Sarah Fejfar (03:55.17)
Can I share something that really made me think the other day? I was talking to a friend and they said, you know, it's an expensive sport. And they were talking about coaching events and it got me wondering, like, and pondering how right they are. But also it doesn't have to be that way, you know? So I thought we'd take a few minutes on the podcast today and dive deep into just how expensive it can be and more importantly, what you can do about it.
I've planned so many events in my 20 plus career and it never ceases to amaze me how there will be a price for something that surprises people or catches them off guard and that people try and
I've had clients try and save money on those areas because they almost feel... What is it? Like, it's just wrong to spend that much money on that thing and then it will bite them in the butt at the event.
I can remember one where it's like, okay, so we want somebody to photo and video the event, but we really don't want to pay the day rate for
six people to do it even though we want shots of all of these simultaneous sessions that are happening simultaneously and we want someone to always be on the host of the show so we get some great v-roll and we want the recordings of the sessions and we want recordings in the hallway and all the things and oh we want
Sarah Fejfar (05:49.418)
We want sizzle reels each day to show when people are walking into the room. By the way, I love that personally. One of my favorite things. And.
and the breaks every day. We want a constant photo reel going of stuff that's been happening at the event. Super smart idea. By the way, people love to see themselves. We're all a little bit of self-absorbed and seeing ourselves in the big screen definitely puts a smile on our faces. So I kind of wanted all those things like immediate like turnaround edits.
and covering all of the things, but they wanted to pay not that much. Not what it would take to do that. And so they decided on kind of maybe spending, I would say a third of what was needed. And the vendor was just shouldn't have said yes, but they did because they wanted the business, which is what happens.
a lot in this space. Everyone, a lot of the vendors that we're working with are entrepreneurs themselves and they're trying to make ends meet and feed their families. And sometimes they're not as advanced in the personal development side to say have the boundary and say no. And so they said yes and the...
It was like a train wreck. The vendor was so exhausted. I mean, I just remember them being up until the wee hours of the morning, working on the video, like maybe getting a couple hours of sleep at best before we rolled the film the next morning. And, oh, it was kind of heartbreaking because I don't think anybody should have to kill themselves over an event, but.
Sarah Fejfar (07:55.59)
I think that stuff costs money. We have this vision for what we want or what we've seen other people do and we think, we just kind of attach a price to it in our head before doing our due diligence and doing the research of figuring out what is the thing actually costs. And also, I think we do ourselves a disservice sometimes.
as clients of not knowing exactly what we want. And so then when we tell a potential vendor, we're just going to use photo video as an example. Oh, yeah, I just want you to get some great b-roll of my event. But what we actually want, if we dug deeper, was what I described earlier, was just two vastly different outputs. And yes.
we do need to work with pro team vendors who are able to ask all those questions to get that information out of us. And sometimes we can still hold back because we haven't fully fleshed out our vision. OK. Before we dive into more specifics, I will get off what feels like a soapbox for a moment here and.
Because I want to make it clear, this isn't an episode about how to cut corners or stay on budget or pinch pennies when it comes to hosting events. That's not what this is about. This is more about raising awareness, kind of understanding the terrain you're navigating so that and kind of understanding the costly side of this expensive sport. That's very exciting, but expensive. So here's what I thought we talked about.
First, what makes coaching events expensive. Second, how we can play to win. Third, how we can avoid expensive mistakes, oversights. And then just a few kind of parting tips on profitable, sustainable, scalable event hosting, which is my favorite thing to talk about.
Sarah Fejfar (10:13.066)
So first, what makes coaching events so expensive? Well, what I like to do inside of LiveVent Academy, we've talked about this in the podcast before, is have a list of all the categories of spend. I have a template that you can download. And that template inside of LiveVent Academy has all the different categories.
And I love for people to have all of those in front of them because it definitely is a way to jog your memory, get brainstorming to happen, ask those important questions way early in the process so that we're kind of asking ourselves, is that an area I wanna spend money on? And if yes, okay, then step two is we're gonna go out and research.
what it actually costs. I love for people to price the vision, have the vision and then price it.
stuff and then and then we're gonna figure out how to pay for the vision right versus like pigeon holding ourselves by having a number up front and there's stuff there's just big ticket items and i don't want us to have any resentment i would rather us just being aware that that's a thing and it costs money so stuff like ads
If you're going to fill the room and this is an enrollment event and a list building event, it's Going to you're going to be filling the room with people who are cold Well, it's going to cost a certain amount. Wouldn't it be? Bahuvio to go to a facebook ad specialist Tell them what you want and ask To brainstorm on what do you think that or could we do a test that could help us? Understand what would
Sarah Fejfar (12:16.702)
it costs per lead so that we can put that amount in the budget and back into, okay, yeah, we do want a room filled with 2,000 people. Then what does that look like? How much do we need to spend in ads? And knowing when that money is going to have to be spent, how are we going to cover that cost upfront? I had one prospect I was talking with recently and they were saying that
they do this annual list building enrollment event and they have a significant ad spend in order to fill the room. And they cover those ad costs by getting sponsors for the event and having sponsors put half down. And so they've got that revenue they can, you know, in hand that they can then use.
to cover the ad spend. I thought, ooh, that's a smart little tip there. Another area that costs a lot of money is venue. So if you're going to want a spot at a hotel, they're typically gonna make you have a room block or a food and beverage minimum or both that goes with the rental of that space. And it's not cheap. Food and beverage.
at a hotel is very pricey. You would just be, I mean, you would, something simple like breakfast could easily be $60 ahead, and then you add on top of that all the gratuity and taxes and fees. And I think it's, it's almost, it seems almost unreasonable, and so we wouldn't even think that it costs that much. But...
surprise it does and that's why I love to have to get estimates in advance and fully flush it out because especially if this is your first time going bigger I don't want you surprised and when you're getting the bill another thing is technology and I just see people
Sarah Fejfar (14:40.334)
I have a poor hate on this and I don't get it. But it just, it costs, it is what it is. It costs money to rent the things and it costs money to have labor. And labor is paid hourly. And if your event is an all day event, they need to come in a couple hours in advance to make sure everything's set up right and get things turned on and tested and ready. And then...
the whole event, let's say it's like an eight hour event, now you're already at 10 hours. And on top of that, there might be rehearsals that happen afterwards for the next day, or other kind of prep items that have to happen. You could be in, you're easily in an overtime situation where labor costs more. So.
I think people try and save money there too because they're like, well, no, we don't need you to come in two hours in advance. Trust me, you do. You do. You do not want your team arriving, your tech team arriving at the same time that your guests are. No one's going to be looking professional. You want them having time to prevent problems before they become problems. So we talked about catering and venue and technology.
ad spend. Sometimes it's the cumulative effect of all the little things or this is my favorite one, shiny objects. There's always something that is going to come up that you're going to want to spend money on that wasn't in the initial plan. And that's why I always love to tuck away a pocket of money.
that is for that unexpected thing, because it's gonna happen. I don't know what it's gonna be for you, but there will be some shiny object that comes up, I have to have that. We must have that at our event. And...
Sarah Fejfar (16:53.275)
I think if I had to put my finger on it, it's the cumulative effect of all the things. But yes, the big ticket stuff like hotel or technology or ad spend really does.
get people and I think it because the numbers are so big it feel I think people have a tendency to pour hate on them and think well I'll just have to cut corners or like that example I was talking about earlier about hiring a videographer photographer team and wanting to capture all
turnarounds. Well, as long as we can envision, put ourselves in the shoes of that person. We need to have labor is expensive. In order to get what we want, we need to pay for that labor. In order to have someone shooting the host at the same time as the lobby, at the same time as a breakout session, at the same time as a main stage.
We're talking about multiple humans here. And whether it's a day rate or hourly, it's going to add up. And
I hate for you to put yourself in a position where you're trying to cut corners or save money early in the process. And so you kind of make promises like, oh, I'm not gonna need that much or we'll be able to make it work. You kind of make assurances that yeah, it's fine to just have two people come to cover the event. And then you get there and like the excitement of it all,
Sarah Fejfar (18:54.118)
reminds you of what you really wanted. And you know that it's this is like a one shot opportunity to capture this footage. And now you don't have enough bodies to do it. So you try and make those bodies like push them to do more than they're really should in a day. And it's a recipe for disaster. I want to want
I really love to create lifelong relationships with A-Team vendors and burning them out is a fast track to them saying no thank you next time your event comes up. And there's so much learning that happens when people work with you to help you on your event. And I would never want to...
have that be a sunk cost, you're gonna have to do it again because if to get another vendor, it was gonna put up with your stuff. You follow?
Sarah Fejfar (20:03.882)
Okay, that's kind of some stuff that's expensive. Now, taking another angle on this, playing to win. So, I touched on this a little bit, but I think when you keep a budget, when you do your work of researching in advance and knowing what...
Those dollars are buying you.
and having vendors be really clear with you or you getting really clear with you on what you want so that you can properly explain your needs to your team and your vendors so that they can give you an accurate proposal. That is a position that's like coming at this from a position of playing to win. I mean, yes, there's lots of ways.
to reduce costs without compromising the quality of events.
but that's really not what this conversation is about. It's more like, I want you to be so clear on what you want so that you can tell people what it is, so they can give you the price and the support that you need to make it happen.
Sarah Fejfar (21:35.222)
and segues us nicely into number three which is avoiding expensive mistakes or oversights and
I think, again, that whole example of video and photography is like perfect because if you're going to surprise at the event, tell your very good natured, well-meaning photographer that you're going to want a media turnaround and photo reels for every break and every walk in and you didn't let them know that in advance. It's either going to cost you more.
Or it's going to cost you them leaving you and you needing to now retrain, refine someone for the next one. Or it's going to put them in a position where they're going to be so exhausted that they then perhaps make mistakes on your event while things are alive. We never want that.
So I think the best advice I can give you is.
Sarah Fejfar (22:48.662)
be clear in the vision. Know what it is that you want so that you can
buy what you need and be fully supported.
Sarah Fejfar (23:04.318)
Now, let's go into the fourth piece here, which is kind of profitable, sustainable, scalable event hosting, my favorite thing. I think that when we build systems and processes, it allows us to put on events.
in a more repeatable way and make investments in the areas that mean the most to us. I think I've told you this story from my wedding where we couldn't afford everything that we wanted but we could afford to splurge on one thing and so I we went through and
prioritized what meant the most to us and that was guest experience. And so we landed on what would make that, what would make guest experience a home run. Well, for us, that was entertainment and beverages. We were in our 20s, of course.
Well, so we wanted an open bar. We wanted to invest in that. And we want to invest in an amazing band. So we had, I don't know, 15 piece big band play at our wedding. And it was so fun. And it really set the tone, the vibe and created an amazing guest experience for the reception. And I tell you that because. When you're able to.
be so clear on what your vision is and then you price the vision and you're able to see what that is and feel out like, okay, well, I know we could charge this much or gas. I know that we can get this much from sponsorships. I know, you know, the whole vision is going to cost this and I anticipate we're going to convert this many on the offer. It allows you to make really informed decisions about other.
Sarah Fejfar (25:26.85)
fun things that you can add or investing in specific pieces, like my wedding example, where you're gonna spend a little bit more, invest in those areas that mean the most to you. Or when you're tracking all of your numbers, able to do things like that example I shared with you earlier.
where that business owner said they go after their sponsors first because it pays for their ads and then they can fill the room and then the VIP sales pay for their upfront event costs and so we're able to make strategic decisions like that when we know what we want and we know our
Sarah Fejfar (26:21.106)
less high pressure because yeah it is an expensive sport but we
we can go into it knowing when we have more information, it doesn't we don't have to come at it from. Yes, it's an expensive sport and we have resentment about it. It's just it's an expensive sport and I'm so excited to play it. You see that shift?
Sarah Fejfar (26:52.614)
Another tip, I happen to think this is like the best one, listen up, is offer alignment ascension model kind of stuff. So a cold audience enrollment event is not the best spot to sell your $20,000 mastermind. And I think people kind of have this tendency to just like...
throw an event in because they want to put on an event. But actually it's part of the bigger picture of your ascension model and your overall calendar for the year where you're putting in your launches. And when we can align like, oh yeah, this is actually this is this is a cold audience enrollment event. It makes the most sense to sell this. And then
Then we do another event that's for our now warm audience and now that feels like the right spot to sell the high ticket mastermind. So I think kind of organizing our thoughts around, okay, what's the purpose of the event? And what makes the most sense to sell? It can help open up kind of our success, our like...
increased conversions, which then makes it feel like less of an expensive sport. It makes, it makes the, when we get things in line, it makes us so that the expensive sport no longer feels expensive because we know that it's making us so much on the back end. But we have to kind of get our ducks in a row in order for that to work.
Okay, I think that we should wrap it there. I hope that you're leaving today with a better understanding of why coaching events can be expensive and more importantly, how you can take control of the costs, whether it's planning, budgeting, or avoiding pitfalls. We've got tools in our tool belts now, right? That we can use to make...
Sarah Fejfar (29:15.434)
events more successful and change the kind of the dynamic that's in our head around expensive sport. So, you know, I think there's some sports that are more expensive to play than others. Like you take running, for example, you need a pair of shoes, you go outside. Or let's say you ride
a little bit more expensive. You know, have to have a horse and access to a stable and like feed and care for the horse and buy more clothing to wear like those fancy rounded hats and chap things. I don't know. I don't ride horses, but like
as long as it's meaningful to you and you know what the outcome is going to be, it doesn't matter that it's expensive, right? I think if we knew that we were going to spend a quarter of a million dollars on this event, but we were going to make
half a million. We're putting one in and we're getting two out. Why wouldn't we do that?
Um, but I guess what I also hear is this whole, yeah, I'm putting one in and I'm getting two out, but it's like crushing my team on lead up. That's back to that whole like, are you doing it in a way that's repeatable and sustainable and scalable? One of the conversation for a whole nother day. But I digress.
Sarah Fejfar (31:17.714)
I'm so passionate about you doing the things that you can get the outcome and putting being able to put a lens on this whole business of hosting events in your business that isn't negative. Like having the, yeah, it's an expensive sport, but I love riding horses.
It's so fun for me versus, it's an expensive sport and I have to spend so much money in order, or so much my team's time in order to do this. And I'm like draining me and I don't want to do it. Well, it just, like if that's the head space that you're in, then we need to talk because we need to uncover why it is that you're feeling that way and why you're not like excited to go get on the race horse.
Okay, if you have questions, you want to share your thoughts, don't hesitate to reach out to me on Instagram, send me a DM. Thank you for spending your time with me today. Make it an outstanding rest of the week. Take care.