A few months ago, I had the brilliant idea to get together a group of ladies in my living room.
I was tired of the traditional "networking" events where you try to pitch your business and your brand to a room full of potentially uninterested, uncurated peers. You walk out with a stack of business cards and the feeling that you were verbally attacked for an hour. And no real business sales to speak of.
So I emailed a group of creative entrepreneurs that I thought might be facing the same struggles I'm facing. And when we met in my living room over cheese, crackers, and wine and the cards were laid on the tables and the ladies started connecting, responding, and dialoguing in an organic way? I knew I had hit the lottery.
Because I got immediate feedback. The event (albeit small, free, and not terribly planned) was something that these ladies were totally craving. Real conversation, real connection, no judgments. And I knew that I had to do it again.
Often, live events are seen as a financial and time drain, and there's no guarantee that you'll get a few or even any on-going clients or buyers from a live event. However, they can also be one of the quickest ways to get feedback on your product or your business, in real time.
Think of a workshop. Are people engaged and asking questions? Do they seem lost? Are they participating and talking to other attendees? Or are they on their phones?
You don't need a feedback form to figure out how a live event went. You have the proof in the pudding; in the engagement of the audience and the number of people that stick around after the main meat of the workshop is over.
And then, since you have them in person, you can follow up, again in real time, on any questions you may have about their experience.
(Although I do always recommend that a feedback form is given out after the event is over.)
And why is this important for growth? Because you get to test out your product/service/idea with your ideal client and you get their feedback immediately in a raw, unpremeditated way. And that sort of feedback is incredibly powerful for how you go about tweaking, adjusting, or changing your offerings so that they can be better for the next time.
For me, I realized that people crave connection and a place to sit down and talk about the hard stuff in their businesses. So after the Creative Ladies Club of Bozeman came to fruition, I decided to create an entire service around fostering this connection in my local community.
That's growth right there. In two months I went from having no idea of what I wanted to do, to having a whole community of people clamoring for a need that has yet to be filled. That's the power of hosting a live event.
Your turn! Has a live event helped grow your business, whether in sales or in creative growth? Tell me about it below!