Ep 354: Running Profitable Virtual Events with Bari Baumgardner



When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the world of live events was decimated, and global lockdowns left the industry scrambling to adapt.

At the time SAGE event management was one of the first companies to pivot and offer virtual live events at a large scale.

And, after rapidly organizing a massive virtual event for one of their top clients (the legendary Tony Robbins) it quickly led to them becoming a front-runner in the virtual industry.

SAGE has also been one of Brand Builders Group’s most trusted partners and has helped countless clients produce high-ticket offers and grow their platforms through virtual events.

Joining us today to give a breakdown of their business, and how they adapted during the height of lockdown, is the wonderful Bari Baumgardner, Founder and Chief Strategist at SAGE event management.

Bari unpacks how SAGE helps its clients, what sets them apart from other event production companies, and why they lead with strategy first.

You’ll hear a breakdown of the differences between virtual and live events, the technology they developed to facilitate these events, and how their model allows you to cater to both logical and emotional buyers.

She also shares her advice on how to get started with virtual events using nothing more than a TV, a computer, and a Zoom account.

We cover a lot of ground in this episode, so if you’re interested in learning more about how to host live virtual events for high-ticket offers, then make sure you tune in today!


  • Get to know today’s guest, Bari Baumgardner, and what she does at SAGE.
  • What SAGE stands for: Strategic Advice for Growing Events.
  • An overview of the strategy-first approach that SAGE uses with their clients.
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic and going virtual has democratized the industry.
  • Why high-ticket offers need to cater to both emotional and logical buyers.
  • The key differences between virtual and live events.
  • The innovative strategy that SAGE implemented to elevate virtual events at the start of the pandemic.
  • A rundown of the technology that SAGE uses for their virtual events.
  • Tips on how to distinguish your virtual event from a webinar.
  • A breakdown of their three-day event strategy and how to implement it.
  • How to build a sense of connection and community during a virtual event.
  • Why you should provide space for buyers to celebrate their commitment.
  • How they feature guest speakers at virtual events.
  • Bari’s advice to anyone starting out with virtual live events and the technology they will need.
  • The minimum amount Bari believes you should charge for a ticket to a live virtual event.
  • The conversion rates that Bari typically sees, and the benefits of more intimate events.
  • Bari’s advice on how to get started with a virtual event.
  • The challenges of putting together a hybrid event and why it requires so many resources.
  • Learn how you can get in touch with Bari and her team.


“I think of [COVID] as the democratization of live events. Meaning that you don’t have to have a big list, you don’t have to have a big studio, you don’t have to have a big budget, and you don’t have to have a big production. You can do this with a computer, a TV, and a Zoom account.” — Bari Baumgardner [0:07:51]

“The logical buyer needs time to actually process it and think through it and the three-day model gives you the opportunity to do that.” — Bari Baumgardner [0:10:34]

“What we did differently from any other tech platform was, rather than focus on the audience experience, we focused on the host experience. What we know to be true is if the host isn’t getting that real-time interaction, if they’re not feeling it, the event is going to be a flop.” — Bari Baumgardner [0:14:28]

“Part of the three-day framework that works for high-ticket offers is building a like-minded community.” — Bari Baumgardner [0:19:33]

“If you’re debating this, my recommendation would be if you’re just getting started out, start with a virtual event because it’s so much easier.” — Bari Baumgardner [0:44:37]

About Bari Baumgardner

Bari Baumgardner is the founder of SAGE Event Management, best known for leveraging the power of a live event to deliver “purpose-driven pay days” for coaches, authors, speakers, course creators, and influencers. Her sales is service strategy for high ticket offers is the foundation for many of the industry’s most profitable live events (Tony Robbins, Russell Brunson, Dean Graziosi, Jack Canfield, Jeff Walker, Mary Morrissey, Stu McLaren, Dr. Sue Morter, Pete Vargas, and more!)

In March 2020, SAGE began producing virtual events and launched Obvio, a tech platform to create a truly immersive, interactive virtual event experience for hosts, speakers and attendees. SAGE has quickly become the leader in the virtual event space, generating over $500 million in high ticket offers on the virtual platform in just the last two years. 


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RV (00:02): Well, if you are a mission driven messenger, that’s probably why you’re listening to the show. And if that is you, you had your life interrupted in a big way by covid, as did everyone. But specifically those of us that are speakers, coaches, authors, experts, personal brands of events and speaking at events and hosting events has been a really big part of is what we do. And when Covid hit, the whole world of events changed. And one of the companies that was quick to jump to the front of the line in terms of their thought leadership, the event production going virtual is an event called, or is a, is a company called Sage Event Management. And you’re about to meet Bari Baumgartner, she’s the founder of the company, she’s the chief strategist. She runs it with her husband Blue, who handles some more of the technology and sort of creative sides. RV (00:56): But when I tell you that these two and their company went to the forefront of the industry, it happened virtually overnight. Part of it was Tony Robbins was one of their, their big clients where they helped to put on this massive live virtual event he has has unleashed the power within U P W and they’re the team that helped Tony take that event Virtual which has become a smashing success. It’s affected thousands and thousands of people. They’ve also worked with Dean Graziosi, Jeff Walker Jamie Kern Lima, another good friend of ours, Eric Wary, Pete Vargas. Amy Porterfield, another brand builders group client of ours. So they’ve worked with a lot of our friends, a lot of our clients they have a really key technology piece that a lot of people are using, but it’s more of just understanding the strategy of how to produce high dollar offer virtual events and how to use virtual events to to grow your platform and your business. So anyways, Barry is here with me in person. Barry, I’m so glad to meet you. Thanks for making time for us. BB (02:01): Absolutely Rory, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. RV (02:04): So what exactly do you do? Okay, so I kind of give that like a background, but like tell us, how would you de describe what you, what you guys do at Sage? BB (02:15): Yeah, thank you for asking. I think what’s really interesting about what we do that’s different from a lot of event production companies out there as we lead with strategy first. So our company Sage actually stands for strategic advice for growing events. And from our very first day opening our doors, gosh it’s hard to believe it was 18 years ago out of a guest bedroom in my house, I opened Sage Event Management. And the concept was what’s the strategy behind the event? And you know, I think it’s interesting an event world, so much of it is checklisting, right? Like you have to checklist a little bit to get it done. Yeah. And I often think, and I don’t mean any disrespect to event planners who do it this way, but a lot of times it’s almost like a glorified waitress, a glorified order taker. It’s like, yes ma’am, yes sir, let’s make it happen. BB (03:00): You know, it’s an expectations plus kind of industry. But so often I find that people don’t ask why are we doing it? So, you know, if you come to Sage, the first question we’re gonna ask you is, what’s your big why? Like, what are you out there to do to change the world? What does it mean to you personally to do it? Who are you meant to serve? What are your non-negotiables and how do you make that right? Fit client rave, renew and recruit. It’s at the heart of everything we do. And then we design your live event and then we design the logistics to support the live event. So that strategy first approach, I think is what differentiated us from the beginning and led to us working with some of the biggest names in the personal development and business development space. Mm-Hmm. RV (03:38): , I love that. So any brand builder client that comes to you, they better know the answer to those questions cuz that’s what we help them get super clear on is who are they serving, how are they make money doing it? Why are they there? What problem do they solve? And you know, I’ll say that like for me, I got into this space because I wanted to be a speaker. That was like my original dream. And you know, I’ve spent 20 years doing that, but I’ve never, I I’ve, I’ve, I’ve understood very little about the event production side and sort of putting it on. But you know, I made my career standing on stage speaking in front of lots of people. When you talk about virtual events, obviously Covid changed the world, rocked everybody’s world. And when you said, when you talk about virtual events, you say that virtual events are what works for a live event. 80% of what works for a live event works for a virtual event, but 20% needs to be different. Can you talk about what, what is that 20% and and what do you mean by that? BB (04:40): Yeah, absolutely. Well first of all, I think that Covid did for the events industry, what nine 11 did to the travel industry, it changed it forever. You know, after nine 11 travel never looked the same. And after Covid, I think events are never gonna look the same. It ushered in a whole new way of communicating with our audiences. And what was interesting, listen, for 15 years we’ve done in-person events and I think of them specifically as enrollment events. Our events always have a high ticket offer. So speakers, authors, coaches who are selling a one to many group coaching program or mastermind. That’s what I think of as a high ticket offer. And so we’re reverse engineering the event around that high ticket offer. RV (05:16): Say that again. What did just go, sorry, but rewind there quick. You said it’s a mastermind or a a one to one or a group coaching program? Yeah, BB (05:24): It could be one to one like, you know, VIP days or a done for you service. It could be a one to many like a group coaching program or a mastermind. Any of those things could be part of what you’re doing. But when I think of a high ticket offer, I’m generally thinking of an offer that’s 5,000 and above one that would take an audience more than a minute to think about more than, you know, something you might sell on a webinar or a challenge or a launch. You know those well for some audiences I think it’s still a big investment. When you start thinking of a high ticket offer, it’s one that might give you pause. Like that’s a big investment, how am I gonna pay for that? And the, the three day model, the three day event model calibrated properly, this is the framework we’re talking about actually will lead your audience to say this is amazing, I want more. BB (06:06): And you’re like, I thought you would, I have something for you. And that’s your high ticket offer. So when you get to that 80% role you were talking about what’s awesome about what we learned from Covid and doing virtual events is that in-person events and virtual events are 80% the same. The framework that we’ve always taught that we use for the biggest names in the business and for people you’ve never heard of is 80% the same, the 20% that’s different between in-person and virtual is what we call tech and touch. The technology is different and the touch points are different, but the good news is the framework for making a high ticket offer is the same. And why that’s good for you is if you wanna do in person or you wanna do virtual, you wanna do both. You’re not sure. It doesn’t matter if you learn the framework, you can easily pivot between the two. RV (06:51): Okay. So, so talk to me about the three day event strategy. Cause I know this is like big part of what you guys do and then sort of like, like you’re saying, it’s, it sounds like you were doing this long before, you’ve been doing this for years and years Covid happened, you were one of the first ones to go virtual. You guys did it with Tony, it was the smashing success. And then like all of a sudden you guys blew up and now you’re like everywhere you broke through the wall, as we say it’s like you broke through the wall. But it’s, if, if I, from what I gather sort of your bread and butter is like if you’re gonna make a high ticket offer, you do that over a three day event. So can you just like walk us through what happens over these three days? How long is it, where is it? Like all all that? I mean clearly you’re talking about that we could actually do this virtually. BB (07:35): Yes. Yeah. And I really do think that COVID ushered in this virtual opportunity. I think of it as the democratization of live events. Meaning that you don’t have to have a big list, you don’t have to have a big studio, you don’t have to big budget, you don’t have to have a big production. You can do this with a computer, a TV, and a Zoom account. We’ll come back to that in just a minute. Okay. So it’s that simple. So this is what’s really amazing about virtual, but the three day framework that we’ve become known for is based on the fact that there are two types of buyers for high ticket offer. A logical buyer and an emotional buyer. An emotional buyer when they hear an offer is like, sounds great. I meant where do I sign up? That’s my husband blue. Like he’s never met an offer he doesn’t like. Like if you’re that kinda buyer, then you’re an emotional buyer. RV (08:20): What’s driving down the street? Saw banners had had free hot dogs, walked home with a brand new Lexus, like for BB (08:25): Sure, for sure. Or we have like the toothpaste subscription, the sock subscription, the underwear, , you know, all the things. But I’m a logical buyer, right? And so a logical buyer is more likely to be like, this sounds interesting, but when you say recorded, what does that mean when you say live? You know, they’re asking every question. And really I think the world is made up of both buyers. And when you think of a high ticket offer, you need to cater to both. And what I find happens so often, and it will hold an up and coming speaker, author, coach, course creator it’ll keep them stuck, hold them hostage is thinking, I’m not ready for a three day, that must be so much content, so much work. I’ll do a one day, sure I’ll do a half day. And the problem with that, I always like to phrase it this way, if I had more time, I’d write you a shorter letter. BB (09:09): Meaning that it’s harder to write a short letter than a long letter. Is it harder to give a TED talk or a workshop? Yep. A TED talk, right? Every word has to be perfect. So why I love a three day event, especially for people who are up and coming and wanna make a high ticket offer, is that it, it’s really flexible and it’s very forgiving. Meaning that if you don’t get your offer perfect in a three day, you have a lot of time for recovery and repositioning, which is especially important for those logical buyers. When you do a one day everything better, be perfect for that high ticket offer or you’re not gonna get the sales you want. So I’ve devoted our business and my life to teaching people this three day model and this framework that actually takes the, the buyer, the potential buyer through a process of, I think of this as buyer’s psychology, what you can do that, oh wait a minute, I could do that. BB (09:58): Oh wait, now that I hear how you do this, I will do that. And then when you make your offer, you’re like, oh, I must do that. And when you hear the repitch on the last day, you’re like, I am crazy not to do that. So I think our journey as a host, as an event host who’s making a high ticket offer is to take them from you can do that. To wait, I could do that to, I will do that, I must do that. I’m crazy not to do that. And a logical buyer needs that time. An emotional buyer is like, what you can do that I could do that I’m in, where do I sign up? But the logical buyer needs time to actually process it and think through it. And the three day model gives you the opportunity to do that, whether you’re doing it in person or virtually doesn’t matter. RV (10:34): Yeah. And one of the things that you said we were chatting a little bit before is that you know, we were talking about like some of the events like Ed, for Ed Millet’s book launch. Many listeners are familiar. We did a whole bunch of stuff with Ed’s launch. One of the things was a live event. We were using your technology to run the Zoom rooms. So we host Yeah, it was awesome. I mean like, like it was, it was great. We, we, we hosted the event at Steven Scoggins place. He’s a client of ours, he’s one of our strategists. We love the guy. He’s the one who was like, you know, that was one of the first times I heard Barry and Blue Barry and Blue Barry and Blue . And so if you look at a three day event you said earlier, and I agree with this, that for most people a hybrid event is gonna be pretty difficult. It’s pretty difficult to fill a room. Like we had a hard time getting 400 people there for Ed. I mean it was, we had a high price point, but getting 400 people there and then all the people online. But you said a virtual event. There’s like, there’s like no risk, there’s no hotel deposits, there’s no food and beverage minimum. There’s, there’s no parking passes, there’s no like all of these things you can go live. But if, is this like three eight hour days? Is that like BB (11:46): It is. And here’s what’s amazing about this. So when, when Covid first hit, this was like March 15th, 2020 and Trump was forced to shut the country down and we were actually at an event in Miami and just a quick, quick story. We were flying in from a strategy day in Puerto Rico with Stu McLaren actually to a, to this event in Miami. And you know, we’re a million miles. I mean it’s a dubious honor. You fly a lot, you get upgraded a lot cuz you’re flying all the time. And we almost always get upgraded to first class and we’re flying into Miami and we didn’t get upgraded And I’m like, you know, I turn to my husband blue, I’m like, this is not really a thing. This whole covid thing is so hyped up when the airport’s this busy, the flights are this busy. Like it’s just, I think it’s just a bunch of media hype while we’re at this event in Miami, the country shuts down and literally as we’re flying home on an empty flight, we were in first class on this, we’re the only people in first class. BB (12:37): It was like a zombie airport, you know, we’re flying home. I’m like, okay, now it’s a thing. Now we have a problem. And literally we went from, well we were, I remember being in Puerto Rico and having clients call going, should we be worried about our event? I’m like, no it’s fine. It’s not a thing to literally that week people calling and like postpone, cancel, postpone, cancel, postpone, cancel. And if you’re the kind of business we are, we have a lot of repeat business. Somebody postponing to the next year or saying, I’m gonna cancel this year and we’ll revisit this when this thing blows over is lost money. Like you’re not, we were expecting you to do this again next year. Right? So the fact that you’re postponing, you know, where where are we replacing the money from this year? And we had this choice of either going down to being a consultancy and letting our team go, which I really did not wanna do cuz we have an amazing team or rethinking it. BB (13:23): And this is like the quick pivot. Within two weeks we went from to our first client, which actually was not Tony, it was a guy named Dylan Frost. I’ll forever be grateful to Dylan Frost of Amazon Wholesale Formula. We went to him and said, Hey, your event was supposed to be the first week of April in person. We’ve tried live streams and broadcasts and some will cast before they’ve never worked not with high ticket offers. There’s never a good conversion on them cuz they’re very passive. I want you to think about this with me as we’re thinking about what’s different and in person and virtual, they’re very passive ex viewing experiences. We’re broadcasting at you, we’re not talking with you. Sure. And we said, but we have an idea for this event being interactive and being virtual and it may be a total disaster. And to give credit where credits due, my husband Blue came up with this idea. BB (14:06): He literally said, what if we were to put a bunch of TVs together and link them all together in a way that we could see all these different Zoom galleries, have people come to different rooms so that we can see all of their faces and we can chat with all of them so that it’s an interactive experience. It’s not just that we’re broadcasting at them, we’re actually able to spotlight them and take q and a and interact with them and see their chats. And so again, when you ask what makes us different, I think because of the kind of company we are, immediately what we did different from any other tech platform was rather than focus on the audience experience, we focused on the host experience. What we know to be true is if the host isn’t getting that real time interaction, if they’re not feeling it, the event’s gonna be a flop. BB (14:49): So when we went to Dylan, we said we have an idea, let’s partner on this. We’ve got two weeks to put it together. Let’s just float it out there and see what happens. Now this event in person for three years had been about 300 people domestic US. And when we launched the idea of an international, like anybody come one come all you can sign up for this virtual event. It’s gonna be interactive and experiential. We went from a solid 300 over the last three years to 1200 and less than a week. And for the first, and it was free. Was it free? It was paid. It was paid. No, that was one of our rules paid like a webinar is free, a challenge is free, an event’s not free. And this goes back to tech and touch. So thank you for asking me that. Immediately what we did were four non-negotiables that we’ve stuck with since because they’ve worked so well. BB (15:35): If you’re going and this is where tech and touch the 20%, that’s different. Think about an amazing in-person experience that you’ve had at an event. You never start an event without registration, right? You have to get credentialed, you have to go to registration and pick up your badge. So one of the first things we did with virtual is say you have to go to registration and pick up your credentials. So we did a virtual check-in experience and that made sure that they would show up the morning of day one knowing what to do. Like you don’t wanna start an in person or a virtual experience. People going, where do I go and where do I click and how does this work again? So by having a check-in experience, just like you would from person just virtualized we did it by Zoom. We literally had live people on Zoom checking people in making sure they knew how to use our tech platform, Avio, which we created virtually overnight. BB (16:24): And making sure that they were set up for success so that we started on time on day one with no tech fails. That was point number one of the 20%. That’s different. The other thing that we did is we sent swag, physical swag to every single person who registered even if it had to be overnighted. And the reason for that is we wanted to differentiate ourselves from a webinar. You know, how many webinars do you like? I’m gonna sign up for this, it’s free. I might go, I’ll catch the replay. You’re not really super serious about it. Which is why they generally have a 30% show up rate. But if an event had a 30% show up rate, that’s a disaster. So we made a, we had this idea, what if you got physical swag, someone knocks on the door and literally hands you a box or an envelope with swag in it. BB (17:08): You’re like wow, well this is a different kind of event. This is definitely not a three day zoom meeting. This is definitely not a webinar. What, what’s in here? Oh my gosh. Like a journal and a workbook and some stickers and some emoji paddles so that I can you know, interact with you from afar and you can see my interaction and my emotion from afar when you’re on stage. Not only did they get more excited about the event, there was some recipro of frost in that. So they did better at showing up for the event and they were more likely to remember that it was different than a zoom. You know, when you said how long could the meeting be? We were toying around with that on the first one. Like will they stay with us for eight full hours? Right? And what we found was the third point that’s critical on the difference in tech and touch, which is some form of gamification. BB (17:51): There has to be some form of interaction with them in the form of breakouts, giving them points for showing up points for taking action. And that’s where Avio comes in. The dashboard that we created allowed them to have a wrapper on Zoom. So they’re all using Zoom technology. There’s 350 million people on Zoom at any one moment in time. Like that’s not user accounts, it’s 350 million people using Zoom at this moment in time. Wow. So people know Zoom and I think that was something else people were getting wrong in the conversion to virtual. There were all these fancy solutions, but it was like make a fake avatar and knock on a fake door, go into it, it was a little too techy and people would be turned off by what do I have to learn in order to attend this event? Right? Everybody knows Zoom. I mean grandparents know it, kids know it, everybody in between. BB (18:35): So it was an easy solution but we had to put a rapper on it that allowed people to have interaction, to be able to download resources, to be able to take action and for us to reward that action through leaderboard and gifts and all kinds of interactions so that they would stay with us for three full days. And what we found was 90% showed up consistently event over event. And of that 90% they would stay with us for three full days. And here’s what I really love about virtual. Stay with us for three full days. You remember in person events where at the end of the, I RV (19:08): Gotta go early to go to catch a flight. Yep. To get home in time for dinner. BB (19:11): You got it. They don’t have to the virtual. RV (19:14): So what was the fourth BB (19:15): One? Yeah, the fourth one is that there has to be I think some form of interactivity, like that breakout piece that I mentioned is really critical. Like I really think they need interactivity where they’re being do you know in in-person events where it’s like turn to the person next to you or you’re meeting in the coffee shop or maybe you’re chatting in the ballroom waiting for the doors to open. There has to be this component that allows them to interact with the host and with each other. Chat is brilliant for that, but so is sending them into breakouts where they’re literally talking with each other because part of the three day framework that works for a high ticket offer is building a like-minded community. You need to experience virtually that wow, you’re from Brazil, you’re from Russia, you’re from wherever. And yet we’re also alike. BB (20:00): I think the thing that people were most craving in Covid, but really has always been true of live events is to be surrounded by a group of like-minded people. Like that’s really critical. And so if, if again with livestream what never worked is we’re broadcasting at you versus having an interactive experience where we’re reading your chat. I mean, what I love most now is standing on stage and getting real time feedback on whether you’re with me or not with me. Whether you get the content or you don’t, whether you love what I’m saying or you don’t, whether you have a question, I can pluck that question out and answer it in the moment. It actually starts to be one of those things and you go back to in person, it feels a little flat cuz the most reaction you could get would be a clap, a laugh, or a, you know, callback, right? Like, you know, who’s with me? You know, that kind of thing. So RV (20:42): You’re not reading, reading comments. Exactly. Some people put their life story right there in the chat. So yes. But, and, and I agree with this, it’s like most of it previously was there’s a live event happening and the live stream is, we’re letting people watch that, which is, this is, it’s virtual first. We’re talking to them, we’re engaging them. So I’m still like curious about the three, this three day agenda. Like how much of it are you on stage? Are you bringing in guest speakers? How much time are they in breakouts? Like when do you make the offer like that kind of a thing? BB (21:16): Yeah, it’s a great question. I mean I think from a high level like macro view, what I really think works in a three day event is what I call the three by three p g. Meaning that you’re doing three things over three days. So each day, three things. The first day our sole focus is content connection, community. I wanna give you amazing content, especially important virtual so that they come back, right? Like for day two and day three, this is not a bait and switch where you have light superficial content. Like give them just enough to be dangerous and then they have to buy the thing to get the real stuff. Your goal is to really give them amazing content that has them having aha after aha after aha. We often call this accumulation effect where every session builds on the one before it. So by the end of the day you have a real idea of a framework. BB (22:00): And again, you’re starting to think, I can do that, I will do that. Like this is possible. I will do that. The next piece is connection. Connection to the host, connection to the community. But most importantly, and this is true for in person and virtual events, most importantly a connection to themselves. Like why we come to events is for a sense of what’s possible for us. And I think what people miss a lot on an high ticket offer is, if I don’t believe it’s possible, I’m not gonna pay you to help me make it possible. I have to believe there’s a future in this that I can do this in order for me to want to pay you to help me do it. So that sense of the future self versus the current self is how we start to establish the gap. The gap from where I want to be versus where I am. BB (22:42): The minute I see a gap, what do I wanna do? Close the gap, right? And now that I see it, I wanna close it, which gets me to day two. So day one, content connection community day two is about closing that gap. It’s about pain. The exposure of that gap is, I’m in pain now because I can see where I wanna be. I can see where I’m stuck, I really wanna close that gap. I need a solution that’s the s the solution. And then that’s gonna come in the form of an invitation. So it looks like this, wow, I feel like you’re really in pain around the gap in your life or in your business. But here’s the thing I have a solution for that I’d like to invite you to join me to continue the journey for the next six months or for the next year or whatever it might be. BB (23:24): So that second day is pain solution invitation. Literally leading people to want your high ticket offer before you’ve even made it so that when they hear it, they’re like, that’s exactly what I was looking for. Like I thought you would, you know why you’re my right fit client, I know you. Which goes back to what you teach R right? It’s like if they’re clear on their big why and their purpose and who they’re meant to serve, you’re designing an offer that they’re gonna love. And then day three is for your logical buyers. And the three things that happen on day three are decide, commit, celebrate. We want you to make a decision to do something differently. You must commit to something different. Don’t let this be three days wasted. Commit to a timeline. When you gonna start, we have a saying, if you don’t have a plan for Monday, you don’t have a plan, like commit to a date to start and then celebrate. BB (24:10): What is it gonna look like when you reach that goal? What’s the celebration you’re gonna have when you reach that goal so that they can again, future cast where they’re going to be. Now if in deciding, committing and celebrating you realize that you could use accountability and community and enhanced opportunity that I wanna remind you this offer is still available to you. It’s not too late for you to join us in this program. It allows time for that logical buyer to be like, you know, I really do need to be here. This is what I’m missing. So three days allows for that. So three by three p, g, content, connection, community pain solution, invitation, decision, commitment, celebration. We weave that into every three day. And I say that when you do that, the structure does the selling for you. You don’t have to be icky or salesy or sleazy. If you give generously and follow that model, your right fit clients can be coming to you on day two and saying, I want more, where do I find that? And you’re be like, I thought you would let me invite you to join us RV (25:04): So you’re not, I love this. So you’re not, you’re not actually making the offer. So that, so to speak from stage, here’s what it is here, how much it cost until day three. But you’re kind of seeing BB (25:14): That day two, actually we make the offer on day two and we reiterate the offer on day three. Yeah. And I really think of it, if you’re familiar with Launch World, for any of you listening, you know, in a launch there’s a cart close, I think of day three is cart close, but also a little bit more heart close. Meaning that what I’m trying to get them to do on day three is get outta their head and into their heart. We make better decisions with their heart than our head. And a three day event allows me to get the offer on the table. On day two, my emotional buyers be like, great, this is what I’m looking for. I’m all in logical. Buyers are gonna say, I have some questions and we’re gonna say, I thought you would, let’s take some time to answer them. BB (25:50): And then on day three we get to say, listen, time to decide, time to commit. And if you are gonna do that, here’s a key piece. The celebration for buyers is that day. So you know, I said it was decide, commit, celebrate. If they do join you, you’re gonna reward them for joining you with a welcome celebration. We’re there together with like-minded people, other people who bought into the program and you can really celebrate that. They made such a great decision, not by deciding to invest in you, by deciding to invest in themselves. Like that’s really the key is like, you’re so smart for investing in you. Mm-Hmm. RV (26:22): , that’s fantastic. So, so somewhere, probably shortly after lunch, the second day is when you make officially say this thing is available, here’s what it is, here’s some bonuses to sign up, et cetera. But like when you say the structure is doing the selling for you, it’s just kind of like if you’re taking people on this journey, you let ’em know it’s available. They know time is expiring naturally then it it does the selling, it’s like closed card. It’s just like, oh this is my chance. Especially if there’s a celebration there like, hey join, you know, you’re gonna be a part of the whatever, like the the new members club we’re on Correct dinner, you know, champagne hour, the BB (27:04): Last Yeah, we like to do it at lunch. And I have to tell you, this is what’s interesting for both in person and virtual. The best call to action I’ve ever tested over 17 years of doing this is a welcome celebration. So if you’re in person, you’ve got the cost of lunch. But think about it, if you’re making a high ticket offer 5,000, 10,000, 15,000. And listen, with Russell, we just did an offer that was 150 with Garrett White. We just did an offer that was 500,000. By the way, the economy does not kill a high ticket offer. It just reinforces one. So these big offers are being made right now and selling quite well. But what’s really interesting is still what outperforms anything is that simple. The program starts at this event. The program starts at the welcome celebration. People don’t like to miss the start of something. BB (27:47): And it’s something else to keep in mind is you can’t keep people in buying tension for too long. So by making that offer just before dinner on day two, having that dinner break to answer questions and close people having that repitch the next morning, that heart close, and then having that welcome celebration soon after, we’re able to really tighten that moment, which is I know the offer, I have questions about the offer, I have answers to the offer I’m all in. Think about, I must do this, I’m crazy not to do this. And then the reward for doing that. Yeah. RV (28:17): Mm-Hmm. is after lunch. So, so, and you said that, you know the heart pitch on the morning of day three, so it’s like they’ve had some time to answer, you know, get questions answered and then it’s like yeah. So I mean this is so fantastic. So, so Barry, the thing is interesting, like even as you talk, I keep visualizing an in-person event, like an in-person event and it’s like I’m having to pull myself back to go. But this is a virtual event, so this is happening virtually. So a virtual celebration is just like a private breakout room for over lunch basically. BB (28:53): Yeah. And this is where Avio comes in again, you know, we need it a way to easily get people to be able to click on a button saying, I’m ready to buy, and to click on a button to say, I need to talk to someone with questions. If you think of in person back of room is where you would go when you hear an offer from the stage. If you have questions, you go to the back of the room. If you wanna buy, you go to the back of the room. We needed a way to virtualize the back of the room. So Avio, think back to what I said, you needed gamification and a way for them to get used to using the dashboard. If they’re clicking around and they’re constantly getting points and rewards for clicking around over two full days, when it comes time to actually click, I’m all in. BB (29:30): They’re like, sounds good. They’re used to being on the dashboard, they click the button, they put in their deposit and they’re in. And the ones who are like, but wait, I have questions. You’re like, no problem. Click the button that says talk to a program expert. When you click on it, it’s gonna take you into a room just like the one we’re on right now where you can be led through a q and a session. So it works like a virtual back of room. Yeah. We do the same thing with welcome celebration. You click a button on your dashboard and it lets you into the welcome celebration, which is a private room only for buyers where we can celebrate the decision that you made and give you the next steps. Just like we would at a welcome celebration in person. RV (30:07): Mm-Hmm. . And then the, so the, the technology part of this. Okay, so this is so great and you go the, oh, oh, do you have a lot of guest speakers or does it matter? You have some guest speakers? It’s, does it not, it it’s not such a big BB (30:25): Deal all over the map. I mean all over the, we have some hosts Yeah, that, I mean we have some events where, you know, I think of like an event with Dean and Tony. We have quite a few guest speakers. And then there are other events where there’s a primary speaker, the host, especially if you’re an up and comer, like one thing I’d love for you to know is you might be modeling people that you love in this space and seeing a lot of guest speakers, but you don’t have a budget for that. It’s so not necessary. Like you don’t have to have an outside speaker to have a really amazing three day event. RV (30:50): Uhhuh . And so then the technology piece, okay, so cuz now we gotta like, take my mind, we’re virtual, this is a virtual thing. So you got, if I’m doing this like right now, I’m recording this downstairs in our studio, right? So I’ve got our you know, this is, I’m using Zoom and so basically Avio is this kind of key inter user interface that controls the whole experience. Yes. But I’m just broadcasting using normal Zoom. So I guess what, what’s the technology you need to pull this off? Like talk me through that. BB (31:28): Yeah, well I think that’s a great question. First of all, remember I said democratization of live events and I’d circle back around to all you really need is a tv, a computer, and a Zoom account. Now Avio is an amazing luxury. It does make things so much easier, but it’s not something you have to have. Like if you’re just getting started, I would have my computer, my Zoom account. You might wonder why a tv, I think it’s critical to have a TV because remember I said it’s about the host experience. If I can see my audience in gallery view much bigger, I’m gonna be able to read your name, I’m gonna be able to see your face, I’m gonna be able to interact with you. I can have that chat. Scroll down the side so I can see what you’re saying back to me. So I’m a big fan of not doing this on your computer. BB (32:10): It’s run from your computer, but you’re actually seeing everyone from a TV. And listen, everybody these days has a TV in their home. So this is super easy to do. And if you really wanna get fancy, then here’s an Uplevel move. Take two lights in your house, take the lampshade off and put them right here in front of you so that you’ve got light on your face. , that’s an advanced level move without having di nav teams. You’ve got some good lighting, but again, you have lamps in your home, you have a TV in your home. And if you don’t, here’s a good excuse right before Black Friday to do RV (32:38): That. right there. BB (32:39): This is airing, but RV (32:41): Quiet tv. BB (32:42): Yeah, I mean, but seriously TVs today, a really good TV is $200. So, but RV (32:46): You’re saying, but when you say tv, you’re basically just saying a large extended desktop for your computer so that you can see a bunch of people and feel like you’re not alone in your basement, but that you’re actually presenting to a room full of people. BB (33:00): Yes. And Avio makes it easy to interact, but you could give a link to your offer. You don’t have to have Avio and you know, we like to give prizes away via leaderboard and activity. But think about this. If you’re having an intimate event, you could take every registrant, put their name on a sheet of paper, put it in a bowl, and at the start of each session, draw a name. Like you could be old school with this, the same things that we did in person to reward people for coming back on time. We can do virtually to reward them for coming back on time. And we wanna do that, we wanna reward them for staying engaged. RV (33:31): So, but like if you’re a, I mean, can anyone use abio? Is this like, can we just go log in and buy the thing and use it for our event? BB (33:38): You can and it’s, you know, it’s really affordable. I mean, it’s under a thousand dollars for a year. So super easy to use. And I think we’re in like AVIO 5.0 at this point. We have seven full-time developers whose only job is to work on Avio. But it is, I mean interestingly it’s what we use to run an event for GoPro where we have 40,000 people. It’s what we use to run U P W where we have 25,000 people. And here’s something else that’s really interesting. When you think of, how RV (34:05): Many, did you say 20,000? 20,000? BB (34:08): Yeah, we, we generally do about 25,000 at U P W virtual U P W. And what I think is really interesting about that, I remember the very first virtual U P W and Tony and I were standing there and looking at the gallery view and we’ve got a lot of TVs, a lot of galleries to make that work. Some are in the cloud, some are in the studio, but we were counting, we’re looking in every, and we’re like, there are two people in that box, four people in that box, six people in that box, the classroom in that box, the 25,000 was the people who were registered and showed up. But I think we had probably closer to 75,000. When you look at the number of families or classrooms or friend groups that attended. And honestly I love that. Why would we not want that? You know, you want as many people as possible to be exposed to your message. Say here, sometimes you can’t control the ticketing, but I want you to think about this. How often in an in-person event does your buyer come to the event and they can’t afford to bring their family in and they’re having this incredible experience and they call home, they’re like, this is amazing. Let me try and explain it to you. RV (35:08): And I spend 5,000 bucks in like a 10, 2, 2 minute conversation. No, I don’t think so, sweetheart. Yeah. BB (35:14): Yes, exactly. They’re like, it sounds like a cult. That sounds expensive. No, come home as soon as possible. The dog just soap on the floor and the kids are cranky, you know, but with virtual you’re like, Hey, come over and check this out. And I can’t tell you how many people love seeing at U P W where you can tell the buyer, like let’s say I’m, I love Tony, I’m going to unleash the part with, and my spouse is like, nah, that’s not for me. And you’ll watch that spouse kind of walk back and forth behind and then finally the spouse is like, huh, interesting. And then they lean in. Yeah. And then they’ll life BB (35:43): Changing. Yeah. Before you know it, they’re sitting on the sofa, then they’re jumping up and down and then before you know it, the kids in the family are there. So what I most love about it, when you think about something like that brand, how often would a nine year old get exposed to personal development? Right? Well now that’s absolutely possible. So I just think the power of virtual isn’t just that you can do it from anywhere. Like literally a computer, a TV, and a Zoom account. You can do it from your home, do it from your basement, do it from your garage. Your attendees can do it from anywhere. So you could be a brand new speaker, author, or course creator and literally have a global audience. Even if your audience is 50 or five. I mean, if you’re like waiting to get started, why not do an event for five people? I mean, what better way to test RV (36:26): It out? Does it matter how much you charge on the front end? BB (36:29): I really believe in not less than $97 for a ticket. RV (36:34): Okay. But that, by the way, I think it’s the’s $7 for three days is like, that’s BB (36:39): Amazing. RV (36:39): Very, that’s nothing BB (36:40): Very affordable. But I think if you were to look at the blended average in our industry, the ticket price in person and virtually quite frankly is somewhere in the 97 to 1 97 range. And by the way, we don’t charge less for virtual. You shouldn’t either. I mean, it’s actually in some ways a better experience and think about it travels up 47% right now. Flights, hotel costs, you know, we’re in a recession inflation. So when your attendee has to buy a hotel, you know, buy a flight, get a hotel room, Uber, then pay for the food down in the lobby and the $7 coffee and whatever they’re feeling broke before they even walk into your room. And virtual, they’re literally just bargaining with their family to give them the time. Like that’s all it takes is honey, can I just have three quiet days to attend this event so that I can change our life or I can change my business. It’s a much easier barter to be able to say, I’ll still tuck the kids in at the end of the night and if you’re really quiet, I’ll make you dinner during my dinner break. I mean, you can do all of that now through the power of virtual RV (37:36): Mm-Hmm. . But you’re saying it’s like you don’t, you can, you can charge 97 to 1 97 upfront, take people on this three day journey and make a five to 10,000, maybe a five or $10,000 three days later because they’ve gone through it. What, what BB (37:53): Or a $15,000 offer or a $50,000 offer. I mean, just to be clear, the offers that we’re making virtually go up to 500 k I mean successfully. So it’s no different from in person when it comes to the size offer that you can make. RV (38:08): What, what kind of conversions do you expect to see on this Barry? Like if you go, I mean let’s say you get, let’s say you get, you know, 200 people to show up for three days and then is that a very different conversion percentage wise if you get 2000 or 20,000? Or do the percentages kind of hold the same? BB (38:30): Yeah, it’s such a great question. I love this question cuz I think a lot of people get this wrong. First of all, I think that it, an intimate event converts better whether in person or virtual. RV (38:41): Interesting. So smaller is not bad. BB (38:43): No. Smaller is actually fantastic. And the bigger the event host, you’ll have them like kind of remember the days when we were smaller and how amazing that was. So, you know, everybody wants to be the big event host, but you know, really a smaller room convert, it’s more intimate. It does tend to convert better than a larger room, but a larger room has more volume. So it’s not like you don’t want a larger room as you grow, that volume works for you. So we might convert less at a 25,000 person event than we do at a 2000 person event, but we have more people. So we’re still making more money technically. Right? So, but I want you to think about the fact that in person a good solid blended average conversion is 20% and virtual it’s more 10 to 15. So it’s slightly below. But we tend to see virtual registrations outpace in person. So we tend to see if, you know, blended average year over year, we see more people register for virtual than in person. So the fact that our conversions are lower is outweighed by the fact that more people are there and they’re staying with us all day and they’re staying with us till the very end of the event. RV (39:41): Yeah, okay. But if you had 200 people buy a hundred dollars ticket, they stay there for three days, you, you would expect that maybe 20 to 30 of those people after three days would buy a, some a $5,000 offer maybe. BB (40:00): Yeah, I would have a stretch goal of 10, a minimum goal of 10% and a stretch goal of 20%. And for those of you that are more practiced in delivering your content, making offers, you can increase that conversion accordingly. RV (40:12): Yeah, BB (40:13): So you can do the math, like imagine if you’re just getting started and you went to have an event for 50 people and make a $5,000 offer. Let’s say that five people took you up on that and you made $25,000 from your basement at your first ever live event and launched your high ticket offer. Like that’s a pretty good, we call it a purpose driven payday. Like what I love to say about a live event is that it’s a purpose driven payday. You can have impact and income, purpose and payday. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. And there’s no better blaze to try this out than through a virtual event versus having to go get that hotel contract we were talking about where you have real liability. And if that worked, imagine f a quarter later, three months later you’re like, you know, that was so easy, I’m gonna do it again. And at another five people, oh wow, I got so much better. I actually converted 10, not five. And then the next one I didn’t have 50 people. Words started to get out how amazing I am. I had a hundred people. So it’s really easy to start scaling your high ticket offer and literally launch your mastermind, your group coaching business, your done four, you service your high ticket offer through the power of a virtual live event. RV (41:14): Mm-Hmm. . And, and so coming back to the AIO and the technology, since this is Zoom, you don’t even have to have a camera crew with multiple angles and stuff. I mean, I guess that obviously at like Tony’s event, you guys must be, I mean that it’s BB (41:30): Not even, and even at our own studio, like we have a studio right now we have five cameras in our studio, but we do this for a living and we’re bringing in some of the biggest names in our space to work out of our studio. So of course we have multiple camera angles and we have a control room and we have an AVD crew. But you don’t need that to get started. You don’t need a big list, you don’t need a big studio, you don’t need a big production and you don’t need a big budget. Like that’s what’s amazing about this. You don’t need all these camera angles. This is about you being engaging. I would recommend standing. I do think it’s important to stand. RV (42:02): Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, just cuz you’re in presentation mode for two days. Yeah. so you guys, so that’s another thing that we can do. So, so basically people can engage you to buy avio if they want to do this. And then I guess avio must allow for you to pull in multiple camera angles. I guess there’s that a zoom, is that a Zoom BB (42:23): Feature That’s more of a Zoom thing and a switcher thing, like advance level move that would be having a switcher. So you can do that, but even that is super easy to do and some of our students who are just getting started out take that basic equipment and use that. Absolutely. RV (42:37): Okay. And then so, so, but then Avio allows you to do the event registration, the gamification, the leaderboards, you have your own little buttons there, click here to talk to somebody. Or if you’re a solopreneur or whatever, you just say, click here to schedule a call with me and you send them to Callen Lee or whatever. And and then so, or BB (42:58): You guys ideal, like if they have a question, they just click a button on Avio, it takes them into a Zoom room. And if you’re just getting started and you don’t have a sales team, then you would be the person in that room answering the questions. But if you do have a team member, a family member who can help you, they could be in that Zoom room helping to ask answer questions. A student, a volunteer. Well RV (43:16): I just mean if you’re running the event, how you, you can’t, you need somebody else to kind of be there, right. To BB (43:21): Do that. Well the minute you walk off stage, you go over to, you know, a computer that’s been Yep. And you just answer the questions. Absolutely. Yeah. Super easy to do. Yeah. RV (43:29): And then the other thing is, you guys have a studio where it’s like, okay, I don’t want to deal with the tech, can I just like, can I promote the event and then you guys deal with all this, that’s also something that you BB (43:39): Do. It is, yeah. We’re in the done for you business. Yeah. We coach people on how to do it, but we also do it for them. You can come to the studio and do that. RV (43:47): Yeah. And then are you, are you also in the I want to, I’m gonna have 5,000 people at my thing and I want you, you know, to come to Nashville and set it, set it all up and kind of like we run it from here and not your studio. Clearly that’s what you did with Tony. Yeah, BB (44:05): Yeah. We do that. Yeah. We help, we collaborate with other studios and we also we’ll do what we call a popup studio or even an in-person event, which kind of gets me too, the next question is, should you be doing a hybrid? Cause you’re like, well, if in person’s great and virtual’s great, shouldn’t you know peanut butter, chocolate, amazing. Let’s put ’em together. Yeah. But I really think if you’re an up and comer, you, it’s an and nutton or I don’t think you, I think you should like, these are my in person dates and these are my virtual dates. I don’t think you try and put them together. It is super complicated to run a hybrid event. You need a depth of budget team and resources. It’s much harder to do if you’re gonna do it well. Which is why I think you’re gonna see the biggest names in the business do it. BB (44:46): And everyone below that say it really doesn’t pay to do it. I love virtual, I love in person. Virtual doesn’t replace in person, it’s the new and not, or, and I think more and more you’re gonna see people are like, these are my in-person dates and these are my virtual dates versus these are my hybrid dates. And the simple reason for it is that you can’t help but pander to an in-person audience. Like it is the rare host that doesn’t focus on in person, which immediately takes that interactivity, that makes virtual work and reduces it back to that telecast that broadcast, that’s a super passive experience. So if you’re debating this, my recommendation would be if you’re just getting started out, start with a virtual event because it’s so much easier. The net is so much better. Grow into it. When you’re confident in the model, then you can put your money on the line with an in person event. Or if you’re more advanced, make it the, and you know, these are my dates from person, these are my dates for virtual. RV (45:37): How many, this is kind of like a last question, but the, what’s the maximum number of people you can have watching these? So that’s another reason to use Abio, right? Because on Zoom you can only have 500 or, I mean, it depends on your account. BB (45:50): That is the advantage. Like we’re working, we’re, we’re close friends with the folks at Obvi at zoom. So we work hand in hand with them. We have enterprise accounts which allow you to scale quickly and easily for any size event you’re having. It also adds a layer of security. You know how you can have like a little bit of Zoom bombing and you don’t want, you, you don’t mind if a spouse watches your event, but what you don’t want is somebody just giving the link out and have 50 of their friends log in without paying. Avio gives you a gateway to that so you can control who’s accessing the event. RV (46:21): Uhhuh. . Yeah. I got, so where should people go, Barry, if they want to like either learn from you or engage you to help them host one of these like live virtual event experiences? BB (46:35): Yeah, thank you for asking. I mean, the simple easy way is [email protected]. You would think that we would have a really swanky website, a place that I would drive you. But the truth is we’ve been running so hard since virtual hit. I’m embarrassed. Please don’t go to my website. Don’t even think about it. Just go to [email protected] and our team will . When you say RV (46:54): Go to, you’re saying email, you’re saying send an BB (46:56): Email to Yes. Go to event zip by sage.com. Yeah, we do run an event every year called the virtual Event on virtual events. We run it twice a year and we teach not only the model for how we do what we do but also how to design your high ticket offer, how to take it one to many, how to design your live event around it so that people are naturally saying, that was amazing. I want more. And how to use the technology, how to set up your own studio and how to use Avio so that you can make it all work seamlessly. RV (47:23): Yeah, well I think it’s great. It’s a great example. We teach, we tell our clients like, you don’t need fancy website. What you need to do do is deliver great value. Teach everything you know for free. People don’t pay for information, they pay for applications. So just go teach what, you know, give out an email address and let them just contact you and then you’ll go for there. So I’d love that. BB (47:44): And you know, probably if you’re really smart, hire Rory to make you look a lot RV (47:48): Better. , we, we can, we enough level it as we go. We’ll up level it as we, as we go, but the core is just adding lots of value, which this has been so valuable, Barry. So thank you so much for this. We will I guess link up to that email address somehow or maybe just drop the email on our, on the, in the show notes for you. Thank you. But really eyeopening and appreciate you sharing so much, Barry. We wish you all the best. BB (48:13): Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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