I hosted my first virtual event in 2001. Over the last few years, there has been an explosion of them. Recently, I interviewed Leesa Barnes, pictured with me here, who offers virtual event planning services.
Leesa cut her teeth in the virtual events field when a job required her to train employees worldwide for an employer that did not have a travel budget. Leesa's use of basic technologies available at the time eventually led to a business teaching others how to host virtual events. Leesa shared some of her tips with me, using the A-L-I-V-E acronym to put things into context.
A-L-I-V-E stands for Abundance, Legacy, and Influence in Virtual Events.
- Abundance. Within six weeks of hosting her first virtual event, Leesa says her mailing list grew from 2,500 to 5,000, more than it had through article marketing and blogging. She made nearly $20,000 in the first two days of registration. But more importantly, she reached outside her existing circle to meet hundreds of people she would not otherwise have encountered. This abundance of new connections has created an abundance of opportunities for her to serve others.
- Legacy. Through virtual events, Leesa says she focuses on her legacy in the present, rather than planning for how it will look after she's no longer here. Using technology to reach and teach allows her to serve others in the moment, while also creating opportunities for them to learn from her in future years.
- Influence. Leesa says that hosting virtual events allows her to cut through the noise of other people offering similar services. By bringing together people (teachers and learners) from all walks of life to accomplish specific goals, she boosts her business and her influence, and creates a forum for others to learn and grow with her.
Leesa says you can do all of these things too, by hosting your own virtual events.
If you're looking to participate in a virtual event as an attendee, you may be overwhelmed by the number of options available. Leesa suggests narrowing the field by identifying exactly where you are in your business and what you want to accomplish. Read event announcements carefully, get references from prior attendees, and ask questions of the host before you register so you can choose the event that is most likely to help you achieve specific goals.
About Leesa Barnes
Leesa Barnes is the author of Podcasting for Profit: A Proven 7-Step Plan to Help Individuals and Businesses Generate Income Through Audio and Video Podcasting (affiliate link), and the leader of a virtual event training and planning service based in Ontario, Canada. She appeared on a previous episode of INDIE Business Podcast to share podcasting tips.
How to Listen to the Show
This post contains my paraphrases of the information Leesa shared. To hear it from the horse's mouth yourself, listen to the entire show using one of these options:
- Download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a day or two for iTunes to feed the show there.)
- Click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen now! (The beginning of this podcast is an introduction of my new assistant. Our discussion of virtual events begins at 7:33.)
- Because I have not had a chance to load all of my shows to this blog, you can listen to hundreds of interviews from 2005 to 2010, each one as relevant today as it was when I recorded it, at my Indie Business Radio site.
Question: Have you ever attended or hosted a virtual event? What tips and experiences can you share?