How this live events company pivoted in a time of COVID (and is having its best year yet)

Obviously you can’t do live in person events right now. Well, the founder you’re going to hear about today managed to pivot from live, in-person events to completely virtual in a matter of weeks. The way they did it is extraordinary.

The company is actually doing better post-COVID. We’ll talk about how and why in this interview.

Bari Baumgardner is the founder of Sage Event Management, which helps you to manage a profitable live event or create a successful online video launch.

Bari Baumgardner

Bari Baumgardner


Bari Baumgardner is the founder of Sage Event Management, which helps you to manage a profitable live event or create a successful online video launch.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew Warner 0:04
Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses and I’m kind of anal about the way I do my interviews. I schedule my day perfectly. I should have been done by now. But I refuse to leave because I had to interview today’s guests. If you’re looking at what what happened in COVID, and you’re looking for an example of an entrepreneur who turned a difficult situation around, I think it’d be hard pressed to find somebody better than today’s guests. Very bomb gardener is someone who produces events live events for some of the biggest names in the in the online education space. I didn’t know I didn’t know this. Stu McLaren who does tribe she produces event.

Bari Baumgardner 0:50
We do yeah, it’s to McLaren Russell Brunson. Mary was rocking with funnel

Andrew Warner 0:55
hacker live. I’m sorry to interrupt you. I just want to make sure that people funnel hacker live live is one of the past events because people are so freaking proud to be associated with it. They will not just post photos of themselves at the event. They buy ads to promote the fact that they were on stage at the event. That’s how good it is that they’re so proud to. Anyway, sorry, you were giving the names of other people whose live events you were hosting before COVID. Who are some of the other ones?

Bari Baumgardner 1:18
Yeah, no, and you’re right. I mean, Russell produces an amazing event. Russell and the team we’d love being affiliated with that event. Yeah, we also work with Jeff Walker, Pete Vargas, Ryan lovak, Fabian Fredrickson, Lisa Sasa Vich, Dean grazi oc, Tony Robbins. So some, some names you probably know in the space, so we’re pretty lucky to have a great client list.

Andrew Warner 1:37
The company she runs is sage. They produce live events and one of the examples of how organized you are. Somebody came in before we started recording and move to a mic I swear couldn’t have been more than half an inch away. I said I’m going to show you how to record which is what I do for my guests to make sure we have a backup recording. He came in and said, Andrew, I’ve got another recording system over here. Do you mind if we use Argo. No, I love that you’ve got an extra system to record, I love that everything is so taken care of. And anyway, obviously you can’t do live in person events. And what Sage did is pivot to online and did it in a way that is extraordinary. And is frankly, you guys doing better financially with your right now post COVID than you were before.

Bari Baumgardner 2:22
Ironically, it looks like this will be one of our best years ever. I mean, if you told me that 60 days ago, or even honestly, 45 days ago, 30 days ago, but it’s been a pretty quick pivot and in this space, it’s making a big difference. And we’ll talk about how and why here. But yeah, it looks like it’s gonna be a banner here and not just for us, for our clients. I mean, the great news about this is that virtual events are outperforming their in person counterparts. So if we were to take the same exact event that we produced for Jeff Walker last week, PLF live and compare it to PLF live last year or the year before that, or the year before that or the year before that. best year ever This year doing it virtually, or shocking,

Andrew Warner 3:01
because the whole benefit I thought of events was getting the in person. Alright, we’re gonna find out how she did this thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. And so I want to find out a little bit about what Sage was doing before this because you really produce in are involved with amazing events. We can do this thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first is actually a company that we both know and just mentioned, it’s Click Funnels, but Click Funnels does not want me to tell you that I love their landing pages. I love their funnels, they just want me to tell you that they’ve got a new podcast, it’s called Traffic Secrets, you want to know the secret to getting traffic, subscribe to that podcast Traffic Secrets. And the second sponsor is the company that will host your website, right? If you’re hosting a business, I want you to host it with hostgator. And I’ll tell you about somebody whose business I hosted with hostgator. But we’ll do that later. Can you give me a sense of the numbers? Very we talked about how much before and how much after?

Bari Baumgardner 3:49
Yeah, so this is really interesting. Let’s take two quick examples. So one is a smaller event just to make it achievable for your audience. It would have been 300 people in person in Indianapolis, it literally was one of the first events to get shut down. By COVID, the city of Indianapolis decided that they weren’t first no sporting events and then no live events. We had about three weeks to pivot went from 300 in person to 1200. Virtual, we normally generate about 600,000 from their in person event. These are enrollment events selling what we call high ticket offer. And you know, serving our people like we think of live events is a purpose driven payday, meaning that we really want to extend impact and we want to make income, right? We really want to have impact before income. So we look at our high ticket offer and our live events. It’s like how can we serve people first, before we sell them? And so one of the big like one of the biggest tragedies of COVID is not being able to have in person gatherings. If people live for these in person events. They look forward to it every year. They’re put on their calendars. It’s gonna make or break their business in some cases. And so when we were shut down, this is a big deal. So we’re like, okay, let’s take a virtual we had less than three weeks it became, you know, 1200 people The great thing is they stuck with this for all three days, I want to come back to that in just a sec, but we had them for three full days. And we generated 720,000. Now keep in mind the year before was 600, which is a banner year for them. But we did 720,000. But the really great news is not only did it grow smaller, it netted more because the liability and the overhead is so much less when you’re spending significantly less on a virtual event than you are at an in person event. And

Andrew Warner 5:25
what about you What’s your what’s your cut of this? How do you get paid?

Bari Baumgardner 5:28
Yeah, we charge a flat fee in many cases and depending on the client the size of the event, we sometimes take a percentage so it very much depends on the client and how much we’re involved in their enrollment strategy and producing the event and then actually helping to close sales at the back of the room.

Andrew Warner 5:42
Oh, you help to close sales to we do we’re very much involved thousand dollars just because people are buying the it’s largely it seems like it seems like more than 50% is coming from people buying the mastermind or whatever their offer is.

Bari Baumgardner 5:56
Yeah, I mean, I think for most of our clients, not all but for most of our clients They’re often going from launch to live event meaning they’re launching some program. Let’s take you mentioned Stu McLaren, for example. So people who bought the tribe course now get a ticket to tribe live. And to claim that ticket, they pay a materials fee or refundable deposit, when they show up, we give them that deposit back. So oftentimes we’re not making big money on the front end on tickets. We’re making it on sponsorship on VIP experiences. And on the on the advanced course, but you also have other clients who charge an outright ticket fee anywhere from you know, 197 to 1697. Or in the case of Dean and Tony and knowledge broker World Summit. It’s as high as 3000 for a ticket.

Andrew Warner 6:38
All right, you were in Puerto Rico just before this whole thing hit. What were you doing in Puerto Rico?

Bari Baumgardner 6:43
Yeah, so funny story. We are in Puerto Rico meeting with Stu McLaren and tweaking some of our messaging. If you guys don’t know Stu, check out Stu McLaren and tribe and I think he’s one of the best people at creative messaging. So we were paying him for a strategy day to refine some of our messaging and we were all kind of Sitting around saying, Yeah, this COVID thing is not really a thing like the airports are full people are still flying the media is just making too much of this week. The next day, we flew out to Miami for a live event that we were producing for a client. And literally over the course of three days, just the bad news kept rolling in. And by the time we left Miami, we got we went home on a flight that literally I think there were 20 seats, like 20 seats that were taken. So that was how fast the world changed from flying to Puerto Rico on a Monday having a meeting on a Tuesday, flying to Miami on a Wednesday flying home the next Monday, radical shift and yeah, I mean, in March, yeah, yeah. And that was the last event that we’ve done. So first, we pivoted to Indianapolis. And then we did the quick pivot for another client, Pete Vargas, who some of your people may know beforehand he had saying, Indianapolis was the very first time we did the first event that you’re supposed to do live that you had at the last minute, go online. Was there freakout moment? I feel like everything about you is so organized that I can’t imagine you freaking out. Was there a freakout moment at Sage? You know, we didn’t really I mean, this is strange. I’ve been unbelievably calm during this whole thing. But I think part of that comes from the fact that when you work with some of the names that we do producing live events like we do, there’s always the last minute pivot, there’s always a chef, like no matter how nail down things are, especially if you’re really good at a Roman events, you know, if you’re reading the room and something seems off, you tweak it, you change it in the moment. So we’re pretty used to that. I mean, we often say that a lot of event hosts, certainly corporate nonprofit, are kind of like the Titanic. If you see an iceberg up ahead. By the time we get everyone in agreed to turn the ship, you’ve slammed into the side of it. But our hosts are like sailboats. If we see something wrong up ahead, we tack with the wind. So we’re a company that used to attacking so we tacked pretty hard in March. Okay, and so immediately you said we’re gonna go online, and then you had to go back to the people who bought tickets did they buy tickets at that event, they had purchased tickets and we went back to them and said, you can either Put your ticket to next year we’re postponing to next year, or you can attend this new event that’s going to take place in its place. It’s a bit of an experiment, we’d love for you to come on the journey with us. And we promise you, it’s going to be different than anything you’ve ever seen. And it’s going to be an amazing experience. If you’re not happy with 100% refund your money.

Andrew Warner 9:19
And what percentage of people said they wanted their money back?

Bari Baumgardner 9:22
We have less than 10. Well, actually, let me rephrase. We had less than 10, who didn’t take us up on coming to the event, and we had zero refunds. So everyone loved the event. And

Andrew Warner 9:32
they said, either they said, Give it to me next year, or I’ll take it right now. But nobody said give me my money back.

Bari Baumgardner 9:38
No. 290 said, I’m coming to the new event that’s happening right now. And 10 said, Do you know what I don’t know about that I’ll postpone to next year. And of the 290 that showed up plus the additional to do the math here. 900 that registered in addition to them, no refunds.

Andrew Warner 9:54
900 who registered Oh, just once they knew that it was going to be live only others jumped in God. So why Do you think that it did it did better than because it was online?

Bari Baumgardner 10:04
Yeah, I think this is really interesting. We’ve been asking ourselves that a lot lately. I mean, I think first of all, one of the things you have to keep in mind is if you’re going to take your in person event, especially if it’s a three day and we specialize in three days, if you have a three day live in person event, and you’re going to transition it to virtual, you can’t treat it like a webinar. It’s not a three day webinar, and it’s not a live stream and we’ve been doing live streams for years. It can’t be that like, no one’s gonna sit at home with their kids, their dogs, a parrot, Mama, you know, their neighbor, whoever’s in their house at the time, and, and, and sit with you for 12 hours a day for three days. It’s just too much to ask. So what keeps them there is a high degree of interactivity like these events are highly interactive, for example, we actually have a check in process. Like When’s the last time you went to a webinar and you were asked to actually check in not just register sign up but to check in what

Unknown Speaker 10:55
do you mean by chicken?

Bari Baumgardner 10:57
It means that for up to two days before the events Starts depending on the size of the event a day to two days, everyone who’s attending the event has to go through a virtual registration they have to check in. And when they click on the link to check in, it takes them to a live member of our team, who says, Hi, Jane, it’s great to see you. Sure your audio is working

Unknown Speaker 11:17
via chat via chat.

Bari Baumgardner 11:19
It is in person via zoom, they’re seeing us in a zoom meeting

Andrew Warner 11:23
person has a one on one zoom,

Bari Baumgardner 11:25
every person gets

Andrew Warner 11:26
ahead using like calendly or acuity scheduling. And

Bari Baumgardner 11:30
we actually have created a custom dashboard that allows them to click the link go straight to a dashboard where our team is going to directly help them one to one or if multiple people show up at the same time, kind of like in person registration, we introduce them to one another. It’s like Jane, where are you from? Bob, where are you from? Well, you guys should get to know each other and then

Andrew Warner 11:48
at the same time, yes. And so why do you need to do that? What are you doing by greeting everyone one on one?

Bari Baumgardner 11:54
Yeah, I think it’s good Andrew because we you know if you’ve ever been to an in person event, you wouldn’t let some Walk into your ballroom without a badge on like, have you ever seen that like you go to an in person event people just wander in? No, they have to check in there’s a process. It’s

Andrew Warner 12:09
part of what’s the benefit of that I hate getting the badge. I it’s such a pain. What’s the benefit of making a gift making somebody wait to be greeted or being greeted like that?

Bari Baumgardner 12:18
Well, first of all, there’s little weight, we’ve not had issues with weight at all. We’re fully staffed, and so there isn’t weight, and we can manage the traffic. But I think the real advantage is that this was a new platform, right? We’re using zoom, which people have used before, but not in this way. And we did not want the beginning of the meeting to be sidetracked by a million people saying, I don’t know how to turn my video on or I don’t know how to mute and unmute, or I’m not sure how to raise my hand. We wanted to start on time with no tech issues. And we did. So that’s really, really critical. And the other thing is we want to draw a line in the sand that this was not a webinar. If you ask anybody. We’ve been doing a lot of free online training slightly. In every audience. We say when we say virtual event. What do you think I’ve just typed it in the chat. What do you think of it? Every person types in webinar or live stream and this is neither. And so in order for you to recalibrate their experience, you have to let them know it’s different. Required check in required you can’t come in unless you go through check in. We’re making sure they understand tech. Here’s one other fun thing we did. We sent them swag boxes, all of them. When’s the last time that someone like a FedEx guy knocked on your door and gave you a gift and said, here’s all the stuff you’re going to need for your event? immediately. You know, this is not a webinar because now you’ve gotten a gift you’ve gotten swag, you’ve got all your materials, and you’ve had check in and you know exactly how the tech works so immediately you’re kind of hooked like oh, I want to be there on time because whatever this is, it’s something I haven’t seen but

Andrew Warner 13:43
FedEx for everybody of sending it out. Yes. Would you use for that you internally did it it doesn’t seem like

Bari Baumgardner 13:49
we actually yeah, we worked with the fulfillment house to do that because

Andrew Warner 13:52
yeah, the ship Bob or someone Will you send them

Bari Baumgardner 13:54
to elevate and we’ve used a couple different companies but aren’t we really love brand elevate, they do it again. credible job

Andrew Warner 14:00
could keep name dropping, I want to I mean, I want to see the companies that you use, I feel like if you’re using them, you’ve probably scrutinize them to the level that I need to scrutinize them. So you sent them stuff they get, they get it in the mail or in FedEx, they go and they greet some, they’re greeted by somebody, they, they know that their audio is going to work that they’re not going to have any tech issues. Yeah. And then what happens next,

Bari Baumgardner 14:22
and there are no replays of recordings and we let them know that well in advance. So just like a real roll in person meeting, I mean, you wouldn’t sit up in your room, missed a session and come down to the help desk and say, Hey, I was up in my room and I missed this session, can you give me an immediate replay or recording so I can get caught up? So there is none of that they have to be present, to be there to experience it.

Andrew Warner 14:44
What about this? The big reason why I go is so that I can do my scotch night so that I could have breakfast with people so I can wander around so that I can get on a scooter and go through Austin and with somebody new. How do you do that? How do you get that in person interaction

Bari Baumgardner 15:00
That’s a great question. I can’t replicate your scooter through Austin. At least I haven’t figured that one out yet. But the things that I think really do still work are virtual happy hours where you’re doing them at every event and people love them. high interest

Andrew Warner 15:12
group of people or a few. Everybody together.

Bari Baumgardner 15:15
Yeah, so this is interesting. So it depends on whether you’re a general attendee or whether you’ve purchased a VIP upgrade experience. But depending on which camp you fall into, we have different experiences. But let’s say that you’re in VIP upgrade. And we’ve promised to you and ask me anything q&a reception session or a networking reception. We actually can send you into a Zoom Room, we’re going to greet you warmly, we’re going to tell you to come to BYU Oh, see, bring your own cocktail, right? BYOD bring your own cocktail. And we’re gonna basically greet you have some interaction and get you warmed up and then we’re gonna say, Okay, let’s have some facilitated networking. Here’s what we want you to do to start to get to know each other. We give them a structure for that we remind them and then we send them into breakouts. The breakouts are four to six people, so it’s super easy for them to network around this question timer shows up and lets them know that their time for networking is up, it drops them back into the main reception. Let

Andrew Warner 16:06
me take a moment here. I’m not as nice as you. So I interrupt a lot. I feel like you’re not the kind of person I should be interrupting, but I got to keep being myself. breakout rooms are a feature in zoom that nobody ever uses. What it allows you to do is if you have a big meeting, you can take four people and tell them go do this thing and other four people go do that thing. One of the things that I know that my son benefited from in school was getting together one on one with one or the other students and reading to each other in that setting. The kid can fudge it the way he could if he’s doing it on his own and with the teacher looking at everybody, well the teacher can’t look at everybody right? They just don’t know how to use that. Nobody does I’ve tried to use it in our own company meetings but there’s just not a point to doing it. You seem to found a solution. They

Bari Baumgardner 16:54
have to give all the credit like my husband Yeah, my husband blue who’s also responsible for you know all the tech boy Surgery right now. But the one who adjusted the mic is blue. But blue basically worked with our a good friend of ours who owns an AV production company. And, you know, you can imagine AV companies have lots of equipment sitting around right now. And we built a studio that we call zoom Zilla. And it basically allows us to put all these different zoom rooms together at scale. So essentially, let me give you an example. We had 3000 people for our second virtual event, we took those 3000 people from a general session into breakout rooms of six people each. So they were all happening at the same time. So we found a way to link them all together so that you can at scale, send people into a breakout room of four, six or eight people. You kind of think of that as the equivalent at an in person event of sitting at a round table. Like if you ever been to a general session and you walk in and tables are set in rounds. And the host says you know, I want you to network or share or do an exercise at your table. That’s how we look at as a breakout room.

Andrew Warner 17:56
And you have one like one button that you could press the brakes people out.

Bari Baumgardner 18:01
Right now it’s more like 16 buttons that

Andrew Warner 18:04
you’ll have to select the people most and then put them into rooms. But then once you do, it’s it’s a nicer experience for them. All right, I didn’t realize until last year that a lot of these events make their money from the upsell more than they do from the event itself, which when I discovered it, I looked like a boob for not knowing it up until then, how do you replicate that without feeling like a webinar?

Bari Baumgardner 18:26
Well, one thing that’s critical, I mean, I hate to think of it as a as an upsell, I think of it as an invitation. And so you know, basically, the way we’re looking at this is from a sales and service approach. I mean, we’re doing everything in our power to serve these people for three days. Give them incredible content and Aha, and connection, and a community of like minded people. And I think if you do that, right, what ends up happening in the middle of a three day event is they come to you and say, How do I get more of this? How do I get more amazing content? How do I get more connections like this? How do I stay connected to this community of like minded people, and we’re like growing I can see that you have a problem, like you’re in a certain amount of pain over where you want to be and where you are and how to stay in this incredible space we’ve created. Here’s the good news, we have a solution for that. It’s an invitation to join us in our program. So those programs are generally what we call the high ticket offer. And yeah, it is, you know, in our world, generally anywhere from 10,000 to $50,000, to join one of those programs. And yes, it is where we make the bulk of our money, but it’s also where we perform the bulk of our service.

Andrew Warner 19:29
Alright, let me come back and then ask you about how you got started in business here. And when you got Sorry, I was on your LinkedIn profile, I don’t see a start date on it. Like you’ve met

Bari Baumgardner 19:40
website, my LinkedIn might be like one of the worst, we don’t spend a lot of time there.

Andrew Warner 19:45
It’s good. The LinkedIn is almost like you’ve manicured it to give me just enough that I have that I have some satisfaction, but not everything. I’m gonna come back and ask you about that in a moment. Let me tell you about this. The best zoom session that I did recently was with drew from this Do my kids were asking me questions about insects. I didn’t have the answers. I went to Google, of course, I went to Wikipedia. I couldn’t come up with the answers. And then I went on Twitter and I said, Does anybody know an entomologist who can get on with a three and five year old? and help them answer the questions that they’re curious about? I figured somebody got to be out there. Sure enough, someone was this guy, Andrew from the San Diego Zoo. And he said, Sure, we’re basically furloughed right now and we’re not doing anything. I’ll get on zoom with your kids the day before I say, Can I invite their friends there are a couple of friends that they hadn’t seen in a while. So sure, the more the merrier. We get in, he greets them holding a snake a little tiny snake. And so immediately gets the kids attention. And then he he says, Does anyone want to see this? Do you know what it is? Yeah, some questions. They answer the questions. He says, Does anyone want to see my snake he needs to eat today. You know, the snake eats only every I think it was week or 10 days. And anyway, amazing. And then throughout, he’s answering their questions. He’s teaching them about these and this animal and then he brings another snake and another animal from his house and Another write, just because he has animals and he loves it. And he loves kids. We’re done and I say thank you. Is there anything I could do for you goes, No, everything’s fine. I said, What are you doing these days? He goes, I’m furloughed, I just don’t know. I said, you should be charging for this. He says, I would love to I don’t even know how to get started with that. I just I love being at the zoo. And what this is rekindling in me as the old experience. I had teaching kids I went to school to teach kids. I said, What if I build you a website and you offer tickets to people to come and do this without I paid for worse sessions and this for my kids? He goes, sure, I whatever I can do to help. So I built my website, I went to slash mixergy because I like to save money too. I signed up within minutes. I had a website my biggest pain was I got a little carried away with the design and then I said stop it. scrap the whole design when for black and white describe what he is. And then I said what do you think of this? I showed him This is amazing. Um, he gave me an amount that he wanted to earn. I did three extra per hour, right? It’s just because it’s a good looking website. It’s functional works. And I did it all because I use Hostgator if anyone out there and we’re going to do this Friday of this week, if anyone out there has got a business idea, this is the time to get creative. I’m not talking about to make big money, which you might, but I’m saying get creative put this out there if we got no sales. Would he have been happy? Yes, because he’s been dying to do this. If we got three sales even, yes, he’s sitting at home. He’s now getting to be creative. You know what I got? I got out of this, this sense of fun of just going and starting from scratch. It’s been a while since I hit that get started from scratch button on Hostgator since I got to see how easy Hostgator WordPress is to build from anyway, from scratch, and they’re sophisticated tools that I got carried away with and I said, I gotta go, like be with my kids. I don’t have endless hours now. So I stopped in one simple it’s been a while since I had that creative experience. If you’re out there and listening to me and you haven’t had that really don’t pretend that you want Understand this Don’t pretend it’s too easy for you get into it by going to slash mixergy when you do you’re going to get the cheapest price that they have and frankly the price of cheap already super effective service there was one mistake with an SSL that I did when my site kept saying not not secure. I texted them I called them they answered within 12 minutes actually call them I texted then I switch a call. I was so amazed that I got my solution within 12 minutes I took a screenshot of my call with them I don’t know who I’m going to prove that it took me 12 minutes again. Anyway that’s how happy I am that’s how happy you’ll be I better shut up because I see Barry just sitting there going Is this the way this works and he’s going to talk forever.

Bari Baumgardner 23:34
I don’t think we need to use Hostgator I hope that blues taking the note we need Hostgator probably great site right now use this

Andrew Warner 23:43
URL do blue do me a favor Hostgator comm slash mixergy I set it up for drew from the zoo. I could set it up for anyone and you guys should all set it up for yourselves. slash mixergy super low price, great service. Alright,

Bari Baumgardner 23:57
and let’s say here’s one of the things that you made me think of when you were talking thing about that is that everything you just said is true for drew from the zoo is true for any of your listeners, like, what’s great about right now is it’s like the Ultimate Reset button. It’s the ultimate reinvention opportunity, like unprecedented time, unprecedented opportunity. And going back to those high ticket offers, like if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines and debating hosting your first event, you can host a virtual event right now there’s literally no overhead it’s like virtually no overhead to do it. If you’re a host that’s been running live events in person and you’ve been thinking about changing the way you do it or changing your offer. Literally unprecedented time. unprecedented opportunity. Unprecedented offer. audiences are so forgiving right now, because they just want leadership and content connection and community. And if you can bring that to them. You can totally play with the model and say, I may never do this again. I’m doing this just because.

Andrew Warner 24:50
Right, awesome. And then, well, who speaks to you like how do you feel? You did three days of content right? Yes. It’s all getting speakers who are friends of the the organizer, right?

Bari Baumgardner 25:04
It is, but in some cases like Jeff Walker’s event last week PLF live it was 90%. Jeff, we had a couple of his coaches come in and speak and his son spoke but it was for the most part, the Jeff Walker show.

Andrew Warner 25:17
Let’s go back to how you got started. Before you were doing this, let me look at your your LinkedIn profile. Before you were doing this, you were a sales manager at Council on Education and management. What’s that?

Bari Baumgardner 25:28
Yeah, so that was one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had. That’s all.

I sold sponsorships. It was literally dialing for dollars. It was cold call sales. I’ve been in. I mean, listen, I’ve been an event since high school. Really, I was the person that playing the prom. I was the person that did all the sorority fundraisers like I’ve always loved events and it was my first job out of college. But I took this little like hard left at one point and thought people had said you’ll be great at sales like okay great avatar that hated it. Like that was a miserable job. It was really just sitting at your desk dialing for dollars, but it gave me a really good sense of what sponsors really want, how to structure packages that really serve them instead of just trying to sell them anything right out what

Andrew Warner 26:06
we’re talking about selling sponsorships for events.

Bari Baumgardner 26:09
Yeah, basically I are counseling education management. Basically we go find a niche that was underserved. Create a show, we get some great people from that industry to speak on the show and my job was to sell sponsors on underwriting the cost of the show.

Andrew Warner 26:26
Sorry, I’m unmuting myself. Well, good. etiquette on zoom is to mute and unmute yourself. Like when you’re not talking. I had to send my friend a complimentary note about his son five years old knew how to mute himself when he wasn’t talking. unmute himself when he wasn’t I seen adults who were terrible at that. So what would what did you learn what about what did you learn by dialing for dollars? What did you learn about what sponsors wanted? That wasn’t obvious, evident to you before?

Bari Baumgardner 26:55
Yeah, it’s like I learned two things. The first was that most people just translate the sponsors office sheet like we’ve got five packages and they cost this or 20 packages, which one do you want? Instead of going to them consultative Lee think of this is where I really started the sales and service philosophy that we use today. If you serve people first, you can sell them easy, serve them hard, sell them easy. So go to them instead and say, tell me a little bit about your business. Tell me what is really big for you right now tell me what you’re really trying to get in front of your customers. Tell me if you love speaking on stage, I find out a little bit about who they were and what they wanted. And then structure the package to serve the one and structure the price point to serve the budget that they had. So rather than just sell them something off the shelf, it was consultative and that led to you know, being really good at sales. But it really led to my second Aha, which is I don’t love sales, I love live events. And I ultimately got fired from that job because I kept missing quota because they kept being down in the event department seeing what they were doing. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me because when I got fired, I was like, I’m just gonna start my own thing. It’s when I started Sage I’m like, it can’t be worse than this. I mean, I’ve gotten fired. So what’s the worst thing that can happen if I start this business and it doesn’t work? I’m gonna have to go get a job anyway. So I’ll try and create one if it doesn’t work, then I’ll get a job.

Andrew Warner 28:11
How’d you get your first client?

Bari Baumgardner 28:14
Yeah, so this is an interesting story. So I opened my doors a bedroom in my house was my first office. And I was like, you know, getting my doing all the mistakes entrepreneurs make like getting a website, getting my business cards printed, get a logo, doing all that before I ever had a client as if it mattered, it doesn’t matter. clients don’t care about that. But what really ultimately happened was the group that I used to work in house for heard that I was starting my own gig and came to me and said, you know, we heard you’re starting your own thing would you be willing to take us on as a client, and that client literally led to me meeting Glaser Kennedy insider circle through this roundabout way, and Bill and Dan hired me to plan their events and from there my business literally just exploded because we, from the very first event planned it very differently than what they were used to in their attendees. were used to, and it started the referral based business that we have today.

Andrew Warner 29:04
Laser Kennedy, I don’t know them but now I see bill Glazer and Dan Kennedy, marketing gurus they founded Wait, Kennedy founded the psycho cybernetics foundation. Wow. Okay, self By the way, I love that book Psycho Cybernetics. It was prescribed to me by I’ve never found a good therapist that I’ve enjoyed being with but somebody said, Go talk to the therapist who’s at the equinox gym. Who’s doing hypnosis who’s doing this? Who’s doing that? It wasn’t really working. We finally just said let’s just talk we talked because Andrew I think what you could really benefit from a psycho cybernetics. It’ll help you understand that you’re focusing on the wrong things and help you get control of what you’re focused on. incredibly helpful. I can’t recommend that book enough for people who need that mental focus. So what kind of events were they doing it Glaser, Kennedy.

Bari Baumgardner 29:54
I mean, they were really like you mentioned the online education space. They had, you know, an incredible portfolio. of courses. And they did two live events a year in person events that were designed to bring entrepreneurs together and introduce them to content connection and community. And basically then sell them on their own programs. And they did a lot of speakers. It gives a multi speaker event with a lot of upsells and down cells and that kind of thing.

Andrew Warner 30:18
Each one I sold something from the back of the room, that type of thing.

Bari Baumgardner 30:21
Yeah, yeah, a lot of that. And at that time, that was a really big thing like a buffet of speakers who are going to sell you products and courses and, you know, you buy at the back of the room. Our job was to create a stampede at the back of the room. But again, it led to my next aha in this industry, which was I really don’t love that kind of environment. They don’t love that heavy high testosterone sales environment. And I found that if you served people instead of focused on selling them, the sales came easier than if you focused on selling them. So I started working with someone named Ali brown and really started pioneering the sales and service approach you know, for the female market because women don’t love that high pressure sales. It’s not a thing they don’t like. And so I said, Ali, why don’t we just take this different approach, you know, that’s focused on serving people before selling them and she loved that she was really good at that. We started pioneering that other people started watching we I for years, I had basically a business that was helping women entrepreneurs, coach, other women entrepreneurs, but what started happening is our conversion metrics were so much higher than the men were getting, that the men start coming and saying, Hey, you know, show us what you’re doing over here. Can you do this for us? And we realized it wasn’t gender specific that everybody likes being served versus sold.

Andrew Warner 31:34
You know, I, I knew that I interviewed her a while back. It looks like it was back in 2009. And the headline was, this is back when I was focused on revenue much more so than I am now. It was how, how she did $3.8 million in sales. What sticks out for me in my mind with her though, was her attention to detail and design and personal brand. Like she had asked magazine, which was a magazine that you created. I can’t imagine it was a big revenue generator which you maybe you tell me otherwise. But it was this sense of there’s substance there’s something tangible there’s something that looks different. That’s a differentiator.

Bari Baumgardner 32:17
We worked with her that that was over the period that Ellie and I work together in the event that we produce for her was an event called shine that was designed to service female entrepreneurs and to help them grow their coaching business or their whatever business just to help them grow their business. And you know, Ali was a real leader in this industry, when she took all the things that Glaser Kennedy taught, and I’ve really kind of manly, you know, high testosterone environment, softened, it was all the same information. It was just really, to your point rebranded for women to make it easier for them to access and to embrace and to use and I mean to this day, she’s an amazing coach that helps build you know, multi seven figure businesses. So what did you do

Andrew Warner 32:57
to to make the event live Up to that approach to that attention to detail.

Bari Baumgardner 33:04
Yeah, I think it’s the same thing that’s making the virtual events work. Like if you go back to why are people sticking with us in a virtual event for three days is it’s an extreme attention to touch, you know, to high touch environment. It’s why we have an in person registration. It’s why we have gamification on the dashboard. It’s why we have a dashboard to make it easy. It’s not like you have to keep searching for that link. You go to the same place every time you click a button where you want to go and it takes you there.

Andrew Warner 33:30
Like back when it was in a when it was a live event, you know that Ali’s got this sense of brand, everything needs to feel good. How did you translate that into a live experience?

Bari Baumgardner 33:41
Yeah, I mean, I think it is from the it well, first thoughts from before they arrive, I think it’s the communication before they arrive. It’s the touch points before they arrive that set the tone for the kind of experience they’re going to have when they get there in person. So you have to think about this. So people get have to get on a plane. And women are a tough market, right which is my market for years. And in many ways still is, but you have to think about the fact that they’re often a business owner, they’re often a mother, they’re often a wife, they’ve got their way, a lot of hats, they’re doing a lot of things at home. So for them to step away, get on a plane, spend the money, take the time away, convince their spouse to let them go, it has to be really worth it. And so you have to start beforehand, telling them how great it’s going to be, and how life changing it’s going to be. And then you have to live up to that when they get there. So those touch points of when they show up at the front desk and having a letter waiting and having a gift in their room, and having an extraordinary registration experience and then wowing them the minute they walk in the doors. I mean, Ali was one of the best at this, you know, like I remember one event we did for her we had it look like a normal stage. But when the lights came on, like crowd blinders behind it, you realize that there was a band behind it, and then we slowly lifted it up and you know, this country band started playing. That’s how we kicked off the show. And then we had these awesome hot cowboys bring Ollie out on their arm and an amazing dress. I mean, you know that from the very first minute these women were like, yes, this was worth leaving him for. And you know, that’s what you want to do you want to give them some fun you want to create a show, give them a moment

Andrew Warner 35:10
does that you coming up with like a checklist of things to pay attention to or moments to pay attention to and then brainstorming with your client.

Bari Baumgardner 35:18
It is we have an overarching structure for a three day event, what we call the three by three Ph. D, three things you have to hit each day to make the event work. So that’s the overarching structure, content connection community, one paint solution invitation on day two and decision commitment celebration on day three, that’s macro. And I went through those quickly, but you know, that’s macro the micro is another 500 touch points. So it Sage every event we produce has 500 touch points we have to hit for it to be a sage Sage quality event. And then of course all of those are customized for our clients based on who their audiences and what they’re trying to accomplish. But those touch points matter. I mean, it’s the difference between just putting hurting people in Do a ballroom and creating a truly memorable experience that not only has them wanting more from you there, which is important with a high ticket event, but it has them coming back the next year and the year after that, and more importantly, recruiting people to come with them. You know, if we produce an event really well, the highest honor is they show up the next year and brought five friends with them, who were like, you just have to experience this. It’s amazing. And that’s how you build a brand in the event space.

Andrew Warner 36:26
All right, I’ve written down some notes to come back and follow up with you on one note is I want to know about like what the three by three is. I think you’re right, you did go by really fast and I want more details. The 500 touch points. What are they how do you how do you do it right. I also am curious about Tony Robbins he’s obviously a great showman. He’s somebody who’s whose events are so good. I’ve had salespeople give that as gifts and get it as gifts and feel like that is an ultimate thing to get which frankly, it’s a great experience it’s a memorable one prints come back in tears change lives. We’re going to anyway How do you get him as as a As a client, and what do you do with him? And then earlier you said, I’m going to tell you about a smaller event in a bigger event. I didn’t let you finish the bigger event because I me and I just keep going off on different tangents. Why don’t I quickly they’ll do an ad for my second sponsor, it’s Click Funnels, you’ve had them on as a sponsor, you’ve done their event, what’s amazing about their event,

Bari Baumgardner 37:17
Okay, so first of all, I love Russell and his team, you know, his team of partners and his team, his his, his event team, they’re amazing. We’ve, you know, it’s funny with funnel hacking live. We have, this is interesting the event within the event, which is there are 200 team members that we’re managing at any funnel, hacking live events. So you’ve got 4000 attendees, and we’re making sure that they have an incredible experience. But when you take the sage team, the event team, the clickfunnels team and all the locals that we bring in to help support you’ve got 200 team members and you’re managing their experience to what I most love about Russell, is that he approaches HIS EVENT like a it’s a rock concert for entrepreneurs on some level, you know, just The winner I mean the first time I worked with Tony was actually probably 10 years ago for speech speaker and author networking group but the last two times that we did a funnel hacking live event we had Tony speak on their stage and he’s just amazing and part of it is because he brings that rock vibe I mean you’ve got the lights you’ve got the sounds you’ve got the jumping up and down like you’re transporting people to a completely different place and he gets that like you have to pattern interrupt their normal day to day to get them to think differently. Russell gets that which is why brings Tony in. But you know nothing happens on Russell stage that isn’t like how can we wow them he leads everything with how can we wow them. So if you think about the Click Funnels, this is true of everything they do, and it’s why you should listen to their podcast because they model this and everything. But we just did their last event in January and basically they had this massive led wall was the backdrop and Russell’s like I want it to split in half. Every time a speaker comes out like just move the wall and let the speaker walk through the middle of the crowd. blinder And smoke and music. And so you know, we spent months figuring that out. And then of course it last minute he made some changes to tweak that we had to redo it all over again. But it was so awesome, right? Because that’s what you do when you’re an amazing entrepreneurs every time you have another idea that is better than the last one, you find a way to make it happen.

Andrew Warner 39:17
So this podcast is Traffic Secrets. And I want everyone to go and sign up to it. It’s available for free on whatever they listen to me on. He talks a lot about how to get traffic to your website, get people from, from Facebook, from Instagram from all these different platforms from Google. But episode number five is the reason that he was able to get Tony Robbins to speak at his event. He talks about something called the dream 100 that is where he sat down and wrote a list of 100 people who he wanted to be in business with somehow because they had his audience. And then he started obsessing on them and he told me in the interview that I did with him how he connected with Tony Robbins, he stayed in touch with him. And as a result of that, Tony Robbins had reached out to him he reached out to Tony And then we’re able to do work together, like having Tony Robbins speak at the event. So we’re talking about big traffic, how to get it to your site and convert it obviously using a funnel. But also sometimes it’s just small 100 ideal people, maybe 50 of which will end up bringing you, their customers, their audience, their tribe. And so if you’re listening to me, you’re gonna love his podcast. It’s called Traffic Secrets. His idea by the way, everything has to be a secret because if he named it something secret, everybody wants to go and pay attention and see what it is. So this is the secrets to getting traffic. I highly recommend his book called Traffic Secrets in this podcast is him breaking down the concepts from the book and telling them in an interesting way, go sign up to do it in whatever podcast app you’re listening to me on right now. All right, Traffic Secrets. And of course,

Bari Baumgardner 40:48
one of the things that was gonna say I love about Russell the most is his ability to break things down and keep them super simple. So they’re super actionable.

Andrew Warner 40:56
Yeah, he’s a he’s also like a real believer in this self improvement stuff Are you a self improvement person still? I am seen your funny

Bari Baumgardner 41:03
story. I was just, I was just I was with Tony recently and I was saying to him like, you know, my very first experience in personal development was going to a Peter Lowe seminar. I had like nosebleed seats. It was a big stadium I don’t I don’t even know if the loads are still around. But it was basically a big stadium thing Tony was speaking there. And I won his like CD set on personal development. It was like unleash the power within I think it was like amazing. I thought I’d won the lottery and that really was one of my first experiences with you know, you can change your environment. I came from a nine to five family my dad, you know, it had like a nine to five job fixing copiers. My mom was a stay at home mom. You know, we kind of lived on the wrong side of the tracks. People like us did not go out and create their own businesses. And to this day, my family thinks I’m kind of nuts. I mean, you know, entrepreneurs are nuts, right? But they’re like, where’d she come from? I don’t really know what created that me but you know, there’s always In this need to want to do more and have more and be more. And so when I found that I was like, oh, there’s literally a path for this, like you don’t have to reinvent like someone can show you exactly how to do this. You don’t have to keep beating your head into that same wall, which is awesome. That’s why I love this space.

Andrew Warner 42:18
I’d like a little bit of the tactics that you started to talk about earlier, three by three that means three days in each three day. Each of the three days you have your own three day checklist of things that you want to do. What’s on day number one, what are you doing? Yeah, it’s

Bari Baumgardner 42:31
super simple and it’s to keep it simple, super macro view because a lot of people make live events so much harder than they need to be. So the first that we really believe in is your day one is to create content give them incredible content like over deliver but don’t overwhelm. The second is incredible connection connection to the host connection to each other. But this is the most important one connection to this belief that they can do more like get that that idea ignited in them and get them reconnected to being more to doing more to that sense of opportunity. And then the last one is to connect them to like minded community. So content connection community super easy. Like the goal is at the end of the day, they feel like if I had to leave right now, this is time and money well spent. I’ve had so many aha moments, I’ve made so many great connections, I feel so much more inspired. Like this is this is great, but I still have two more days, which is awesome. Which leads the day to day two is pain solution invitation. And what generally happens if you’ve done content connection community, right for two days, is that by midway through day two, which is halfway through a three day event, people are gonna say I can see where I want to be. And I know where I am in the pain, the distance between where I want to be and where I am, creates a very real pain, like the more I can see it, the more I want it and then the more unhappy I am with where I am right now. If you’re an entrepreneur, you really get this like it is a very real pain. And the good news is there’s a solution. And that comes in the form of an invitation. And the invitation is our call to action only you can do the work. But you don’t have to do it alone. So join us and we’ll help you get there faster. So pain solution invitation. And then day three is decision commitment celebration. And so our goal with decision is that you never come to an event that Sage produces without deciding on the last day to do something different when you get home, like Do not let it be three ways to days you have to decide to do something different. And then if that decision includes working with us on an extended basis, and by us, I mean, the host, the client of ours, then you commit to being in the program and we celebrate because we start the program at lunch that day. So decision commitment, celebration,

Andrew Warner 44:44
and then at lunch that day, if they’re signing up to a mastermind or something, they’re going to having that meeting right there. day number one,

Bari Baumgardner 44:51
we start right there. Absolutely. We want to celebrate them saying yes to themselves.

Andrew Warner 44:56
All right, that makes sense. And then when you give me the breakdown of each day does that mean That it’s on, like all the other speakers to support those goals every day? Absolutely. I

Bari Baumgardner 45:06
think it’s a really big mistake to put speakers on your stage who don’t know what your bigger goal is like, how are they going to do a great job at your event, without any context of why you’ve invited them to be there and what the bigger goal is not just for you, but for your audience, you’re taking the audience on a three day journey. So even the best speakers they show up and they have no idea what context is, they could wow the audience and have this happen. Actually, recently, a really big name. I will not say who I cannot say who but a really big name in the space right now. Top author, she puts on her own event, she’s a big name. She came on the stage, and she was like wowing the audience. They absolutely loved her. And most of her message was the opposite of what the whole event was about. was tough. Like, you’re at the back of the room. Just Yeah, you know, it’s a tough one. That’s hard. And it happens, right? I mean, she didn’t mean to do it. It wasn’t her intention. Do it, she gave a great performance. And the audience did love her. But it was completely counter to the foundation of what we were teaching that audience. So, you know, I think it’s really critical. Don’t assume that your speakers know what you want them to do and how to best serve your audience.

Andrew Warner 46:15
All right, and then the touch points. What do you mean by 500 touch points I’m assuming that if you give a gift in the room, that’s a touch point. The greet is a touch point. It’s stuff like that.

Bari Baumgardner 46:26
It is I mean, even touch points are having a person in the hallway a human being not just assign directing traffic so that everybody knows exactly where they’re supposed to get like breadcrumbs along the way, those touch points that the audience no longer has to worry about how to get somewhere and they went once they see that your team has got it. They just kind of follow you blindly like I’m sure this team is gonna tell us where to go where to go and you show them

Andrew Warner 46:50
and Barry Are you literally sitting down with a notepad with a spreadsheet and writing out 500 different touch points for each event?

Bari Baumgardner 46:57
Well, we have we have scripted the five Hundred touch points that we think make a great live event. And then we customize them to the client based on the vision for their event and their own brand DNA. I mean, at the end of the day, yes, we want it to feel like a stage event. We have high expectations, what we call expectations plus on our side, but we also want it to feel like the host, I mean, Russell’s event feels different than Jeff’s event, which feels different than Dean gracio sees event which feels different than Pete Vargas is event. And that’s important, like your brand has its own DNA. So we want to honor that. But we do that within making sure that all those touch points are in place so that it’s a smooth, seamless event.

Andrew Warner 47:34
All right. Tony Robbins, you’re saying that you got him as a client? How did you get him as a client?

Bari Baumgardner 47:38
Yeah, so it’s interesting. He actually came in through Dean grazi oc. So he and Dean recently launched something called knowledge broker blueprint KBB. And you know, it’s an amazing program. They did one of the most epic launches and our industry’s history together two years ago, followed by a really epic launch again this year, and so everyone who bought into that project GRAEME gets to come to the knowledge broker World Summit, and we produced that event.

Unknown Speaker 48:03
And that was an in person event.

Bari Baumgardner 48:06
Yeah, so basically, Dean is the primary client, Tony is a partner in that business, and he speaks on that stage.

Andrew Warner 48:13
Okay. And then you said earlier that you had an example of a big event that you had to switch from offline to online after COVID. What was that?

Bari Baumgardner 48:21
Yeah, so we work with another client called his name is Pete Vargas. And he does an event called reach live. And he is there for speakers, authors and influencers who want to learn how to harness the power of stages to grow their business. And we were supposed to do an event last year was 600 people, the shear was going to be 1000. So like grade 1000 people, that’s awesome in Orlando, and then COVID head, we had a little over three weeks to pivot. And so we took it virtual, and we went from 1000 people in person to 3000. Virtually, and you know, it was pretty interesting purpose driven payday. Not only did we serve more people, we went from 1000 to 3000. But we up having you know, we, the year before we did about two and a half million and that weekend, this year we did about seven and a half. So you know, it’s an exponential increase in people served and in revenue generated.

Andrew Warner 49:12
He’s phenomenal. I mean, a guy I didn’t know much about him except I got invited to one of his events on a boat. I got to hear him speak. I got to see the people who he helped speak and then I, I got it. I think at that point, if I had if I’d met him after knowing his online persona, or that what he was doing online, I think I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have gotten it, but I got to know him as a person. And so it’s impressive. And God knows I’m now on his website, advanced your reach. I could see the people who he’s worked with who.

Bari Baumgardner 49:44
Yeah, he’s a powerhouse. And you know, he’s been, you know, he’s a brand that was built. It feels like virtually overnight. Three years ago. I feel like not many people knew who he was. And you know, now he was, you know, I think second on the leaderboard for Pete and Tony Dean and Tony’s launch. You know, in his own right, create incredible challenges. You just did a 22 day challenge to have like, I don’t know, 100,000 people and course just produce this live event. So yeah, I think what’s interesting in this space is that you can do that with live events. And with online education, you can literally go from an unknown to, you know, an eight figure business in three years. That’s what Pete has done.

Andrew Warner 50:22
Because of the online event, you think he grew,

Bari Baumgardner 50:25
I think because of events in general, and then the online event was just an extension of that. I mean, the fact that we didn’t have to disappoint 1000 people, that we could literally scale it and not only serve that thousand, but serve 3000 I think, yeah, I think that is a big piece of this. I think there’s not many things about a brand as quickly as a live event.

Andrew Warner 50:45
Pete is that 1000 people coming to the event?

Bari Baumgardner 50:48
He would have had 1000 in person he had 3000 virtually It’s amazing.

Andrew Warner 50:51
All right, what’s your revenue from all this? Like, what’s the revenue at Sage for say 2019?

Bari Baumgardner 50:57
Yeah, so this is interesting. We were just calculating this thing. The other day for something we were doing, and we’ve been in business 16 years, and we’ve generated 450 million for our clients. So that number is client revenues in the last 16 years. 450 million. And for us, you know, we’re about a three and a half million dollar company that is doing everything in our power to become a $10 million company and

Andrew Warner 51:17
a half per year in revenue for yourself. Yes, yes. And then from that you pay the people who run the events the you do.

Bari Baumgardner 51:25
Yeah. So you know, it Sage from the very first day, we’ve really believed in having full time employees. So our full time team who work exclusively with us and take those 500 touch points and implement them over and over again, work here in our offices in South Carolina. A couple of them are virtual, but for the most part work in our offices in South Carolina. And then we have brand ambassadors that we’ve taught the sage way and we they’re in different cities in our primary cities, and we bring them in to to support as needed.

Andrew Warner 51:56
You’ve got an event coming up. I think we’re going to publish this just before the event. What is this event that you’re doing? This is an event for yourself, right?

Bari Baumgardner 52:03
Yes. So this is an event for us. So a number of people came to us and said, Now that you’re doing virtual events, and you figured out this pivot, and you figured out how to do zoom at scale, can you show us how like, our phone has been ringing off the hook, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to answer all the questions about virtual events. So we thought, you know, let’s create the virtual event on virtual events. That’s really the name of the event, the virtual event on virtual events, so it’s easy to remember. And it’s three days it’s it’s may 29, through the 31st. It’s virtual, of course. And you know, not only do you get to experience a virtual event as an attendee, but we’re going to peel back the curtain and show you exactly how to produce a virtual net, whether you’re doing it for five people 5500 or 5000.

Andrew Warner 52:44
And make it a three day event. That seems like a big commitment. That’s why I keep getting so hung up on three day ban. Yeah, but if for three days online on zoom,

Bari Baumgardner 52:53
yeah, but you’re not just sitting I mean, you know, this, Andrew, if you’ve been in a space where you’re really inspired, and you could see something that you couldn’t see before, and you’re continuing to get information and Ha’s and having connections and interactions that help make it really real for you. You get addicted to that it doesn’t feel like three days. I mean, it feels, you know, it’s like, first of all great three days. But I think that time flies get old saying Time flies when you’re having fun, but it’s really true. I mean, I don’t think it feels like three days when every minute you’re scripting, your own transformation, whether it’s personal or business, whether you’re an entrepreneur or a dog trainer, it doesn’t really matter. You know, three day events are designed to ignite and inspire and get ideas into action.

Andrew Warner 53:35
All right, where do we find out about it? I’m on your website. It’s powered by Sage calm. I don’t see it there.

Bari Baumgardner 53:39
Yeah, so the virtual event dot live is where you go the virtual event dot live. And it’s normally a $297 ticket. But I think for your mixergy listeners, they get $200 off. So for them, it’s just $97 you just put the promo code mixergy at checkout, and there you go. It’s hard to beat that. Listen, if you But $97 only come for one day, you’ll be in a good place. But at $97 not only do you get that, but you get two pretty amazing bonuses in addition to the three day getting to experience a virtual event and learn about them. One is our course on how to do strategy sessions, which we usually sell for 997. And the other is our course on how to overcome objections and sales which we normally sell for 1997. One of the things we’re most known for in our sales and service methodology is not arm twisting people into making a decision but guiding them into it from a sales and service perspective.

Andrew Warner 54:33
Have you done this before? Like taught your process before? Or is this just you coming out? because things are different?

Bari Baumgardner 54:41
Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, we created a course last year called rush the lab event blueprint, but it’s all about in person events, right. And so we were about to do an affiliate launch this year on that when COVID hit. It’s hard to get people to take a course on how to do an in person event when you can’t run an in person event. But the cool thing that we figured out is at percent of what works in person also works in virtual 80%. The 20% that’s different is tech and touch. So much of what we taught in rush, we’re going to be teaching at the virtual event on virtual events, which is what is that sales service approach that allows you to make high ticket offers, whether they’re in person or virtual? And then what are those touch points that you need to integrate into a virtual event to get people to stay with you for three days to get them to show up and then to get them to stick? And then ultimately, to get them to buy?

Andrew Warner 55:27
Basically, you know what I’m doing right now? I’m looking you up right now to see is there like some kind of religious thing that kept you from freaking out when this happened? Is there something else that I’m missing? Like, why do you not freak out? How did you just make this pivot and suddenly go from in person to online and have it work out?

Bari Baumgardner 55:44
Yeah. And the last 60 days, and you know, I think part of it is I have a really incredible business partner and life partner, my husband blue, I mean, he’s an incredible human. We’ve built this business together, we really believe in what we do. We really believe in what our clients do, and we really believe that events are that stone and upon the ripple effect is huge, you know, what we do creates transformation for not just the people we’re helping but generations of their families after them. Like we believe that to our core. So you can’t just sit back and not do something and we have employees and that we have not laid anyone off. We have not reduced their salaries. And we’re really proud of that. Like, they’re an amazing team, they’ve worked really hard to get where they are, and we want to keep them. So we didn’t have the luxury of not pivoting you just it’s what you do. You just you know, it’s what entrepreneurs do. Whenever

Andrew Warner 56:30
I tell you, I think that there are a lot of people would have said, everyone’s gonna understand we can’t make this happen. We’re going to take we’re going to take a couple of months, give me a couple of weeks to just catch my breath here and then see what’s acceptable in this new world and what’s not what works and what’s not. Is it okay to charge people when there’s a virus going on in the world? Is it all right because I saw a lot of people in my in my ions in my eye messages come in and say, Andrew, I’m giving away my whole course for free. I’m giving this I thought maybe we’re in a world where you can Charge routes. You’re the bad guy who’s charging and then it turned out that it was fine to charge the Wall Street Journal this morning, did a piece on how online education for adults is a breakout hit. Did you see that?

Bari Baumgardner 57:10
I haven’t seen it. But I believe that

Andrew Warner 57:11
I was shocked to that, that it got to the level of the Wall Street Journal that’s and when they started breaking down the sources that they that they refer to, I realized, I thought I knew all the players in the space, but there are a bunch I hadn’t considered that people are turning to now that they’re home. Anyway, one

Bari Baumgardner 57:27
thing about this, I mean, there’s there’s someone like that for every group. Like I mentioned, dog trainers before. I mean, you know, there’s a woman who’s an expert in training dogs, there’s a person who’s an expert in training, people who own dogs. I mean, you could take any industry literally any hobby, any interest. And there’s someone out there who’s amazingly good at that and wants to train other people, you know, like attracts like. And so there is that opportunity. And I think at a time like this, people need you now more than ever, like if you’ve been thinking about starting a business or you’ve been stopped in your tracks by COVID I think You owe it to yourself and to your people to get out there and get creative and know that I mentioned this earlier. But I still believe that there’s never been a better time like this is the perfect reset and reinvention opportunity. If you’ve been wanting to try anything new, like for us, there’s a little bit of that excitement of like, we’ve been doing in person events really well for 16 years. What about if we just took this opportunity to do them differently? Like this would be hard to do if you think about it, Andrew like to go to our clients. So we generate millions for in a weekend like, I mean, I don’t think Russell would mind me saying we generate $15 million in a weekend at funnel hacking live, it’s a big payday. But to go to them, and it’s working and say, Hey, I tell you what, why don’t we just try this virtual thing. They’re like, Oh, it’s working the way it’s working. But now you have this opportunity. And now that it’s proven people like oh, yeah, it’s an and not know or like, next year, who cares if COVID see or not. We want to do an in person event and a virtual event.

Andrew Warner 58:55
Right, you’re right. This is absolutely exciting. It just the thing that I keep remembering is something that you meant You know, earlier which is people will forgive mistakes right now, thinking about the woman in the Upper West Side Manhattan who I interviewed who owns a gym there. I know the Upper West Side, I know Manhattanites. They want everything just right. They’re demanding it. The reason they pay high rent, the reason that they are who they are, is that they’re highly demanding people. She was doing her in person sessions on zoom, I said, you see any issues with the problem she had? With seems like very basic zoom issues for us. Like we’ve solved it. It seemed to me a second nature. I see how tough it is. She had issues where her class was shutting down in the middle because she was so cheap. She didn’t buy an account for every member of our team. They’re supposed to like shift the user account. And so within 40 minutes, her zoom shut off. I said, where people have said, I know people are gonna be upset in Manhattan for little issues, said no, people are very forgiving right now. They understand we’re trying to figure it out. We’re at a moment where people are forgiving and we got to jump and do something and we can’t I think a lot of people also feel guilty. Should I be doing well right now should I even strive for something this doesn’t seem like the right time. Now you better we better Who knows? What’s coming up in the future, this is the time to set us selves up. And we owe it to ourselves to take these verses into, and to build

Bari Baumgardner 1:00:05
and more importantly owe it to your people. I mean, I think about it not as being opportunistic, but as creating an opportunity. It’s not just about you, it’s about the audience you serve. I mean, you deserve to be paid for the work you do. And I think quite frankly, people don’t value things they get for free, that we’re we expect as a culture to pay for things we want. So if you’re creating something that people want, and you are in integrity, and you really are delivering value, why should you not be paid for that? And why should you assume that your audience isn’t willing or even wants to pay for it? I think it’s a disservice to assume of your audience that they need to have it for free. And it’s a disservice for you to give it away for free.

Andrew Warner 1:00:42
All right, all of my questions. You see, I have my stylus here, my Apple Pencil, I cross off every question that I had for you. And I wrote down notes. And the one thing that I didn’t write down was the URL when I typed it in and redirected me and now I don’t have the actual URL. Where are we sending people if they want to go see this live event that you’re doing?

Bari Baumgardner 1:00:58
Fantastic. It’s the virtual of Event dot live, so the virtual event dot live, and that gets you a three day pass, you know $97 essentially just for your audience, you’re gonna get a $200 discount, it’s just $97 for you includes those two bonuses and it’s three days with yours truly and my husband blue, we’re gonna walk you through the virtual event virtual events exactly how you can do it to

Andrew Warner 1:01:20
the virtual event on virtual events is coming up, it’s gonna be a few days after we publish this interview, we’re gonna rush this interview out so that we can get it up for I get no commission from it. I don’t even know for sure we’re gonna meet each other again. So I’d love to do at some point an event with you. I love the attention to detail. Every part of the interaction has been fantastic. Thank you so much for doing this. And I think the two sponsors who made this interview happen the first look if you’re hosting if you’re hosting your website right now need a better price. This is a time to move to Hostgator just let them do the work. Go to slash mixer to sign up, let them migrate you number one or if you’re need a new business do what I did for my man drew from the zoo. Go to slash mixergy and host for him. And finally now that this interview is over, go to go to rock Bronson’s new podcast. Really. This is the time to listen. It’s called Traffic Secrets. He’s gonna whisper a secret in your ear via podcast Traffic Secrets available in every single podcast app player that you can. He’s never going to go exclusive to just Spotify the way Joe Rogan is he wants everybody to hear his message Traffic Secrets.

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