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Leveraging the Power of Virtual Business Events with Amanda Engler

About the episode

In episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne and Amanda Engler discuss raising a family, running a business and remembering yourself.

Amanda Engler is on a mission to revolutionize the virtual event space and help fempreneurs find harmony between what they love to do and those they love one virtual event at a time.

Nothing is more exciting than pairing a fempreneurs movement with a virtual event experience that creates a shared journey of transformation with attendees all around the world!

She is a key business advisor who can help online businesses understand how their portfolio of meetings and events brings meaningful value, delivers on KPI’s and ultimately fuels growth and prosperity. As well as guide the crucial discussions, weighing the benefits of and deciding to have a virtual event and the impact based on desired outcomes. And most importantly, knows how to improve a business’s competitive advantage and revenue.

Amanda launched Cash Boosting Secrets: Virtual Event Unlocked program and Virtual Event Central Facebook community to show other online coaches, course creators and consultants that their purpose, vision & mission is too important not to share with the world. By harnessing the power of virtual events they can finally create more impact, income and harmony for those they serve and in their own lives too.

She uses her face to face event and online experience to curate truly transformational virtual event experiences for virtual event hosts and their attendees. She was awarded the 100 most influential people in the event industry by EventEx for her work within the virtual event space.

Her talks on networking online to build authority & attract clients, mindset shifts, and virtual events resonate with fempreneurs around the world.

You can find Amanda on Instagram and Facebook. Join Amanda’s Virtual Event Accelerator now.  

Listen to more interviews by visiting momownedandoperated.com and apply to work with Rita at ritasuzanne.com/apply/

 

Listen to the episode

Show Notes

SPEAKERS

Rita Suzanne, Amanda Engler

Rita Suzanne  00:01

Welcome to the Mom Owned and Operated Podcast, the podcast about moms and for moms, where we have candid conversations about running a business, raising a family, and remembering ourselves. I’m your host, Rita Suzanne, a single mom of four, digital strategist and provider of no nonsense business strategies and tactics. 

Rita Suzanne  00:26

Hi, this is Rita Suzanne, and today I have my guest, Amanda Engler with me. Thank you so much for joining us, Amanda, I am so excited to chat with you today and talk about you, your family and your business. Please tell us all about you.

Amanda Engler  00:48

Thank you so much Rita for having me. I’m so excited to be here and serve your audience. I love your podcasts, I think you are such a strong, inspirational woman. And so I’m so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Rita Suzanne  01:03

Thank you.

Amanda Engler  01:05

So I am a virtual event planner, I have been planning virtual events since 2019. And I help my clients scale predictably sustainably, and repeatedly through leveraging the power of virtual events. And it is super rewarding because you’re able to connect so many people with powerful information in your offer that needed most. And it’s super targeted audiences and you’re giving them so much value, which makes it really easy to share your offer at the end of the virtual event, and get the most ideal clients at your event and into your offers. So that’s a little bit about what I do. Love that. And you’re a mama. Yes, a mom of two. So I’m in Michigan. And my son is seven and my daughter is four. And my husband actually just started working from home. So we’ve been like having that whole dance going on in the background. But so far, it’s been a good transition.

Rita Suzanne  02:13

I love it. Do you say do you take your daughter to does she go to pre K? Or is she in like daycare?

Amanda Engler  02:19

She does pre k three days a week and then I have her on Tuesdays and Thursdays and so right now she’s upstairs like playing with trains.

Rita Suzanne  02:30

So cool. And like how do you find that like being able to juggle and stuff because she is for obviously it’s probably not a big deal if she does want to, you know, hang out new stuff. But

Amanda Engler  02:43

yeah, I feel like we’re at a good I love my kids ages right now there’s so sign in, you know, each age comes new challenges, but I feel like we’re pretty good on the challenges and like independence, like they still need me enough. So like, all work in the mornings. I’m a morning person. So Monday, through Saturday, I work from five to seven before they wake up. And then when they’re at school, I’ll work eight to 330. So three days a week I do that. And then on days that Scarlets here I only work in or nap because I can’t. I’ve not been that Mom, that’s figured out how to keep kids entertained while you focus in work. Like I don’t have that kind of,

Rita Suzanne  03:29

I don’t know anybody who really has to be able to focus, you know, my kids are older, as everyone knows, like, they’re 11 to 14, and I still can’t work with them around really like you know, because they, they want to tell me about their day, or they want to talk about something or they want to me to mediate some kind of thing that’s going on. So it’s really hard to work and you know, try to get focused and then get distracted and get back into it. So I think it’s easier just to like you’re doing is plan it out and work in these chunks of time versus trying to continuously work, which is what I used to do all the time. And then I would get so frustrated because I’m trying to work which for what seems like the entire day, you know, because I keep on getting interrupted. And so I’ve learned that I just cannot do anything that requires thought while my children are home.

Amanda Engler  04:31

Yeah, it’s not worth the battle. It’s not worth the fight. I’d rather just wake up at 445 and get to work if I like. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Rita Suzanne  04:41

I love that. I’m not a morning person, but I will and then by the nighttime though I’m also kind of burnt out. So you know, I’ve been trying to simplify everything to where I’m not working on these big projects like I used to and I’m just focusing on education And instead of the actual doing, which I love, like, I’ve always loved to teach, I’ve always tried to teach my clients all these things, but they don’t really want to learn them. So I’m excited to hear more about virtual events. Because the last time that we spoke, I was so intrigued by the concept of it. So like, tell us more about virtual events and like things that just some ideas of like, what can people do as a virtual event?

Amanda Engler  05:30

Sure, yeah. And this is, like one of my main things that I really try to communicate to everybody in my Facebook group, everybody in my program is that different levels of business, there’s different virtual events that make sense and make sense with an offer on the other end, right? Like, it’s not like, you know, a person who’s new in business should be doing a three day live virtual event, because they’re new in business, they don’t have the financial resources to necessarily pull that off. And also, if you don’t have a proven offer, there’s other things that you should really be doing to get that offer out by leveraging virtual events. So yeah, depending upon where you’re at in business, and your offer, what you’re trying to share with the world. And there’s a right virtual event to pair up with that.

Rita Suzanne  06:26

Do you think that you need to have like a minimum like audience before you start trying to do virtual events? Like, what are your thoughts on that?

Amanda Engler  06:35

Oh, I love this question. Just because I feel like it’s kind of like what came first the chicken, right? Yay. Right? And it’s like, well, if you see Tony Robbins and grease lever, and like all these people holding these mega awesome virtual events, like all the screens, like that’s great, but like they had to start somewhere. And it was a lot smaller and a lot simpler, it’s still high value content, still the same people. And as they grew the audience, then they grew their income, and then they could grow like the whole stage presence. But to start out, like, you don’t need all of that. And you can still be super impressive to your audience as you grow and grow your audience with the virtual event.

Rita Suzanne  07:20

Well, what if they do all this planning, and then they don’t like get the conversions that they want? Would you say then take that event and do a recorded version where they could like replay or like in sell that or like what or I guess it really depends on the business?

Amanda Engler  07:38

Right, it depends on the business. And I would say like, if you’re going into your virtual event, you really should start with the right intent. And that fits the first one. And it’s an offering never sold to anyone before maybe the intention would be like, I’m gonna learn a lot about my audience about what they want, how to speak to them. And making sure that like, what I’m talking about at the virtual events, is what they want, and also matches my offer on the back end, when those things come in alignment, when you are able to fight like where you’re at, in business, the right virtual event and the right offer, when that comes into alignment. It is like a beautiful, beautiful, like, that’s where the magic happens. And it’s super impactful, not only for you, but for your audience, they get the most out of it when those things align.

Rita Suzanne  08:27

So what’s an example of a virtual event like what would be considered a virtual event?

Amanda Engler  08:33

Sure. So I consider challengers virtual events, like they’re all online, they’re just have different levers that they’re pulling and different strategies, psychological strategies and different benefits to it. So like, I in my Facebook group, if you join my Facebook group, I have this freebie that’s like your roadmap to virtual events. And it talks about each virtual event type, like the goal and purpose behind it, as well as like, some Hallmark elements. So you will be able to see that too. And I think that’s my free gift for you guys, too. So yeah, but basically, it’s from the easiest, most accessible would be like challenges. And then from challenges. We go to workshops, and then workshops, go into webinars and free trainings. And then we go into summits, which are still a lot of work and then going into a three day live virtual event.

Rita Suzanne  09:37

So I think that challenges is a good start for someone who doesn’t necessarily have a an established audience so far, right? And it’s also a good way to establish yourself as an authority who knows what they’re doing, right?

Amanda Engler  09:53

Yes, exactly. stimulate a Facebook group have one and it’s been dying and you need to get some fresh blood in there. There’s like, lots of ancillary benefits. Plus, you get better on video, which ultimately, you need to anyway. So it gets you showing up and interacting without like a million eyes, like you can’t see the eyes, like you would on a three day where you’re on Zoom, and you see all of their faces, and they’re all staring back at you that can sometimes be intimidating.

Rita Suzanne  10:26

Definitely. Um, so what are some misconceptions that people do have about live events?

Amanda Engler  10:34

Yeah, so I think that with live virtual events, you have to start with the right foundation. And I mean, it sounds simple enough, right. But most online entrepreneurs are very independent and self starters. And they see someone else doing a virtual event. And so they hack in coffee, without totally understanding, like, like I said, there’s challenges and there’s workshops, and then they see all these different things. And they’re like, Okay, I really like this thing about it, I like this, and I like this. And then they kind of merge it all together, and it becomes almost like a Frankenstein event. And it’s, it’s not bad, it just, if you pull different levers that are supposed to be used in different events, you’re not gonna get the same results. And you might be disappointed by the end.

Rita Suzanne  11:29

Yeah, that’s very true. So how profitable are virtual events like profitable? I mean, tell me more, tell me all about how to use this, because, you know, I am pivoting into a different direction. So I’m over here in my head thinking like, maybe I need to do some kind of events.

Amanda Engler  11:50

Yeah, so your first virtual event, again, you’re probably going to be doing a lot more learning. And so in terms of that, like you your time investment will be larger, until you can start to like outsource a team and maybe get a little bit of support. I’m not saying you even need support to do it, but like, you’re either paying with time or money, right. So if you have more time, then that’s where that’s where you’re gonna get feel it most. And so in terms of profitability, I think that every virtual event where you’re providing real value, you should charge Yeah. Also, people when

Rita Suzanne  12:37

they even if they don’t have an audience, you feel like they there should be a minimal minimum buy in, yes,

Amanda Engler  12:43

even if, if you’re nervous, and you’re like, Oh, I can’t charge people for this, the only way they’re gonna show up is if, if you have some sort of transaction happens, and then they actually show up, that’s like a key part of that happening. Plus, they’re more invested in getting the result from the virtual event. And there’s, there’s a lot of psychology behind that. So it’s at the beginning, charging to help offset if if you’re doing all organic, help offset your time. Or if you’re doing paid, then you’re offsetting some of your ad costs. And then obviously, like, I’m a big proponent for making your virtual event, like profitable on its own, and not letting that dip into your profit on the back end of your offer, like you shouldn’t be spending so much in your virtual event that all of the money that you’ve collected from people coming into your program course or membership that but that goes to pay for the event, and then then you just broke even. And so with that said, like, again, charging, there’s not a lot of costs associated, especially if you’re leveraging platforms and programs already in your business, I like to look at it in a holistic view. And also, as an attendee, you want to lower that barrier of entry. So you don’t want to throw another platform that they have to learn, you have to learn they have to learn, like just use what you already have. So if you have a membership area, drop this zoom links in there for the attendees and then go it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. And then again, on the back end, you have your offer, so that’s where you get that cash injection into your business.

Rita Suzanne  14:38

Yeah, I love that especially because a lot of times people was so do you feel like virtual event is good for just course providers or coaching and, and things like that, or is it good for service based businesses as well.

Amanda Engler  14:54

So if you are I think it’s great across industry and niches and it’s like been proven time I’m intending to get I mean, that was the one I don’t want to say nice thing, but like COVID the pandemic, right, I was doing them before. And it was a bit of a harder sell. Because people were like, well, Will it really work for me? And I’m like, Yes, like, well, and now, it’s like, oh, yeah, it works for everybody. And it comes down to like how you package it and how you’re sharing it at the end, right? I’ve done it for memberships. I’ve done it for programs and courses, for service provided for agencies, it’s obviously very good. If you are one to one and you don’t have a team, it could still work, but you just are limited on capacity. So if you get a bunch of people there, what do you do with the leads afterwards? So then

Rita Suzanne  15:51

there’s that unless you’re scheduling them so far out, but everybody would be so antsy to work with you, right? If you’re selling something that’s really good. So I guess it depends on the length of your offer, also, like how long does it take for you to finish a project and move on to the next one? Or how many can you work on simultaneously? Yeah, yeah. So what’s what’s the best advice that you could give for someone who is interested in trying a virtual event this year.

Amanda Engler  16:22

Um, so I have a few, but I would say, again, go with the right intent, and do it live. So like I mentioned, if you’re really familiar with your avatar, even if you’re a service provider, and you’ve sold the service, but you are wanting to like, you know, productize, your information, you probably go in with the intent that you’re going to make some sales at the end, because you’ve already been selling it as a service one to one. So you know how to talk to that person, you know who it is, you’ve got a lot of clarity. But if you are just brand new in your business, and you’re still trying to figure out your avatar, and all that, like, go in with, you know, I’m going to learn a lot, I’m going to invest the time. That’s the thing, right? Like, you don’t have to wait a year to get all of this feedback, you’re getting the feedback so quickly. And the reason why I say do it live to whatever it is, don’t go straight to Evergreen or pre recorded, is because you’re not gonna get that immediate feedback. Right away. And when it’s live, it’s much more engaging, like you can see people I mean, depending upon what format, right? Do you get so much more out of it, and so does your audience. So those would be my two best pieces of advice going into it for for this year.

Rita Suzanne  17:45

And, you know, speaking of like discovering your target audience and stuff, if you have that feedback from them, and the questions, that’s something useful that you can use in your marketing in your content creation, things of that nature. So you know, when I’m helping people discover their target audience, that’s something that I’m always telling them, like, go and do a little bit of research and see what are their problems. And, you know, what’s the solution that you can bring to the table in order to help them with their problems?

Amanda Engler  18:19

For sure, and I would say this, too. Doing it live doesn’t mean that you’re not recording it, definitely worth it. And then you can use those clips from of course, with the audience’s permission. You can use like whatever AHA and takeaways in your marketing, which is super fun. And if it’s recorded, to your point earlier, you’re gonna repackage that and sell it or add it to a bonus laters like you get all of the recordings. There’s so many things that you can do with

Rita Suzanne  18:49

it. Yeah, I’m all about repurposing and all of that stuff. So one of the things that I love to talk about is, you know, we, we’ve talked about your business, and we’ve talked about your littles, and family and all that stuff. But one thing that I love to talk about is you and since you’re so busy doing all of the things, can you tell us? What are you doing for you? Like, how are you remembering yourself?

Amanda Engler  19:19

That’s such a good question. And like, right after kids we’re like, or at least for those first few years, it’s like, we don’t even care. We’re just so busy trying to survive that other person just goes away for a little while. Yeah, yeah. And the kids being the age as they are, I feel like that’s been coming up more in my world, and really remembering that and actually, my husband and I, in February had an adult ski weekend, and we met in Lake Tahoe, California, which we were like big snowboarders. So that’s always been like really important to me is to like have that opportunity to just like go out and have fun and now the kids are also learning to do that. Which is fun, but it’s nice to have like, the alone time and like, get out there and do that. But some things that I’ve so each month I’m trying to do something new that I will not new, something I used to do to like reconnect in. So I started a hobby, our I love. I tried to like either sketch or like paint light was like something I used to do a lot in college. So like just reconnecting to those different bits and pieces of yourself. I like

Rita Suzanne  20:34

that anyways, because I think that as when I was growing up, my mom wasn’t she was working all the time. And so we didn’t see that side of being, you know, creative. And all of these things might she was really into the holiday season. She She’s do all her crafty stuff then, but we didn’t see it on a regular basis. So I interestingly, I didn’t even realize that I could be creative until probably when I started my business, you know, it was like, almost like you’re forced into it. Like I saw little bits and pieces where I would try. But it wasn’t until I actually started creating stuff for myself and other people that I thought, oh, I can do this, you know. And so I think it’s a good example for your kids to show them that they can try new things, or you know, that you can do more than just work and you know, other moms stuff.

Amanda Engler  21:33

And that’s like the other piece, right is like doing it but also not feeling guilty about it. Like taking time for yourself, I always look at my daughter. And sometimes I’ll feel guilty about like, Oh, I’m gonna take this time for myself, right. And like, sometimes I’m even, like, don’t tell the kids what I’m doing. Because I only want to color by myself, I don’t want to. But then like, it’s I, in my mind, I reframe it instead of the guilt is I’m showing them that you can be more than one thing, and it’s okay, especially for women to take time for yourself and give to yourself because I feel like Right, like, our moms never did, because that was the generation, they you know, they had to be working and they like had to be taken care of family. And that didn’t really leave time for themselves.

Rita Suzanne  22:27

Exactly. And so I’ve always talking about how I lock myself in my bedroom. And you know, I do that every day because it’s so demanding. You know, kids require a lot and and so my business takes from me and my kids take from me. And so I’m like, I am somewhat of an introvert where I’m like, I need to be alone so that I can rejuvenate so that I can be better for you so that I can just, and sometimes I’m not doing anything, you know, I’m just sitting I’m still.

Amanda Engler  23:06

That’s so when I started working from home in 2018, beginning of 2018. And I think that was one of the hardest transitions was like I go from work and straight into family. And now that my husband’s working from home, he had a 45 minute commute before both ways. So he had like some downtime, but like taking that time for yourself, like, even if that means you’re staying in your office, but you’re not focusing on working out focusing on kids, like just recalibrating. recentering is so important.

Rita Suzanne  23:40

Yes, I agree. So if someone wants to connect with you, what is the best way and where are you how can they find this wonderful freebie that you’re giving away?

Amanda Engler  23:52

Yeah, so um, the best place the where I provide like the absolute most valued like we were talking before we hopped on is the Facebook group virtual events Central. You can always like hang out with me on Facebook, I’m on Instagram and Tiktok Amanda V. Engler LLC, but in virtual event central right now. Um, so I have yet to play my own virtual event because I’m always doing other people’s right. And so I thought this year, it would be really great to make that a goal of mine to do it for myself, kind of like giving to myself. And so each Monday inside the group, I’m telling everybody what I’m focusing on. So if they want to also do it and they follow step by step, they’ll have everything they need to do it themselves. And it’s it’s free. It’s inside the Facebook group plus I also do trainings and guest interviews and fun things in there.

Rita Suzanne  24:47

I love that because everybody wants to see like the behind the scenes like show me your secrets. Let me see how you do all of the things. So your website is

Amanda Engler  24:59

So yeah, they can go to scaling and thriving.com. And so that is the best place to that’s sign up for the event in April, my own virtual event. So that would be the best place to find out more about me. There’s a whole About Me page there as well. Love it.

Rita Suzanne  25:20

Thank you so much for jumping on. I appreciate it. It’s been so fun chatting with you and just educational and entertaining. I thank you again.

Amanda Engler  25:30

Yes, thank you so much for you that I so appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.

Rita Suzanne  25:38

And there you have it. I want to encourage you to remember that being a mom who runs her own business is not easy. We all struggle, but just keep moving forward. And don’t forget to make time for yourself. As moms, we are usually the first thing to go to the bottom of the list. If your business is overwhelming you and you need real solutions, not just some sugar coated suggestions apply to work with me at ritasuzanne.com/apply.

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