These 5 words struck terror in my heart…
Every time someone said it, I’d break out in a cold sweat… And my well-meaning colleagues would say it all the time – but it scared the shit out of me. They were the five words that struck terror in my heart…
“You should do an event!”
As an up and coming entrepreneur, maybe you’ve been haunted by the same refrain…
People have been telling me this for years. If you’re a so-called thought leader, the automatic assumption is that you can’t possibly hit that “next level” without doing a live event.
But having been to hundreds of industry events, ranging from 8 to 8,000 people, and in locations from windowless conference rooms to cruise ships, I’ve resisted the siren call to do my own event. And the truth is that I was simply afraid to do it…
I’ve been to too many events that were DOA.
Too many of these industry confabs are huge let-downs with empty content and relentless sales pitches and upsells… with the organizers and speakers just looking to pick your pockets.
I don’t really hold the “internet marketing profiteers” in disdain, I just never wanted to lead a thinly-veiled pitchfest with little actionable content or value.
Sponsorships, exhibit booths, “pay-to-play” speakers – not my thing.
I also get very little out of the mega-events with thousands of attendees. If I want to hear Gary V drop F bombs from the stage, while it doesn’t offend me – I’d rather just watch his videos and save the airfare and aggravation.
And “virtual summits?” Don’t get me started!
Sure, they work (for the organizer), but all us “expert speakers” get is an opportunity to burn our list for “just 3 solo emails.” No thanks. Homey don’t pay to play that way…
There are, of course, a few notable exceptions to the typical event pitchfest – David Perdew’s NAMS events and Peter Shankman’s masterminds come immediately to mind as high quality, worthwhile events. In addition, there are a few industry leaders like Michael Port whose events never disappoint.
So when I finally decided to do my own event, I had a few non-negotiables:
I insisted on…
* A small, intimate, quality group of smart, savvy entrepreneurs (This requires a lot of vetting!)
* A “mastermind” format, where I could teach, but also let the attendees contribute and support each other
* A mix of business-building opportunities and serious “breakthrough” time, coupled with networking, and unique social opportunities (like Italian cooking lessons, private chef and wine tours, hikes in the countyside)
* An incredible location that would inspire and enhance the experience.
* Something the attendees would come away from with not only tremendous value, but also friendships and memories that would truly last a lifetime.
No way was I going to do a Video Marketing Mastermind retreat at a Holiday Inn Express or the Airport Marriott.
No, my event had to be epic – something only the “Godfather of Video” would do…
So… I took my group to Tuscany, where I rented a spectacular villa and 8 entrepreneurs came together for a week of work, play, bonding, breakthroughs and true masterminding “under the Tuscan sun.”
We worked, we walked, we talked, broke bread together, drank fine wines, ate scrumptious meals, and actually helped each other with our business challenges and opportunities. It couldn’t have been a more perfect group, and the support and camaraderie was incredible.
I was thrilled to hear phrases like “transformational,” “life-changing,” and “breakthrough,” but that’s exactly what I was going for…
On a personal level, I faced my fear of holding my first event 4,000 miles from home in a foreign country where I barely speak the language… And my attendees took a leap of faith that paid off gloriously.
Was it easy to produce the event? No. Were there bumps and hiccups along the way? Of course. Was it a money-maker? Not so much. But would I do it again? Absolutely – in a heartbeat!
The moral of the story is that if you put smart people in an amazing location and offer great content and collaboration, it produces an unforgettable and transformational event.
Italy is a beautiful country with many lessons and inspirations waiting to be discovered. You can find breathtaking locations, experience new foods, people, culture and adventures – And you can hang out with some fabulous people who will quickly become close friends.
A lot of gurus and coaches love to claim that “they’ve got your back,” but the group who just returned from Tuscany truly do have each other’s backs. I suspect many of them will return for the 2018 Tuscany Marketing Mastermind.
In case this sounds like your type of event, we’ve reserved the same magical villa, perched on a hilltop in the Tuscan countryside with a view of Cortona atop the hill.
So if you’re ready to experience a life-changing (and business-changing) adventure, please reach out to me soon, as I’m quite confident that the few remaining private bedrooms will be scooped up fast!
We’d love to welcome you to Tuscany, Italy in May, 2018. Email me at email@example.com for pricing and availability. Serious inquiries only…
Lou (Luigi) Bortone
P.S. See NEW photos and info from the Tuscany Marketing Mastermind at www.TuscanyMastermind.com