Hello, everyone, and welcome to victory talks, where we’re all about creating winning mindsets, and growing your organization. If you’re looking to scale your business, grow your event, or learn about best practices in sales and marketing. This is the podcast for you, based on the principles of the best-selling book sales, outside the circle. We introduce your host, Bill McGlade.
Bill McGlade 00:28
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to victory talks. As always, I am super excited about our special guest today and that revealing that name just yet. Before we go into today’s special topic, as well, I’d like to remind you to sign up for the sales did for your eyes only event on April 23 and join the year round community. It’s free. We’ll put the registration link in the link to the podcast. All right, and back to today’s episode. Wow, this is going to be a doozy. Pay attention to this one because it’s no holds bar. Our special guest today said I can ask any question I want here and she’ll answer it. So today we have Terry Carden, who might go buy t-dog who might go buy a little TLC who might buy go buy terabytes if you’re a techie for there as well. She has multiple companies and we’ll get into that and has a lot of success throughout her years. I’m not going to mention the age even though she did for a certain part of it. But it was fun. Maybe we’ll let her do that. So with that, I’ll let Terry go ahead and introduce herself.
Terry Carden 01:40
Thanks so much Bill. No pressure here at all? It’s gonna be a doozy, right?
Bill McGlade 01:46
No, based on our initial conversation, this is gonna be fun.
Terry Carden 01:51
Yeah, I’m excited. Thanks for having me on and Hi, everybody. So I’m Terry Carden, as Bill said, and I am got identity crisis. I have my hands and many different businesses and across the nonprofit and association industry and how I got here is a little unique, I actually came from the for profit world and there are many pillars to sort of the DNA of how I got to where I am. But ultimately, I am the co-founder or excuse me, that’s really I am the founder, I can say that now.
Bill McGlade 02:29
Oh, we’re gonna get into that part now.
Terry Carden 02:32
I got to get used to that. I am the founder and CEO of 100 reviews, and review my AMS and 100 reviews is a software that allows any association to spin up their own review site and I am the creator of review my AMS, which is a review site, on the 100 reviews platform that allows any association executive to go in and give a review on their association management software and once they give their review and the review is published, then they get to read the reviews and oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this Bill, but we’re at like 1100 or something 1150 reviews on 70 different Association management software’s. So that’s been pretty exciting to see how the community has embraced that idea to it is the biggest review site on the 100 reviews platform. So I am my own client super meta there and I also am the creator of an event called non Duza Palooza. So I told you total identity crisis there.
Bill McGlade 03:36
I don’t know if it’s an identity crisis, or the epitome of true entrepreneur. Having your hands in multiple areas allows you to actually figure out different components of your business to and going back to review my AMS, our former company, was actually bought out by an AMS. A couple years ago. So we won’t go into that one. But I’ll have to ping you offline and talk about how the reviews are for those different companies to say. I’m really excited about this based off our initial conversation and before we hit hard on the absolute fantastic model you have together for your events, which, what was the name again?
Terry Carden 04:20
It’s called non Duza Palooza.
Bill McGlade 04:23
Which I love. Any old school fans out there where that’s coming from. So let’s talk about the your DNA, not your actual DNA, but the your DNA from your personality to business, in the milestones that actually one got you into the association world which you mentioned you now love and adore and all of that. That also helped you to understand from an outside perspective, right, coming into this world, what it actually needed and that ultimately helps you to create the multiple companies and the event. So let’s start with that.
Terry Carden 05:02
Okay, so, in 1979. So I was the GM, so the number two person for 11 different retail locations in Nashville Tennessee and that was kind of where I was hanging my shingle for many years, and the corporate side of things, and I needed a change and my husband at the time, and I were making a move, and I thought it was going to take some time off after I did that move and had that success with that company. They had the biggest year that they had ever had in their 25 years of time and I guess I am bragging there because that says a lot and we put a lot of energy and effort and many, many hours of sleeping under my desk during the Christmas time. Yeah, so I’m not gonna ever deny myself the credit that’s due there. But I thought I was going to be able to take about three months or so off and just get to be with my children and not sleep under a desk in downtown Nashville and during that time, I got a little bit bored. I was like, wait, okay, a whole month has gone by and I can only clean their rooms and organizer rooms so many times, right? So I need to do something. I need to be an active participant in society or be working towards something and so I went to an agency and she did some tests with me and she said, Oh, we don’t really have anything that’s a good fit for you. You might be a little kind of overqualified for some of the simple jobs. I said, give me a sample job, just give me a task. Get me to do something. I don’t care if I’m answering phones. She’s like, okay, so let me see if I can find something for you and she teamed me up with a group called the Florida Society of Association Executives. So that is an association for associations in Florida, fabulous group and I was just coming on, just for a small stint of like six weeks or something and in that six weeks’ time, I grew to love that association community. I realized that the association world was my home, and I would never leave it.
Bill McGlade 07:24
Okay, so what specifically made you we get asked that all the time, and I’m one of the ones that stumbled into it. I actually had an agency find me a job and the job was at NTP events way back in the day in 1979, as well, just kidding but just a lot of us stumble into this industry. So what was it about the association invent world that you just loved?
Terry Carden 07:50
Yeah, I think it’s rare that a college student will say, I’m going into Association management. We don’t hear that, right?
Bill McGlade 07:59
Really what it’s just also not that many classes out there for it. It’s that we’re getting there but,
Terry Carden 08:04
Yeah, I think it is getting better. But I think most people do just accidentally fall into it. But in for my particular world, at that time, it was the women who are running that organization, and the board who just embraced that what their job was to do to propel associations forward in the state of Florida and they had given the leadership at the society, the bandwidth to do what they needed to do to move the needle and they were doing that and so we had leverage, we had permission to try new things. We had permission to try new things around running events, we had permission to try new things around, introducing new technologies and it was just a beautiful mash up of women who cared about an organization and a board who had a desire to move the needle forward to help associations move their missions forward and it was symphonic, there was a word like it’s just like a symphony. It was a beautiful Symphony, and I could see it even as a newbie.
Bill McGlade 09:13
Did you work in Florida or were you out of Nashville working remotely?
Terry Carden 09:18
Oh, that’s a good question. I was actually at the desk, the front desk answering phones for FSAE until it came time for the girl to come back into the office and when the girl who’s I was replacing was going to come back in the office, they actually decided to create a new role for me and so they gave me all these crap jobs, right? But I didn’t care because (Cross talking). So that’s kind of how I fell into Association work and that was a wonderful ride. We created some new non dues revenue generating ideas there like the year that the oil spill happened, our revenue tanked from because if you imagine the revenue was coming from hotels around the state of Florida, that’s where a lot of our magazine and advertising revenue was coming in, and it tanked because their guests were pulling out of coming down to Florida to stay at the hotels, right? No more weddings, no more meetings no more. Because Florida was ground zero for all of this awful oil situation, right? And so we had to come up with new sources of revenue. When we came up with this new source of revenue. One of those was this idea that I had called meet the geeks and so we weren’t tapped into the tech industry at all, there was no revenue or advertising dollars, or meetings of the minds happening with the tech vendors in the around the United States and so I said, why don’t we do this show part of our conference, and I haven’t called meet the geeks and the tech companies are actually considered the geeks and then the association, people get to actually meet people who are running this tech, and then they can introduce new tech into their association space and so we created and we tapped into completely untapped markets and that was a lot of fun. I will say that, leadership gave us bandwidth to do that though.
Bill McGlade 11:20
And that’s a really important aspect that you just mentioned, because I think there are still a lot of leaders and managers that are out there and there’s a huge difference between leaders and managers, that don’t really give the bandwidth to their team members to be able to come up with awesome ideas like that. So I’m happy to hear that even back in 18, 20 that they were able to do that. So I apologize to everyone out there. Terry is allowing us to make fun of her age when she’s old, which is hysterical part of all of it. So meet the geeks, can we talk a little bit more about that? How you organized it? What was the success of it, too, because obviously technology nowadays is just rampant. It’s everywhere and obviously no affiliation with Geek Squad and best buy from all of that. But where did you draw the inspiration to come up with that our last episode was about creating new space and you absolutely did that within an association, which is fantastic.
Terry Carden 12:25
Yeah. So we can’t be afraid to try new things, right? There’s this in the business world, they have what’s called the MVP, right? If you’re a business person, this is a common acronym for you, right? You know what I say about MVP? Okay, I call it MLP, okay, we need to have the minimum lovable product, not a minimum viable product, it has to be a product that gets embraced by the community, right? And I know you love me tossing that word community around here but you know what I mean, and so you can’t just throw something out there and be like, okay, yeah, it’s kind of working, and needs to be embraced, and then you can build on it and so what I did was I just beta tested the marketplace and we get to talking a little bit more about how I create a preview. My AMS is basically a copy paste of that same idea. The oil spill happened, I believe it happened in October, gosh, you Googlers out there, you can probably go fix me exactly. But I think it happened in October and we knew the advertising dollars were taking, like immediately, I’m in pulling out all of the events, all the advertising that we had going on. I mean, we’re talking about a 60% loss and loss immediately.
Bill McGlade 13:43
It sounds like 2020.
Terry Carden 13:46
Yeah. So they were experiencing the same thing, too and so we had to course correct. Okay, our options were to dig into reserves, or come up with something new. Okay, so our backs were against the wall and I was pretty infiltrated into the tech side of things. My title was a marketing and technology director. So my role was to implement new technologies and introduce Association executives to new technologies on the scene anyway. That was kind of part of my role and I thought, well, we don’t really have a space where this tech is, has a home at FASE, right? We don’t have a tech conference. We don’t have tech is really part of our annual conference. We don’t have any tech roundtables. Well, actually, we did have a tech roundtable maybe, but it’s kind of a sort of ad hoc and so we didn’t really have a space for tech, but yet, at that time, those executives that was a need that they had they needed to learn about new tech that was coming in the space. So I think it was sort of a mash up of many factors, timing how Association executives at the time were receiving new tech and what the need was there and the ability for us to have the leverage to just be able to do this thing, right? So, overall, I think it was just lining up of the stars. But what I did was I went to the ASAE tech conference and I said, hey, we’re gonna do this thing called meet the gates at our event coming up in June, we have an annual conference, you’re gonna get center space, we’re gonna have geek glasses. We’ll have it we’ll make it tons of fun. I’m gonna make it fun. I can’t do anything where it’s a serious topic tech is, but it’s gonna be a lot of fun and I’m gonna come do it. Oh, tech can be serious. People in tech think they’re all serious. We can talk API’s and integrations and all kinds of dorky stuff really fast.
Bill McGlade 15:52
I think this is why you’re not gonna get along very well. We’re not that serious, especially coming from here.
Terry Carden 15:58
I like it.
Bill McGlade 16:00
So I’m gonna go back to something that you had said, because you now live in Nashville. Are you a country fan?
Terry Carden 16:08
I do like all kinds of music and I do like country music. Some of my good friends are writers or songwriters or musicians themselves. So yeah.
Bill McGlade 16:17
Alright, so I know, I’m gonna get this question. Or at least it’s going to be posted somewhere. Who’s your favorite country star?
Terry Carden 16:24
Oh, gosh, you’re gonna make me do that. Okay, so I love the Cadillac three. The Cadillac three is really amazing. The lead singer for this is I’m not trying to be a downer here. But if you guys have never heard of steel woods, the lead singer, they’re rowdy just past, he’s my age and there we go back to the age thing, but it just kind of hit home. Two weeks ago, when I followed him all over the country. I’ve seen him in New Orleans and Savannah and Florida and here in Nashville several times and life is really short and it’s the kind of a solid reminder gives a little perspective. But yeah, the steel was amazing to
Bill McGlade 17:07
Life is short, and you really should take advantage of every day and it’s not a YOLO thing. So all the young kids out there, it’s not that it’s take advantage of every minute that you have. Are you a Bobby bones fan, I listened to him.
Terry Carden 17:23
I used to listen that on my way to work back when I was running the retail store. So, man, Wow that is flashback there.
Bill McGlade 17:33
Oh, he’s still on it.
Terry Carden 17:34
I’m sure he is.
Bill McGlade 17:37
So he’s been on a bunch of different things now. Alright, so back to the real conversation here. I know we can get off on tangents. Alright, so now you’re in the association world you came up with meet the geeks, which is fantastic. You’re entering more and more into the tech side of the world. Let’s go into the two tech companies that you have now review my AMS and 100 reviews, right? And talk a little bit about that and then I really want to hone in on your event, actually both the one that you sold already, which is awesome and then the new one that you started and the model for there.
Terry Carden 18:15
Okay, all right. You want me to talk about a lot. All the things. Okay.
Bill McGlade 18:19
Well, so when you have so much awesomeness everyone has to know about it.
Terry Carden 18:27
Wow, that’s quite nice of you. But it’s a lot going on, eight? So okay, so let’s talk about how I got into review my MS. Okay, so after I was with Florida, FSAE I got recruited from another mentor of mine who worked at a trade association and so I worked for ARE the Association for retail environments and so that was a much larger International Association. So I got a lot of trade experience there. I also got some more experience working with a bigger team, which I learned that I do not like and I realized once my mentor told me that he was going to retire and I told him no, he couldn’t retire, that I was also going to retire from ARE and he said, No, you can’t retire and I said, No, you can’t retire and he said, No, you can’t retire. Okay, we have this back and forth.
Bill McGlade 19:16
Alright, so we’re Abbott and Costello. All right.
Terry Carden 19:18
Yeah. So we had an agreement that I would actually stay on for a little while as a contractor and so as an entrepreneur mindset, you know what this does, right? Like you now you’re given this freedom to think a little differently about the next thing you want to create without being tied to a specific business or organization. I was talking to them, but I was now a contractor. So it just looks different, right? So fast forward, I was on this contract gig with them and money and time was good, a great little mash up and I was on the phone, but this time, I was also speaking for ASAE and a whole bunch of other allied societies around the country on Association management, software transitions and what happens whenever you transition your software. So because I had done it in my career a total beast, and I have I tied my Southern roots to it. I guess I did go a little bit more Southern accent on y’all right here, but it’s called 10 commandments of MS transition. So I even like tie the Bible into it, yeah, it gets pretty bad. I mean, so, my West coasters, they make me call it something different, but that’s okay. Anyway, So, I was speaking on this, and I got a phone call one day from a colleague out of DC, and she worked for a very large Association. She said, hey, what do you know about AMS. Our IT departments getting ready to go down that route and I was like, oh, girlfriend, stop, right now stop, do not press go anymore. Take your foot off the pedal, stop. Doesn’t everybody know that this AMS is getting ready to go through to a huge transition, you’re going to basically be in the transition phase with them for the next two years and it’s going to be messy, and it’s gonna be ugly and you’re probably never going to work with the same person over again and don’t do that and I hung up the phone and I was so in shock and I thought, doesn’t everybody know this? Everybody freaking knows this right now. How does anybody not know this? I mean, there’s a reason she picked up the phone and call me because I knew, but I felt like the whole world. They had this information. I said, it’s almost like we need a review site for AMSs and I said that out loud.
Here, I was in this little window of needing to create something new, or join something new, or, and I was like, wait a second, and then I couldn’t sleep. So you know this feeling. I couldn’t sleep and I was like, what the heck. So I knew that the ASC tech conference was coming up and so I went to the ASC tech conference with a form on my iPad. I’m not kidding you and I said, I sat in the lobby, and I sat in the hallways at the tech conference and I would just walk up to people I didn’t know and I said, hey, my name is Terry. I’m kind of putting this idea out there and I’m just trying to, do a little analysis on the marketplace and see, you know, if the mark would be interested in this idea, I created a review site for AMSs and they’re like, whoa, wait, what? Heck? Yeah, that’s like the whole reason we’re here we’re getting ready to drop two and a half million dollars on a new AMS implementation. We need to talk to other people that are buying and I say are like already with this AMSs like, can I have this information? I was like, fill out this little, fill this review form for me if you really feel this way and so I walked away with 100 Association executives that said, heck, yeah, Terry, give me a review site tomorrow and 25 reviews and that was when I realized that I could start to create the MLP. So you can steal it. I stole it, too. I unfortunately, I have to give credit where credit’s due. Is it stealing? It’s a huge compliment, right?
Terry Carden 19:37
It is. I want to touch on this real quick because this is where most people stop. You have this beautiful idea. You get this immense passion about it and then they get stuck. But you took that next step and you asked probably more than 100 Association executives, but got 100. You went to the events, and you put yourself out there to gather the industry and knowledge whether this is going to be viable or not. Most people stop even before that, but you did it. That’s a huge compliment.
Terry Carden 23:49
Okay, thank you. One part that I did not reveal is that almost every single AMS vendor that I went to, said, Oh, and I had one nearly pointed finger in my face and say this will never work and I don’t know what it did to me but all I mean, I do know what it did to me.
Bill McGlade 24:12
Oh, that motivation.
Terry Carden 24:14
Fire under my butt. I was like why you don’t want me to why you’re trying to be threatening to me, Mr. Big Dawg AMS, like it was a big a mess. Because the VP for marketing for a large AMS one of the biggest ones in the marketplace, said this to me and I just set out to prove him wrong. Because what the market was telling me and what he was telling him are two different things. Now, there are two really awesome stories. I just have to tell this right now. Okay, so fast forward. Two years, he was no longer VP of marketing because they’re AMS. I got sold to another one and he was now working down in the marketing department and his VP of Marketing said, hey, there’s this review site out there. We need to go support this professor. So oh my gosh, if he’s listening, he will just die right now. But beyond that even then he got let go from that. AMS And then I had an event called AMSs, which I think he will talk about in a second and he was hired by one of the AMS companies to come in and do some recording of my event.
Bill McGlade 25:25
I don’t even know where to begin with this.
Terry Carden 25:28
This is not for me to throw it in his face. Well, okay. But he was when it comes finally, when you have a small wins sometimes and I just you just you stay at it. The reward is so big it the reward isn’t nearly as big unless you have somebody pointing their finger in your face going like it’ll never work.
Bill McGlade 25:48
And it did. But sometimes what, you need those people to light that fire because that that’s what ultimately makes you successful. Alright, so that’s review my AMS. So I’m not cutting you short. I apologize for this. But let’s talk about 100 reviews, because it’s also not the same tactic, a little bit different tech, but also something that everybody could use potentially.
Terry Carden 26:12
Yeah. So basically, what happened was, when I created review, my AMS, I cobbled a whole bunch of apps together and it was a very manual process and to run the site was it was cobbled together for lack of any better term and so I had a couple of associations come to me and say, hey, Terry, we have the same idea that’s happening in our marketplace, our members could really use something like review my AMS before our industry and can we white label review my AMS? And I’m like, No, you can’t. Because it’s cobbled together and unfortunately, with the back end really look like you would just die laughing at me, nobody should ever see what I have to go through just to publish a review every single day, right? And so with that, then I also had the association community asking me for review my LMS learning management system, asking me for review my fill in the blank, all kinds of other tools and systems community as another one, okay and so I had associations asking me for this and I thought I can’t continue to cobble together sites. So I set out to build software that allows any association or any organization to spin up their own review site. So it’s b2b review sites, and very niche industries and so that’s what 100 reviews is, I would love for your next question to be. So why did you call it 100 reviews?
Bill McGlade 27:33
So Terry, why do you call it 100 reviews?
Terry Carden 27:37
That’s a great question, though. Thanks so much for asking. Okay, so people automatically think what like, Can I put this back on you for a second? What do you think 100 reviews means? There’s no real wrong answer.
Bill McGlade 27:53
I don’t know. I was actually very confused by the name. But for me, 100 reviews would be, you can get 100 reviews, or it’s 100% reviewable or something like that.
Terry Carden 28:07
Okay. I like the way you think, okay. So much like you probably see in community, there’s critical mass, right? And so a lot of people tend to think once you hit 100 reviews, then you’ve reached critical mass and that kind of takes you over the tipping point. Okay, so that’s not why it’s 100 reviews. I do get that answer a lot. Its 100 reviews, because I worked with the analytics company, as I was developing review my AMS and I thought, when do it when do I get to statistical significance? And they said, when you have 10 reviews on 10 or more systems, then you can start doing competitive analysis, you can have statistical significance, and you have a real data asset. So that’s why it’s called 100 reviews.
Bill McGlade 28:54
10 times 10.
Terry Carden 28:55
Bill McGlade 28:56
There we go. All right. Real quick. Sorry about that.
Terry Carden 28:59
Yeah, you got this.
Bill McGlade 29:01
That’s an interesting approach for it. But now that I understand it. I like it because it also is meaningful and there are a lot of names out there that just aren’t meaningful. This is. So it’s that point and critical mass,
Terry Carden 29:17
Statistical significance. That’s it. It’s like, you weren’t any more than you can’t. Yeah, it’s like I definitely slow my pace. I’m talking when I have to put that one out there.
Bill McGlade 29:30
Oh, it’s when I have to say anonymously.
Terry Carden 29:34
Oh, yeah which is also using the reviews world a lot. Anonymity anonymously. Yeah.
Bill McGlade 29:42
That brings out my Finding Nemo stages, and then then I’m anonymity.
Terry Carden 29:49
Bill McGlade 29:49
Alright. So all of that combines then you had your one event. Tell us a little bit about that event and the selling process of it. There’s a lot of events from 2020 that unfortunately might have went under or they were looking to sell and then even now in 2021, maybe they’re looking for other partners or all that. So telling them a little bit about the sale process would be helpful.
Terry Carden 30:15
So back when I was running review my AMS exclusively so that was my only job. Everyday job is building partnerships with these ATMs is helping Association professionals on the right path to selecting an AMS. By the way, I’m not AMS consultant. There are many people in the space to do that really well and I’m happy to recommend those guys and gals. But what was happening is I was getting phone calls all the time. Hey, Terry, how do I how do I find a consultant? Hey, Terry, do you know anything about this AMS? Hey, Terry, where I’m like, okay, all you people that are calling me right now, y’all need to get in a room and y’all need to just talk it out, right? And so, again,
Bill McGlade 30:57
Brought that out again, look at that.
Terry Carden 31:01
I can’t help it. I get passionate in it and it really,
Bill McGlade 31:04
Let it fly. Yeah. I think I just wrote it yesterday, actually one of my LinkedIn posts, it’s if you’re not passionate about what you do them, why are you doing it?
Terry Carden 31:13
Yeah. Sometimes I feel like I get a little too passionate and you’re like, whoa, check.
Bill McGlade 31:19
Do such thing. Alright, so go ahead.
Terry Carden 31:23
Okay. So I created an event called AMS and I thought, really, the main goal is just to get a bunch of people in the room to talk about AMS stuff.
Bill McGlade 31:34
I found so much fun.
Terry Carden 31:37
Yeah. Oh, my gosh, like who really wants to spend a full entire day talking about AMS. Apparently a lot of people still to this day, twice a year. So I started it. I had no idea what they even wanted to talk about Bill. I crowd source. So I said, if you have a session idea that you want to talk about, like I don’t even know what we should be talking about at this event, submit it to me and everybody, they’ll come in and they’ll put their stuff. Everybody will be given stars and you can just put stars on the sessions that you want to hear and then that afternoon, that are how the content was formed. It was thought it was crowd source, right?
Bill McGlade 32:18
You were a teacher in the former life?
Terry Carden 32:19
No, way. Are you kidding me? Kids do not Can I can’t put up about any kids. No way. Not my thing. God bless those women and men who teach our children. So okay, so I didn’t even know what they want to talk about and then people are asking for it again and then people in Chicago were asking for AMS fest and I was like, Okay, well, now we’ll do Chicago in the spring and we’ll do AMS Fest in DC in the fall and here’s the deal. We can talk about AMS all day long and it can be just a copy paste of any other Association event out there. But not on my watch, bro. Like not on my watch. We’re gonna make it fun if we have to talk about a really dry topic and a really what can be a highly competitive, very sales focused very self-sort of inflicting conversation are just like process. The whole thing is just awful. If you ask anybody who wants to switch their AMS tomorrow? Nobody’s like, Oh, me. I think this the consultants that implement or select these MSS are gluttons for punishment, even worse than me are like, the likes to create events. So it’s a tough topic. But we like to have a lot of fun. So we’d have beer and wine at lunch. One time I even did a speakeasy where you had to have a passcode to get into a certain room. We did, we would always hold it in a funky space, never a hotel and it became such it’s the event grew so significantly, and the AMS vendors would say every single time. I have the most leads that I have any other event of the year in this room and it wasn’t the biggest fan of the mountain over the year, either and it wasn’t the most expensive event of the year. It’s just we were meeting people in the market where they were. There are always a cycle of people that need to find an AMS or explore an AMS or talk about implementation or talk about life after AMS. There will always be a cycle. It’s actually not like that very much life after implementation and that’s it. That’s it like my AMS would be.
Bill McGlade 34:39
Or sometimes implementation too.
Terry Carden 34:43
Yeah. Oh, gosh.
Bill McGlade 34:45
Yeah. All right.
Terry Carden 34:46
Yeah. So these people will always need to meet essentially. So I create an event around a lifecycle of people that will always need to be providing these products and services and there will always be people in the market that need it and Chicago and DC are obviously the highest saturated areas for AMS for Association. So those were natural fits, the event became so unwieldy and so big in terms of the level of effort that was going into it, that I had to hire a small team to help me, and then that they even became too big for us to manage and I had Association trends come to me and say, hey, Terry, would you like for us to take this event off your hands? And I said, yes. But not yes and I was like, yes. But you have got to keep the spirit of AMS fest alive. You know, you always have to keep it fun and free flowing and keep it a space where
Bill McGlade 35:45
I mean, that’s why people come in.
Terry Carden 35:47
Yeah, I feel safe to have these conversations. So one of the things about all of any event that I hold, is that every single person in the room can contribute. There were no booths, okay? There were no different colored lanyards for different types of people that were in the room trying to separate people out. There are no booths because these AMS vendors, most of the time, we’re bringing more knowledge to the table than any other person in the room yet they’re treated like perfume salesmen trying to give out the business card, okay? Every single person in the room can contribute. I don’t care if you’re a brand new person to Association management. I don’t care if you’re retired. I don’t care if you have no job. Or if you’re a consultant, industry partner, AMS mentor, everybody has something to contribute, and everybody has something to gain and leave and leave with and that was the spirit of AMS fest. So I made them Promise me that they would always keep that alive.
Bill McGlade 36:38
That was beautiful.
Terry Carden 36:40
Thanks. Yeah, absolutely. And, and they have done a really good job with that even in 2020. Holy cow. So read between the lines, audience listeners, as you will, but I will forever be interested in AMS fest doing well. I’m really proud of that, that sale, I got a did get to do it and I think this is the fun part is I did get to have that first business sale before I turned 40. So as an entrepreneur, that felt really good.
Bill McGlade 37:12
You’re only 38. So how’s that?
Terry Carden 37:15
Well, I did it before I turn. So that was really cool process and the association trends group is as a fabulous group of women running that organization and they turned. I mean, they turn the real fast in terms of the virtual, taking AMS fest to virtual, and they actually had the biggest AMS fest that they had ever had last at the end of last year and it’s also on fire and virtual avatar environment, which was super cool to be a part of. So yeah, they’ve done a great job and that was really exciting.
Bill McGlade 37:52
Alright, so now, you started a new event.
Terry Carden 37:58
Yeah, back to being a glutton for punishment. So as a running review my AMS and still being involved in AMS to an extent, and trying to actively sell the one at review software and serve my clients.
Bill McGlade 38:12
When do you have time?
Terry Carden 38:14
I decided, oh, let me just throw one more thing in there. But basically what was happening though, the exact same thing, so but around now these revenue, okay, so rewind just a little bit. Everybody’s like, whoa, hold on a second. That is revenue. Where does this even come into picture you’ve been talking about AMSs you’ve been talking about review sites, you’ve got a software company, like how does non dues revenue come into picture? Okay. So 100 reviews, is the software that allows anybody to spin up their own review site. So what are we talking about in terms of content marketing, what we’re talking about here is we’re talking about the science, the business and the ethics of online reviews. We’re active participants in the review society, which isn’t an organization.
Bill McGlade 39:01
You really liked to pick these vibrant topics but I guess you make them extremely fun because people love what you do.
Terry Carden 39:16
So money is a tough topic like tech. I think money is even tougher topic and so what happens we are creating all this content around science distance and ethics of online reviews and guess what was happening nobody was paying attention. The association assures like their reviews like what do we even need to know about reviews like we don’t care anything about reviews. I don’t want monetary over here is like peanuts like talking like,
Bill McGlade 39:39
You search Amazon?
Terry Carden 39:42
Except for the associations could not draw a straight line for how reviews and how their association correlated and as much as I’m working right now to educate them on the power of that and having that data and user sentiment and what it means for industry and what it means for them and providing them value and all that good stuff to their association. It wasn’t happening talking about reviews and so what we decided to do was take our flagship client and take their example of how they’re generating non dues revenue with their site. It’s the veterinary hospital managers Association. VHMA is one of our flagship clients, they sunset their Buyer’s Guide and when they sunset, their Buyer’s Guide, they took all those categories and all of those vendors and they input them in their review site and then they allow their members to go in and not only be able to search and find the products and services that supported the VHMA, but also to give reviews on them.
Bill McGlade 40:39
That’s huge. Yes, sunset a buyer’s guide. That’s almost the equivalent of going from the onsite exhibitor guide to an app back. That’s huge.
Terry Carden 40:48
Yeah, but the crazy thing was, they only had three supporters of the buyer’s guide. So they had three supporters of buyers got it like $350 a year or something like that, they now have at least and Gosh, I know this is supposed to be evergreen. So this will hopefully be dated even soon. But I think they have close to 30 vendors supporting the site now. Because they want to see what people are saying about those reviews, they want to have a primary listing they want to have, they want to send their happy clients to the site, so they can give reviews. So other VHMA members can see what they’re saying and it’s just a really beautiful, so they went into the black, like instantly and so we’re like, oh, 100 reviews is a source, an opportunity for associations to make non dues revenue. So we started creating content around non dues revenue, and the visibility, the views, the number of views on that content skyrocketed. I think, at one point I looked at, it was 18 times more views on the content around non dues revenue than it was on any of the review content, science, business ethics of online reviews was and I was like, Oh, wait a second. We don’t want to hear about reviews. Everybody was talking about non-revenue. So hold on a second. That’s sort of flip the script here and we started talking about non dues revenue and now like people were looking at 100 reviews as a non-dues revenue generator and then people want to start talking about non dues and then I created more content around non dues revenue and I started talking to some of the non-dues revenue, thought more in the industry and then next thing you know, non Duza Palooza.
Bill McGlade 42:27
I love that name. I really love that name. You’re taking a topic that’s tough to talk about making light of it a bit and adding some levity to everything there, which is what people want. Some things you just can’t take too, too seriously and that’s money talk sometimes, so you can have some fun with it. So I love that if you talk.
Terry Carden 42:56
So Lordy, Lordy 2020, right? So I was having my first ever event in person in May of 2020 and it was gonna be in downtown Nashville and I decided because I had bootstrapped AMS fest for the first few years and even and it turned out to be successful, that I was not going to drink my own Kool Aid. I was going to not bootstrap it. I was going to just go all in on it being this giant, beautiful fancy, no cutting corners event.
Bill McGlade 43:27
Now, can you explain bootstrapping to those that might not know, outside of you’re starting your own business and all of that.
Terry Carden 43:34
Yeah. So bootstrapping means that you just keep it super lean. You take the resources that you have at your disposal and you keep the costs to as much of a minimum so that you can create a minimum lovable product without a whole lot of heavy investment on the front end. I think I did that justice. I don’t know. Is that okay?
Bill McGlade 43:58
That was perfect.
Terry Carden 44:00
Yeah. Okay. So, I decided I was not going to bootstrap that I was going to make a heavy investment and have this look like a real event and I mean, no, the events were always real. I wasn’t going to cut any corners on this one and what that looks like in the events world is somewhere between $40,000 and $70,000 a day. Now my first ever AMS fest. I think I might have spent out the door 50 $500 with travel, the venue, the food, I mean, everything so I decided I wasn’t going to trim any corners and then we know what happened. I had by the time March came around, I had 100, 150 people registered to attend the in person event and I had about 12 sponsors, and I will never forget I will with my kids on spring break, when they shut down the beaches, and I was standing on the balcony, and tears were falling down my face, because I didn’t know how I was going to tell the sponsors that we couldn’t do this event, and that I was falling down and disappointing them for this first time ever event because they all ponied up and believed in me and I was gonna let them down and tell them that we couldn’t have an event. So I called a meeting, a sponsor meeting, every single one of them showed up and I told them, I was sorry, but that we couldn’t do this meeting and I would give them their money back if they wanted it and that we would do the best we could for later in the year, the next year, and not a single one of them back down and as a matter of fact, three of them stepped up and said, no, you’re not. We’re gonna make this thing happen. This community needs the non-dues revenue conversation more now than it ever has and you’re at the epicenter of making this conversation happen and we’re behind you 100% and not only are we going to not pull out, but we’re going to give you more. What a humbling experience as a new creator of this thing that they had never even seen unfold.
Bill McGlade 46:29
Because that also speaks to the confidence in you, as well. For someone to say, and not okay, we’re gonna actually spend more on you. Because it’s not the event itself, because it hasn’t happened, right? It’s on you, because they have that much faith and trust in you. That’s amazing.
Terry Carden 46:48
But at that time, I wasn’t confident. At that time, I was on the floor, basically in tears and knowing I was disappointing, and it was a really awful feeling. But this community just held me up and they knew time and place. Fast forward. We ended up pulling three virtual events. We held one on May 5, the day that we were supposed to have the in person. So I was one of the first ones to hold a virtual event and the association industry, which was super cool. So then all these people were kind of have eyeballs on me and non Duza Palooza not just for the non-dues revenue conversation, but also like how the hell does Terry pull this off and then fast forward, we did one in the in August as well. Full two days live streaming from my living room. Amazing content, thought leaders. It’s just a brilliant community coming together to generate new ideas around non dues revenue and share and then we did a grand finale at the end of the year, which I call the non Duza Palooza spectacular and I think I changed costumes, eight times during that live stream event, which was a lot of fun. They never knew how it was gonna come back, on camera from them, having kept them engaged. It was fun, it was a lot of fun and I have to give credit where credit’s due to the three virtual companies that stepped up matchbox virtual worker BTV and BSB platform that just stepped up and said, let this community embrace this idea of non Duza Palooza and have conversation around non dues revenue and so I took November in December off, like, after the eight costume changes, and the three virtual events and trying to run with this thing through from my garage office. I took some time off and I got to strategize on what we’re doing this year.
Bill McGlade 48:50
Well, very well deserved. You’ve done quite a lot, not only in 2020, but your life. 200 years old. So it’s quite an accomplishment to do all of this. I think you’re immortal at this point. The one thing that I’ve taken out of this entire conversation is, you know how to connect with people and you know how to keep them engaged, whether it’s at an event, whether it’s just in conversation or anything, that is a gift and that is a gift that should be shared with everybody. We’re doing this so that they can understand. Sometimes it’s not about a booth sometimes it’s about having conversations, it’s about taking that step and sharing knowledge. So I really appreciate everything that you’ve shared today and I guess my last question is there one last bit of advice for anyone out there, whether they’re aspiring to open up their own company, own their own event, start throwing an event or even just grow their event that you would share?
Terry Carden 49:52
Don’t be afraid to take risks. That would be one thing I would say but that sounds so cliché, right? So beyond That I would say, I don’t care what industry you’re in. I don’t care what industry you’re in. People like to have fun. Fun is not frivolous, okay? And people are naturally drawn to fun. I don’t care if they’re introverts, extroverts, something in between a mash up of the two. Everybody likes to have fun and so if you’re having fun, and you’re helping people have fun, even if it’s around a tough topic, I say, do it, and I’ll leave everybody with kind of these wise words that I have just been, you know, thinking about over the last several months. RBG said, so often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune and that resonates a lot with me, at this time.
Bill McGlade 50:54
100% and especially going back to that, that one person that said, this will never work and it all started from there. Thank you, Terry. This has just been a pleasure and the pleasure is all mine. This was fantastic. I love our conversation. I think you’re absolutely amazing and I can’t wait for everyone to hear this episode, about your experiences and about your knowledge. I don’t even know where to begin to say anything anymore. Actually, I’m speechless because even from our pre conversation there was just so much more that you shared now. It’s I mean, at one point I muted myself because I was laughing so hard.
Terry Carden 51:40
Well, maybe there’s a 2.0 in our future where we can get a little bit more granular on any one of the given topics but this has been really a lot of fun and it’s great to get to know you and I hope the listeners took something out of my crazy wild and Willie story of serious topic serious fun.
Bill McGlade 51:59
I think they will so thank you again for your time today. Appreciate it. Thank you everyone else for listening. Please don’t forget to register for the upcoming events sales did for your eyes only. We’ll post that link and take a look at Terry’s event.
Terry Carden 52:21
Nonduzapalooza.com. 100reviews.com and Murphy Miami.com and whatever in the hack Terry on the future decides to do.com
Bill McGlade 52:30
I think you’d better get that now. All right. Thanks, everyone. Have a great day. We’ll see you next time.