At many large marketing events, companies will compete to throw the best and most expensive parties.
They are focused on building brand awareness and competing with each other.
On the night I threw my party in the sky, a large company through a party ten times bigger in the hotel garden.
It was massive.
The next day most people couldn't tell me what company had thrown the party or what that company did.
Their party cost more than fifty grand.
And they failed to achieve their primary goal – nobody was aware of their brand a day later.
- Know Why You are Throwing a Party
- Networking Party Phase One – Lock in Your Goal
- Networking Party Phase Two – Your Assets
- Networking Party Phase Three – Casing the Joint
- Networking Party Phase Four – Human Intelligence
- Networking Phase Five – The Guestlist
- Networking Phase Six – The Show
Know Why You are Throwing a Party
Trying to create brand awareness is a classic mistake for entrepreneurs and startups.
What they really mean is that they want to be famous.
They want to live vicariously through their product and to do this they call it a brand.
People have to be exposed to a brand at least seventeen times even to remember that it exists.
You can throw sixteen brand awareness parties and still have nobody remember you.
Throwing a Party is a Skill
When I throw a party at a conference, I spend months planning my strategy and goals.
I get to the city early.
I draw pictures of the shape of the location, and I case the entire hotel.
It's very similar to a heist movie.
Without a very specific goal, you will not know if your party was a success.
Once you have a goal, you can measure your efforts and find ways to improve with each event.
Developing a plan (or using the one from Networking Empire) will help you to explode your business.
Networking Party Phase One – Lock in Your Goal
I threw this party with my partner in the men's health niche.
Our primary goal was to find media and native ad buyers who want to promote our offer.
We have a strong offer that starts with a $1 trial.
When you send a customer that takes us up on that trial, we immediately send you $70.
It's a highly competitive offer, and everyone makes a lot of money.
With a clearly defined goal, we knew exactly the kind of people we want at our party.
I had some secondary goals as well. I am always interested in meeting people who can:
- Hire me to create products/funnels for them
- Promote ServeNoMaster
- Be great guests on my podcast
- Introduce me to other awesome connections
- Work well with someone else in my network
With my primary goal locked in and the secondary goals establish, I could begin to develop the perfect plan.
But let's dig deeper.
Meeting media buyers is NOT the goal.
Getting a little traffic is NOT the goal.
Our real goal is to get someone to send enough traffic that we make more money from that connection than the party itself cost.
We want a positive ROI (return on investment.)
Having a financial goal is critical because it makes your success trackable.
When targeting brand awareness, it's hard to know how the spend relates to the results.
I spent one hundred grand, and some people became more aware of me.
That's not a very measurable plan.
Instead, your plan should be – I spend three thousand dollars, connected with four potential media buyers, and one of them promoted my offer, generating six thousand dollars in profit.
Instantly I can see that my ROI was 200%. For every dollar invested in the party, I ended up with two in my bank. That's a pretty good start.
Networking Party Phase Two – Your Assets
Sometimes I throw huge parties, and sometimes I throw tiny parties.
This is not random.
The party size depends on my goal.
If I want to cast a wide net and book thirty JV webinars, then a large party is the best move.
With media buyers, depth of relationship is absolutely critical.
Trust is imperative.
I went to Bangkok knowing just three other people who would be there.
One of them is my business partner in the men's health space.
He has never been to an event like this before.
Like me, he started off with no contacts.
The other two guys there are partners, and I create a lot of their products.
They know all the same people, so really they only count as a singular contact.
I went to this massive event with well over two thousand people with just ONE contact.
Unlike parties I've thrown in the past, I couldn't leverage my name to get people to my party.
Nobody knew who I was.
My other assets were the party budget, a great suite in the hotel, and an in-depth knowledge of the layout of this hotel.
Knowing that I wanted a smaller party allowed me to create my plan.
Networking Party Phase Three – Casing the Joint
I arrived at the hotel on Friday for an event starting on Monday.
My partner arrived on Saturday.
I spend the entire weekend studying the layout of the hotel.
Every little piece of information can prove critical.
For example, the hotel put me on a VIP floor.
Nobody can access that level without the appropriate keycard.
People staying on other floors can't just drop by; I have to go get them from the lobby and bring them to my room.
This immediately destroyed our plan A.
Initially, we thought the suite would be bigger and that we could throw and epic party in the room.
This keycard problem effectively shut us down.
All that booze we bought might end up going to waste.
Sunday night I began studying the layout of the restaurants and bars on the rooftop.
At first, my plan looked impossible.
There was security everywhere, and people had already booked all of these great locations for private parties.
The layout of this particular hotel is very limiting.
The lobby is a terrible design, and the lounge area is almost always roped off and closed.
The rooftop was the ideal location, but it was already booked out all week…or was it?
Networking Party Phase Four – Human Intelligence
Some people call this phase social engineering.
It's the most common way to hack.
But that's when you're going black hat.
My goal is not to trick anyone into doing something that they later regret.
My goal is to find out the secrets that only insiders know and find a way to benefit me AND the hotel staff.
I was scouting out the rooftop bar, and I couldn't get access to the private party area.
I wasn't on the list.
Most people hit that wall, give up, and go home.
When I run into a wall like this, all I can see is opportunity.
I know that most people see a wall, so if I can overcome that obstacle, I am in a unique position.
I started talking to the girl running the list and then transitioned to talking to her manager.
Now this is a critical moment.
[easy-tweet tweet=”Never start a negotiation with a bribe.” user=”servenojonathan” hashtags=”servenomaster”]
I started chatting with the manager who was obviously local.
After chatting a bit, I asked his name.
I made a point of remembering it and shaking his hand.
Most foreigners in hotels treat native managers like busboys.
This guy worked his tail off and is not managing the rooftop area in one of the most expensive hotels in the city.
He is a success story and deserves my respect.
I learned a great deal from him simply by treating him with respect.
By the end of the conversation, I had secured the party area for the next day WITHOUT having to lay down a deposit or make any guarantees.
On top of that, he set me up for happy hour.
By throwing a party from four to seven, my bar bill would be around thirty percent of the cost of a nine pm party.
Someone else threw a party in the same location an hour after mine ended.
They paid a great deal more money because they skipped this phase.
Networking Phase Five – The Guestlist
I am known for throwing parties loaded up with beautiful models.
I have been with my girlfriend for a long time, and I have zero interest in talking to models myself.
I dated models when I was younger, and I'm just not into it.
I understand social dynamics in a way that most people don't.
At my party, one of my friends complained that none of the models weren't talking to the guys.
Her complaint was understandable, except it was based on a flawed perception.
Most of the men and women that I work with are in serious relationships.
They don't want to talk to a model about her life and back story.
(And most of the models I hired were in relationships with kids.)
My partners just like standing NEAR models.
They like to feel like they are part of the elite.
[easy-tweet tweet=”All warfare is based on perception.” user=”servenojonathan” hashtags=”servenomaster”]
Most people have no idea that the models are hired, how to go about hiring models or even what the appropriate rate is.
I don't want to reveal my secrets, but it took me seven different methods to find the right girls.
I ended up with ten Russians, two Thai girls and one Italian.
All tall and quite beautiful.
When people are standing near models, they get to feel FAMOUS.
Like they are hanging out somewhere very important, and that's a feeling I like to engender.
I want to make everyone feel good.
Another caveat, when you hire talent your main goal changes.
My primary concern at parties is model safety.
When I throw a larger event, I hire security to protect them and make sure they feel safe.
That's very important to me, and it's the reason so many models work with me over and over again.
I've never had a serious incident and hopefully I never will.
With my professional guest list lined up, I spent the twenty-four hours before my event inviting my new contacts
I went to a few parties and spent time talking to everyone at the conference.
My final guest list was just seven names.
It was the perfect size.
Two models for every guy.
When was the last time ANY guy was at a party with more women than men?
In my life, I can count on one hand the number fo times I have been in a bar and noticed that there were more women than men.
Networking Phase Six – The Show
There are always going to be bumps in the road.
As the party manager or event organizer, it's my job to eat the garbage and manage perception.
Everyone came to my party, realized they were hungry and left to go eat dinner.
It was a real kick in the teeth.
Suddenly, I'm standing on the roof with a baker's dozen of models, my business partner, and no guests.
There is an old military saying by a Prussian general – no plan survives first contact with the enemy.
This applies to financial warfare too.
This is why you must always be ready to adapt and overcome.
I kept that party flowing, maintained the energy and an hour later everyone came back with full tummies and ready to party.
During the party, I only had 1-2 beers.
At some points, you need a drink in your hand just to make other people feel comfortable.
Otherwise, I'm not there to have fun.
I'm there to work.
Throwing a party is my job.
I'm there to make YOU have fun.