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Transforming Businesses Through Events – Exclusive Interview With Anza Goodbar

In this exclusive interview, we sit down with Anza Goodbar, the Founder of Bankable Events LLC. Anza shares her incredible journey as an entrepreneur, overcoming adversity and pivoting her career to establish a thriving event advisory agency that empowers small businesses. She discusses the inspiration behind Bankable Events, the challenges and rewards of the event industry, and her vision for the future. Get ready to dive into an engaging conversation with a trailblazer who's transforming the landscape of live events and helping entrepreneurs forge meaningful connections for sustainable growth.

Anza Goodbar, CEO, Bankable Events, LLC


Anza, please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and your background before founding Bankable Events LLC.


My journey as an entrepreneur has been a story of navigating career transitions and emerging as a leader in the coaching and consulting industry.


With 20 years of experience as a meeting and special events planner, I took a leap of faith in 2004 and ventured into the mortgage business. By owning a boutique company catering to clients with less-than-perfect credit, the future seemed promising as we planned for regional expansion in 2008. However, the unforeseen collapse of the mortgage industry brought these ambitions to a screeching halt.


Initially optimistic that the market would self-correct, it soon became apparent that a significant shift was necessary. With the coaching and consulting industry emerging alongside the rise of social media and online businesses, I recognized a golden opportunity to pivot.


Drawing from past experiences and valuable lessons learned, I found a new purpose in empowering small business owners. A once-unfortunate situation transformed into a thriving new career by helping entrepreneurs establish strong foundations, implement systems and processes, and position themselves as industry experts.


What inspired you to establish Bankable Events LLC, and how did you develop the company name?


As an entrepreneur, I've always focused on identifying and capitalizing on emerging business trends. The inspiration for my Bankable Events brand came during a podcast interview when I was asked, "What business trends are going to be HOT in 2023?" Without hesitation, I responded, "Live events."

The pandemic brought about significant changes in our lives, particularly for those accustomed to daily office life, surrounded by people and lively activity. Over the past year, conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends consistently highlighted the increased longing for community.


People yearned to see, touch, and experience those they did business with in person.


Having worked in the events industry, I knew firsthand that live events were a powerful business-building tool that could build community. The idea that entrepreneurs should operate in isolation is a fallacy; forging connections with others opens doors for networking and collaboration, ultimately contributing to success.


In light of the challenges faced during the pandemic, the time was ripe for spotlighting the opportunities live events provide. We seek to unite entrepreneurs, foster a sense of community and enable businesses to thrive through meaningful, in-person collaborations and connections. My goal has always been to create a brand that people can trust and rely on. The name Bankable Events was inspired by this desire – to be seen as a dependable and valuable brand, akin to the confidence-inspiring phrase, "You can take that to the bank!"


By naming my brand Bankable Events, I wanted to emphasize the consistent quality, trustworthiness, and value we provide to our clients by helping them develop robust strategies that leverage live events as a business-building tool. We aim to promote a sense of community while assisting entrepreneurs in establishing meaningful connections to help grow their businesses while assuring them that they are investing in a service that delivers on its promise.


Can you explain Bankable Events LLC's core mission and vision and how it sets you apart from other event management companies?


Bankable Events is far from your average event planning or management company. As an advisory firm, we specialize in crafting strategies that position our clients as experts, create unforgettable experiences, and drive revenue to their businesses.


With a wealth of experience spanning over 4,000 live events for Fortune 100 companies and small businesses alike, our expertise covers a diverse range of occasions – from intimate corporate retreats and incentive programs to special events, conferences, and arena events, hosting up to 15,000 attendees.


Our approach goes beyond generating revenue; we genuinely listen to our client's missions and craft strategies that align with their core values, target audience, and business goals.


We understand that success is subjective, and each client has a unique vision of what it means to them. That's why we tailor our strategies to help them grow, tapping into their aspirations and ensuring their events resonate with purpose and impact.

Can you share a particularly challenging event that you have managed? What lessons did you learn from that experience?


Several years ago, I had the pleasure of assisting a pharmaceutical company in launching a groundbreaking new cancer drug. They hosted a million-dollar product launch party for their 1,000-strong sales team. The event had to be mind-blowing!


Held in an indoor arena, complete with indoor pyrotechnics, we created a futuristic scene inspired by the iconic alien ship landing from the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Every detail, from the custom-made linens to the cutting-edge props and interactive elements, was carefully curated to ensure a truly immersive experience unlike anything the attendees had seen.


With many moving parts and components sourced from around the country, the event demanded close attention to detail and seamless coordination. To further enhance the excitement of the big reveal, our client requested a costume party, which required clear communication of the theme to ensure a cohesive and engaging atmosphere.


The party's highlight was the spectacular lighting and stage setup for the live performance by the B-52s, which contributed to an unforgettable evening. This exciting event ultimately energized the sales team, setting the stage for a successful and profitable product launch campaign.


As a female entrepreneur, what advice do you have for other women looking to start their businesses?


Building a solid foundation is paramount when building a thriving business that will surpass the critical first five years. As a budding entrepreneur, you should concentrate on these five key areas to set your startup on the path to success:


Fuel your passion and purpose: Identify a business idea that resonates with your values, interests, and aspirations. This emotional connection will be the driving force that will propel you forward.


Master the art of planning: Devise a comprehensive business plan that encompasses your vision, objectives, target audience, unique selling proposition, marketing tactics, financial forecasts, and operational blueprint. This plan will be indispensable when soliciting funding or forging partnerships.


Network like a pro: Cultivate an influential network of industry professionals, mentors, and colleagues who can offer valuable guidance, encouragement, and resources. Immerse yourself in industry events, online forums, and social media dialogues pertinent to your niche.

Hone your skills for success: Commit to ongoing skill development in leadership, negotiation, marketing, and other relevant disciplines. Enroll in courses, attend workshops, and participate in conferences to broaden your expertise and stay ahead of the curve.


Build a dream team: Assemble a diverse, talented group with complementary skills to support your business vision. Encourage a positive, inclusive work environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, and effective delegation.


Lastly, remember to revel in your achievements and milestones along the way. Celebrating your successes boosts morale and fosters a winning mindset for continued growth and prosperity.


How do you see the event management industry evolving in the next 5 to 10 years, and what role do you envision Bankable Events LLC playing in that future?


While it is difficult to predict the exact trajectory of any industry, we can make some educated guesses based on current trends. Here are a few potential developments that could shape the event industry:


Hybrid events: The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the value of virtual events and the need for flexibility. Hybrid events, which combine in-person and virtual components, will likely become more popular, allowing organizers to reach larger audiences and accommodate those who cannot attend in person.


Advanced technology: Virtual and augmented reality, AI, and other emerging technologies will play a more significant role in events, including virtual venues, interactive experiences, and personalized content that caters to individual attendees' interests and preferences.


Data-driven decision-making: As technology advances, event organizers will have access to more data and analytics to inform their decisions, leading to more targeted marketing, improved event experiences, and a better understanding of attendees' preferences and behaviors.


Personalization: Attendees will increasingly expect customized experiences tailored to their interests and needs. Event organizers must leverage data and technology to create personalized agendas, networking opportunities, and content that resonates with their audience.


New revenue streams: Organizers will explore new ways to monetize their events, such as pay-per-view streaming, digital sponsorship opportunities, and virtual exhibitor booths.


Shorter, more focused events: In response to the information overload and constant connectivity of modern life, events may become more straightforward and more concentrated, offering attendees concise, high-quality content that respects their time constraints.

While these predictions are based on current trends, the future of the event industry will undoubtedly be shaped by unforeseen challenges and innovations.

We intend to stay on the cutting edge of shifts in the industry to help our clients adapt and embrace change for hosting successful and profitable events.


What do you enjoy most about your work as the Founder of Bankable Events LLC, and what drives your passion for event management?


I enjoy immersing myself in a world of creativity, innovation, and collaboration. No two days are the same. Each day presents an exciting adventure fueled by the most rewarding aspects of my work:


Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: My role allows me to craft one-of-a-kind event experiences that captivate and inspire attendees. Our team guides our clients to create unforgettable moments that leave lasting impressions by leveraging cutting-edge technology and ingenious concepts.


Forging Connections: I take immense pride in helping individuals and businesses establish valuable connections through networking opportunities. I contribute to my clients and their attendees' personal and professional growth by fostering collaboration and nurturing lasting relationships.


Embracing Problem-Solving: As an entrepreneur, I thrive on tackling challenges and finding inventive solutions that ensure seamless and memorable events. I strive to exceed expectations at every turn by continuously refining processes and addressing evolving client needs.


Making an Impact: My work enables me to play a crucial role in shaping industry trends and driving change. I positively influence the event landscape by contributing to my client's success and helping them achieve their event objectives.


This fulfilling, multifaceted business combines my passions for creativity, innovation, and human connection. The dynamic nature of the event industry, coupled with small business, offers a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional growth, making each day an exciting journey filled with new challenges and achievements.


How do you balance your personal life with the demands of running a successful event management company?


Balancing work and life is an ongoing experiment, especially in the demanding world of event planning, which often requires intense scheduling. Setting boundaries and carving out "off" time for personal well-being is essential to maintain equilibrium.


One approach I've found effective is to plan my schedule with non-negotiable "me" time each day. This dedicated time may include activities like prayer and meditation, which help to cultivate inner peace and mindfulness. Reading and journaling also provide opportunities for introspection, self-reflection, and personal growth, which keep me grounded and on target.


In addition to these daily practices, engaging in festive and relaxing activities is essential. For me, that includes hobbies like ballroom dancing, which allows me to express myself creatively while staying active. Hiking allows me to reconnect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. And traveling broadens horizons and offers exposure to new experiences and cultures.


By establishing boundaries and prioritizing self-care, I find balance in the fast-paced, ever-evolving entrepreneurial lifestyle. I often reminded myself that I must intentionally cultivate a more sustainable and fulfilling work-life balance to experience happiness and success in every area of my life.


Finally, what's next for Anza Goodbar and Bankable Events LLC? Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives you'd like our readers to know about?


We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Events Convert Academy, a comprehensive resource designed to support small businesses in leveraging events as a vital part of their business model. Our academy has recently released its first digital course and will add more in the coming months. These courses will supplement our ongoing bi-monthly FREE Masterclasses, providing accessible education and resources for small business owners.


Additionally, we are excited to share that our new book, "Mastering the Art of Planning Live Events: A Small Business Owner's Guide to Build your Brand, Drive Revenue, and Grow a Sustainable Business," will be released mid-April. This informative guide will provide valuable insights and practical advice for small business owners who intend to use planning and executing successful live events as a business-building tactic.


At Bankable Events, our primary goal is to empower small business owners to find creative solutions that lead to stable, sustainable growth. We are committed to equipping entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools necessary to harness the power of events to leverage their brands and transform their businesses.


Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


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