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You want to grow your business. You want to double your revenue. You want to launch your product. You want to be charging more. You want to be stressed less.
You want to be doing the best work of your career. You want to be doing less work you hate for people that drain your energy. What’s the solution?
Everything begins with changing the way you think. The fastest way to change the way you think is to get around people who think that way. Immerse yourself in a culture of people who are where you want to be. Absorb their thinking, learn how they speak, get to know their language.
The fastest path to getting where you want to be is by getting around people who are already there.
Successful people think differently. The reason the majority of people are not successful is because the majority of people are not willing to challenge the status quo of thinking and change their mindset.
If you get around successful people, it will change the way you think. If you alter your mindset, the results will come. You need to learn how to think bigger.
seanwes conference is an event focused on growing your business—to include all aspects of professionalism, client work, products, teaching, consulting, pricing, writing, and content and email marketing.
We have some brilliant minds coming to speak and share their vast knowledge with you. You not only get access to them and get to rub shoulders, but you’re also literally immersed in an overwhelmingly different way of thinking.
We think bigger here. The people here live mentally on a totally different level. Getting around these people will change your life. It will change your career.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- Everything begins with changing the way you think.
- The fastest path to getting to where you want to be is to get around people who are already there.
- seanwes conference is about getting to absorb the mindset of thinking bigger.
- I want speakers to feel valued so I pay them well.
- Putting speakers in a hotel or flying them out is not compensation, that’s just making sure they don’t lose money.
- Every person who registers for seanwes conference tickets gets a year of Community membership.
- For people who haven’t joined the Community yet, the conference could be their entrance point to seeing what seanwes is all about.
- The conference is going to be a very big part of everything we’re doing here at seanwes.
- The conference could be the in-person experience that makes the Community real for some people.
- We’re not about getting numbers—we’re about quality.
- 01:13 Sean: We’ve opened up registration for seanwes conference and early bird tickets are now available. This is for next year. October 27—29, 2016 in Austin Texas. This is the first time I’m publicly announcing the dates. It’s a three day event, Thursday through Saturday. We’re very excited.
What is seanwes conference?
- 03:26 “Think bigger. Grow your business.” That’s what seanwes conference is. It’s kind of like two things, first think bigger, then grow your business, but it’s also connected: “Think bigger—grow your business.” I’m trying to get across that you want to grow your business, double your revenue, sell products, be charging more and be stressed less. You want to be doing the best work of your career, less of the work that you hate for people that drain your energy. What’s the solution?
- 04:15 The solution, if you really distill it down, is mindset. That’s where it all begins. Everything begins with changing the way you think, and the fastest way to change the way you think is to get around people who think that way to immerse yourself in a culture of people who are where you want to be. Absorb their thinking, learn how they speak, and get to know their language.
The fastest path to getting to where you want to be is to get around people who are already there.
- 04:43 Successful people think differently. I used to write people off, because the succesful people’s way of thinking was weird to me. It seemed kind of odd, like, “Oh, those people. They’re always talking about being positive and thinking bigger.” It seems so cliche to me, but you have to realize that they all have this in common for a reason. Successful people are thinking differently, and the reason the majority of people aren’t successful is because they’re not willing to challenge the status quo of thinking.
- 05:27 Ben: Today, look around at the people you spend the most time with. Look at what you have in your feed on social media. Think about the things you’re allowing to come into your life. You may not even agree with those messages, but because you’re being exposed to them consistently, it ends up influencing your mindset. We’ve talked about this before, speaking specifically about how you need to cut negative people out of your life, or if you can’t cut them out, you have to offset that influence with positivity.
- 06:09 It’s not just about negativity. Some of it’s this mindset of, “Things are fine the way they are, and this is the way everybody does it. This is the way we’ve always done it.” Whether you’re completely on board with those messages or not, if you’re exposed to them a lot, they will take root.
- 06:32 Sean: I think success is something you can replicate, imitate, and break down. If you get around successful people, it will change the way you think. I’ve made it a point to try to position myself around people who are already successful and absorb that. That’s not always something I can do in person, but I try, as much as possible, to find resources. People are putting out all kinds of content, and you can get a lot of this mindset stuff just by listening to podcasts and watching videos from people. That’s a great way to get started, but getting in person with these people takes it to a whole other level.
- 07:20 I wish everyone had the opportunity to have a seanwes meetup experience. I can’t imagine that anyone who’s been to one of the seanwes meetups would not want to go to the conference, because it’s just so incredible. The people at this conference and these meetups think a certain way. They get it—they’re thinking bigger. It’s not just a conference where a bunch of random people come together because they’re trying to network and meet super famous speakers.
We’ve got some really great speakers coming, but seanwes conference is about the people attending and getting to absorb the mindset of thinking bigger.
- 08:08 The default here, the status quo, is thinking bigger in a way that doesn’t alienate anyone. It’s not like, “Oh, you’re not here yet.” It’s helping everyone up.
- 08:26 Ben: The force in the direction of thinking bigger is so strong that somebody who comes into this environment who still is pretty limited in their thinking can’t help but be infected. It’s contagious. What Sean is saying is so important, and we often give ourselves too much credit for an intellectual understanding of something. It’s really easy for me to understand something on an intellectual level and feel like I’ve got a really solid grasp on the concept of thinking bigger, dreaming bigger, 10Xing your 10X, and all of those things. It’s one thing to have an intellectual relationship with that information and another thing to have an experiential relationship with that information.
- 09:34 One of the ways you have an experiential relationship with that information is that you actually go through the experience, you take the risks, and you try things out. Another way that is very powerful, much more powerful than listening to a podcast, reading blogs, or even being in the Community chat, is being with someone in person. Being close to Kyle Adams, giving him a hug, and feeling his fuzzy red beard brush against your cheek is the kind of tangible experience that brings that message a lot deeper.
- 10:19 Sean: We did this meetup, Matt and I, in San Fransisco recently. We got to meet a bunch of people. They’ve been listening to dozens and dozens of podcasts, and some of them knew it better than we did. A lot of it is head knowledge. It feels good to listen to this kind of thing because you think you’re growing your business, but maybe you’re just listening. It’s all up here, you’re thinking it, but it’s totally different to say it. You go to these conferences and meetups and you start talking about this stuff, and you’re talking about it as if you’re super familiar with it, but as the words are coming out of your mouth, you get a new revelation.
- 11:04 Hearing those words and bouncing them off of people, hearing those words back from them, you start to internalize it. Some things you may have thought about or heard a lot, but this is the time when they click, when you get away from your normal work and you go in person with these people. You’ve never been around people like this. We’ve done so many of these meetups, and everyone leaves with their head spinning for days because the energy, positivity, the level of drive and hustle is infectious.
Speakers Are Valuable
- 11:53 seanwes conference is an event focused on growing your business, but that includes other things. We all have high standards of professionalism here. We’re going to be talking about client work, products, teaching, consulting, pricing, writing, and content and email marketing. There are a lot of different aspects of growing your business, and we’ve got some brilliant minds coming to speak at the conference and share their vast knowledge with everyone. We have really high standards here—we do things differently. The way we think is different. It’s a long-term kind of thinking, a value-providing kind of thinking. We invest in our people.
- 12:44 We take care of people. We take care of our speakers. We take care of our early buyers. You know that if you buy early from me, and you’ve seen this time and again, I take care of my early buyers. I reward that loyalty. When the early bird price goes away and the price goes up, it’s going to stay there. You know I have the track record for that. I’m going to take care of the people who buy early. I also take care of the speakers. As a speaker, I’ve experienced this before, but I now have the opportunity to treat speakers the way I believe they should be treated.
- 13:25 I think speakers are valuable. I have this beef with the word “honorarium.” This is a word that’s used in the speaking word. The word “honorarium” is defined as “a payment rendered for services rendered nominally without charge.” Basically, it’s like saying, “Here’s some money, but we’re kind of going above and beyond since you should really be speaking for free because we’re giving you exposure.”
- 13:56 Ben: I heard that word a lot when we were playing music, and this isn’t to throw anybody under the bus, specifically for churches. It was encouraged that your contract include the language of “honorarium” instead of “fee” or “rate” because there was that understanding that you weren’t doing it for the money. For most people doing what they love, their primary motivation isn’t the money. For the speakers coming to seanwes conference, their motivation isn’t the money. They have valuable information they want to provide and they want to make people’s lives better.
- 14:46 They feel honor and love to be on that stage delivering value to people. It’s definitely not about the money, but why downplay the value of what they’re providing by talking about it as if it’s something that they should be doing for free? It comes back to a mindset thing. It’s about the way you think about value, the value of somebody’s time, the value of their information, the value they’re providing the audience, and the lives that are going to be changed because of the message they’re delivering.
- 15:25 Sean: Maybe some people think this is a silly thing. “It’s not a big deal. It’s just a word, Sean!” But words mean things, and it’s important to me.
I want speakers to feel valued because I do value them.
- 15:38 One of the greatest benefits of the conference is getting around the people. If you’ve been to a lot of conferences, they jam pack it. They jam pack the speakers and the schedules because the speakers are what draw the crowds, the crowd is what sells the tickets, and the attendance is what sells the sponsorships. Personally, I’ve never been to a conference that’s always on time. At most, they have 15 minute breaks, but it seems like they’re always behind schedule, and it turns into 5 minute breaks. You can barely use the bathroom and bump into someone on your way back to the venue. You can’t really have conversations, it’s loud at the after-parties, and while I enjoy the speakers, I really want to get together with the people who are coming from all across the world.
- 16:32 I want that time. We are structuring this three day event with eight speakers, and that’s actually not a ton of speakers. We could have double that amount if we really wanted to jam pack everything. It’s single track, and I want to give a lot of breathing room. We’re going to have breakout sessions and group stuff, different discussions. We want to give more of that discussion time. For the meetup we did in San Fransisco, we rented the venue for three hours, and it ended up going eight or nine hours. We got together with people in Los Angeles when we were there several months back. It started with, “Hey, let’s get some coffee,” and it ended up being three or four hours.
Time flies when you’re with like-minded people, and that’s what seanwes conference is facilitating.
- 17:24 Even though I think getting together with the people is a big value, and I’m arranging things so we can get the most out of that, the speakers are the pillars of the event. It’s like in the Community. The Community is available 24/7, people talk all day long, but every day we have these live shows that bring people together around a common topic where we can all think on the same subject and go a little bit deeper. That’s what the speakers are to me. They are the pillars of the event, so we can come together on a topic and go deeper with it. I cover all of my speakers expenses, first of all. I pay them a four-figure speaking payment, and I call it that. I cover all of their expenses, because that can be another frustrating thing.
- 18:13 A lot of conferences will only cover one hotel night or your flight. I want to incentivize participation from these speakers, and that’s not incentivizing participation. They’re basically making the speakers pay to stick around. Some conferences say, “We’re going to give you a ticket,” and I think it’s insulting to say that. That’s like saying, “We’re going to give you water.” Of course you’re going to have a ticket to the event as a speaker! That’s not compensation.
Putting someone in a hotel or flying them out is not compensation, that’s making sure they don’t lose money.
- 18:50 That’s the base line, and there should be a speaking payment on top of that for their time. They have to spend hours preparing, they have to be away from their family and their work. They could be doing other things. They could be working on projects that make them money, and I think that deserves compensation. I cover all of their expenses for the whole thing so they can be there the entire time, not just for the time that they speak. They can be there and talk and interact with you and everyone else.
- 19:24 Ben: I don’t have a a whole lot of first hand experience myself, but I know of several people who are speakers who have told stories about this. I’ve heard your stories, Sean. What Sean’s offering, from what I can see from the outside, is very rare. I would love it if other conferences would catch on to this idea. Maybe that means they would have to charge more than they’re charging right now. Maybe they’re under-valuing their conference in the first place. It comes back to the question of value—how much do you really value what you’re sharing? When you put on a conference like Creative South, which I highly enjoyed, not just because of the speakers but because of the interactions with other folks from the Community, the ticket price for that was extremely low compared to the value I received.
- 20:32 I think many people who went to the conference would agree that they would have paid many times more because of the value they got out of that conference. What would that mean? What if you doubled your conference rates across the board, what would that mean for your ability to compensate your speakers fairly? Maybe that means that you can afford a better facility or create a better environment where people can interact and connect with one another. Money is a great resource, but if you’re reflecting the value people are receiving in your price, you’re going to have plenty of resources to provide the kind of experience your conference deserves. I don’t know why we’re talking to conference coordinators.
What’s So Special About THIS Conference?
- 21:28 Sean: Ben, because they’re out there. I wasn’t one until now. We’ve been talking about doing a conference for about a year, and it’s really started becoming real in the past few months to half a year. Even more recently than that, just within a month, I had a conversation with someone who ended up being a speaker, which I’m pretty excited about, and it changed everything. It changed how we’re handling the conference and some cool things we’re going to be talking about. Tickets include a year of membership, and that’s exciting to me for a lot of reasons.
The conference is going to be a very big part of everything we’re doing here at seanwes.
- 22:27 Ben: When Sean took that little sidebar off the conversation about the importance of the speakers to the conference, he mentioned the interaction with other people. Somebody asked whether there was some kind of minimum understanding of seanwes concepts that people need to have coming into the conference for things to make sense. The super cool thing is that because this conference includes membership, they get to have these interactions leading up to the conference. They’re already coming in as a part of the seanwes environment.
- 23:14 They will have already made connections with people. It’s not like, “I’m going to a conference and I might see someone there that I know.” You are going to see someone there that you know, because you’ve already been connecting with them. You’ve already been talking to them. You’ve already been talking about how excited you are that the conference is coming and making plans for where you’re going to go eat lunch together during your break on this day. It’s really exciting.
- 23:49 Sean: Compensate speakers well and be serious about your conference. Ben said, “I don’t know why we’re talking about conference organizers,” but I believe they’re out there. Going back to Your Future Audience is Bigger than You Think, the people listening to this are world-changers. They’re going to be celebrities in ten or fifteen years. We’re investing in them now, but they’re going places, so I think it’s very important that we talk about this stuff. I don’t know what kind of impact I’m having with my very different ways of thinking. Not everyone is on board with it, they don’t like all of it, and I understand that. Holding higher standards, being professional, not blaming your clients, providing value first, not screwing your first loyal customers by discounting, all of these principals I talk about are not super common.
- 24:46 Charging sustainable rates for things, full price or free, compensating speakers—we think differently here. Podcast listeners and Community members get it. That’s why you’re here. There’s something different about the way we’re doing things, and you’re on board with that. I don’t know if this is going to spread. I would love it if these ideas, concepts, and ways of thinking—taking care of speakers and valuing people—do spread. That’s why I’m making my own conference. There’s a certain way I want to do things, and there’s a reason we’re bringing together the people we are. There’s a reason we charge what we charge. There’s a reason we pay people what we pay. At seanwes, we think differently.
- 25:31 The people who are coming here think differently. They think bigger. If you want to get around that, you should sign up for the conference. If you can’t afford the conference, there’s going to be seanwes conference 2017. You can start saving now for the next year. I hope the picture is starting to make sense to people. This is full price or free. We have very nearly run ourselves into the ground investing 95% of all seven employees of seanwes into providing and creating the highest quality content for free. This is higher quality than stuff I’ve paid $1,000 for, and it’s free for you. My model is full price or free. If you can’t afford the things I charge full price for, enjoy the free stuff. It’s better than a lot of what you pay for.
- 26:24 When you’re ready to compensate us for the value you’ve received, if you’re ready to take it to the next level and get around people, then there’s something you can invest in. The people here think differently, so getting around them is going to change your business, your life, and your career. We’ve seen it time and again on a small scale with meetups. Every time I think about it, I can’t comprehend how epic this conference is going to be. I am fully convinced that some very big projects in 2017, and not just my own but of attendees, will be traced back to conversations had at this conference. I’m incredibly excited to see that.
- 27:11 Ben: I don’t think anybody really knows how unique of an experience it’s going to be. I say that not even having experienced it yet, but I think about my previous experiences with conferences. As wonderful and amazing as those are, knowing what already exists at seanwes and having some idea of what’s going into the conference, the people who are going to be there speaking, and the focus of the conference, it’s going to be incredible. I totally agree that it’s going to be a catalyst for huge things.
- 27:51 Sean: Kyle Adams in the chat, who is also one of the speakers at seanwes conference, says, “Offering compensation acknowledges the speaker’s value, makes them want to do an amazing job, and pushes the conference to a new level. Professionals don’t work for exposure alone, and those who do speaking for free are either just starting, scratching for exposure, or doing the conference a favor. That can really degrade the conference quality.” I don’t think it’s sustainable or an acceptable business practice to expect speakers to speak for free. What are we promoting if we don’t value speakers? In theory, they’re talking about business, right? How does that make business sense? It doesn’t make sense.
- 28:51 Ben: If you value people’s time and you see that the information they’re going to share with your audience is valuable and, potentially, life-changing, that should not only be reflected in what you pay your speakers, but it should also be reflected in what you charge for your conference. Don’t raise the price arbitrarily, but be objective about the kind of value you’re providing for people.
When you charge more and people pay more to be a part of something, they value it higher.
- 29:24 It could be the exact same content, but because they paid more for it, it holds more value for them. They’re more likely to act on the things they learned at the conference and follow through, because they’ve made an investment. In a way, if you’re not charging what your conference is really worth, you’re giving people some really great information and chopping the legs off of their ability to carry that out and see that information make a difference in their lives because you’re taking away that perception of value.
- 30:13 Sean: Someone was asking, “How did you come up with the speakers of the conference? How did you define the number of speakers?” It’s a personal relationship with these people. It’s not trying to get the biggest names, but it’s about knowing these people and what they have to provide and appreciating what they have to say, having seen the impact of what they have to say on people and wanting to bring that to this conference experience. The number of speakers is based on not wanting to overly jam pack it to where you can barely go to the bathroom between sessions. Maybe this is just me, but as a speaker, I often feel like I don’t have enough time. I have a lot that I want to share. I want to give people a decent amount of time, not 20 minutes and 10 minutes of Q&A.
The goal of seanwes conference is to provide a ton of value and go in depth on things.
- 31:27 Ben: I’ve been doing workshops, and I’ve done some public speaking before. I’m on a podcast. I’ve learned about myself that it’s really easy for me to go a little bit over on my time. I can come up with plenty to say. I tend to be a little bit too wordy sometimes. I can beat a dead horse, talk in circles, and keep coming back around to the same thing. It’s really good to have constraints. As honored and excited as I am to be a speaker, I’m really looking forward to that experience.
- 32:56 Sean: Ben had a five bullet list, in order, of things he’s excited about. Cory Miller had his own bullet.
- 33:09 Ben: Speaking wasn’t in the top five, but it’s definitely in the top ten. There are so many things I’m excited about for seanwes conference.
Conference Tickets Include A Year of Membership
- 33:25 Sean: When you register for a ticket, you get a year of Community membership. This is one of the big new developments that I’m really excited about. It means that we’re going to be able to open registration to the many loyal seanwes podcast listeners who, for whatever reason, have been listening for hundreds of episodes but still have not joined the Community. I’ve had conversations with people who have said, “I’m very on board with what you’re doing. I listen to all the shows, watch the videos, and subscribe to the newsletter.”
- 34:08 I had my Supercharge Your Writing workshop just a few days ago, and they said, “I’m going to buy that. I’m a writer and I want to learn about this, but my time is super limited. I don’t know that I’m going to be able to invest time, so I haven’t signed up for the Community. I get everything you’re saying, I’m on board with it. I believe in what you’re doing and the big picture of it all, and I want to support you,” but for whatever reason, they haven’t joined the Community. Previously, I was planning on having seanwes conference only be for Community members. We are not about numbers here, just like in the Community. We don’t do free trials or seven day $1 trials.
We’re not about getting numbers—we’re about quality.
- 35:05 It’s the same with the conference. I don’t care if we get 20, 40, 80, or 100 people. We don’t need hundreds or thousands of people. We have had these epic meetups because just 20 Community members together is insane. I don’t care about the numbers. I was planning on making the conference exclusive to Community members. All I want is to create a quality experience for people who are serious. The easiest way to do that was to say, “The serious people are in the Community.” The serious people know that the Community is not, “I don’t have time to invest or to waste,” it’s, “I can’t afford not to invest the time, because if I hadn’t gone in and gotten that direct advice from people in the Community, I would have wasted years going in the wrong direction.”
- 36:43 The serious people are in the Community, so that’s the immediate place I go to. If I want to create a quality experience for people looking to think bigger, take things to the next level, and grow their business, I should make it for Community members. This was my thought process. Then I had a conversation with someone who is very invested and on board with what we’re doing here. I had previously thought of it this way—imagine you take an 8.5 X 11 piece of white printer paper, turn it sideways so it’s landscape, and you draw a line in the middle. On the right, this was people who are serious, people who are invested. I thought those people would be in the Community.
- 37:29 On the left side of the line are people who aren’t serious and aren’t invested. I over-simplified it that way. I realized that this middle line is the fence, and from bottom to top is the level of engagement, so the higher it is, the more engaged they are. All the people on the right were at the very top, because they’re super engaged. All the people on the left, I was thinking, are at the bottom, because they’re not engaged. This one conversation made me realize that there are a lot of non-Community member people, who are very invested and very serious. They’re at the top of the page, but they’re on the other side of the fence.
- 38:15 For whatever reason, they don’t see the value proposition of the Community. I’ve realized that we were missing out on a big opportunity here. My thought was, “The natural path is that people who appreciate what we’re doing here and want to take it to the next level join the Community.” We’ve had people here for years. They stick around. The natural evolution is that those people see how great the Community is and want to take that to a real life experience and go to the conference.
- 38:40 I thought that was the only path, but I realized that the value proposition of the Community is a tough one. Most people don’t have experience with online community memberships, but they do have experience with conferences, and they know the value of a conference. They’ve been to conferences. They’ve had that experience. We’ve got a lot of engaged podcast listeners who haven’t joined the Community yet because they aren’t sure about the value proposition, but they would be very likely to go to the conference.
For people who haven’t joined the Community yet, the conference could be their entrance point to seeing what seanwes is all about.
- 39:25 That’s why I decided that every person who registers for seanwes conference tickets gets a year of Community membership. The awesome part is that this ensures that everyone you meet at seanwes conference is someone you know you can continue the conversation with after the event is over. You can continue it seamlessly with no exchange of emails and no downloading the conference app. We already have an app, and you use it because you’re in the Community for the chat and the streams. I’m getting excited.
- 40:12 Ben: Sean, you said that the value proposition for the Community is being lost on folks. One of my favorite things in the Community is the chat, being able to interact with people 24/7.
- 40:30 Sean: Kyle just said, “I’ve explored other communities, and honestly, I can’t blame people for being hesitant about this one if they’ve tried others.” Hopefully, they notice that our podcast is different.
- 40:45 Ben: The tagline for the Community just came to me: “It’s like having a conference in your pocket.” When I was in middle school, for PE, we played all kinds of brutal games, and one game that we played was Dodgeball. I was thinking about this when Sean was talking about the picture of a paper with a line in the middle, with the people who are invested over here and the people who aren’t invested over here. In Dodgeball, there’s that center line where you line up all the balls, but there’s also the neutral zone or the “red/danger zone.”
- 41:58 People from either side could cross over the center line and be as far over on the other side as the neutral zone line went without getting into enemy territory. That’s how I like to think about the Community. There’s a zone in the middle of people who totally get it and are on board, but they haven’t made the leap because they don’t want to get out. They’re afraid they’re going to be disqualified or penalized in some way, but that’s not the case. We want you on our team. This is the winning team!
- 42:53 Sean: As we did more of these meetups across the country, I realized that a lot of Community members would come out to them, and they’re quiet Community members. They’re shy, on the sidelines. They don’t interact as much as some of the other people, but after having that real life experience, everything changed for them. It was like they realized, “Oh, these are real people, not just avatars. This is so cool.” That in person experience made it real for them. All along I had things a certain way in my mind. I thought, “This must be the natural path,” but I realized that there are so many other possibilities here.
- 43:33 There are different personality types, too. Some of us are more introverted and hanging out in the chat leaves us needing recharge time. Some people like that in person interaction and that’s what makes it real to them.
Meetups or the conference could be the in-person experience that makes the Community real for some people.
Getting the Most Out of seanwes conference
- 44:31 Sean: I like this question from Terence, “As the conference designer, how would you suggest to get the most out of what you’re intending seanwes conference to be?” Having gone to meetups with Community members is a positively overwhelming experience, even with only a dozen, 20, or 50 people there. It’s really overwhelming. Extroverted people may tend to do this more, so I don’t know if this affects Terence, but:
If you put it on yourself to meet every single person, you’ll come away disappointed.
Really go deep with the people you do connect with.
- 45:30 It’s not possible to meet every person. That’s going to have to be seanwes conference 2017 or something. I would rather you come away from this conference with two new best friends or accountability partners, a few good deep relationships. That’s the main thing for me. The speakers are there to stimulate the conversation for you, and the incredible people are there to actually help you take it to the next level, which is why I’m making sure we have time for people to interact.
- 46:00 Ben: There are two reasons why it’s so important for the listener who isn’t part of the Community yet to get their early bird tickets to this conference. First of all, there are going to be many conversations leading up to the conference, people making connections, and finding common interests. Developers will be finding other developers, and they’ll be organizing times between speakers and events to connect and talk about these things. There are going to be painters and hand lettering artists who do the same thing. You’re going to find those commonalities, and the sooner you get into the Community, the sooner you can find those people, make those connections, and enrich that experience further.
- 46:50 The other thing that happens, that you want to leave yourself open to, is the magic of going and not really knowing what to expect or who you’re going to meet, what chance encounter you might have that could be completely life-changing for you.
- 47:08 Sean: Not a single one of the best experiences I’ve had at conferences have been things I expected to get out of it or that I could have possibly planned. It’s a serendipity accelerator.
- 48:02 Steve says, “I always appreciate the level of transparency across all things seanwes. Do you intend to share your expectations and goals for things like conference attendance, or do you feel it’s not relevant?” This is a surprisingly hard thing to predict, the numbers and attendance and stuff. We have so many projections and estimations for things, but it’s so hard to predict because you don’t know how many people are going to buy during Early Bird vs. Full Price. You don’t know how many people haven’t even discovered seanwes and won’t discover it until next year. You don’t know how many people are going to save up, their business will cover it, or they decide to wait until the last minute.
- 48:47 There are so many factors. Right now, all I can do is project based on what we’ve already built. It’s going to be a pretty epic conference based on that, but we’re also not accounting for any growth in the next year. That’s crazy to me. Ben, we will have reached episode 300 by the time seanwes conference happens. I think about what has happened in the past year. It was less than a year, 11 months ago, that I had a conversation with Aaron Dowd in a coffee shop in Forth Worth, Texas, about the seanwes network, which is still in such early stages. We’re still working on the big network redesign to position seanwes as a network. We’ve got, what, six shows now?
- 49:47 Ben: If you count seanwes tv, it’s six.
- 49:54 Sean: There are implications for that. We’ve got things planned. You guys are going to be doing courses. I’m really excited about that. Not even a year ago, it was an idea. We didn’t have the chat system we do now. In 2014, we weren’t doing live shows. It’s crazy to me. Thinking about what has happened over the past year, I’m excited about what’s to come and how things are going to look different a year from now. We’re a year out from the conference.
- 51:03 A year is a long time. I can project forward, but it’s just based on what we’ve built now. Numbers are more on my end, because that’s a real thing you have to deal with when you’re talking about venues, chairs, food, and things like that. Other than our logistics, I’m not worried about it at all. We’re not about the numbers here, so if it’s 20 or 40 people or if it’s 400 or 500 people, it’s awesome. We’re still doing it.
- 51:34 Ben: Can the venue handle 4,000 or 5,000 people?
- 51:39 Sean: We might cap it.