Anza Goodbar, Founder & CEO Bankable Events LLC
Anza is an executive with more than 2 decades of experience designing and fine-tuning highly successful conversion strategies for corporate events, conventions, and conferences. She has worked with clients from boutique brands to Fortune 100 corporations to implement these monetization strategies into their events to generate revenue, increase value for event participants, and build brand loyalty.
She has successfully designed and executed 4,000+ events ranging from intimate workshops and retreats of 10-20 people, corporate meetings and incentive trips of 300-2,500 people, all the way to stadium events holding 10k-15k attendees that generated over $100M in revenue.
What's your industry?
Coaching / Consulting
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I was a professional meeting and special event planner for nearly 20 years before I started my first business in 2004. I was started a boutique mortgage brokerage firm that service sub-prime lenders until the industry crashed in 2008. That business disaster propelled me into the challenging world of online businesses. Over the past 19 years, my business has grown into a full-service business providing coaching, consulting, and virtual business services to help small business owners navigate the ups and downs of owning their own businesses. When I started my online business, I had aspirations of planning events, but the timing wasn't right. COVID had a huge impact on the way we conduct business, and after the lockdown, people were burnt out on virtual events, and they developed a hunger for personal face-to-face connections.
That realization inspired me to start a new brand to help business owners use live events to grow their businesses. Many small business owners already used events in their business pre-COVID but needed help with strategies to monetize and scale their business with this business-building tool. That's where we come in. We take a look at their overall business plan and help them create a strategy that not only monetizes their event but includes planning for the infrastructure to accommodate and service that growth in a sustainable manner. Seeing small business owners win motivates me to keep moving forward. When our team is able to help transform a small business into a medium business, we all make a bigger impact.
What kind of work does your daily role involve?
The thrust of our business focuses on developing monetization strategies for small business owners who want to position themselves as the expert in their industry or niche. We do that by taking a deep dive into their avatar's wants, needs and desires. We then work on crafting messaging and offers that help bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.
We demonstrate how knowing what makes their ideal clients tick has a direct impact on the messaging required to drive attendance to an event. Once we know what we are creating, we take a magnifying glass to their current structure and make sure they have the support needed to service the influx of business the event will bring to their business and map out any infrastructure that needs to be build out.
We teach our clients how to design live events that deliver on their BIG promise and design high impact events that not only provide an outstanding attendee experience but also drives revenue to their business by using our million dollar frameworks.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Helping small business owners grow their business gets me fired up because I know how hard it can be to grow a sustainable business. Especially if you're trying to figure it out on your own. Since COVID the entrepreneurial space has become even more competitive and standing out from your competition requires REAL strategies.
Business building isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. That's why we take the time to get to know our clients and the specific pain points and dreams. If generating more income was as simple as just raising your prices, everyone would be a successful business owner.
We use the power of live events because it builds relationships. In our post-COVID world, people are craving human interaction and connection. Both of these highly sought after feelings helps business owners build community with a high sense of know, like, and trust.
When you stop to think about it, each event is different just as each business and business owner is different. We help them connect the dots between what they are trying to accomplish, making sure they have the tools to be successful, and most importantly do it in alignment with their values and vision.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
My mentor, John Maxwell, says, "If you want to solve bigger problems, you need to get bigger from the inside out." He instilled the importance of being intentional about investing in myself. That one statement helped me see the power of leadership and personal development.
Once I was able to see how leadership was at the heart of it all, I was able to eliminate the fear of competition and embrace the idea of collaboration and teamwork. As part of a team, I was able to grow a multi-million dollar company in three years. I was able to help my clients generate more than $100M in revenue. And, I was able to inspire others to believe they could do it, too!
What's the most challenging project or situation you've overcome to date?
The collapse of the mortgage industry was by far the most difficult challenge I've had to overcome both personally and professionally. At the time, it was publicly embarrassing and humiliating. So much of what happened was out of our control, yet the weight of the reality that our business was failing fell firmly on my shoulders. At times it was crushing.
Knowing we weren't alone in our suffering brought some comfort, but it didn't change the fact that families who depended on our business for their livelihoods were thrust into difficult financial circumstances kept me up at night.
The blessing that came out of that situation, was when COVID hit and shut down jobs and industries, it was similar to what we had endured and came out the other side. I was able to pivot in my business to help new entrepreneurs develop and strategy and a plan to produce income quickly from the safety of their home office.
Adversity often builds resilience and confidence. It definitely taught me that I have what it takes to survive any economic downturn and the ability to teach others how to recession proof their businesses too.
Are you using any AI tools right now to help grow your business or, if not, do you plan to use any this year?
Yes, I use AI to help write content. It is a huge time saver for me to gain clarity on my message and keep my thoughts organized. The use of AI tools saves me about 10 hours of copywriting time weekly.
Overall, do you see AI as a good thing for business?
Yes. For business owners, I see many time saving application for the use of AI if used properly. I believe we will need to monitor this new technology as it grows to insure it is used with integrity, but overall I see automation possibilities as a positive tool for solopreneurs and small business owners who don't have the resources to hire sales teams or copywriters to help grow their businesses.
Overall, do you see AI as a threat or an opportunity in business?
Opportunity. If used with a property strategy, AI can save a small business owner time and money. When small businesses win, we all win. Finding ways to cut costs and increase efficiencies helps entrepreneurs make a bigger impact.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I would wish that cookie-cutter solutions would disappear. It has been our experience that cookie-cutter advice rarely provides the answers that small business owners are desperate to discover to grain a sustainable business.
While technology can provide useful tools to eliminate or reduce redundant tasks, we need to embrace the human element of making connection and serving from the heart. It's only by adding value and valuing others that we can truly experience success.