It’s been almost been a month since I left Vancouver and did my first paid talk. I had 10 tickets sold, and I believe 8 people actually attended. I earned 78 US ($99 canadian) in net revenue. In this post I’m going to share how I earned $99 for my first paid talk in Vancouver. There was a friend of mine that attended, but paid me in cash instead of through Eventbrite so this was not reflected in the image. While this is not life changing income this certainly was a small win to earn income doing a talk. I enjoyed the experience and perhaps I could do more talks in different cities and scale it. Let’s look back at how I did it and what you can learn.
While packing for my trip to Vancouver in Taiwan an idea popped into my head. I thought maybe I could do a paid talk about my working holiday experience in Taiwan. I thought as an experiment I would give the Eventbrite platform a try. I remember I had purchased an event ticket here myself for a Phillip Bloom SLR workshop in Vancouver.
- Eventbrite – Platform I used to put the event on-line and accept payments
- Mailchimp – Used to promote the event to my mail list
- Paypal – Used to accept payments
- Facebook Page – Used my Facebook page and personal page to promote the event to my social network
- Canva.com – Used this for graphic design for my Facebook pages
After I set up the event I decided I would send out an email blast to my Vancouver mailing list. I didn’t yet have a set venue, but I indicated it would in Vancouver and on December 15th. I set up 5 free tickets for friends and I think 10 tickets at $10 US. Within the hour I had an ex-colleague claim the 2 free tickets. After that the remainder of the tickets would trickle in.
I had to jump onto a long flight 20 hour flight from Taiwan to Vancouver and settle in and get set up. I thought I would check on the event when I had a chance. Once I got to Vancouver I had to figure out which venue to hold the event at. There was the meeting room at the condo I was staying at, but that space was too large, had spotty wifi, and required a fee of about $100. I also considered the Wave’s coffee house, but I was lucky the the folks at the Tree Organic Cheesecake coffee shop let me host my event in their coffee shop for free. They even let me use their projector and let me book half of the coffee shop. All they required was a minimum 1 drink fee from each person. Thanks again to the folks at Tree Organic!
Once I had the venue settled I knew I was capped at a maximum of 20 people in the space. We agreed on a date of December 27th, which gave me about 20 days to promote the event. I wasn’t sure if the holiday season would impact the event. My thinking was that it was post Christmas and post-boxing day and a Saturday afternoon should be okay. Click on the picture if you would like to see the original event details.
The event promotion
In the copy of the event I made sure that I listed some bullet points outlining the benefits of the event. I also included some scarcity in there, which was easy as I was only in Vancouver for a limited time and this was the only talk I had planned. I created an event graphic for my Facebook cover page using the awesome tool Canva.com. I put the graphic on my personal and business Facebook page. Eventbrite had a Facebook integration tool that automatically created a Facebook event using my Chicvoyage Facebook page. It created a purchase button that resulted in a sale. I also set the event up on a Meetup page as I already had access to a Meetup membership.
What I thought
Eventbrite did a good job using their promotional tools to help me with the remainder of the sales. It allowed me to change the name of the tickets, price and quantity. I used this to name the regular priced tickets “Early bird tickets” and I sold them for $10. 10 days before the event the early bird tickets were not available, and only “regular” priced tickets at $15 were for sales. Interestingly, I got some good ticket sales for the regular priced tickets. Eventbrite provided some good tools like the Facebook integration, which I used for the event. It provided a WordPress widget tool that allowed me to create a countdown to the event. Eventbrite also provided good analytics that allowed me to see which type of marketing led to sales. It also had an app that had a check in feature that I planned to use to scan their tickets. A great high tech feature, but I had too many other things to deal with in the end so I didn’t end up using it. The actual talk went well. I spoke for about 2 hours, and I was happy with how the Eventbrite platform worked for this event.
There were some no shows from the Facebook page event and the Meetup event. I find that if they can RSVP for free that there is a chance off no shows. I found it confusing for my attendees that RSVP’d on the Facebook page and the Eventbrite. For the people that RSVP’s on the Facebook event they weren’t required to pay a ticket if they didn’t click the buy ticket button. This left me wondering whether people were going to show up at the shop thinking it was a free event.
Other than that this was a good experience. I focused on entertaining and delivering a lot of value and interesting stories. As I mentioned I enjoyed speaking and earning some income doing something new. I hope to do more talks. Thanks to all the people that attended. Do you have experiences with Eventbrite ? I hope that gave you some inspiration into starting your own talk on Eventbrite.