The beauty of events is that your options are endless for creating an inspiring, authentic and meaningful way to connect, broker Pam Blair writes.

Events have been the backbone of my business for over a decade. You would think that after hosting over 100 successful events I would step into the next one with confidence and ease. It just doesn’t seem to work that way.

My mind has endless objections.

  • I don’t have the time. 
  • It takes SO much energy
  • I don’t have the money
  • What if no one comes?

There is potential truth in all of these “what ifs,” but my experience is that events are a powerful way to connect with clients and community on any budget with any amount of time and, yes, the people will come.

My 3 pillars for hosting a successful event are simple

  1. Authenticity: Any event that I create must be in alignment with my brand or values. It must reflect me in an honest and sincere way. This ensures that I feel comfortable in creating it and being in it. It will attract like-minded people with whom I want to spend my valuable time.
  2. It’s about them: My events are always about those who attend. I must know my audience and who I want to attract. My message is one of gratitude toward my clients and community. The event is a symbol of giving back.
  3. Trust: Despite the doubting voices inside my head, I remind myself that it is not about the number but the quality of people who attend. I practice knowing that whoever is supposed to be there will come and those who are not supposed to be there will not. I look for the perfection in the experience.

Events can be time-consuming and expensive, but they don’t have to be. Below are three examples of events that vary widely in budget, time and energy expenditure.

The zero-budget event

 In 2011, my Wellness Series was born. I had just branded myself as YogaBug Real Estate and wanted a way to tell my yoga students that I was a real estate agent without ending my classes with, “By the way, when you are ready to buy or sell call me. Namaste.”

I knew a ton of wellness practitioners and decided to invite them into my real estate office to present. My job was to do all the advertising, which amounted to announcing the series in my yoga classes, on social media and in my newsletter and posting a few fliers at the yoga studios.

It ended up being a win-win all around. The attendees received valuable information at no cost. The presenters inevitably got business from the events. It gave me a platform to invite my yoga peeps into my real estate office, show gratitude and ask for their business. Over a decade later, I still have attendees and presenters call me with their real estate needs.

The ‘more energy but not much more money’ event

Another one of my passions is dogs. The Portland Dog Boneanza started with an idea to bring a dog photographer to my neighborhood for an afternoon. Rarely does anything stay that simple for me.

The event bloomed into me kicking off the event with doggie yoga followed by “The Party” at the local pet store. We have the pet photographer, a huge raffle showcasing items from local businesses, a dog-owner look-alike contest, dog games, puppuccino being served and more. All the proceeds go to a local dog shelter that shows up with adorable dogs for adoption.

This event takes considerably more energy than the Wellness Series did but surprisingly little money, I pay for the pet photographer and hire a photographer/videographer to capture the magic of the day to use for future Boneanza advertising.

Most of the promotion is either grassroots legwork or online. Almost all of the items are donated. This annual event has exposed me to so many people I would not otherwise know. The smiles and wags on that day are priceless.

Go big or go home

In January, I decided to go for it and throw a Watch Party to celebrate the airing of my first episode ofThe American Dream. This was really a client appreciation event, but I used the TV show as a focal point.

We held it at an upscale theatre that felt like an enormous and luxurious living room with servers taking drink orders as healthy delicious food was served. I was so nervous about filling the space but decided to dive in deep and rent the biggest room they had.

As people filled the room and got cozy, images of clients, friends, their houses and my filming crew with messages of gratitude filled the big screen. At showtime, I stood in front of the huge room and expressed my gratitude for everyone in my life. I made sure that they knew that they were the reason that I had “The American Dream” opportunity.

I also humbly asked for their help with ideas for the show as well as the real estate business for 2024. Witnessing my clients and dear friends relaxing, smiling and enjoying themselves as they showed up to support me was overwhelming. I think that everyone who came will be sharing with others about that day. If you need a dopamine hit, throw a Watch Party.

The beauty of events is that the ideas are endless but don’t let yourself get analysis paralysis. Keep it simple and doable. As my dear friend and social media queen Katie Lance, often says: “Done is better than perfect.” The truth is that it will be perfect as well, in the end. 

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