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65 - Marie Waite Reveals How to Turn Your Event into a Branding Powerhouse!
5th March 2024 • High Profit Event Show • Rudy Rodriguez
00:00:00 00:21:14

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This podcast episode of "The High Profit Event Show" hosted by Rudy Rodriguez features guest Marie Waite, the founder of Fire-Up Connect. During the episode, they dive into Marie's background in event hosting and branding, focusing on her successful ventures in San Diego, including the real estate education events and the development of Fire-Up Connect for business networking. Marie shares her three-point process for enhancing event branding, the importance of building your name within the community, creating a strong brand presence, and a lasting legacy through impactful events.

Marie also discusses her approach to event promotion and engagement and the importance of building relationships with community and business leaders for event success. She shares on starting small for first-time event leaders and the necessity of having marketing content to promote future events. Marie also touches on her role in aiding speakers to secure paid opportunities, and her upcoming workshop for developing speaker skills and visibility.

The episode covers practical strategies for event leaders, from branding and promotion to engagement and creating memorable experiences for attendees. Marie's expertise provides valuable insights into making events successful and leaving a lasting impact on participants.


Want to connect with Marie?


Website: https://fireupconnect.com/marie-waite/


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariewaite/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marie.antonette.waite


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marie.waite/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/mariewaite

Transcripts

Rudy Rodriguez:

Welcome to The High Profit Event Show. Today we have a special guest, Ms. Marie Waite. Welcome, Ma'am.

Marie Waite:

Hi, Rudy. Thank you for inviting me here.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Most certainly. Excited to have you on. A few fun facts. One, you are a renowned serial entrepreneur and branding specialist. You have extensive experience in the event space, having hosted several different types of events, including a real estate education event for investors and entrepreneurs and community leaders here in San Diego, six years running. I'm very excited to have you on today to hear about your experience running these events, as well as your expertise with branding. I know you have a very great three-point process that you use to help event leaders increase their brands and their events. So welcome.

Marie Waite:

Yes, thank you. Excited to be here and I know you're in San Diego right now, right?

Rudy Rodriguez:

That's right. I'm here in San Diego.

Marie Waite:

Are you enjoying it?

Rudy Rodriguez:

Loving it. It's beautiful weather here.

Marie Waite:

Well, I love San Diego. It's great weather here. I'm a tropical girl, and I love the weather here.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Wonderful. You live in a beautiful place. For anyone listening to this, if you haven't been to San Diego, you got to go and might consider staying here for a little bit. So it's a wonderful place. So Marie, you have such a unique background, such a unique experience. I know you originally came from the Philippines. You've been in the US. You've had so many different levels of success. I know currently you're actually working with speakers as well and helping them get booked on stages and you have a workshop that you're hosting in March. So share with us a bit more about your experience in the event space. What got you into live events?

Marie Waite:

Oh, it's a long story. I mean, I was just trying to help a lot of the business entrepreneurs in early, actually late 2000. That's when we had all the downturn in the market, remember that in 2008? So what I did is I just tried to put together an event to help the businesses so they can network and they can help each other. That was the whole intention of putting together the event. From there, it actually exploded. I ended up doing more events and we had over a hundred companies participate in one of our events and tried to raise money for the school. It just started there and then the branding also came along where a lot of the people in the community, the city officials wanted to partner with me. We ended up doing a lot of fashion shows. Like you're talking about a three day event at the wineries, at the dealership and at the prominent mall for over 500 people. So it's been a great experience for me to start it that way and then evolve by doing more events for the business professionals.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Oh, wonderful. Very cool. Then you've had this event that you did in San Diego. I think it's called Fire Up Connect. Tell us a little bit about that event specifically. You just had it this past November. Tell us a little bit about what that event was and what your experience was with that event.

Marie Waite:

Okay. So Fire Up Connect is one of my companies that I started for business networking. This is a group of professionals from all over the US. So it's not like just San Diego. I have people coming from Chicago, from Seattle, from other places. But The Fire Up Live is the name of the event. That is where I bring all types of people, real estate professionals, business leaders, community leaders and we try to create a presentation or a lot of knowledge and wisdom that you can get from this event. So that's what Fire Up Live is. I bring entertainment in it and I love bringing the singers and all kinds of people that are, it's good to give them the exposure during this time.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Okay, very cool. So you create that as a networking, community building and branding.

Marie Waite:

Oh yeah. I even include fashion shows sometimes. But a fashion show actually was a good one to include in the events because it really brings so many fun things about it.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Yes. Beautiful. You shared with me in the green room that you consider yourself to be a branding expert and you feel like that's one of the things that can help event leaders tremendously is proper branding for their event. Can you share with us maybe some of those, three elements of branding that you would recommend for an event leader to improve their event sales or conversions?

Marie Waite:

It is really important to build your name, which is the first one within your community. Building your name is something that you need to learn how to introduce yourself, make it memorable for the people that you're connecting with. I have like five things that you need to learn how to build your name, okay? It's memorable. It's sharing your accomplishment. It's trying to build your respect within the community and it's your integrity. Then lastly is your experience. How do you share all of that to build your name? Then the next part is what we call building your brand and brand includes a lot of information. You're talking about your authority, your niche in the business, your team. How do you train your team? How do you create this momentum as being the expert in the industry? So there's a lot of things that you need to learn how to build your name. Then lastly is how you build your legacy. Because ultimately that's what you're gonna end up doing anyway is because of all the things that you're doing with building your name and brand, the legacy is really the key for a lot of people is how you make an impact to the community and to the people around you. By doing that, you're creating an event that will help people build their brand, build their name and build their legacy. That's part of the reason why I do the events.

Rudy Rodriguez:

So helping people build their name, build their brand and build their ultimate legacy. Yes. That's beautiful. As someone who listens to this podcast as an event leader, do you see any specific applications for this approach? The main problem event leaders tend to have is how do I promote my event? How do I build my event? How do I get people to come to the event? What would you say has worked for you when it comes to promoting and getting people to come to your events?

Marie Waite:

What really worked for me is because of my relationship with most of the community leaders and business leaders. Because ultimately those people have their own network of people and because they know who I am, they know my integrity level, they know how I process business because they understand who I am, then they are willing to cooperate with me and to support me with whatever I'm doing. So initially is really establishing the relationship with the other business leaders out there, and then create that relationship and the collaboration within each other in regards to what you're trying to accomplish with your events. So if you're able to fulfill that or to create those amazing relationships, your event is gonna be supported and people will come for it.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Okay, wonderful. So what I'm hearing you say is investing in the relationships, building a community of people.

Marie Waite:

Yes.

Rudy Rodriguez:

And continuing to go back to that community to develop and promote your events. What would you say to someone who maybe doesn't have a community yet, or they're just maybe they're doing their first event and they don't know where to start as far as promoting and filling their event? What advice would you give?

Marie Waite:

Well, to put on your first event, definitely it would have to be a small event. Then from there, that event becomes your marketing content for your next event. So expect that you're gonna have a small group of people on your first event, but that's okay. Don't feel discouraged by that because that is the beginning of what you're gonna end up creating in the future. But you have to have content in order to promote your events in the future. So how do you do that? Make sure that you have enough video production, you have photos out of it, and you have the right people in the group. So you need to target the people that you need to bring in who's gonna talk about your future events. They need to know what the event is about. So marketing is a big part of that when you're creating your first event and also bringing the right people into your program.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Okay, great. Marketing and bringing the right people into the program. What type of marketing efforts specifically would you suggest? What have you seen that's worked best?

Marie Waite:

Well, it depends. I would say, one is you're gonna have to do an introductory video. It's important for people to understand what your purpose is and what you're trying to attain as part of your goal. So once you are able to communicate that to people and then you're gonna have to get other people to come along and provide testimonials of you because if people do not know you, it's gonna be hard for them to trust what you're sharing with them. So again, it's coming back to building your name and creating your brand along the way because that's the only way people will come in and you need to build the level of trust that they have on what you're trying to present to them. Because I've seen a lot of people that come my way, they've invited me to their events but I have no idea who they are. But some of the people that have invited me, they have tremendous content and tremendous testimonials that give me the interest of attending. But, again, that will be based on the content of your marketing. It's how you present yourself and who are you connected with? Who are you affiliated with? Who are the people that are supporting you? That's part of how you market your event. It's a lot with regards to branding.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Okay, beautiful, thank you. Thank you for sharing that. When people get to their events, excuse me, when they host your events, they get people to their events and then the big challenge that they have from there is how do they create engagement. How do they have people show up and participate and be there the whole time? What would be your best advice or what have you seen work best when it comes to creating engagement at events?

Marie Waite:

Okay, well, one is you need to make sure that you're very energetic and you also make sure that you communicate with them. It's an interactive event. I am the type of person that if I go into an event and then the speaker is just talking and talking and talking and not really engaging with the audience, that's where the problem is for me because I need to be able to be able to communicate also, even though I'm one of the audience, I can hear the speaker being energetic and also communicating with the audience. So that's one of the things that I look for when it comes to the events. It has to be energetic, it has to be interactive and then you need to make sure that they have an opportunity to meet other people also, highlight people. Those are good things to do when you're doing an event. Make sure that you give credit to people that have also supported you along the way and bring them the recognition that they deserve.

Rudy Rodriguez:

So giving them credit, highlighting and bringing the spotlight back on them, raising the energy in the room, being interesting.

Marie Waite:

Yes, has to be. You have to feel that way. If you don't feel excited and if you don't feel energetic, I mean, no one is gonna feel the same way in your event. I've had events where it's a small group, but we had such a blast because I was just having so much fun. So you need to make sure that you feel that way, that you are so passionate about what you're doing in the events. If not, it is just a gathering and there's no magical experience. You gotta make it magical for people, okay? And for you also, I am not doing something that I don't love doing. So anything that I do, I am all in, I'm 100%. You get me 100% with all my laughs and energy. I mean, that's what life is, and that's what you need to do with your events. You need to feel like, oh my God, this is such an incredible gathering and we are all here together and we're all connected and we're all gonna learn from each other and that's what you want them to feel.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Most definitely. I have a sense that you bring a lot of energy to your events.

Marie Waite:

Oh, I do. In my last event, the Fire Up Live event, I was wearing these shoes that are bling bling shoes and normally I would wear heels. But because I was walking everywhere and I wanna make sure I'm not hurting, with my feet, we were wearing heels. So I wore these amazing shoes that are so comfortable and it has a bling bling and people loved it. I was just everywhere and talking to people and it's just running the entire event but I was comfortable. When you feel comfortable, you're gonna make it so smooth and you will be able to accomplish more when you're running the event. So you gotta feel comfortable. You gotta make sure that you are fed, you've got good food in your tummy and so you can smile and not worry about being hungry. So you gotta make sure you take care of yourself when you go into an event.

Rudy Rodriguez:

So true. Gotta take care of yourself.

Marie Waite:

Yes. When you are happy and you're giving a lot of your energy, the people around you, the people that are working with you are gonna feel the same way and they're all gonna be very energetic. Very energetic. They're all excited. So that's what it is. Event is really an experience. It has to be a magical experience for everyone. If not, it's really not gonna be memorable. Again, we're talking about building your legacy. When you give people the magical experience, when you go into their events, that's what makes it worth doing because you see how it impacts other people. You see their smile. You see the eyes, they glow. It's like all this click, click, click ideas that they're getting from it. I mean, that is so incredible and that is what magic is. You see what I'm saying? That's what an event should be.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Yes, very much so. Wonderful. Marie, I would love to hear a little bit more about what you do currently with speakers and how you help people or speakers get on stages at events. Can you share with us in a few minutes a little bit more about that?

Marie Waite:

So just to give you a short story, when I started my real estate brokerage, I was new. I was not an experienced real estate broker or real estate owner. But what I did was I was very focused on who I wanna get. I got 50 agents in a short period of time and competed with the big companies. This year, I am publishing my branding book. I am going to book speakers as paid speakers. That is my focus. I'm going to work with a small group of people who want to be a part of my list. That is what my aim for this year. So if anybody who knows me and knows how I work and how good I am, I can close deals. I can sell sand to Arabs. That's what somebody said about me. I'm using the same thing. But that's what my focus is, is to bring in these people along with me and book them as paid speakers because I make money from all of them too, by the way. But that's part of what I do is I have to make sure that it's successful for them because it makes me successful also. That is my goal. But the only thing is they need to be attending my business workshop on March 13 and 14 in order for them to work with me. If they don't, it won't be successful for them. I'm all about the result. I'm all about success. I'm all about making sure that it did well for them. That is what I'm looking for because again, I'm building my legacy.

Marie Waite:

So I need to make sure that these people are getting what they want out of what I'm offering them. I want deliverables. It also makes me satisfied with my goals. It's not just for them. It's my goal to see them getting booked as a paid speaker. That's my goal.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Okay, great. I feel the conviction there.

Marie Waite:

I don't mess around. I am not young anymore. I am here to make things happen. I'm all about making things happen. If it's not done, it's not complete in my book. I need to make sure I have a check on that task that I need to complete. So that's what I'm doing.

Rudy Rodriguez:

That's fair, okay. So for a speaker who wants to get more stages or get booked in stages, basically working with you as like a broker or an agent, they have to come to this event, March 13th and 14th. Is it in San Diego, is that right?

Marie Waite:

Yes, it's gonna be in North County, San Diego. It's in the beautiful building where the Lexus dealership is and what we're doing is one day of working with me and I'm bringing the president of TEDx Temecula to help manage their presentation and message. Then the next day, we're gonna do video production and photo shoot because I'm gonna need that in order for me to help you get paid as a speaker. So I already put it as a package and guess how much this is? It's only $1500. You can't find this kind of deal anywhere because again, my goal is for them to be there, get some video production and photo shoot with me. The photographer is an international photographer by the way. Remember I'm connected to the fashion industry. I've got the best photographer who's coming in for this. So they are gonna be working with an international photographer. Then the magic happens after that because I'm gonna keep working on making sure that I understand how to work with them and make sure that I am going after the people that they want.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Wow, remarkable. Sounds like a - It's a deal. Opportunity, a deal. Yes, for someone who's here and to come in and get work with you, get photos done. You just get prepared to be able to do multiple.

Marie Waite:

I'm hoping that I can launch my book on March 15. I'm finishing my book right now. If I make it happen on March 15, I'm gonna have a book launch party where I'm inviting a lot of people that you're gonna get to meet because they are all amazing people. So think about it. If you're gonna be there March 13 to work with me and then March 14 to do the video production and photo shoot and March 15 is to meet all my network. I mean, where can you find that?

Rudy Rodriguez:

It's gonna be the party. If you're an event leader on this call and you want to be with a great group of people here in San Diego and discover how you can get even more bookings for speaking and stages, reach out to Marie. Marie, what's the best way for people to learn more about you and what you have to offer?

Marie Waite:

They can go to my website, Mariewaite.com. That's M -A -R -i -E W -a -i -T -E .com. Or they can call me directly at 951-378-5316. But again, the people that I wanna work with, it's a small group of people, but if you get the spot, you're gonna be one of the luckiest people because I am about to take off with my train and you're gonna come with me. So that's what we're doing here. So it's gonna be exciting. I'm really excited this year, Rudy. I'm excited to meet you too. I wanna learn more about what you do because I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of collaboration you and I can do. I love working with people. I love to utilize their talents. I wanted to make sure that everybody can, they understand what it is and they can utilize it well for their business.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Wonderful. Any final comments for our audience before we wrap up?

Marie Waite:

I think you guys need to go after me. You can't wait to work with Marie because I've got everything that is ready for you. I have media platforms. I've got everything that you can think of. I've done my homework. I've done all the time to build everything that you need to make yourself successful. So that's all I can say.

Rudy Rodriguez:

There it is, yes. So tune in, check out Marie. We'll include links to your website here in the show notes and mark your calendars for that event in March. It's sounds like it's gonna be a great party one way or the other.

Marie Waite:

Yes, of course, always. You're always gonna have fun with Marie.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Yes, can't wait to have fun with Marie. Thank you Marie for being a guest on our show. It's been wonderful to have you today. For our audience, go check out Marie Waite's website. Click the link below and reach out to Marie. Thank you Marie.

Marie Waite:

Thank you, Rudy. Bye.

Rudy Rodriguez:

Bye bye.

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