Ep. #61 - The Ultimate Virtual Event - Lorna Reeves

09 Nov 2020

A bit about my guest on today’s episode:

My Guest today is Lorna Reeves who is the Founder of MyOhMy Events

Founder of MyOhMy Events, Lorna took her 15 year experience and forensics, running a Forensic team of 160 people, multi- million pound contract and attention to detail and dedicates her work to elevating the brands of business owners and entrepreneurs, through interactive, immersive multi-sensory events face to face and online.

What we’ll be discussing today:

  • Shifting a face to face delivery online
  • Avoiding boring flat one-way webinars
  • My 6 step EVENTS model from concept to delivery
  • Breaking planning down into stages.
  • Tips and tricks for online delivery

Listen to the Full Episode

Ever since Covid arrived, one of the industries to take a hit is events. The lack of in-person events however does not mean you should give up on running events in your business. 2020 has shown us that businesses can thrive through online platforms. As long as you have an online presence, there is nothing you can’t do. New software is constantly emerging to make the transition to virtual working even easier. Whether you have a 1:1 meeting, group workshops, or conferences for hundreds of people, there is a platform out there no matter the event.

So just jump onto a Zoom call, right? If you’re feeling hesitant about hosting a virtual event, it’s understandable. Switching from face-to-face to online meetings requires adapting what you do, and the fear can start to set in. This guide takes you through steps you can take to create the ultimate virtual event and overcome the fear of transitioning to online.

Taking things step by step

If you’re new to the world of Zoom and video calling, take baby steps. Start off having a 1:1 and get to grips with the basics such as starting and ending calls, muting, and screen sharing. Once you have this mastered, then expand it. Try a call with 5 or 10 people. And so it grows. Video calls are something worth pivoting to, as otherwise you may as well just have a regular phone call. You want to be giving clients the most immersive and valuable experience possible, and video conferencing is the better way to do so and has far more potential.

The journey from initial concept to actual delivery is something to take step by step too. When you’re planning, you need to explore what you want to do and how you’re going to do it and have a vision of what you want people to feel by the end of the event.

You then need to use those ideas and put them into motion, working out what platform is best, the format of the event, how are you going to sell tickets? Marketing strategy comes into play here. Only once you’ve got those ticket sales coming in can you put the finishing touches to any event resources and get ready for showtime.

There’s a whole process to launching your virtual event, but breaking things into smaller steps makes it more manageable.

Creating engaging online delivery

Just like an in-person event, the structure and delivery of virtual events matters. You want people to get the most out of an event they possibly can, so the trick is to not end up thinking that one-way webinars are the only possible events to host online.

What do you want people to feel after your event? What do you want them to experience and take away from it?

“The days of chalk and talk are gone” - Lorna Reeves

You have to be innovative. People aren’t going to concentrate for a 5-hour virtual event if it is all one-way flat presentations.

Think about how you can get people to engage. Depending on the number of people involved and the platform being used, this can vary. If speaking to individuals isn’t possible, are there other ways they can interact? Polls, drawing on slides, chat rooms.

Can you actively ask someone on a Zoom call to share their thoughts? If you notice people starting to get distracted, can you bring in other forms of media and switch from slides to face-to-face call again?

Even before a call starts, are you able to have an activity in the virtual waiting room area?

There are so many possibilities out there to get creative and deliver just as much as value as an in-person event. Be innovative.

Keeping up the energy levels

Running online events requires a lot of energy and you need to be energetic to keep your audience engaged during a virtual event. Planning your schedule effectively and keeping on top of your diary is essential for reducing event hangover. If you have a fully booked day, know that it’s ok to give yourself time off the next day. Help yourself and the people attending by finding that balance in your schedule, so you don’t get burnt out. The more energy you have when it comes round to the event, the more you and your clients will get out of it.

Running successful virtual events are 100% doable. With some innovation and adaptation to make your business work online, you can create the ultimate virtual event for clients. The work from home lifestyle is something that is no doubt here to stay, so it’s time to pivot how you do things to run a sustainable business that still revolves around what you care about.

Giveaway

  • How to plan & launch successful event in 12 weeks

How to get hold of Lorna:

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/Lorna-Reeves-Planner/
Facebook - https://facebook.com/myohmyevent
Insta - https://instagram.com/myohmy_events
Website - https://www.myohmyevents.com

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The Full Transcript:

Announcer (11s):
You're listening to the Fearless Business Podcast. You're in the best place to learn about how to grow a business, get more clients and make more money without fears and limitations, all while having fun in the process. Robin Waite is the Founder of Fearless Business, a business accelerator helping coaches, consultants, and freelancers double their income and more. Now, here's your host, Robin Waite.

Robin Waite (42s):
Welcome back, everybody. It's the next episode of the Fearless Business Podcast. I'm your host, Robin Waite, The Fearless Business Coach. And we are blessed. We've got a fantastic guest today Lorna Reeves, who is the Founder of MyOhMy Events. Welcome to the podcast, Lorna.

Lorna Reeves (56s):
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Robin Waite (58s):
So you founded MyOhMy Events. And obviously, events have taken a massive turn, haven't they? Over the last six months. It'd be remiss to give it not give a nod to COVID. But obviously, this meant that you had to transition your business quite dramatically. But talk to us about what's going on in the online event world at the moment.

Lorna Reeves (1m 19s):
Oh, everything, everything is happening at the moment. Suffice to say, if you've not got a footprint in the online world, you're probably not going to make it the next six months. Even in the last six months, the software is changing. The options that are open to you are massively changing.

Robin Waite (1m 40s):
I think we, as MyOhMy Events are on nine different platforms of delivery for our clients at the moment. I'm trying to keep up with the releases that almost weekly are pretty phenomenal at the minute. But there's nothing, which is exciting for me, there's nothing you can't do online that you couldn't do face to face.

Lorna Reeves (1m 60s):
Short of hug someone which is just not approved anywhere at the moment. There's pretty much nothing you can't do in the online space with the right platform at the moment.

Robin Waite (2m 10s):
So what you mentioned about what's going on at the moment, and why not being online is going to be a detriment to a small business. And we're talking here, sort of, you know, our audiences, coaches, consultants and freelancers. And I know that a lot of people are quite fearful of jumping onto Zoom and doing multi person events. When, in my opinion, it's one of the best marketing platforms that are available to us at the moment. But what do you think some of the simple ways that people can get started, if they are a little bit fearful at the moment, in terms of taking their event, what they do online?

Lorna Reeves (2m 44s):
So I would say baby steps. First start off with, rather than having phone calls with your clients, you should be having a video conference calls with your clients. The sooner you get more comfortable just stopping and starting calls transactional calls between you and me, the quicker you find a way around a platform, and you find that muscle memory. So then that when you do go to do a five-person event, you're not worried about where do I find my mute button? Where do I find my share button? You're on that already. So that then you can scale up to thinking about webinars. How do I do what I do in a bigger way? So you're taking tiny incremental steps each time. I also would have a think about the feel of your event.

Lorna Reeves (3m 28s):
So don't just say, "Right, I'm going to shift my face to face event, and I am going to move it to Zoom because I do my pop quiz on Zoom. And I know how to use that one." Think about what feeling do you want to give your people, your attendees, your clients at the end of that session? So when I used to work in face-to-face events, we might go back there. We very much worked in 4D. So we looked at tackling people's senses on multiple levels. If you can tap into someones memory. And their senses, your brain will tie the two together and they walk away remembering more of your material, which is ultimately what you want. There's no point in teaching a five-hour webinar and they remember the first 20 minutes.

Lorna Reeves (4m 11s):
Online is exactly the same. How do you want them to feel? Do you want them to reflect? Do you want them to experience? Do you want them to go away practice demonstrate? How do you want them to feel at the end of it? What are you want the skills to be when you walk away from it? And then when you've thought about that, you can think about what platform will do the things that you want to do. And if you can use Zoom, which in my opinion is the most intuitive platform, you can pretty much figure out most things. And there's obviously nuances and tweaks and weekly releases on many, many platforms, but it's a good start of a six. So think about the tools that you want.

Lorna Reeves (4m 52s):
Is flipped charting important to you? Is group work important to you? Is the ability to be able to play music continually important to you? So we can jump in on my campaign #nomoreboringwebinars. The days of talk and talk are gone. Even if you're doing it as a marketing perspective, you need to be engaging people. You need to be having conversation. And even if that's not them access in there, Mike, how do you get them to engage in other ways? How do you get them to draw on your slides? How do you create a dynamic heatmap with your slides? How do you get them polling? How do you get them engaging and having a conversation with you in the virtual space?

Robin Waite (5m 35s):
It was interesting because when obviously everything kicked off back in March and most people were taken their businesses online. One of the biggest objections I kept on hearing was, "Oh my thing, it won't work online. It won't work on Zoom." And it's like, no, of course, a fucking way. Because, it's a different platform. It's a different medium. You were going to have to adapt what you do and find a way to make it work online. And I think a lot of people were either little bit complacent or a bit lazy. They didn't want to have to innovate and behave differently. Because all it is. All I've found with being online is the message is the same. Message doesn't change because that's the way education works. So if you want people to learn message has to stay the same. But for me, for example, I just had to be like, if it's even possible or a 10%, an exaggerated version of myself just to make the entertainment factor, that little bit better through Zoom and online.

Robin Waite (6m 26s):

And simple things like, you know, I used to have boring white shelves and a boring white wall over on one side and all these books on the other end. I was like, I needed to create something that looks nice and appealing behind because literally everything now I'm going to be doing is going to be online. And get my brand colors involved in it.

Lorna Reeves (6m 42s):
Yeah.

Robin Waite (6m 42s):
And I think its feel a little bit its the lazy people who I haven't been able to make that transition.

Lorna Reeves (6m 48s):
All of the scared people. People that have gone. I can stand up in the front of a room of 200 people or I can do intimate workshops, but I don't know how to do online. So I'm just not going to do. I'm going to wait for the storm to pass. And the sad news is, it's not gonna pass this storm is not going to pass [inaudible] speak English. We were looking at the fourth industrial revolution. This is how it is going to be. This is how audiences are expecting to interact. How audiences are expecting to be taught. You do need to think about moving into the online space with some conviction and with some structure.

Lorna Reeves (7m 28s):
Yes, backgrounds play a big part. And I can go into a whole section about what your background says, and the psychology of the background, and the colors that you're using and your background, and how that influences the atmosphere of the room. But that's a much deeper level. All of that is irrelevant. If you haven't got space. If you're not occupying some online space it doesn't matter. I was speaking to a client last week who is nervous. "Really? I'm not sure we can do this. I'm not sure my audience and then all of her audience academics. I'm not sure if they appreciate this space. I'm probably just better off producing a book and sending it to them." I said, "One, listen to Robin. You should produce the book anyway.

Lorna Reeves (8m 10s):
But two, if you think about how much money face-to-face events costs to run, travel, overnight expenses, food, members of your team traveling with you, all of their flip charts, all of the -- what it costs to get your slides redone time and time again. If you take away all of that and you use an online platform, all of that falls to your bottom line. It doesn't mean you should charge any less. You absolutely should charge the same. If not more, because delivering online is intense and takes a lot more energy and a lot not more focus. All of that extra money that you would be spending on travel has just become your profits."

Lorna Reeves (8m 51s):
So when you weigh up that.

Robin Waite (8m 52s):
[inaudible] actually. Because I did that, you mentioned about kind the costs and everything that. And I had somebody, I was booked to do a conference here and obviously it got postponed. And they came back and started negotiating my feet. They're still want us to do it online. And I was like, "You're not paying for my travel. You're not paying for me to be in London for two days or whatever it is. Your paying for me to come and deliver a talk, which is going to transform your delegates lives and their businesses. No, the fee not negotiable. And that went, "Okay. that makes sense." But I also think that it one of the reasons, Again, that probably came from a place of fear where their thinking, "Oh gosh, this isn't gonna be the same experience as the whole two day big song and dance of a conference.

Robin Waite (9m 37s):
But I think that some people's perceptions is that being online and doing webinars is just boring. It's dull. Again, what is some of the tips that we should give in order to help people to make their engagement? And you talked about polls and the features in the software. But how else can people kinda make this online world a little bit more exciting?

Lorna Reeves (10m 4s):
Start out with exciting instructions that you sent out to people. If you send them, "Hi, I'm Lorna. I'm going to be delivering your event. Here's your link." They're going to be bored before they start the experience with you as a trainer or as a consultant starts with your very first email. So if you send them out something, " looking forward to seeing you in a months." A month, it's a long time away, but to do some prep. "Here's some videos. Here's some stuff to read. Here is some podcast to listen to it." It doesn't have to be your own stuff. Can be just people that you find valuable. You're already building into their brain. Okay, this is going to be interactive. You're pre-framing them that they're going to have to do something. They're not just going to be able to flick on the web and not put themselves off-camera and eat their toast to while you're in session.

Lorna Reeves (10m 47s):
They're going to have to do some work. Then think about how you welcome people into the room. So, if you've got a waiting room or you've got a lounge, which I strongly advocate for, on any platform. But something sparky. Take off the bog standard wording that's in there. Put something interesting. Put, "You 10 minutes early. While you wait, see if you can knit or see if you can do this to sudoku puzzle or something. Something different that let's people know of the style of session their walking into. And when they're in session, think about using multiple media. Or not, everybody learns at the same way. If you put it up slide, after slide, after slide, people are gonna get bored.

Robin Waite (11m 28s):
Yeah.

Lorna Reeves (11m 29s):
Try and switch between view's at least every three minutes, if not every 90 seconds. Then we recommend that the attention span is about 90 seconds before people start going, "Oh, let my email box has started to ping." Bring people back in. And the best way to do that is transitioning from slides to not slides. So what you are effectively doing is standing at the front of the room with my slides and then dropping your slides means I'm stepping into the room. I'm coming to talk to you as individuals. I'm looking around your grid. Calling on people. Get them engaged in the conversation. If nobody's listening, shout out, "Robin, you look you we're going to say something then." "No, no I wasn't."

Lorna Reeves (12m 9s):
"Well, you're unmuted now. So you might as well." You know, getting people engaged, not given them the option to sit back is powerful. And making people put their videos on. There is a very strong tradition. People that use teams for work. The habit is to turn it into a phone call. And you're just using the wifi for a phone call. Nobody's got their videos on. But actually, have some eye contact with people. Have some connection. It's powerful to be sitting in somebody's living room with them. When do you ever meet a client in their living room? When do you ever get that level of detail with somebody? So making that count. And start in a conversation, "Oh, Robin, I see you've got a camper van there.

Lorna Reeves (12m 51s):
Is that something that you'd to do?" Getting them involved in a conversation will really, help. Show videos. Think about music. If you sent them away to do a task place a music in the meantime. Think about the multifaceted way that people learn and you'll definitely make it an immersive experience rather than a boring webinar.

Robin Waite (13m 14s):
Like, I did that. I was at a conference. I've spoken at a conference recently. I did a keynote. And I was first up but they hired a comedian to compare the event. And you know what? She lifted the energy of it. And I think that where you might be saving some money in physical events and things of that. And he may think, "Oh, we don't have the budget to get a compared to come in and do our event that." Actually, we know those are the areas now where perhaps we can flip some of that budget into finding good interesting vibrant people to bring the things to life.

Lorna Reeves (13m 49s):
Yeah.

Robin Waite (13m 49s):
And you said, they also cycled between my slides me closer, which was a bit scary, but also for the back and the grid view, they were doing that. I don't know how they control it at all. But it was doing it and seemingly automatically. And it just made the whole thing. And it kept me alive as well as a presenter because I was like, "Oh, what's coming up next?" And it gave me lots of stuff to think about and talk about it as well.

Lorna Reeves (14m 18s):
Thanks.

Robin Waite (14m 18s):
Only things tax slightly. So obviously, you haven't been doing this forever. Have you've only set this business up recently a couple of years, two years now? Two and a bit years?

Lorna Reeves (14m 28s):
MyOhMy Events have been running for 14 months. And forgive my dog attacking the postbox in the background if you can hear that.

Robin Waite (14m 35s):
I hear it. It is absolutely fine and good for him. And that's the whole joy of working from home and one that's on Zoom and stuff that now.

Lorna Reeves (14m 42s):
Absolutely. So yeah, 14 months is MyOhMy Events. So we were still relatively new. And in this iteration, seven months.

Robin Waite (14m 49s):
Yeah. And how has things going? Because I mean, what's the journey look as an entrepreneur?

Lorna Reeves (14m 56s):
Yeah, sure everybody says a roller coaster. So this business started very organically. And it was a couple of mentors said, "Hey, you organize stuff for people. Can you do for a couple of my events?" And it rollercoastered from there. And it was very much face-to-face events. And I purely do business events. So, I didn't do parties and that stuff. It was workshops, webinars, conferences in the face-to-face space. In January, we were booked out for 12 months. I had one more space for one more client to take on for the year of 2020. And then obviously March happened.

Lorna Reeves (15m 36s):
And I sat with my wife. We were skiing actually. It was our first skiing holiday since I left my big job. So that was a real milestone for us. That was one of my ambition board goals. And when we were sat in the chalet and I just said, "You know, I'm not sure. I'm gonna have a business for me to get home. If they don't do something very quickly, this could all go belly up." And literally within three days I didn't sleep very much and shifted the entire business to an online platform. So the clients that we could keep and that had already signed up with us. We reassured them and transition them seamlessly into an online space.

Lorna Reeves (16m 17s):
And then I set about just giving people stuff, videos, lunchtime workshops, information sheets. And I just thought if I'm still learning all of this stuff, other people can be learning alongside me. And yeah, we pretty much go quickly that. I just took on our six team member yesterday. They're not all full-time because as I've mentioned earlier, the online space is intense. So hosting four hours a day is as much as I'll let them do, because I want them to be on peak performance. And I want them to last into the next three years. I don't want to burn them all out to quick. But yeah, there's now six of us running online events.

Lorna Reeves (17m 0s):
UK, Europe, and in the US. So we've gone global.

Robin Waite (17m 4s):
And I suppose, presumably that's the beauty of the way the business is set up. And you can scale it up and down depending on how much demand there is. If there's no events, well, I guess you don't have to use the team, but within your interest to fill the books up, isn't it?

Lorna Reeves (17m 15s):
Yup. And I know that December will be a fairly soft month for us, but that's okay, because it means I can plan for next year. And all of the team can get back with their families. And we'll ramp up again in January. We're starting to see the transition of the event season. So seminars usually happen in the autumn, winter. And then you get the summer award season, which were just starting to get inquiries for now. So we're tracking virtual events with the face-to-face events season. That's just starting to come through. So if people are thinking about summer events, now is the time to be planning them.

Robin Waite (17m 52s):
Oh, wow. So you are already booking for summer next year. Amazing. That's such a success story. And I hope that people can take away something from this that you took the proactive approach. While we've seen it when you are challenged with something. Or you've got a choice you haven't used it. You can either sit there and panic and procrastinate, or you can do something about it and create the success that you want to create. And obviously that worked out all right for you, didn't it?

Lorna Reeves (18m 14s):
Is it terrifying? Absolutely. Is the thought of losing your entire business literally overnight? Absolutely terrifying, but it was I have put too much energy into this to take this line down. I'll give it a crack. If it doesn't work, at least I can say I've tried. And putting my big girl pants on and saying, "Right. Hi, clients. This is what we are now doing. Nobody panic. I've got it under control." Somebody tell me where the control is meant to sort something out. But yeah.

Robin Waite (18m 44s):
You and your wife obviously been on a bit of a roller coaster generally, because obviously you hadn't the long set up the business. You'd left a job that you've been in for what, 15 plus years as a forensics officer and the police. Talk to us about that. How did you -- well, let's rewind the clock. So what got you into the police in the first place? And then what got you out of it? Because I know there's a real story behind that?

Lorna Reeves (19m 7s):
Yeah. And I'm trying to tell it without crying. That would be a first. So way back. When I was that kid at school that was expected to go to Cambridge, Oxford. You know, that annoying kid the found school relatively straight forward, did a lot of sport, blah, blah, blah. And then at 18, got fed up of being talked at this level of expectation. So on my way, back from a university interview, saw an advert for a forensics officer in the paper. Though, I'll give that a pun. It's got to be worth a shot. Much to my dads horror. I got in because he was a serving police officer at the time. And so I literally left school in the June and started working for the police in the September.

Lorna Reeves (19m 50s):
I'm at the ripe old age of 19 and two days. I'm young and worked my way up through forensics. I worked for everything from burglaries to sexual assaults, to firearms offenses, and then up to murders. And then I was running the forensics team in the North of London. It was on shift as normal. And that was when the budget cuts started to hit the police. So they got rid of all of their photographers. They handed all of its photographic responsibility to the scene examiners and said, "You're going there anyway. So we might as well just do two jobs.

Lorna Reeves (20m 30s):
So I was going to my seventh body in seven days, which was fairly intense, but also not unusual at the time. And had a pretty traumatic time there where I ended up having to coach a probationer through his first body, after being left at the scene on his own. And it wasn't a particularly awful seen. But for the first time that night I started to dream about his face. And it never happened to me in all the years that I'd been working out to this point. And I started to think, now, I'm not sure if this is quite right. I think somebody might be up. And I started getting upset on my way into work.

Lorna Reeves (21m 12s):
That Sunday dreads, that some people talk about was everyday dread, was even finishing a shift. I'd be dreading the next shift before I've even gotten there. I spoke to my boss at the time and I just said, "Look, I am not doing well at all. I just needed a break from bodies. I don't want to go off sick. I don't want to be put it on restricted duties. I just need to not do bodies for a little while. I just need a bit of a rest. I could feel I was starting to crack." And the response I got was less than helpful. It was completely unsupportive. And long story short, you don't get to pick and choose what you go to. So that was at this moment for me.

Lorna Reeves (21m 58s):
Back then, my big fearless decision was just to get promoted. If I get promoted, I'll be away from frontline. And then that will be that problem solved. And was fortunate enough to do that. And then I took over running the forensics lab for the MET. So the MET is the only force in the country that has an in-house laboratory. So it would be good. This is me out of the line of fire. Little bit I know I was walking into a 160 odd staff. All the contracts and procurement that go with that. All of the HR that goes with [inaudible]. They don't have an HR department in the MET anymore. And it was a massive job for one person.

Lorna Reeves (22m 41s):
And I was working ridiculously long hours bringing it all home with me. Still working at home. And it started to sink in when we went to the Lions Tour in New Zealand, 2017. I came back from four weeks off and I still had all my annual leave allocation. I just burned through all the time that I didn't curd. So maybe that's not quite right. And again, I started to feel quite overwhelmed and my body started to react to the stress. My weight was massively fluctuating. I was lucky if I got three hours sleep at night. I started to get bad stress eczema. That was okay when it was on my body, but when it starts to creep up my neck and onto my face started to get very insecure about that.

Lorna Reeves (23m 25s):
I suffered with stress incontinence, which at the age of 33, having had no children, wasn't so much fun. And I think if you were on the outside looking in, you wouldn't have noticed. I think I very much kept a lid on it. And after asking for some support and some flexi hours, or I'm doing a days any way, can I just have an extra Friday or a Monday or Wednesday? I got told I pretty much. "If you have kids then we would have to let you, but seeing as you don't, we're not going to do." And that was the nail in the coffin for me. That was the most at the moment. And it was my wife that said to me, "If you don't stop soon, you are going to be institutionalized.

Lorna Reeves (24m 7s):
And I will be putting you there. You are going to break." And she could see all the signs. And it was terrifying, absolutely terrifying. But I wrote my resignation letter. I handed it in. And I can remember sitting in a meeting with my manager, but physically shaking. As a hand over this a bit of paper. And I just said, "I'm done. I'm at the end of my tether and I'm done." And we'd done have some. So we worked out, we can survive for a while on just Sharon's money. So, you know, I didn't completely make the leap on ill-advised. But it was still a big risk.

Lorna Reeves (24m 48s):
I've had the job since I was 14. And to not have permanent employment was just terrifying. And that first month when the end of the month rolled around and I check my bank account at a time when there's nothing in it. I've got 200 quid to last me. Well, that's a kick up the backside to get my business rolling. And I want to make a goal of this because it's shit or bust. It's that kind of, it has to happen now. And that drove me. And thankfully, when I started up in, my weddings was my first business. I secured my client in the first four weeks, which was just enough to keep the business ticking over for a year.

Lorna Reeves (25m 30s):
That was my goal is for the business, not to cost me any money for a year. And in that first couple of months, I was a Tesco's delivery driver. I was a barista. I worked in a little corner shop. Anything I could do just to keep just enough money coming in, that it protected my animal brain. That's all I needed was just enough money in my bank account so that I didn't have to keep going to my wife. "Please, can I have 20 quid so that I can go?" You know, I didn't have not enough money to buy coffee. Everything was on such a tight budget. And then yeah, it just catapulted from there. But really, I think...

Robin Waite (26m 5s):
I see it is a pattern with a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners where they have that. It's almost you're pushed to the wall and it forces you to take, you have to take that step. I can't remember who it was, but that was a famous quote is in thereabouts. If your going to jump off a cliff and then you got to build the airplane on the way down, thing. It's that. And there is actually, those were the most successful businesses where you forced, almost forced to do it. If you over-think it and try and do it for too long on a bit. If you tried to do it as a side hustle. It would've taken twice, five times or 10 times as long as it ended up taking.

Lorna Reeves (26m 40s):
Yeah.

Robin Waite (26m 40s):
And to be able to -- I mean, that's quite phenomenal. To have one client just about kind get you by over 12 months. I mean, that's phenomenal, isn't it? When you think have all of the stress and worry and managing a 160 people, 15 years worth of institutionalized staff and one person comes along to save the day for you with the business.

Lorna Reeves (27m 2s):
Yeah.

Robin Waite (27m 2s):
What a great start. But it did it go from there?

Lorna Reeves (27m 7s):
Oh, everywhere and upwards. So almost overnight, my health improved. So within three months I was sleeping eight hours a night. And that for me was a huge victory. Cash, no cash, business, no business. To be healthy was my primary objective. And the wedding business was taking over nicely. We were increasing year on year. And my LGBT niche status was starting to increase. So I got, I was on feature on lots of podcasts. I have been featured on various different magazines. And I'm still getting requests now to feature in various areas. Obviously, weddings ground to a whole lot at the moment.

Lorna Reeves (27m 49s):
So my clients that were supposed to be for this summer and next we've moved and inquiries that we are getting now that we're looking at 2022, for the next stage of space. And my weddings is still running just in a much quieter way. I'm still providing value on content to the people that need it. And then it was the year after that the people started saying, "Well, you organize weddings, so you can help me out with my events." And then my events was born. And it's just gone from strength to strength. Don't get me wrong. I have crappy days. I have days where I think, "Oh my God, I got to do this again."

Robin Waite (28m 25s):
Taught to us about that a crappy day. It says, this is the stuff that people just don't talk about or don't think that I can talk about it.

Lorna Reeves (28m 34s):
Yeah.

Robin Waite (28m 35s):
But there's a downside to running a business as well. I mean the upside is far outweigh. But there are the downsides you've got to be well aware of when you get into it. So that necessarily has to go into much detail. But what sorts of things have you experienced or challenges? And more importantly, how would you advise people to work the way through them and come out of the other side?

Lorna Reeves (28m 56s):
So I struggle a lot with event hangover and it is a real thing. So if I've run a whole day event or it when this is face-to-face or online, the following day, because I'm switched on for the whole day. The next day, I feel I've literally done four bottles of wine or my own. I'm dragging myself through the day. I don't want to get up. I don't want to have meetings. I don't want to speak to anybody. And I am naturally an introvert. So to be hosting takes a lot of energy for me. To be connected with many, many people take a lot of energy for me. So, I am conscious now. And we'll say one of my biggest, biggest challenges is keeping on top of my emails and keeping on top of my diary.

Lorna Reeves (29m 42s):
I'm just terrible at it. And so that the worst it gets the worst the more I don't do it. Okay. So my first thing was to get a VA and she looks after everything from me now. And she actively says, "Somebody is asking for a call on this day, but you've got a full day event. And then the day before, so I'm going to say no, or I'm going to put it in the afternoon, which do you want?" So she make sure that I have headspace the day after an event. And my diary is full of things that I can do on autopilot. That don't take a lot of energy. I still have to do them. I still have to do something because I've still got a business to run, but I can do things that protect me as well as moving the business forward.

Lorna Reeves (30m 23s):
So I think it's being conscious about what you enjoy and lights you up and what you hate. Balance the two. Because they will be something in your business that you hate or grind on you. And you don't want to spend time doing it.

Robin Waite (30m 37s):
I think anything, their energy levels in a, in anything is so important to manage those. And I took a lot about seasonality. But I remember when I was going to the coaching practice, exactly you said, two coaching sessions just about like, you know, two hour coaching sessions, plenty for me. There were days when I was like, "Oh, I'm busy. I'll try and book a third in there. And it used to." My wife used to think, call me like, I can't remember what her nickname was, but it was a vegetable basically along those sorts of lines. I was just ruined by the evening. And a total waste of space to everybody. And that is that even the next day, it will we'd roll over onto the next day. So watching our energy levels and businesses is super, super important.

Robin Waite (31m 19s):
So in terms of the future of MyOhMy Events, or for you personally, what's coming up next for you?

Lorna Reeves (31m 29s):
We are definitely transitioning into conferences and seminars that is going to be, become a staple of our business. I am looking at bringing VR, Virtual Reality in to events. So what's the next best thing if you can't be with people is if you can be virtually with people. So we were making events properly immersive. That's on the cards. And yeah, just to continue growing and serving really. I have a phenomenal team around me and their skills are growing day on day. So the more people that we can help. And to some extent, my level of success is if I work with you, Robin, for six months, and then you say to me, "Actually, I feel confident enough to do those kinds of sessions on my own now.

Lorna Reeves (32m 10s):
Can you just help me with the big ones?" Great, absolutely. Then my job has done. So yeah, continue to grow and empower people. If I can get everybody in the UK to be delivering in some capacity online by the end of 2021, that sounds global domination to me. That's that top line.

Robin Waite (32m 36s):
Excellent. And you have a -- I should have probably asked you this to anyone, but you've got a six step event from concept to delivery, haven't you? Is that something you'd be able to, can you walk us through the six steps and keep it to two minutes? Is that possible?

Lorna Reeves (32m 49s):
Oh gosh.

Robin Waite (32m 49s):
Coming to work in a bit, but I need out of desperate like, get lots of information out of you for everyone listening.

Lorna Reeves (32m 58s):
Explore envision are the first two. And we talked about that early on. And when I work with my clients, it's what do you want to deliver? And how do you want to do it? And the vision is very much how you do want your people to feel by the time you walk away from it. The next is execute. So only once you've got the vision and the idea for how it's going to look. Do you think about booking stuff, whether that's your online platform, whether that's a ticket to an agent or the functionality part of it. EVE is the number of sections. That's when we start to talk about how are we going to sell the tickets? How are we going to get bums on seats? And what's the marketing strategy? And that's very much, I would say to anybody that wants to start moving online, to start building your tribe fest, get a lot of people interested in what you do.

Lorna Reeves (33m 43s):
And then it makes filling bums on seats easy. If obviously, if you are taking your business to corporate, that's going to be even easier because they're going to fill the bums on seats for you.

Robin Waite (33m 53s):
Yeah.

Lorna Reeves (33m 53s):
To use the finishing touches, so that's when you can start to think about the slide deck music graphics. And by breaking it down into these steps, it means you don't start doing the graphics before you've got the vision, right. And you have to break it down into chunks, so it doesn't become overwhelming in your head. So once you've got your touches, your finishing touches didn't work. So we just went with touches. It's the final S is Showtime. And that's where you start to plan your walkthroughs for the actual sessions, your timings, where the actual session is, your transitions. And if your using a production company, that's when they start to map out camera angles, and who's going to be feeling the screen? And when the transitions between the two.

Lorna Reeves (34m 33s):
Showtime, it's a good bit. That's a bit that everybody sees on the outside, but all of the other steps to go in there.

Robin Waite (34m 38s):
I was going to say, because most people who just start the zoom up or press go and in a way we go, but they don't realize how this all of this planning and execution, which has to go beforehand.

Lorna Reeves (34m 48s):
Yeah.

Robin Waite (34m 50s):
Absolutely. And then in terms of that six step process. I understand you have a a mini program as such where you help people plan and set up their event in 12 weeks. Talk to us a little bit more about that.

Lorna Reeves (35m 4s):
Yes. So I do have it as an infographic. Or you do have it as a grab a guide. If you head over to myohmyevents.com and sign up to the main list, you'll get that. And it walks you through how to plan and fill. And it's time specific and scheduled. So it will tell you what to do on which weeks. So you can backwards engineer your event effectively. If you say, I want to do my event on January the 15th, and you can work for 12 weeks back. So, you know, at which point you need to be doing everything.Twelve-weeks is about right if you're marketing to a cold or audience. If you're going to somebody you already know, you can probably turn it around and for by work on 12.

Lorna Reeves (35m 47s):
And in November, I we'll be doing a free introduction series on Zoom, and we'll be walking. In five days, we'll walk through the six step method, and we'll put in the time markers. So if anybody wants more details on that, sign up on the mailing list and I'll give you priority access to that spaces. I'll keep to about 20, because I'd people to be able to ask questions, get their specific questions answered. But yeah, we'll go through the six step method in 12 weeks.

Robin Waite (36m 15s):
Awesome. Well, we'll make sure that we share a link to that in the show notes as well, so that everybody can get signed up to it in obviously in the Facebook group. I've tagged you into it as well. A lot to say, everybody can find you in there and I'll ask you those at any pertinent questions, which they've got. You're on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram as well. Under MyOhMy Events.

Lorna Reeves (36m 34s):
On Instagram is the only weird one where myohmy_events, but everything else is in MyOhMy Events.

Robin Waite (36m 40s):
[inaudible] on websites, myohmyevents.com isn't it. So, we'll make sure we share that in the show notes as well. Awesome. There's a ton of value there. And I'd encourage everybody to go in and sign up a nice letter and get a hold of that. And that download that a lot is just outlined there as well, because if you're thinking about, I mean, I use events in my business. And the ROI which I've got from events is probably more than any other platform with a medium that I've invested in, especially over the last six to 12 months with everything that's been going on. So it's well worth it. And doing Events properly. I think we're through now that Zoom fatigue phase, aren't we? And now everybody's calm down a little bit. There's a few fewer events out there, and the ones that are out there and have stuck around are much better, or obviously because Laura has been helping them to put their events together.

Robin Waite (37m 25s):
So thank you ever so much to all of that. I've got one more question for you, which hopefully isn't a curveball. We're going to hop into the fearless business time machine. It's a bit the DeLorean, but much better in back to the future. And we're going to do -- you get to punch in the dates? We going to get back X number of years. And you are going to have a word with Lorna back then. So when was that and what would you say to her?

Lorna Reeves (37m 47s):
It would probably be the year that I left the job. I think all of that stuff that happened had value and taught me something. Definitely taught me my boundaries, but it wouldn't be saying leave earlier. And you think if you worked hard in the first three months, you have no idea. And now I can see, I could have worked harder. So I would literally lock myself away in a room for three months and bust a gut. Get it up and running and my business flying faster, sooner. So yeah, work harder and buy shares in June because it's going to be big [inaudible].

Robin Waite (38m 24s):
Yes. I love that. I can remember it was, I think it was Dan Priestley when I asked him that question, he said, "You all have gone back to 2003 and invested $5,000 in Facebook." It was like, "Yeah, you got me that."

Lorna Reeves (38m 34s):
Yeah.

Robin Waite (38m 34s):
That's a good answer because that would be worth probably about $230 million or something now. But, so, yeah, absolutely. And I mean I've been very fortunate to watch on the sidelines is you've grown. MyOhMy Events. And I know how hard you have worked. So I think you're being a bit harder on yourself there as well. I don't see many people that could have worked harder than you. You worked when you were setting that business up and getting your first clients on board and how much you pushed yourself. So it's a real credit kind of, I think you the results, which you're now getting in MyOhMy Events as well, which is justly deserved.

Lorna Reeves (39m 11s):
Absolutely.

Robin Waite (39m 11s):
So anyway, I hugely appreciate you coming on and sharing your pearls of wisdom around online events. I hope it's inspired one or two. I'm sure it's inspired one or two people to take their business online and look at things slightly differently. Thank you.

Lorna Reeves (39m 23s):

You're very welcome. It's an absolute pleasure. If people have got questions, chuck them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them later on this evening.

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