Do what you’re great at

This blog post, from someone who looks just like Che, was aimed at Yahoo! and their plethora of problems. But in reading it, it spoke to me and 360Conferences.

What is 360Conferences, Inc. great at? That answer is easy: Community building.  What does that mean? Why are we great at it?  Below are four points in bold and their explanations.  Hopefully, they answers those questions.

1. It’s bringing people together.

What does “bringing people together” really mean? Well, to us it means this: our events don’t have the small fish in a big pond feel. No one is allowed to be a wall flower, no one sits alone. Tom and I shake hands with each person as they pick up their badge. We stay on the floor talking to people and mingling all day.

2. It’s making it affordable so EVERYONE can be a part of the community.

“Affordable” is easy. We easily captured the market and shook up the conference industry by being not only sub $1,000, but by being one of the least expensive events in the world. In most cases, low cost equates to low quality, and that’s where we have set ourselves apart. We compete with much more expensive events and often times beat them. $480 for a three day conference with meals, SWAG, free training the day before, etc. That’s what we do, and everyone can be there.

3. It’s being part of the community, not treating the community as a “source of income”.

Our attendees aren’t just a “source of income”. We don’t charge very much for them to attend because we see them as our colleagues and friends: people we talk to online, on email, even on the phone and work with. During lunch at the events, Tom and I walk around and say hi to people. At the evenings events, we walk around and talk to those brave enough to party with us. We say, ‘hello’ to each person when they show up to grab their badge. We hang with them, we eat with them, we party with them, we drink with them at the parties. Well I do, Tom doesn’t drink. What I mean to say is that we don’t take attendee’s money then go off to some ivory tower or VIP room. We’re on the floor experiencing our event with our attendees.

4. It’s about not chasing a buck at the expense of the community.

What do I mean by “chasing a buck”? Isn’t everyone? Sure, and Tom and I certainly plan to make 360Conferences a viable and profitable business. To a degree we’re there already. Atlanta made a profit, but Europe ate it up. We learned though, so next time Europe won’t eat our profits. That’s huge! That means that conferences that don’t cost an arm and a leg are a viable business. So why is everyone else charging so much? Good question.