Episode 1 - Using Free Events To Market Your Courses
In this episode, Andrew from Digital 22, an Inbound Marketing company, shares his experience of running events, why training companies should do it, and the best ways to market them- pre and post-event. Listen now.
Transcript from The Everest Podcast
Series 1 Episode 1
Andrew from Digital 22 talks about events; event planning and marketing, and why training companies should host their own events.
Hello and welcome to our first ever Everest podcast session. My name is Patrick, and i'm Dan.
In this podcast series, we will be talking to guests who have previously attended our Everest conference and they will be sharing some helpful tips and best practices for training businesses. The aim of which is to help you succeed and expand your training company.
If you want to find out more about our annual Everest event, which we host every year for training professionals, you can find all the info you need on our website, www.accessplanit.com/everest.
Our first guest, attended our Everest conference this year as a speaker. His name is Andrew Thomas and he works at a company called digital 22, based in Clitheroe. Andrew, perhaps you could tell us a little bit about digital 22 and what you do there?
Thanks guys, for having me. So I'm Andrew. I'm the head of marketing at Digital 22. We're an inbound agency. An inbound agency you might be asking, is a digital marketing agency that approaches it in a slightly different way to most. So, what we focus on is providing value, and education first, before we approach what traditionally you'd call a lead. We use lots of different methods, whether it's content marketing; SEO; social, and a tool called HubSpot, which we can go into a little bit later-on. We basically build what we call an inbound funnel of value-based articles and pieces for clients, that helps people find their website first, and actually get something of value before interacting with the sales team. So, hopefully once that's given and they have more context, then there's a better relationship built with our clients. It seems to work for us and, I know you guys (accessplanit) use it yourself. So yeah, happy to be here and look forward to having a chat about how we can help training companies grow.
So what we're going to talk about today is- Andrew's recently returned from Boston, so he's incredibly jet-lagged. He's probably going to fall asleep in the corner, but we won’t worry about that today, we'll make it up as we go along. So he's been picking up the latest inbound marketing trends and I also understand that Andrew Just hosted digital 22's 'HubSpot Hug' event, which is their regular inbound marketing workshop. So, what we thought we'd do today Andrew, is just have a chat with you about the inbound conference, because I believe it was quite exciting, and also have a conversation about the HubSpot hug with you, if that's alright with yourself.
Absolutely, that sounds good.
So let's start with Inbound. What was it like in Boston?
It's a bit of a whirlwind to be honest. We've been going for a few years now and I think there was over 26,000 marketers there this year, which is growing massively. I think the year before it was about 15,000. So a huge event. It's HubSpot's annual meet up for all marketers; agencies; everyone. It's really, really good, and a bit of a party atmosphere. It's very instagrammable.
It's not like your typical event space. It's not, you know, it's not stuffy, or anything like that. There's tons of stuff to do. There's happy hour at the end, but that's not why we go, obviously! But no, it's brilliant and there's hundreds of talks. Everything from the latest things in digital marketing, through to things like leadership and motivation, or managing teams.
So from my perspective, I started going five years ago, learning how to send better emails, but now I'm looking more into leading teams and training and mentoring and things like that.
They do a really good job at HubSpot. They understand what agencies alone are trying to do, and they do support their customers with events like this. So, a really good opportunity to be able to go over. But yeah, as I say, just a little bit jet-lagged now, so just recovering.
Yeah, fair enough. And from this year's event in particular, Andrew, what did you find is the main sort of trend? Is there anything in particular you can share as far as teachings while you were there? Were there any sort of trends within the talks that you've listened to?
Yeah, there're always trends flying around. I think a couple of years ago it was Facebook messenger. It's been video for quite a while. It's been podcasts for couple years as well. It was interesting that one of the things that kept coming up was, the sort of maturity of email automation and emailing generally, and how a lot of people using tools like HubSpot or MailChimp or whatever, are sending out these weekly roundup emails automated. So, like an RSS feed to post your blogs, that just picks it up and blasts it out.
A lot of people now are saying that that's probably not the best thing to be to be doing. We’ve been going for technology before customer or prospect, and they're all advocating now to be doing your own newsletters again. So we're going back to the old way.
So those trends have come, the technology's there to do all this automated stuff, but actually, people are now advising to look at the value you're giving, and actually spend the time writing a custom newsletter.
People are still reading emails. We have that many, so I think that the knowledge a few years ago was that email is just saturated now; you need to be on whatsapp or Facebook messenger to get through to people. But people still like reading emails; they just prefer to read really good ones.
So if you can stand out, and have a really good, useful newsletter, full of good value- people are seeing that that's actually really impactful now, and people are subscribing to newsletters again, and getting into reading them. It's like, with the podcasts and newsletters- that commute time is really valuable now. So, it came up in a few talks and there's obviously tons of other stuff to that, and that was an interesting one. It's come full circle.
Yeah, it's like, you know, it's like Aviators coming back in fashion. We have these things in marketing, especially in digital marketing. One week it's in favour. The next week it's not. So, it was nice to see something that everyone's probably doing, or has done, or is trying to make more automated. It's nice to think, actually that we can just go and write nice custom emails again. So I was happy with that.
Sometimes it's tough, I guess isn't it? Because you want to personalise everything is as much as you can, but with automation often comes, reducing that and sending out templated content if you will. So, it's quite a tough battle, that, isn't it?
And another thing, obviously moving onto the HubSpot Hug, which is something that you hosted in Manchester I believe, recently. So, it'd be good to tell us a bit about that, and how that differs from the conference you went to in Boston?
Yeah. So it's good really to speak to you guys about this because obviously we're an inbound marketing agency and we have clients, and we do digital marketing. But something we do alongside that is the HubSpot user-group. This is a quarterly meetup event. It's like an informal gathering. We do it at the Manchester Art Gallery, it's a morning event and we have three or four speakers on for 20 minutes each. They're all there to give actionable advice. It's HubSpot related, but not necessarily all about HubSpot.
So, it's just digital marketing generally. You don't have to have HubSpot. You don't have to be a client of ours. It's free. We hold it every quarter and it's there just to educate and provide value. People can come with questions; ask us anything; bring their laptops with HubSpot on, and it's just a couple of hours session, to give people an opportunity to network, see what's going on, and bring any problems.
We’ve been doing it for about four years now, every quarter. We usually have somebody from HubSpot there, or somebody outside of Digital 22. It's not just us going and preaching to people, we try and bring in other speakers from around the UK, if we need to fill in the gap. So, last time I spoke, and it can be something quite geeky and niche. We're really just targeting digital marketers who know about inbound marketing; who possibly have HubSpot; so we can be really niche. I think my last talk was on lead scoring in HubSpot. There were loads of people there that actually wanted to know about that, which is quite a surprise. But yeah, it's been really good for us. It ties in really well to the inbound methodology, which is this value based, education-like approach to marketing.
And that is purely what we're doing there. It's not a sales pitch; we don't really actively sell. We'll talk about Digital 22 at the event, and it’s interesting because it's actually set up by HubSpot. So, they launch this program of the HUGs. There's one in every city, and they're free to go to. HubSpot give a small budget for us to facilitate it and book out the gallery, and it's a really good way of facilitating the community and getting people together in Manchester. People also travel from other cities in and around Manchester to come to the talks. It's good for us to get out there and meet people and it's great for our branding as an agency, and to get our name out there and align ourselves with HubSpot and inbound, to people who have never heard of us, because we're 40 minutes outside of the centre of Manchester. So yeah, it's been really good for us. We can go through the sort of, other sides to it really because It's very inboundy from our side, and we enjoy it.
As far as actually marketing the event itself, how do you get the word out to people to come down to Manchester and join you? Because obviously, the fact it's free is great in itself, but how else do you bring people to the event?
Yeah, so, we started from scratch really. HubSpot tweeted about it once at the start, when it first launched, and fair enough, you know, they've got a decent audience. So, they gave us a bit of a Leg-up, but it took us about two or three years. We had events where eight people came, ten people came; “oh, the World Cup's on”, so no one comes. But we were consistently there sharing. The sort of techniques we use are: we have an email database which is separate to the agency’s, which is purely for people that want to come to these events. And so we do mail outs. We’d probably email, because it's every quarter; probably about two months out we'll just remind people of the next talk, and a month out; couple of weeks; a week; a few days, and just count down.
We try not to blast it too much, but what I would say is, people forget, and people forget regularly. So, we've learned to regularly email. People don't feel like it's interruptive. I think our naivety in the early days was like, we don't want to blast and bombard people because that's really not what inbound is about. It's meant to be just the relevance of the right time. But that doesn't work for an event. You really need to get in front of people and send those emails. Don't worry, people will be glad that you're sending it two hours before the event; that's probably good for people in Manchester to be like, “oh yeah, that's on again”. You know. So, we found it's a total difference between that sort of volume of activity. If we're not posting very, very regularly on social the week before, and not sending those emails the attendance is much lower. And so, from a marketing perspective, you know, the big one's email really. Each email has the full agenda in; the location; the time; who's speaking; what they're speaking about; a couple of images, and then the opportunity to book a space. We don't really have a limit on seats apart from the venue, which could probably fit about 70 people, but we get people to reserve a spot. So there's that buy in. People think, you know, I'm buying a ticket, it's free, but once people commit to reserving a spot, they're more likely to turn up we found. So, from a marketing perspective, it's mainly email and social. We have a microsite for the HUG, which is separate to our own site. It's not branded up as us; we try and keep that quite separate because if it's an agency's event, you kind of feel like, okay, they're going to try and sell a retainer it to me, or they're going to try and work with me. Naturally, you know, we do get inquiries from it. I'm not gonna lie, it’s not a sales event, but because we're the brand, we're the people out there doing it, people do get in touch and we help them. But really, we're happy if we can get some good marketing material from it, some images, some videos.
We can go into the inbound approach of- if we've got three or four people doing talks with slide decks, you know, we can repurpose those into blogs; a podcast with the speakers; you can download the decks, whatever it is, you know, you get all this content from it. Quotes from people who have attended; we can put on our website. So, there's a lot of benefits outside of “can I work with you” that we actually take from it.
So, if we don't get anybody working with us, that's fine because we'll get somebody else working with us who hasn't been to the Hug, but they see that we're doing things beyond the four walls of our office.
It's also great learning for our team; getting public speaking experience. We've got 42 marketers in a building. They're all from the ages of 20 to 30. A lot of them, it's their first career; they're really up-skilling and learning digital marketing. So, we bring five or six every time, to learn, and listen to the people speaking, and they can get involved in the event management too. They can get involved in speaking. So it's multifaceted in its benefits for us and we enjoy doing it. We enjoy talking about inbound anyway, so it's good for that. Yeah.
Anyone that attends, be it the host, or someone who's first time, or someone who's been there multiple times. You're a sponge, aren't you? So, you're generally going to absorb as much information as possible within that space of time. There might be someone that's attending for the first time, and they come up with an idea that you've haven't even thought of. So, the idea is to learn off each other more than anything else...
Absolutely. Definitely, we've learned a whole lot over the years doing it, and what we've started to do now is actually have NPS surveys on the table, so people can freely write their feedback. Anything that they're missing or we didn't do, or we could do better next time. You'd be surprised the things that come up. So it's great just to get that interaction from the attendees. We actually host our own sort of mini Inbound, which will be in February next year called ‘Love Inbound’. So we did that off the back of doing these HUGs, realising that they're growing. We went from, as I said, having eight to 10 to 12 people; to, I think the last one was about 65. That was probably the biggest attendance we've ever had, and that's grown and it's taken a while, but people keep coming back. People see the more video we do, the more imagery we share- “Okay, there's a lot of people turning up, you know, HubSpot are there, right I'll go, it's free”. So, we took that idea and we did our first one this year, of ‘Love Inbound’. We tried to get some decent speakers that people have heard of and it was really good. A lot of learnings there. But again, it was free to attend; limited seats. We said a hundred people. For In-house marketers; just come and listen and learn, and it's worked really well for us. We found that, yes, we do content, yes, we do social, we're sending emails like everybody else. But these are these points of differences where we can do both. We can use the content on both sides, but actually, from a branding perspective it's really good for us.
The next question is: We host Everest, once a year. It's a great laugh, but also it's incredibly informative. If it's another training company, not ourselves hosting an event, are there any tips? What would you suggest are the do's and don'ts of hosting an event If you were a training organisation?
Yeah. So I mean, just to start on the sort of "is it worthwhile" for a training company, big or small- and I'd start off with, absolutely. I can't see any negative, or any bad reason to not do it. I think one of the questions a lot people think, is an event is for big companies; an expense, and why would anybody come to our event? We thought that, to be honest. We're a small agency in the grand scheme of things. But, if again, touching back on the inbound approach, which focuses on personas; customer profiles, and pain points and challenges- if you can put out an event or a meetup or gathering, however formal you want to make it, and you clearly communicate that the outcomes of that are going to be to solve challenges and pain points, and you can get that in front of people and just be honest about, “this is what we're trying to solve for you in these sessions”.
So, ours is a HubSpot user group, we're going to come and solve hubspot problems. We're going to talk about HubSpot things, for a digital marketer in the North. And that's all you need to say. You know, we keep repeating that message over and over and people pick up on that and they say, “Hey, well, I want to solve my problem”. It's this specific niche thing, and that comes up eventually. So, I think for a training company, whether you're a niche provider or a more general, broader provider, you could break down the events to quarterly; monthly; yearly, whatever it is, and just focus the agenda on the challenges and pain points that you're trying to solve, through the actual courses themselves. Consider your customers, and what are you trying to solve for them, and you're going to attract people to it.
From a cost perspective, they don't have to cost that much. You know, ours's is not a fancy event. We hire the Manchester Art Gallery and it's not that much money. We used to be in a place called Ziferblat in Manchester, which is like a pay-by-the-hour cafe sort of approach. And so, there's free tea and coffee, and cakes and food. And that was less than a hundred pounds for a decent sized room. We outgrew that, so we moved on. But you can start anywhere. If you've got a decent size meeting room in your offices, and you're central, you could have it at your own offices. These things don't need to cost a lot of money. All you need is a slide deck and a projector, you know, venues often put them on for you. And we started informally, so nobody expected lanyards and swag, you know, it was just, turn up. “We're going to get some takeaways” and that's it, you know.
It's on an evening, with a bit of food. Do it in a function room in a pub and put a bit of money behind the bar, and it's just creating this atmosphere of ‘we're not making it a huge thing’. So the expectations are set at the right pace.
But yeah, for a training company wanting to launch their own event, I'd definitely look at your audience currently. Whether you've got a marketing database or not, of your current customers. Go out to those first and say, you know, “what would be of value?” We're looking to facilitate some learning, some free workshops; call them workshops or problem solving meet-ups; whatever they are, and see what the appetite is for that. I'd definitely think about location. So if you're in the middle of nowhere, you might want to think, right, we'll go to the nearest large town or city, because transport links are obviously very important. Time of day is an interesting one. So, we started doing the HUG after work on a Thursday night, I think it was. So, it was like six til half seven I think, and we sort of plateaued at about 20 attendees. We never got above that. And then we flipped it to a morning session. So 10:30 -12, and immediately there's an extra 10 people there. And then that grew and grew because people like to just nip out of work for a couple of hours, you know, and they're in the centre, so we found that to be good. So, if you're going to do a shorter event in the week, I'd suggest doing it in the morning and put a breakfast on or something like that, or a couple of sandwiches or something.
So, I think, really define the outcomes like: what are people struggling with? What are the regularly asked questions that you're trying to solve? Is there a theme? Whatever it is in your industry, just try and base it around that and give people a clear indication of what they're going get out of the event. Think of clear outcomes that you can communicate to them. So, you're going to come to our event; these speakers are on, they're going to help you solve these problems. For us it might be HubSpot. The one that we've got coming up in a month or so is all going to be about the Inbound event. So, you can come here and someone from HubSpot is going to talk you through all the updates. You're going to leave that session knowing everything that's new in HubSpot. So that's very clear. That's very attractive to a marketer. But if it's maybe, details on a new course that you're offering, or some sort of legislation that's around the corner; you could get an expert in, just to talk around these pain points and challenges that people are trying to learn around. And then you know, conveniently your training company has something to facilitate that and get you through that pain point. But I'd definitely just focus it on the pain points and challenges. I keep saying it, i've said it like 10 times now, haha.
You said that the format for marketing emails is actually moving away from worrying about peppering someone, and that actually the more information you relay, the better they are. So, I suppose if you know the pain points, you know what you need to be focusing on, then you don't mind sending them multiple emails because even if they read one of five, that one email that they read might help them say, “do you know what, it's going to be worth attending X, Y, and Z, because I'm going to resolve this issue”.
If they've signed up to come to your event, they want to be reminded; you know, you're not just blasting random people with an email. They've said, “Yep, I want to attend next week”. So, they need to know exactly what's going on. Definitely over-remind people; make sure you know what people are after before you put your agenda out. If you are committed to doing this, you can always do a quick tester one, but you first event is never going to be indicative of; it's probably not going to be your best, but you've got to just get through that.
So, we do them quarterly, which is a good sort of cadence for us. At the start of the year, we will book the venue for the year. So, we'll put all the dates in and we'll actually let people know, “right, this is when they're on each quarter”. And we haven't confirmed the speakers for the three after this first one, but let people know early, what's going on and when they need to be free. It just removes all doubt from people's minds so they know when to turn up. I'd say another tip is just diversity of topics and speakers. So, speakers, you know, nobody just wants a panel of four men speaking for an hour every quarter, and you know, mix it up; get people from your team; get people from other businesses. It's not just a platform for you to come and sell to people, they quickly get bored of that. But also topics. So don't worry too much about only talking about your courses or what you can offer, or like someone that's very, very linked to what you do. Broaden it out and just think about what is interesting at the moment; “what's going on in our industry?” Could we get an expert in from some other unrelated area that's just going to provide some supplementary value? Don't be afraid of doing that, because you need to build trust. And the worst thing to do, and what's going to lose trust quickest is just having the company on every month; every quarter, talking about what you do.
People aren't turning up there just to be sold to. They're turning up to actually gain knowledge. So, if you're thinking a bit more out-of-the-box and people are learning a bit more information, this is far more important. You're going to have better attendees as well I suppose?
Yeah, you've just got to focus on their outcomes, not yours. So that's how we approach it. We're not looking for our outcome, which, oh yeah- it would be lovely if everyone in that room signed up with us and would become a client, that would be amazing. But if you go in with that mindset, it's just going to be an awful event; it's going to be horrible. The sales people might want to do that, and you think, no, you just stay there. You know, let's just go in with- what are their outcomes? Let’s focus on that, and that will make it a lot easier. It's going to write your agenda for you. It's going to help you pick your time. If you just focus on them, it just sort of builds the event for you. And so you just facilitate that.
Probably the last thing; one of the regularly missed parts, is the follow-up process of an event. So, you put all this effort into an event on the day; very stressful; and you've got social going mad, and then you finish and you just breathe a sigh of relief, and then you don't really speak to these people until a month before the next one. So what we do is, we try to not do that, and we will always follow up the day after, or even on the day. So we'll take a register at the event. And let's say 70 people sign up on email, but realistically 40 max are going to turn up. It's just how it is. We will take a register on the day. We get the emails of the people that have turned up and we'll send out an email after the event at the end of the day just to say, “thanks for coming, here's the slides. Or if you can give us some feedback, we'll pop the slides over to you”. And then from that point on, we may share with them a couple of things. If we do a podcast with one of the speakers, we'd share that, or we'd maybe share if there's any notes or resources that the people talking mentioned, we would then put that into an email, you know, a couple of days later.
And then from that point on, we've got a quarter until our next event. So we're not emailing them every week and like doing loads of stuff, but just a little bit, somewhere in between. You need to just keep showing up and not ignoring these people until the next event, because then people see through that and it's weak- “oh, you want us to turn up again, do you?” You Know, “where's the value for me in that?” Okay, the agenda is there, but we do little videos; we'll share a blog or you might just find a few third party blogs related to the agenda for the next event and just share those, like, “we found these interesting”. And again, you're just always chipping away at that person's desire to learn and be educated and solve that problem. So, not wanting to put loads of work on people who are trying to do, you know- an event's enough to organise and launch. But pre-plan, you know; two or three emails in-between each, that you just want to send out and keep front of mind to these people. That’s going to again, keep the attendance up for the next one because you're going to be front of mind with people.
Obviously, you do it once a quarter, so there's four events throughout the calendar year. How often, I like this point, do you get a grand-slam? So that an industry, it doesn't have to be a specific person, but that specific company attends in Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4? Do you find that happening more often as your brand grows? I'm aware that accessplanit has got the grand-slam. We're not winning a trophy, but I am just wondering if that's, something that happens a lot now that you find more and more people attending?
We are, yeah. I'd say early on, no. You get tons of people come to the first one and they think “it's not for us”, or you get people shifting in and out. But, we do now get people that come every quarter. I think, because it's once a quarter, it's not that often. It's four times a year. People know what's happening; they can put time aside for it. So it works well for us. We do get people that come regularly. A lot of our customers come too, so it's just a good catch up anyway. If they're in London or another end of the country, they'll come up once a quarter and we can tie it in with a visit anyway. So if you have customers that are based around the country, you know, it's a good opportunity to meet with them. But yeah, we do, we get new starters at businesses; they'll bring the new guys along because they need to learn a bit more about what we do, and the industry. So yeah, you do get regulars, absolutely. And that's a really nice thing. It's nice to build that relationship. We've got people that come regularly that aren't our customers; aren't our clients and well that's nice; nice to have that relationship and get to network with them.
One thing you did mention Andrew; obviously you've been to the US, been to the Inbound Conference there; you've had experience with the HUG obviously in the UK, but what sort of differences do you find there are between the UK and US market? Ultimately, I guess from Inbound, you’re aiming for the same sort of goal… are there different sort of ways you noticed to go about it? Any key trends?
Yeah. So, the US is a huge market and they're a lot more mature in the Inbound sense. So, they're probably three to five years ahead of us. HubSpot's a lot bigger over there. There's thousands of agencies. So naturally they are slightly different in how they approach it. In the UK there's a few hundred agencies now; a few larger sized ones, really that do most of the work and most of the education, but we're all quite broad in who we service.
So, Digital 22 doesn't have a niche. We don't turn anyone away on that basis. You know, if you work in a certain industry. We work with B2B, B2C, the education sector; anything, purely implementing the tool and the methodology across their industry. But what you'll see in the US is, a narrowing down of focus and a niching. So, you'll start to see inbound marketers for dentists, for carpenters or garages; whatever it is. You know, there's, there's that many people looking into it and the volumes are big enough over there that people are starting to segment themselves by vertical. So, I think naturally you'll see some more niche offerings and content, which is actually really good for inbound. So, we're at a deficit by staying so broad because we're marketing to, luckily, people that want to know about HubSpot and inbound, which is niche enough in the UK, but as soon as that becomes bigger, that's why the US are niching down. All their content is focused on their niche, and I guess in your industry if you're selling a certain sector's training programs, that would make sense from an in house perspective, to be focusing purely on that. From an SEO perspective and content marketing perspective that is the better approach; the less topics to talk about, you're keeping narrow focus. So yeah, the US are a lot more focused and honed in at the moment.
As a last sort of question really Andrew, I want to tap into your expertise now… I think it could be a question that's on the tip of a few people's tongues. For a training company that's perhaps just starting out, and looking at marketing tools to help the business, what advice would you give to them? So perhaps a new business or one that’s recently just sort of looked to how they could market their courses better; what advice?
So, tool-wise; funnily enough, we would suggest HubSpot. But HubSpot is not the cheapest software. However, they do have a very, very good free tool, where you can send emails; you can track contacts; you can host a blog, and things like that. So, if HubSpot sounds good after this podcast, by all means look into the free version and that would be a good place to start. But, if you're not interested in that, which is totally fine, I'd look into getting a good email platform like MailChimp; DotMailer, or something like that. You'll need a decent CRM; whether you want to use PipeDrive or Sugar CRM, there's a lot of more cost effective options than HubSpot, once you get into adding features, but I think really you're going to want to make sure that you have a standardised approach for everything you're doing.
So, whether or not you've got four tools, or an all in one for doing social; email; blogging, you just need to make sure that the tone of voice; the branding; your approach, and the stuff you're talking about is shared across all of those platforms. It's less about the tools, and really more about what you're putting out and why. So, as long as you've got a good plan in place; you're again, focusing on those challenges, and that is consistent across social messages. Talk about challenges. Your email subject lines should mention a challenge. As long as they're matching up, it doesn't really matter what tool you use. There're benefits, you know; some have got some innovative bits and bobs, but you can still do inbound without HubSpot. It's all about consistency and defining that before you start. Don't just start posting about your event and expect people to turn up, you know, actually list something that you're going to solve for people.
Which I guess brings us on to- if you were thinking about hosting an event; obviously just from this conversation, it sort of changed my thinking on events. It doesn't have to be this glamorous venue with catering arranged; with a host of 10 expensive speakers. It could just be a glorified coffee meet-up, couldn't it? You know, just regularly scheduled, and obviously a great chance to network.
So, as far as sort of hosting an event, again, for a training company that's perhaps just started thinking about it- What's your single best tip do you think, for those companies?
So, single best tip would just be, like you say, start small, and start informal. You know, a big barrier to entry for a lot of people is “it's this big event with 200 people and I need to register and get my lanyard”. Throw that out the window. Say it's a coffee meetup; it's a chat, and we're going to solve these three things. Don’t set a huge agenda. Talk about one problem, two or three things that you're going to solve for people. Host it central; somewhere that's easy for people to get to, and just keep it really informal. Whatever industry you're in, that's a really good place to start. Once you start getting lots of people turning up, sure, get bigger known speakers in. Look to attract more people but don't set yourself a target for attendees, because you probably won't hit it. Just let people turn up, get some good pictures, post about it, and take it from there.
And just remind us, when's the next HubSpot HUG?
So, the next one is November. If you visit our website, I can share the link with you guys, so you can put it out with this. But yeah, it's Manchester Art Gallery, in November. There'll be everything about inbound and a few other speakers too.
And if you want to find out a bit more about our annual training company conference, Everest, head over to our website: www.accessplanit.com/everest.
So, thanks for your time Andrew. We really enjoyed it.
I look forward to the next, HubSpot Hug, which will be November. Well, I just want to say thank you very much for listening to our very first episode. I have been Patrick today. I have been Dan, and I just wanted to let everyone know that you're more than welcome to leave any comments, thoughts, or questions that you have. We will answer them through future podcasts. Just to let you know also, about future podcasts. We have other attendees from our Everest conference joining us. We have Chris Wigglesworth from CourseCheck, talking about the power of customer feedback. And we'll also have Andy, from London school online.
Throughout the episodes we'll talk more about how to improve your training company as well as marketing trends, or any specialist areas that people want to talk about. Please leave any comments; any feedback, and please subscribe and review the podcast. Any reviews and any subscribers we will always be pleased to see that.
Our Next Podcast Episode
Chris Wigglesworth from CourseCheck talks to us about customer satisfaction; collecting the data, and the best use of survey information