During one of our chats we came to the realization that we’ve been drinking our own kool-aid and it’s detrimental to our business.
Basically Tom and I realized that our desire to be the most affordable event around, has kept our prices very low relative to the other events in the space, but has restricted our ability to grow, which of course has larger impacts, such as 360|Conferences ceasing to exist, being the most severe.
It means we offer way more value than other events. So for the price of one of their hands on training sessions, we offer 4 full days, several hands on pre-conference training options, and more. Something doesn’t add up, what’re we doing wrong, we often ask each other.
Tom and I realized that by and large we offer more. 3 days of 80 minute sessions, pre-conference training included with registration, networking and social interaction for the entire conference, no special parties, no cliques, just everyone hanging out, talking and learning from one another. BoF’s with industry leaders, Rock Band!!, tons more.
So what’re we doing wrong? The short answer is charging too little. Plain and simple we’ve been so focused on being less expensive than the competition, that we overlooked the obvious “we offer more”. So not only are we doing more, but we’re doing more for far less. Great when it’s sustainable, but when it’s not it means you’re doomed to be a flash in the pan, which is obviously bad for business.
So what’re we doing to fix that? One huge downside of our current model is that the learning curve is long and wide. an event a quarter (you read right, there’s stuff in the works). We’re adding more shows to our roster which is good, and learning from past mistakes and starting them smaller, with more of an eye to profitability. We’re also taking our existing events and re engineering them to make more sense. Namely we realize that offering more for a lot less is awesome, and tough. offering more for less or the same, that’s still a good value proposition, and brings us closer to sustainability.
We’re announcing this week a change in pricing for 360|Flex, we’re also scaling our two new events back to 2 day events to test them out, let them scale up. We’ll see how that goes. We traditionally have launched anevent as the full 4 day affair, but have realized that it makes more sense to grow into that.
Wish us luck!