,000 from single events.

If done properly, the payoff is huge!

The challenge is most speakers don’t know how to promote or run their own events. Most business owners don’t know how to fill up events. Their genius lies somewhere else.

I’m the master at taking on too many things, too many projects. Things start to get watered down.

That’s why I am focusing on helping you increase your income through events and Trail Blazers is getting a make-over. Kim & I are teaming up and Trail Blazers will have more events, more speakers, cool Trail Blazer-style networking events and a more interactive FB group. Join the monthly membership and save!

If you are a speaker, we want to help you launch your events and use our reputation, experience and Tribe to help you reach more of your audience. Schedule a phone call to learn more.

Next steps, decide if you want to start having events and what does that look like? Shoot me an email, I would love to know!

April Caldwell