I planned an in-person event for virtual professionals 3 years ago.
My main objectives were to provide a platform for my friends who are experts in various digital marketing fields. I wanted them to showcase their skills, as well as to create an opportunity for virtual professionals to expand their network.
I planned the event for months. I went to venues. I assessed potential food suppliers. I emailed sponsors. I called the speakers (everyone said yes).
To promote my business, I wrote a sales page and shared videos on social media featuring the speakers. I also sent emails to my existing email list and thought of creating an affiliate program.
Everything that I worked on will see fruition by May, my birth month. All was well.
Then, the pandemic happened.
I asked two people I respect for their event planning skills if I should keep doing the on-site event. I figured that since the event would take place in May 2020 (the world closed in mid-March), it could happen.
Anything can happen, anyway, right?
But those two people advised me not to continue the on-site event. It’s just too risky.
However, they told me to make it an online event.
With the on-site preparations scrapped, I started preparing for the online event.
Another mentor said, why not create mini-online events leading to the main event? It would help to promote the main online event, plus the income from the mini events would be nice.
I revamped my marketing approach. I wrote a new sales page and promoted it on social media. I also contacted different speakers for each mini-event and reached out to my existing email subscribers.
The mini-events and the main event took place 100% online, as scheduled.
I had fun creating and managing all the events.
Sadly, the truth was everything was a flop.
The whole project only had a total of 20 participants.
I tried running a small promotion with a low discount. Only 2 people bought.
I enjoyed working on the project because it allowed me to learn new things, such as how to organize events, invite speakers, and manage virtual events.
Yet deep inside, my frustration was up to the roof, I wanted to cry.
The result that I saw week after week was not the ideal result that I wanted to see.
Nevertheless, I allowed the project to push through because I wanted to serve the people who said yes.
When the project ended, I finished the accounting (yes, I did that, too).
The total gross sales of the event were only PHP 25,000.00.
PHP 25,000 for all the efforts I poured in for 6 months?
It felt like I lost PHP 100,000.
I closed the Google Spreadsheet with a big sigh.
And simply told myself, maybe those people that I wanted to serve didn’t want me to serve them.
They likely have mentors already.
Or they don’t know me.
Or they just want free stuff.
I’ve decided to stop serving virtual professionals and focus my efforts on serving my clients.
I focused on finding clients, to which I was successful. When most people are struggling to work from home, I closed more clients.
I also did speak at online events.
I focused on putting good content in my podcast, too. My message gradually gained traction in the world of podcasts. The show reached the global charts and was featured on podcast listicles. The podcast even won an award.
I was proud of myself.
I stayed in my lane.
But is that where I am only supposed to be? In my lane?
Because if it is a yes, how come I always feel the need to continue to help others? Why is there still a nudge telling me to begin again?
So coming out of the pandemic, I decided to give that little nudge a try.
I asked a friend (who’s a good email marketer) how I could re-start writing weekly emails to people who care.
I felt I needed to ask because for the longest time, I closed my doors to help.
I needed to know if I still had the courage to serve virtual professionals, and probably, do it right this time.
So in March 2023, I said, “Hi” to my email list. Some people greeted me back with a “Hello”. I have been sending them emails every week.
It’s a long process and it needs patience. Good for me because I have been asking God for patience. True enough, He sends me in situations where my patience is tested.
So what did my PHP 100,000.00 experiment teach me?
- I would never know that I could create and manage an event if I didn’t try.
- Yes, it felt like I lost PHP 100,000. Yet if I looked closely, one participant was able to pitch a skill the next day after attending a mini-event. He closed the client with a $50.00 per hour rate. That person was my good email marketer friend. That is a success story for my event!
- It is always best to have mentors. Choose them carefully.
- The event was a failure. Yet I won.
Thank you for reading my story. I hope you learned a thing or two. Or maybe you got validation.
Learning is a lifetime process. Since I committed myself to learning until I die, then I will enjoy the journey.
I would love to hear your own story.