Ep 355: The Four Non-Negotiables for Successful Virtual Events | Bari Baumgardner Episode Recap

RV (00:02):
So Tony Robbins is arguably the, at least one of the most successful personal brands in the world, one of the biggest personal brands in the world one of the, the highest revenue generating personal brands in the world. I mean, you know, he’d, he’d be up there, Dave Ramsey, Tony Robbins, you know, , Oprah, brene Brown Gary Vaynerchuk maybe like but how cool would it be to know what Tony Robbins event strategy is for selling people at his events? Pretty awesome. Well, that is exactly what happened on this last interview with Bari Baumgartner on our podcast. She and her husband Blue are the ones that have been formulating and working with Tony to create the entire virtual event experience ever since Covid happened. And wow, they have been selling a massive amount of revenue. And really, and beyond the money, they have been impacting hundreds of thousands of people using virtual events when the whole world was shut down.
RV (01:12):
And probably when people needed encouragement and inspiration the most, they found a way to do this and make it profitable and a great experience for everybody. And we got a chance to talk to her. And I have to say, I had, I, I had never talked to Bari. Very rarely do we have someone on this show where it’s like I’m meeting them for the first time during the interview. But that was the case here with Barry. She was referred to me by a good friend of mine, Randy Garn, and, and I, I’d heard about Bari and Blue because you know, we’ve used their technology, et cetera. And anyways, it was such an awesome interview, a powerful interview here on running profitable virtual events. I think we’re gonna try this. I think we’re actually gonna experiment with this format. So anyways, let me give you the, my three highlights and takeaways.
RV (02:01):
In some ways, this one really, this one more than other episodes, really will function as like a summary of what she covered, because she covered so much, and it was, it was so powerful that even, even for my own knowledge and like my own retention, I’m, you know, some of this, I’m just recapping. So first of all, she talked about the four non-negotiables of a virtual event. And the big idea here, which is so simple, but so smart and powerful, is to go, if you want a virtual event to emulate the kind of results that you would have from a physical in-person event, then you need to try to emulate the in-person event experience or, or the dynamics of it as much as possible. And that makes so much sense to me. And she said well, there’s four non-negotiables that we have. So first is the registration process has to take place.
RV (02:56):
You have to go through a virtual check-in process that makes sense. Second was physical swag and sending somebody something physically in the mail. And that makes a lot of sense, right? That’s like super powerful that makes people show up and take it, take it serious. The third was gamification which I think is more of just like a attention, it’s like attention or retention strategy. And then the fourth is interactivity, which of course is the best part of in-person events, is almost, it’s almost always the people you meet and, and you know, the, the relationships you make in the hallways and all that kind of stuff. And it’s, it’s not just what you’re learning, but the people that are there. Well, in a virtual environment, you have to really work just deliberately to recreate that. And so those are four simple things, you know, she walked through them in detail, but I think it’s more of just, you know, there’s lots of ways for how to do those four things.
RV (03:52):
It’s more of knowing what the four things are. And, and, and really to me, the big idea there is going, how can we model our virtual event to emulate the experiences of an in-person event? And by doing that, we’ll emulate the results of an in-person event that will, will emulate the, the experience, the client experience, the user experience of being at a real event in person. And that’s what they’re doing. And that’s part of why they’re getting the kind of same sales results and bigger sales results with these virtual events. We’ll talk about that in just a second. The second big takeaway, which to me was like, I guess the grand takeaway of the whole interview was this very, very simple three day format. And on the one hand, I’m like a little bit skeptical of going, can you really hold people’s attention for three days?
RV (04:47):
But on the other hand, I mean brand builders group, we do two day events, like all of our members the people, our, our our paying members who are in our coaching program, they get unlimited access to our events. So part of what they do is they pay a monthly fee and they can come to, we do an event, we do a two day event every single month, and they can come as many to as many as they want. It’s unlimited access, and the time flies by. So I go, yeah, I, I could totally see the three day format. But the key is, and she made this point, which is also how we’ve constructed our events, is you’re not teaching for three straight days. Like, you can’t just stand up and talk for three days. And certainly not in a virtual event. So the whole thing is it’s gotta be interactive.
RV (05:33):
There’s gotta be exercises and questions and dialogues. And and this is one of the reasons why I think we might try this, is because when somebody comes to one of our events, their life is freaking changed. I mean, when our members, this is why we retain our clients for years. Like on average, our clients stay with us for years. Like we’ve only been in business for four years, and like a third of the clients that signed up with us in the very beginning are still with us, are like more like 25%, 25% of the people who signed up with us like four years ago are still with us. So people hang around and then we didn’t even know what we were doing back then, right? So we’re just figuring it out, like you’ve really gotten it dialed in in the last couple years.
RV (06:17):
And but people, when they have this experience, it’s like life changing and, and then they stick around. And so part of what our team has been trying to figure out is going, how do we get people to sort of get that experience, like get a way to sample that? And I think Barry’s model here is a great one. And so we’re, we’re looking at this. We’re not, haven’t officially announced that we’re gonna do this, but I’m, you know, again, I’m learning right alongside you here with the people who come on this show. And this is one that was, was super compelling to me going, I think we, we should try this because we have a lot of fans that have not yet become customers. And it’s like, it’s like, I think they trust us. I think they kind of see it, but it’s exactly what she was talking about.
RV (07:04):
They’re not totally sure that they could do it or what the next step is, or that it’s worth the money or that. And so it’s sort of like they just need to experience it. And I think this three day format gives people a chance to really experience it and get involved and, and get acclimated and, and, and get familiar with your content and, and what the process feels like to go through. So, you know, she talked about this three day format and you know, the, basically the, the first day is just getting a sense of what is possible teaching some content, like, you know, adding some real value in the first day. And, and probably it’s, I got the sense that like a lot, a lot of the teaching does happen in the first day or, or a big part of the first day is teaching and, and giving people real content but also giving them a chance to sort of establish their own vision and, and, and see what do they see as possible for themself.
RV (08:00):
And then day two is really where you spend more time talking about the gap of, of like, okay, where, where are you now compared to where you wanna be? And what would your life look like if you achieve that? And what’s the process that it takes to get there? And and so you, you sort of, and then you show them the solution and you show them the journey. So like, for example, at Brand Builders Group, we have our brand builder journey. Ours is actually called the Brand Builder journey. In fact, if you’ve never been to our website, if you go to brand builders group.com and then under the about menu, there’s a sub menu. That’s our brand process. You can see how we, we map this out for people just as an example. And, and also if you, if you haven’t yet requested a call with our team, you should go look at this and, and it’ll, it lays out, you know, our 12 like, well, we have a 14 part journey all in that we take people on to go from like concept all the way to eight figure personal brand and becoming one of the most well known people in the world, which several of our clients are.
RV (09:09):
So you can, you can check that out at, just go to brand builders group.com and click on about, and then click on our brand process. But I think that’s what I got a sense is whatever your brand process is, that’s what you lay out on day two. Those of you that are listening that are members of ours, when we, what this would be is when we take you through captivating content and we help you map out all your pillars and you lay out like your high level framework and you, you know, your unique branded methodology and all those, those things, that’s what you’re really introducing them to in day two is what it sounds like. And then tactically, this was important. I was digging, you know, to make sure I got crystal clear on this, at the end of day two is where you make the offer, right?
RV (09:52):
So that’s where you make the offer and you let people sort of hear it and you invite them to join. And and so you think of day two as making the offer. And then day three is basically like closed cart. And so then on day three, they come back. Day three is all about just getting people that are there to make a decision to do something differently in their life, to future cast or to vision what it’s gonna feel like when they do reach the goals that they have and reminding people it’s not too late to join. And then there, it, it sounds like there’s a second offer on day three in the morning, which is the heart you know, the heart pitch and the heart close in the morning. And then I, I thought it was really great where Barry was talking about you need to have celebration.
RV (10:42):
And you know, there, there were a couple, couple key things here. One was having that lunchtime celebration for all, all new members or all people who were joining, whatever the program is that they get to come. And so, you know, like she said, no one wants to miss the start of a program. And so people wanna sign up cuz they want to get to get that invitation that’s really compelling and powerful and, and, and productive. Like pragmatic could go while you’re all here, let’s get everyone together and like actually start the program and, and, and get people going. Really, really smart and simple. And then the other thing that I really loved was where she was saying you know, have breakout rooms in your virtual meeting for sales to take place, right? And I think she said, you know, something like with Tony, they’ve got, you know, dozens of salespeople just standing by running breakout rooms. And so when people have questions, they’re just going, oh, hey, you come over, you know, come in here and talk with our salesperson. You don’t say salesperson, but like, come get your questions answered. That’s super productive. And you know, just really smart. And like, again,
RV (11:52):
She’s emulating what happens in a real life event, at a real life event. You know, you make an offer, people go to the back table to talk to someone to get information about it, and then they sign up. Well, in a virtual room, you got in a virtual event, you gotta create the same thing. So the way you do that is you leverage breakout rooms in Zoom and and if you don’t have a sales team, then you could use like a Coly link and, and let people schedule times with you, you know, that evening or, you know, sometime very, or or in near and in and around the event so that you can close people and, and sign ’em up while they’re excited. And that just, gosh, I mean, that makes so much sense to me. So simple. And, and like she said, the best part about it is the, the, you don’t have to do like a big hard sales pitch.
RV (12:35):
The the format of the event sells itself because people are with you long enough to trust you. You know, if they’re gonna stay that long, like if they don’t, they’re gonna bail, right? So they’re, they’re, they’re gonna stay there. They, they’re long enough to trust you, to feel part of the community and meet people and to really have a true immersive experience, a chance to experience what it feels like to be one of your customers. And you know, I look at Tony Robbins and go, oh, like all of Tony’s events are three and four days and all of these other events I’ve been to where they make high ticket offer, they’re all like three and four days. I mean funnel Hacking Live is that way. And I mean all of Tony’s events, relationship mastery and, you know or Business Mastery and then I think, yeah, date With Destiny and all these, they’re, they’re multi-day events.
RV (13:22):
And you go, yeah, because after someone’s had that experience, they’re like really bought in. And I just love it. So you kind of let the, the format of the event just do its thing, make it, give you lots of time for q and a and, and exercises and dialogue and, you know, networking and meeting. That’s really, really cool. I really love it. And so the third, my third big takeaway there is just the numbers of how this works. And we have another client that’s doing this right now who, who is generating several hundred thousands of dollars, like a few hundred thousand dollars from each one of these events. And they’ll get like a few hundred people there, maybe 300 to 500 people will show up. And so they’re, they’re selling the tickets for a low ticket price, like 97 or, or 1 97.
RV (14:07):
And historically our events at Brand Builders group are $3,000 each. Cuz they’re, I mean, our events are legit. I mean, they are, they’re like more powerful than a college course, but not everyone has that kind of money. And so, you know, I’m going, golly, if we lowered the price on one of these, just a, just a first one where people got a chance to sample it, I wonder if we can move some of those. I bet we could, I bet we could move a ton of ’em. So you, you go, you have a 97 to 1 97, and again, here’s what’s really cool about is, is it’s a virtual event. So you’re not paying for venue rental and for AV and for food and beverage and printing workbooks and like name tags and like having your staff there and coffee and like parking and all the, the massive number of expenses that add up for a, for an in-person event.
RV (14:56):
So you go, I can charge a lower price and I can impact more people. Like, that’s the best part of this is like money aside, just going, man, I can impact more people, impact people all over the globe by doing a virtual event. And, and that’s why you’re doing this, right? I mean, that’s why you’re a mission driven messenger. You’re going, I I want to help people. So, you know, the price is obviously a barrier to the, to the number of people you get to help. And so lowering that price is, is, you know, an interesting idea because you, you can actually do it and you at least break even maybe for your time or you know, the cost of a small team to help you put on the event, et cetera. But anyways, you, you charge, you know, somewhere between 97 to $197 it sounds like.
RV (15:40):
And you know, she said, did you hear this? She said, we’re making offers that go up to $500,000. So at the end of three days, they’re making offers at some of these events that are as much as a half a million dollars for a customer. So that’s pretty crazy just to wrap your mind around. But a $5,000 offer, you know, 3000, 5,000, $10,000, like this is happening regularly. And I think that’s really interesting. So now one thing she did say is numbers wise that in an in-person event, a solid average is like closing 20% of the room, which to me is high. That feels higher than what, what is normal, but let’s say it’s 20%. And then she said in a virtual event, it’s more like 10 to 15%. So it’s slightly lower in my mind. I’m going, okay, call that, you know, 10 to 15% in a live event and five to 10% in a virtual, but the difference is it’s five to 10%.
RV (16:41):
So it’s a lower percentage, but it’s a smaller percentage of a much bigger number because there’s a whole bunch more people there because the ticket price is lower and it’s a virtual event, so you don’t have all the cost of the venue and all that stuff. So it changes the dynamics of this completely, which is really amazing. And, and she said, you know, imagine if you’re just getting started and you, you know, you get 50 people to show up to this thing and you get five people to buy a $5,000 offer, it’s 25 grand. Like for me, when I was first starting, like that was a been big time money, right? Like that’s, yeah, $25,000 is good money. Like for anybody, like, unless you’re Elon Musk, most of us aren’t stepping over $25,000 bills . So we’re, we’re probably picking those up. And I just thought that was interesting.
RV (17:25):
I mean, this was just fascinating, like having her spell out the whole model and go behind the scenes, really, really interesting. And, and it also was powerful that she’s going, it’s not the technology, she sells the technology to help you do it, but she’s just using Zoom, so her technology layers on top of Zoom to make it a little more like customizable and, and gamified and all that stuff. But she’s saying, you know, you can do this, this with Zoom. It’s, it’s not, the technology’s not the magic. The format is the magic. And I can see that, and I, I I love that. So, and again, you know, at the end of the day, the big idea here is you’re impacting lives. That’s it. You’re changing lives. You’re going go in virtual events, give us the opportunity to impact lives at scale. Everything virtually gives us the opportunity, the blessing, the privilege to impact lives at scale.
RV (18:21):
And we can afford to charge lower prices for these in-person events or excuse me, for the virtual events because it doesn’t cost the, the same and you can get people to, to, to show up and and then you can sell more people if it’s a feeder event. Now she’s saying for your real events charge the same price as you normally would because it’s the same amount of time. And the, the value, the content is the same whether it’s in person or not. But for these, for these entry level events to like fill your programs and try to try to use a three day event to fill the program, I’m, I’m excited about it and I’m on board. If nothing else, it’s an experiment. I think we’re gonna have to try just to see if we can reach more people, reach you.
RV (19:04):
Some of you probably are listening are not yet customers of ours and you’ve never had a chance to experience like the Brand Builders group experience. So I don’t know, maybe we’ll have Barry Baumgartner to thank thank for that. So anyways, figure out ways to impact lives. Can you do it virtually? Reach more people, be able to make the money you need, but by charging a lot you know, more people, a lower dollar amount. That’s inspiring to me. You’re inspiring to me. Helping you get your message out to more people is inspiring to me. So I hope you’ll keep coming back, share this episode with somebody that you think will enjoy it. Tell ’em about the influential personal brand podcast or at least go rate us on iTunes, leave a review, and we’re so grateful to have you. Hopefully you’re following me on Instagram, come over and say hi or on LinkedIn. And that’s it for this time. We’ll catch you next time on the Influential Personal Brand podcast.