One Insider Event Planning Trick Every Host Should Be Using
Hi there, I'm Bari Baumgardner, founder of Sage Event Management. And tonight I wanted to talk to you about the importance of doing a VIP event. So what's really cool about today's video is that we are here at the Newseum in Washington D.C. One of our clients, a non-profit trade association, has rented out this entire museum for the evening for a special VIP event.
Isn't Hosting an Exclusive VIP Event Generally Too Expensive?
So this might seem like something you could never do, you couldn't possibly afford, but you'd be amazed at how affordable it really is. For pennies on the dollar, you can actually take over something like an art gallery, or a museum like this, and make it your own for the night.
What's Hosting an Intimate VIP Event Like From an Attendees Point of View?
What's really cool about what our guests experienced today, as we were hosting a Newseum private event, is that they spent a whole day lobbying on the Hill. We had special meetings with senators, like Senator Ted Cruz. And we got to them to engage and interact with their lobbyists, so they had a really awesome day on the Hill, and then they came here.
Creating a Unique, Memorable Experience for Your Attendees
Once they arrived, they went up a special elevator just for them, up to the sixth floor, where they had cocktails and appetizers on the terrace, and where there are incredible views of the brand new Capitol. And I say brand new because it has just been refurbished, it's been completely refurbished top to bottom. So it is gleaming. It is the best representation of all that is great in our country.
So they're up there taking a look at that while they have drinks, network and mingle. Then they have the run of the museum. So six full floors they can wander around. And there are beverage bars on every floor. They basically can have the whole museum to themselves, and what better networking opportunity than that. How's that for hosting a memorable VIP event!
Your attendees get an incredible experience you couldn't get anywhere else, with no crowds, no lines, just them. But they also get this incredible networking opportunity while they enjoy visiting with each other. And that's the heart of a VIP event, which is creating a unique experience that your attendees couldn't find anywhere else, that quite frankly, you are delivering for them in a way they could never find anywhere else.
What Does This Do for an Event Planner?
So what does that do for you? It makes you a unique event host. And think about it, if you're hosting a VIP event, let's say it's for 20 people. You don't have to be hosting a Newseum private event. It could be 20 people in a garden of a historic home, or 50 people doing a special tour. We're about to do an event behind the scenes at Universal, hosted by Universal special guests for some very special people who love Harry Potter and Harry Potter World for one of our hosts. Or, it could be bringing 200 people to the Newseum.
There are so many different opportunities for you, but the great thing about it, is that you've got them all together in one small space, or large space, but basically all together, where they're uniquely focused on each other, and on you. And what that shows them is they get access, special access.
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What We Have Learned About Hosting an Exclusive VIP Event
What we have found while hosting an intimate VIP event like this is we immediately find out who our most loyal members are. And in this case, because this is a trade association, who our best buyers are. If you're hosting an information marketing event, what's better than to know who your best buyers are? Well, the best buyers are going to be the ones who self-select and say hey, me, me. I'm willing to pay more for a special activity, for an exclusive opportunity, for access to you. And if you're the event host, maybe having an event for 1000 people like Jeff Walker, which means a VIP experience of 300 people all of a sudden feels really intimate. Or, we just came up from an event with Lisa Sasevich. She had 400 plus people, so a VIP lunch for 200 feels really intimate. So you really want to think about that.
Bonus Tip for Creating an Extraordinary Experience While Thinking About the Event as a Whole
Here's one little bonus for you that I want you to think about. So you could have all of this, you know, the flowers, candlelight, linens, you've got musicians upstairs who are about to move down here for dinner. It could be a really extraordinary experience, but you don't want to price it based just on what you're doing tonight.
What you really want to think about is how do you add in some inexpensive benefits that go along with it that don't cost you anything. Let me give you an idea of what that would be. It would be priority access at registration, meaning they have their own special VIP line, so as soon as they check in, they feel super special. Or, and, and/or, either one, it could be priority access to the general session room the next day, so they get to come before anyone else and pick the seat they most want. And it doesn't cost you anything, but it's a VIP benefit that they really love.
It could also be hosting a bonus Q&A session in your general session room the morning of day two, which is when we like to do it. Or during one of your VIP lunches. All of these give you exclusive access to your best buyers and most loyal members. Which makes your life easier, because all of a sudden you know who you want to talk to, who most wants to talk to you, and quite frankly, they are paying you for the experience.
Why These Benefits Don't Cost You Anything
So they pay for special access to you, and it doesn't cost you anything. Therefore, if you're doing advance registration, if you're doing advance access to the room, if you're doing bonus Q&A, those are all free. It doesn't cost you a penny. Although hosting an exclusive VIP event does cost you a couple bucks, but it makes for an experience they will be talking about, tweeting about, Facebooking about, posting pictures and talking about you for a long, long, time to come. And this is what helps build your brand, your credibility, and your reputation, but most importantly, it builds great relationships with your best customers.
Why Creating a Unique Experience Pays Off Over Time
This is what live events are about. It's what we are always trying to do with any live event, which is to create a unique experience that brings people closer to you and bonds them in a unique way you couldn't do anywhere else. And it makes for a really special opportunity for you to connect. So what you ought to be thinking about is your next live event.
It doesn't matter if it's 10 people, 20 people, 200 people, 2000 people. It's how you could create a special experience for your VIPs, for your best members, for your best buyers. Where they know they will get special access to you, and to an opportunity, they couldn't find anywhere else.
That's all for now, but one last thought... you can do this!
So go out there and do it!
Actively seeking knowledge about how to be the best of the best in the event industry is the most effective thing you can do to build your brand and take your business to the next level and beyond. But don't take advice from just anyone.
SAGE Event Management is a proven brand builder in the event industry with over 25 years of experience helping their clients make at least 10 times more income than they were prior to working with SAGE. Which averages out to about $1.5 million per event. We are proud to have created some of the most successful event brands in the industry and we'd love to help do the same for you!
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