I get asked all the time by awesome people about running Free Events.
Should I charge for it? Should I not charge for it? Will it get me clients? How do I make it work? These are some of the key questions I often answer and I thought I would spend some time with you telling my story about creating a successful “Free Business Networking Event” as part of the 4Networking experience.
On June the 16th, I founded the “Inside Biz Educational Group” which today is called “Free Squeeze Business Networking by 4N”.
When I first created it, Grant Dempsey and I thought it would be some type of “Powerhouse Marketing Event”. I remember getting 27 people for the first launch of it and as time progressed, it became quite clear that people were there just to network and meet people. We used to have a good 60 minute of speaking and now it’s a tight 20 minutes at the most giving people plenty of time to networking.
Basically when it started it’s really kicked off quickly and developed quite a cult following really quickly. It was free, helped me meet more people and pick them up as clients – as well as bringing in new people to the 4Networking Community.
It only would cost me say $100 – $150 per event to run and I get asked, “Edward why on Earth don’t you charge for it?”. The short answer to that is that by doing it for free – you are practicing the “Give First” mentality. People come in with open hearts, are grateful and it helps create an awesome experience. In addition too – for the first few events *we did charge* which sucked! I mean people would pay, but you could tell it was a “Ball & Chain” on them. By going to free, sure it cost me a bit of money – but it was well worth it and the marketing value I get out of it, it way more in terms of clients and results.
Overall, running this Free Event monthly over the past few years has been very beneficial for everyone. Great for the people coming, great for 4Networking, great for the Awesome Hosts that help (thank you Martha, Edward, Jude, Emma, Suzanne & Grant) as well as great for my own business in terms of promotion and getting clients.
My advice? If you are a “People Type of Business” where events suit your market, I think putting on Free Events is a great strategy. You may have to tweak the format to suit your market. The idea is to give great networking, great value, help people connect, solve their problems – so they “Mentally Pick” you & your company as the best people to work with.
It’s worked for me and hope it works for you! If you are in Sydney or Wollongong – check it out here, love you to join us! >> Visit the Squeeze Business Networking Page Here!