Be the Impresario

MaestroEarlier this year, I was inspired to begin organizing Networking- and relationship-building focused events under the banner of Coffee Lunch Coffee as a result of a three-hour workshop hosted by Seth Godin in New York City this past March.

Held in the very cool Helen Mills Theater, Seth’s event, the “Impresario Workshop,” was derived from some earlier events and concepts he began toying with in 2012.  In fact, he published a blog post entitled, “Impresarios,” in which he defined the role of impresario as one who will:

“Weave together resources and opportunities and put on a show.”

At the NYC workshop, Seth delved into “10 Key Ideas” impresarios should consider in order to successfully pull off an event.  I’ll list them all, and provide some cursory definitions/explanations, however, I strongly encourage you to sign up for Seth’s SkillShare course, “Become a Connector:  The Impresario Institute,” the video of which comes from the workshop I attended in March.  His explanations and delivery will help you to make more sense of these key ideas and actually put them to use in your own efforts as impresario.

Seth Godin’s 10 Key Ideas for Impresarios

  1. Connection… from stage to audience, from audience to stage, from impresario to audience, from impresario to stage, from audience to audience.
  2. Awareness… of the next big thing.
  3. Access… to an interested audience, talent, which they may not have been able to otherwise access.
  4. Sync… is value created when everyone does something at the same time.
  5. Amplification… is like sync, but multiplied many times over!  This is the change in the rest of the culture that comes from having the right people on board.
  6. Endorsement… is the benefits from being selected.
  7. Efficiency… entails offering logistical shortcuts.
  8. Logistics… behind the scenes!  Your audience doesn’t care about logistics unless they don’t work.  This should be relatively easy – this, you can hire out!
  9. Trust… the audience believes their lives will change just by showing up because you promised them they would.  You must deliver.
  10. Scale… bigger might be better.  However, some scarcity will make the event much more attractive!
Seth Godin (photo by Brian Bloom)
Seth Godin (photo by Brian Bloom)

I must add, the reason I am so sold on Seth’s 10 Key Ideas and his whole notion of becoming an impresario is that I experienced it myself.  In the process of learning about, registering for and attending his workshop, Seth served as the impresario and I (along with the 99 other participants) was the guinea pig!  He proved to me, by demonstration, these principles actually work.  Here’s what he did… he sent out a teaser saying something like, “I’m hosting a workshop for would-be impresarios on March 1… I’m only accepting registration from 100 participants… if you want to be invited and receive an early bird discount, fill out this form and I will let you know in a week if you are accepted…”  I, for one, hurried to fill out my application and prayed I would be selected.  When I was, I was thrilled!  The early bird invitation was time-sensitive so I raced to make payment and register.  Then, I was in!  And, I was made aware of each of the 10 Key Ideas because Seth first demonstrated them and then told us about them.  It was remarkable and, indeed, transformative.

I did mention to Seth that I thought all of this was easy for him to say and do – and probably much more difficult for the rest of us.  After all, he has a huge, global audience… it’s no surprise people would clamber sign up to spend half a day with him… how could each of us be assured we would be able to get an audience for what we wanted to deliver?  His response was spot on:  He reminded me that we can start small and aim only to get the people in the audience who want to be there, who will serve as our point of amplification.

You, too, can be the impresario.  As Seth says, being the impresario is no easy task.  It’s not the logistics that hold us back… it’s the risk that the effort might not work.  That said, I believe it is a far better to try to create something amazing than doing nothing and wondering if it might have worked!

Tell us about the events for which you have served or will serve as impresario.  Looking forward to learning from you!

2 thoughts to “Be the Impresario”

    1. Thanks for your continued support and endorsement, Don. Seth also said, “the audience is the talent.” Never was that more true than with you! Delighted to have such a talented peer mentor, advisor and friend.

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