How to Host Your First-Ever Conference and Have Over 1,000 People Attend

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Andrew is the owner and CEO of The O Agency, a personal branding agency that targets CEOs, pro athletes, and executive entrepreneurs. Andrew is also the CEO and founder of BYOBlive, a company that hosts conferences and workshops that bring together various diverse professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs from different industries.

Over the years, Andrew has had numerous accomplishments, from building lucrative businesses from scratch to being featured in Forbes magazine. Among Andrew’s biggest achievements is when he hosted his first BYOBlive conference and had over 1,000 people attend. Andrew used his marketing prowess and experience to bring together over 1,000 professionals in his first-ever but highly successful conference.

This might seem like an impossible task for many, but according to Andrew, it is not as hard as it looks; and, with proper planning and hard work, anybody could do it. Here is what Andrew did to convince so many people to attend his conference.

Build a Cult-Like Following

The best way to get people talking about your product or service is by having as many genuine supporters as possible. For people to join or support your movement, you need a good cause, a good leader, and a new opportunity. Andrew was a great leader from the conception stage of the idea through to the execution, gathering a great team to help him and ensuring everyone knew what needed to be done and when. The whole conference idea was a great cause because it provided every attendee with valuable information as well as the opportunity to network with other professionals.

Marketing strategies like joint ventures and pre-launches are also important to get the word out and keep people talking about the upcoming conference. Aside from marketing, you also need to find out what things you can do to make people actually fall in love with you and your ideas. You must do time-consuming, unscalable things that make people care. In Andrew’s case, he was talking to nearly 1,000 people every day through social media platforms and having genuine conversations with each one of them. This made them feel like he cared personally about them attending the conference, which convinced many of them to attend. There are many things you can do to build a cult-like following, but it all revolves around how strong or aggressive you are about seeing your movement grow.

Make It a Reality

You can have a great idea or vision, but you need to put your effort into making it a reality. Any startup works better when the whole team is working together as opposed to working separately. Working in a professional environment ensures people don’t slack off or get lazy, and it keeps everyone on their A-game.

Andrew was very keen about bringing together the right team to help him put together the conference early on. About 6 months prior to holding the conference, Andrew and his team launched a 30-day countrywide tour and conducted 8 workshops for creative brands and entrepreneurs. These were meant to give people a small taste of what to expect at the conference, and it worked like a charm. The workshops were all sold out with about 150+ people in each.

Know Your Value Ladder

It is important to provide value to your customers so that they come back. It is also important to find out what your customers want, especially with regard to any changes they want. As per the audience’s suggestion, Andrew decided to do a conference that included all attendees together and not separately, as had been the case in previous years. If he had not listened to the audience, he would not have been able to bring together 1,000+ people.


Lastly, you need to over-deliver on the value and make the customers feel like they are getting a lot more than they paid for. Andrew ensured that his conference had everything his attendees could possibly want and more. He had many guest speakers, including some surprise celebrities and leaders in various fields.

Through these efforts, Andrew managed to bring 1,000+ attendees to his conference on his first try. He has since doubled that number, and he continues to provide the same value at every conference he hosts, which keeps his loyal fans coming back. 

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