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Have you ever thought about creating an event for your business?
While it's one of the most difficult things that you can do for your business, events are amazing tools both for generating revenue and increasing your reach. There are few better ways to build exposure to your brand.
If events are something you're interested in, you'll love this post.
The other day, Jarrod Glandt, Vice President of Sales at Cardone Enterprises, was kind enough to sit down and talk with us about how the h*ll Cardone Enterprises sold 35,000 tickets to 10x Growth Conference 3 in Marlins Park.
Jarrod is the king of sales over at Cardone Enterprises, and he worked his butt off to get to where he is today, which is why Grant Cardone trusted him enough to put him 100% in charge of selling all the tickets.
This is how he did it.
What The Heck Is Growth Con?
To give you just a little bit of context, the 10x Growth Conference is an annual conference put on by Grant Cardone and his team that started back in 2016. This past one was just the third that Grant has put on. It’s grown significantly since the beginning:
- The first conference had around 2,300 people
- The second conference had around 8,920 people
The team decided to move the event from Las Vegas to Miami for the third conference, and the original plan was to double the size of the conference to around 16,000 or 18,000 people. After touring the Marlins stadium and hearing that Joel Olsteen had 35,000 people at one of his events, Grant decided that was going to be the size of the third 10x Growth Conference.
And Jarrod was responsible for selling every single ticket.
“I didn’t sleep for probably a week after he told me that,” Jarrod said.
So, how did he make it happen?
The Cost To Run An Event
In early talks, the team estimated, jokingly, that the entire event was going to cost around $10 million. But what seemed like a joke actually became reality due to everything that goes into putting on an event of that size.
It actually ended up costing around $10.5 million to run the event. I mean, they spent $800,000 on billboards alone!
They also had professional athletes, local celebrities and influencers coming to the event. Ticket sales ended up covering the total cost, but the revenue per seat was lower in this event than in Las Vegas because they ended up offering tickets at much lower prices than the previous year.
However, after projecting ticket sales to be $20 million, they didn’t quite reach that goal.
Basically, what Jarrod took away from the event was that nothing goes the way that you expect when you put on event. So many different problems and issues arise that you couldn’t even have seen coming.
So, at that level, how did they market the tickets?
The basic strategy for marketing this event started immediately at the end of the second conference, but they only ended up selling around 2,000 of the 35,000 tickets they would eventually want to sell.
To get rid of the tickets, they were hitting at all angles...
Local Marketing & Facebook Ads
Because the event was in Miami, they hit the local marketing hard. To start, they spent $800,000 on billboard advertising, ran TV commercials to Florida residents and ran Facebook ads to people in the area. Anyone with a Florida IP address went to a Florida local landing page that showed them an offer on any ticket.
All told, they spent around $1.2 or $1.3 million on Facebook ads in a marketing budget over just over $2 million. All of the Facebook advertising was done in-house by just two people, so you shouldn’t be afraid to run ads!
Another big tactic was to use influencers to sell tickets. For example, Russel Brunson and Tai Lopez both bought big blocks of tickets to sell to their audience, and Cole Hatter picked up some tickets as well.
In terms of people they got at their event, they went for huge names like Daymond John, Steve Harvey and Sarah Blakely. Unfortunately, Jarrod has always found the level of cross-promotion to be a bit disappointing when it comes to influencers.
People always tend to be a bit reluctant in promoting.
Grant is known for respecting public service employees, so he gave away 4,000 tickets for what he calls ‘The Heroes Section’. This included people like…
- Active duty military members
- Police officers
However, even free stuff requires work.
They had to do paid ads to give tickets away for free, and even when stuff is free it can be difficult to get people to redeem the tickets and then show up. They had to promote the free tickets over and over and over again to get people to claim them.
Phone & Email
Phone and email were huge throughout the entire process.
For the phone, just about everyone got called. Anyone who abandoned their cart, clicked through but didn’t make a purchase, or opened an email all got called. They particularly focused on selling higher value tickets over the phone. Basically, they started with the people who showed the most interest and moved down from there.
In terms of email, they sent out around 178,000,000 emails over the course of the promotion cycle to an active base of around 600,000 subscribers. The group they actually emailed was probably half of that.
Sections At A Time
One of their most successful strategies was to black out all seating except for one section so that they could focus on selling just one section of tickets at a time.
They were able to sell the General Admission tickets really quick because they went live with a $95 offer early on in the process, which was significantly cheaper than what they had charged for the cheapest ticket the previous year.
The cheapest ticket the previous year was $300 or $400, so people ate those cheap tickets up.
When putting on an event of this magnitude, there are going to be a lot of lessons learned. If you’re planning on putting on an event (or trying to make your event even better), these six lessons will help you out a ton moving forward:
#1 Start Early
Grant and his team started planning and selling tickets 10 or 11 months ahead of the actual conference. As soon as the second Growth Con finished, they were already hitting the ground running for an event that was happening a year later.
#2 Don't Get Locked Into A Strategy
A lot of people create their strategy and then think they have to stick to it no matter what. What Jarrod learned is that getting locked into a strategy will absolutely kill you. Him and his team had to change strategy several times to get things right, and it would’ve been a disaster if they’d kept banging away at something that wasn’t working.
#3 Put Up A Counter Where You Can See It
When you’re working on something that takes so much effort, it’s important to have clear goals and markers of progress. On their screen in the office, Jarrod and his team had a countdown until Growth Con, how many tickets were sold and the amount of seats remaining to serve as motivation.
#4 Repackage Offers
What a lot of people do when they create an offer is they just keep pushing the same offer over and over again to the same people. And then they’re surprised when those people never buy it! Don’t just try to sell the same offer over and over and over again. Instead, find ways to repackage offers to present to people in a new way.
#5 Promote Every Day
There are no days off when it comes to promoting an event of this size. You have to promote every single day until the very end if you want to sell as many tickets as possible and ensure that people actually show up.
#6 Expect Issues
No matter what the size of your event is, things are going to go wrong, and you just have to accept it. Jarrod and his team, just to name a few of the roadblocks they encountered, had ticketing issues, badge issues, catering issues, fire marshal issues, a lack of staff and so much more. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15 people or 10,000 people, there will always be problems.
How To Increase Ticket Sales Today
If you’re someone who is running an event, or has ever thought about running an event, use this example as motivation. You likely aren’t running an event this big, so if Jarrod can pull this off, you can pull off your event too.
It’s going to be tough. Things are going to go wrong.
But a lot will go right.
Create your plan, be flexible with it and grind every day to get people into your event. It’ll be worth it at the end.