A friend of mine recently requested a blog post about our conference. She is not in network marketing, but has a huge curiosity for what exactly happens at a network marketing conference. Since outsiders rarely get a taste of what these conferences are like, I’m excited to share with you all as much as I can.
What is this conference, exactly?
Most companies have at least one annual conference a year. They hold these for three reasons. 1) To launch new products 2) To provide incredible trainings and tools to reactivate your business. 3) To celebrate the crap out of the folks who had a killer year.
In my company at least, these events are paid for by ourselves. We get ourselves there, we find lodging, and there is a price for our registration. Along with the new products we will end up wanting to buy, it is a major expense. It is also, one of the biggest activators in our business. Statistics show a major difference in sales and promotions comparing those consultants who attended to those who didn’t. Those who are serious about their business or want to be serious about it make it happen. Is it a major sacrifice? Yes. Does it take a lot of planning both financially and logistically to make happen? Heck yes. Is it worth it? HECK TO THE DOUBLE HECK YES.
I know other industries have conferences all the time, and your boss usually pays for your lodging, travel, etc. However, since we are our own boss, we figure this out on our own. Some may find that unfair, but I personally think a trip to Vegas I deduct in my taxes is a pretty sweet deal. In my company, once you’ve promoted to the very top, they pay for travel and lodging, because they want you to take that extra money and pour it into your team with gifts and inspiration, etc. One of the many fun perks at getting to the top!
What’s the Conference Actually Like?
Imagine an arena filled with people who all love the same product as you. Who all believe in the same company as you. Who all go through the same difficulties as you. That’s what this is. After having to awkwardly explain 364 days out of the year what exactly I’m putting into my water and why Fizz Sticks are my ‘strange addiction,’ I am now surrounded by other men and women who are also obsessively pouring fizz into every bottle within an arm’s reach. On top of that, after facing loads of rejection and people politely or not so politely saying they’re not interested in your ‘little makeup business,’ you’re in an arena with 18,000 other people who all said yes. And not only said yes to the business, but also said yes to committing enough to their business to attend the event. In case you come to this conference wondering if you’re crazy, you just look at the sea of faces who also may be crazy, and realize you’re okay. Every single person in that arena is grateful to the point of tears that their sponsor courageously asked them to take a look at this business. It’s a beautiful reminder why we do this.
On the night of the new product launch, there’s an arena filled with people who squeal with delight, and maybe even shed a grateful tear or two as a new game-changing product is launched. It’s so fun and so ridiculous to be caught up in. To an outsider, it might look a little crazy out of context. For example, my reaction when I found out that my company was releasing an eye-makeup primer was to immediately stand up and scream ‘OH FUCK YEA’ and clap my hands with reckless abandon, almost to the point of injury. I’m not a makeup artist. I don’t wear makeup everyday. I guess I just love eye makeup primer that much. Any conference for a company you’re not a part of can be so foreign. But, there is something unique I love about mine.
First off, we are trained by our own leaders. I was shocked when I found out not every company does this. Why not have the people kicking ass in this business share with others how to also kick ass? Isn’t the entire model built around climbing to the top and turning around and helping others climb? There are ‘celebrities’ in my company that everyone loves. We may most likely follow them obsessively on Instagram wanting to know what their secret is and what their life looks like. Much like my fellow actor friends follow Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey. Except, every year, we get to hear our Mindy Kalings and Tina Feys pump us up! And if we promote high enough in the company, we can even meet and be friends with these Tina Feys and Mindy Kalings and become Mindy Kalings and Tina Feys to other people. How great is that?
Second, we are not about the big schmancy money. When leaders are showing photos of their life and how it’s been changed by our company, they mostly show photos of time with family or charity outreach instead of private jets and five star vacations. One of the big mottos in our company is ‘Be More, so you can Do More, so you can Have More, so you can Give More.’ Nice, huh?
Third, there’s a sacred ritual on the last night in which we sacrifice a virgin man to increase our sales for the next year. I’m kidding. That was a joke. I promise, we are not a cult. Hey wait, where are you going? In all seriousness, on the last night, there’s a party for newly promoted rockstars to celebrate their great year with free booze, free food, and so much dancing. It’s a real party. Thrown for you. It’s the best!
What’s with the Gowns?
If you follow any network marketing rockstars on Instagram, you may have seen a few gown moments. Why does it suddenly look like the conference turned into a pageant? For us, one of the nights of the conference is just a huge celebration of all the folks who had the strongest years. We honor the highest in sales, the folks who promoted the most people on their team, new promotions, people who have been in the business for a quarter of a century, stuff like that. t’s a quirky absurdity that we wear gowns, cross the stage and wave, and get a blue bag from Tiffany’s at the end of our pageant moment. Especially when the other 364 days of the year, most of us are in yoga pants and a messy bun trying to keep our life together while running an online business. But every industry needs its silly round of recognition and pomp and circumstance. This is ours. This night of celebration is also incredibly empowering to see over 300 people walk the stage who earned their White Mercedes (and a game-changing income to boot). Seeing that many people achieve such a high honor gets you thinking, ‘why not you?’ And can lead you to inspired action after the conference. It’s also amazing to see what’s possible, when a dozen leaders walk the stage for their organization earning 5 million in revenue every month. And then, if you do the math in your head as to what exactly they’re earning every month, you usually have to pick your jaw up off the floor.
Why was Rachel Hollis at your last conference?
Every year, we are honored with an amazing guest speaker including two of my favorites, Rachel Hollis, and Mel Robbins. (And to give you an idea of the expense of our conference, it’s comparable if not cheaper than Rachel’s Rise weekend). This training has been wildly invaluable, inspiring, and just plain exciting. For a self development nerd like me, I feel like I’m at a rock concert watching my heroes perform live. It’s worth the price of admission alone to get an hour with these incredible people, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the conference. There are even incentives to earn a chance to meet these formidable thought leaders.
Being with Your Besties
The biggest thing about this conference is that it lights us up. Imagine as business owners we are all electric cars. We drive around, and share our business, and some people say yes, and some people say no, and our battery eventually drains. Just like you would not continue to use your cellphone if your battery was dead, our business can’t continue to run if we’re not plugged in and reenergized. This is a jam-packed weekend with enough juice to carry you through the year. There’s celebrations of success, there’s inspiring stories pushing through slumps in business, there’s exciting news about where your company is headed. And best of all, there’s your team. These online businesses mean you have friends from all over—some of which you only get to see once a year at this conference. So in-between trainings, you’re catching up with friends, laughing until your sides hurt, having open and vulnerable heart to hearts about your business and your life. It’s the biggest, most positive slumber party I’ve been to. If I’ve forgotten why I did this crazy business in the first place, this weekend is here to remind me. If I’m on fire and loving where I’m headed, this is the extra fuel I need to cross the next finish line. It’s where I go to be lifted up, and it’s where I go to lift up others. It’s the best. And from the outside it may be hard to understand, but for any theatre kid, I just ask them to remember Thespian Conference…and you’ll get it.