In a noisy content world filled with Insta-gurus and lifestyle influencers, our social media newsfeeds are bombarded with offers to attend events and seminars that promise to change our lives forever.
But flying under the radar is a small number of unique meetings that you’ve never heard of because their proprietors like it that way. Instead of a cattle-call marketing approach, their business models focus on quality vs quantity: they charge a healthy fee to participate and then put their attention on providing you a unique, high-value, personalized experience.
But first, you have to know that they exist.
By tapping into my contacts in the meetings world, I found three events you should consider applying for in 2020. One of them, I have personally attended and participated in. The other two I’ve discovered in my recent sleuthing efforts.
The name says it all. Touted as the greatest event you cannot attend, Secret Knock is an exclusive direct-access knowledge and networking event.
Hosts Dr. Greg Reid and Jeffrey Klubeck personally vet every guest before they will accept their $3k investment to attend. And they keep an air of secrecy about the details right up until show time. Even after registering, attendees aren’t told where it is or who will be there. Other than city and state, the specific location is so private that it isn’t revealed until a few days before the event, when it is discreetly shared with attendees only.
Concept: Secret Knock attendees have direct access to and interaction with iconic world figures (past guest experts include Mexico President Vicente Fox, Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss, Tonino Lamborghini, and NFL Hall of Famer, Andre Reed, as well as the founders of UGG Boots, Chuck E Cheese, E! Network and Make A Wish) and the opportunity to gain personal 1-1 mentorship, have lunch, or share a beverage with the brand luminaries.
Reid and Klubeck say their intention is to cut the entrepreneurial learning curve tenfold by providing real and applicable wisdom and direction from individuals who have mastered their fields. I have personally participated in this event, and I look forward to it every year.
You’ve heard the term “elevator pitch”—well, this is an entire night dedicated to helping people get their “kickstart.” Held in an undisclosed part of Los Angeles county (see a pattern here?), Dan Fleyshman brings together millionaires, billionaires, angel investors, and celebrities who are devoted to helping up-and-coming entrepreneurs and trendsetters make their dreams a reality.
Participants are given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the celebrity panel and then receive feedback and fresh, innovative ideas without filter. There’s a time limit for each presentation, so make sure your pitch is dialed in before you come. In this scenario, there are no cameras or TV crews, so the honest feedback is …well…abundant. And for participants’ ears only.
Concept: We are usually ONE quality connection away from our big break. Dan gives fledgling enterprises the opportunity to pitch their concepts, products, and intentions to people who can open the doors that many will never unlock.
Truth be told, this one is still a bit of a mystery to me. Steve Sims, founder of Bluefish, is known as a real-life Wizard of Oz who has mastered the art of luxury concierge. He began hosting these small, intimate gatherings, and the word spread fast among the in-the-know crowd.
Held in a different spot each time (there it is again), attending a Speak Easy is far from easy. Good luck getting into one (or even finding the place) unless you are on the coveted VIP list of opportunity and thrill seekers.
Guests are invited to a different high-end private address for each meeting. In one Speak Easy, they secured the entire Louis Vuitton store on Rodeo Drive; in another, they took a field trip to a maximum security prison.
Sims offers his guests an intimate glimpse into all aspects of life and business in a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase style. Warning: some may consider Sims’ manner off putting. When challenged about his brash approach he said, “What the F8%$ else you do you expect me to do?” Enough said.
Concept: Imagine a circle of friends and colleagues where there were no agendas other than to find a way to help one another. That’s Speak Easy’s proposition. In Simm’s words, “just real talk by real leaders who don’t mince words and get shit done.”
I believe this is a trio of events that have the potential to change your life—but only if you can find them.