Webinar Replay – Business Survival Series

The Show Will Go On

Business Survival Series

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Our Industry Has Changed Forever – Let’s Get to Work on Adapting

In March 2020 it quickly became obvious that Live Events as we know it were about to change forever. We didn’t understand this completely then and perhaps never will, but our industry wasn’t just on hold during a lockdown, it wasn’t delayed until a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 was ready. 

The change was much greater than that.

We have been thrust into a world that will never again feel safe from another pandemic. Our industry will always need a hedge in case meetings are cancelled or restricted. 

This doesn’t mean the end of business as we know it.

What we have learned is that this pandemic crisis has shown us new ways to be valuable, to apply our experience, and master a new kind of Live Event experience. We are transforming ourselves and our industry to measure results by the number of people we can reach virtually or in person. 

What’s the most urgent need? We must transform our business models in order to succeed in an industry where hardware, software, and people deliver results measured in new ways. 

Below you will find all twenty episodes of The Show WILL Go On Business Survival Series Webinars. If you are all caught up then the real learning is just starting. 

Join us at Intentional Success Network, an online community of Live Events Professionals that are ready to transform their careers and businesses.


WEEK 20 – July 29, 2020

Financial Metrics, Cash Flow, and JCA during Recovery

Airing 7/29/2020

CASH flow runway means assessing the risk inherent in incremental positive cash.


Continue Your Transformation

Join us  Intentional Success Network for ongoing discussion, Office Hours with Tom, Groups, Courses, and much more.


WEEK 19 – July 22, 2020

Pre-Sale to the Streaming Sale

Airing 7/22/2020

You are writing proposals because that is how you communicate. Your customers are not ready for a proposal. They need information to help them decide what to do.


Additional Links

Here is the link to the sales roadmap template. This was created in diagrams.net. Add that to your Google apps to use. Copy the document then modify to suit your needs.

The Sales Roadmap for Selling Digital Events.template

For Customers That Are New to Events

The three images to the right are examples of quick info guides to help orient the inexperienced customer. Feel free to copy or use – but educate before writing a proposal!

WEEK 18 – July 15, 2020

Ghost Operations

Airing 7/15/2020

Ok, you figured out to be an Agency, but how do you run a business without fulltime operations and warehouse teams?


Additional Links

Register for AVIXA’s Live Event Forum

Like some help sorting out your business? Schedule a FREE 15 minute coaching call with Tom (No obligation. Career advice for those that need it too)

WEEK 17 – July 8, 2020

The Agency Model

Airing 7/8/2020

Being an agency is not a huge departure from what you have done forever.

Understanding how an agency works will help you adapt to the business climate we have now.

Business as usual is not around the corner unless you use this time to make the opportunities we have now – usual.


Additional Links

Register for AVIXA’s Live Event Forum

Like some help sorting out your business? Schedule a FREE 15 minute coaching call with Tom (No obligation. Career advice for those that need it too)

WEEK 16 – July 1, 2020

The New Gig Economy

Airing 7/1/2020

Where is value created?

In our old system we created value in anticipation of demand. Employees, inventory, systems – but this was also out of necessity.

The need was to be able to respond quickly and price competitively.

The result is tremendous redundancy which has driven margins down DOWN.


Additional Links


WEEK 15 – June 24, 2020

Staffing in the Next Normal

Airing 6/24/2020

We can’t maintain the overhead expenses we have taken for granted in the past. Our businesses will need to be more scalable in order to survive in the Next Normal. Keeping or rehiring staff will just increase overhead and force you into selling on price again.

Additional Links

WEEK 14 – June 17, 2020

Selling Streaming Events

Airing 6/17/2020

Are you uncomfortable selling the unknown or unfamiliar world of streaming events? This week’s guests are two Live Event business owners that share their take on meeting customer needs in the Next Normal.

Additional Links

CLE Productions

Audio Visual Systems and Support

WEEK 13 – June 10, 2020

Proposals in the Next Normal

Airing 6/10/2020

We’ve graduated from survival, now we are focusing on thriving in our New Normal. 

Additional Links

Link to webinar Aug 2018 on Proposals for Outcome-based Selling


WEEK 12 – June 3, 2020

Crisis Management is Over – Time to move FORWARD

Aired 6/3/2020

“A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

From – Only the Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove


Terms and Conditions Policy


WEEK 11 – May 27, 2020

Business REBOOT – What NOT to do this time!

“You will find that the mere resolve not to be useless, and the honest desire to help other people, will, in the quickest and delicatest ways, improve yourself.”– John Ruskin

Originally aired 5/27/2020

The urgency to restore everything to normal is powerful. But we have learned some disheartening lessons in this crisis and one of those is that our businesses can’t survive on their own in a crisis. We tend to build businesses that assume we will grow so we spend ahead of ourselves and potentially collapse under the weight of growing expenses. A crisis like this just amplifies that problem.

It doesn’t have to be this way if we can step back and NOT do these five things….


During the webinar attendees posted a running commentary on the content. Here is the text from that dialogue.

WEEK 10 – May 20, 2020

Marketing & Sales – The Final Step in Your Make-Ready Phase“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” – W. Edwards Deming

Originally aired 5/20/2020

All the skill in the world won’t win jobs if you don’t have credibility.

In order to establish credibility, we have to talk to our audience

– And here’s the tricky part – 


Which is why SALES is a poor substitute for marketing.


IN the webinar someone asked about Live Event Industry efforts to get the message out about how valuable we are. Here it is: https://www.golivetogether.com/

Tom Stimson’s The Complete AV Marketing Plan Template

And, Sample Marketing Plan

During the webinar attendees posted a running commentary on the content. Here is the text from that dialogue.

WEEK 9 – May 13, 2020

Management – Your Next Normal May Not Be So Normal

“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”                                                        — Tom Stoppard

Originally aired 5/13/2020

We tend to look at sales opportunities as good or bad, desirable vs undesirable.The problem is twofold:The work we want may be in short supply, the work we need may not be the work we want. How can we better understand our decisions?

In this episode, we explore a NEW GAME to assess risk vs reward.

Tom also outlines the four phases of live event re-opening and what that means for Management.

Live Event-opoly!

On your right is the game Tom presented during the webinar. The rules are incomplete, but figuring out what should be there is part of the exercise. Design your own markets and target transactions or use the ones provided.


Event Safety Alliance Re-Opening Guide DOWNLOAD


AVIXA Live Events Business Survival Exchange REGISTER

AV Matters® Podcast LISTEN

AV Matters® Facebook Group JOIN

During the webinar attendees posted a running commentary on the content. Here is the text from that dialogue.

WEEK 8 – May 6, 2020

Strategy in the Next Normal

How to think creatively so you can leverage your assets and skills for changing customer needs

Originally aired 5/6/2020

The number one reason strategies fail is poor communication which leads to inconsistent or conflicting follow-through.In particular, helping folks know when to say no, or why no is sometimes the right answer will go a long way towards aligning minds.

Strategic Thinking Game

On your right is the exercise we performed during the webinar. The instructions are here so you can reproduce the exercise any time your strategic brain is stuck.

During the webinar attendees shared some of their Master Words in the chat thread. Here is the text from that dialogue.

WEEK 7 – APRIL 29, 2020

Operations – Be Urgently Scalable

This is bigger than learning to outsource. It means changing the way you fundamentally think about operations. 

Originally aired 4/29/2020

Urgently Scalable means you dread adding a permanent resource because of the risk of long term expense.

All the operational things you do to be unique need to become normal. Being unique without franchise-able processes is expensive. Standardize your operation and let marketing worry about what makes your company special.

WEEK 6 – APRIL 22, 2020

From Marketing to Sales

Understand the basic functions of these mission-critical processes in supporting your business reboot.

Originally aired 4/22/2020

Lots of valuable Q&A this week. We pick up on important questions from the last broadcast on pricing and costs.

Then we dive into the elements of marketing and sales that will be critical in building a new book of business with ideal customers as we rebuild and re-open our businesses.

Bonus Link


AVIXA’s Business Survival Exchange

AVIXA has many additional resources and access to webinars and training that you will find useful. Start here.

WEEK 5 – APRIL 15, 2020

Time to Rethink Pricing

You have a do-over so maybe let go of the broken rental model?

Originally aired 4/15/2020

You gotta love the rental industry. You buy a product and resell it again and again. Except, most of us aren’t really rental companies, we just like rental math.

In this week’s Survival webinar, Tom looks at the origins of our pricing models and job costing systems and how they are illogical when it comes to determining value.

Links Mentioned in this webinar:

Are your ready to redesign your business for the Post-Pandemic Era? Learn more about Live Event Business Reboot Coaching.

Join AVIXA’s Business Survival Exchange – a live Zoom conference to help you and your peers process this week’s Business Survival Series webinar

AVIXA has many additional resources and access to webinars and training that you will find useful. Start here.

WEEK 4 – APRIL 8, 2020

Retooling for Your Restart

How to Manage Deposits and Cancelled Jobs in the Future 

Originally aired 4/8/2020

It’s time to start thinking about doing business on the other side of this crisis. We know that things will be different, but in what ways?

In this week’s Survival Webinar, Tom outlines three models for getting paid on upcoming projects without the risk of having to pay anything back in the case of a canceled event. You and the client each enjoy reduced risk!

Links Mentioned in this webinar:

Join AVIXA’s Business Survival Exchange – a live Zoom conference to help you and your peers process this week’s Business Survival Series webinar

AVIXA has many additional resources and access to webinars and training that you will find useful. Start here.

This is a lengthy but worthwhile Forbes article explaining the confusing points of the CARES PPP program and why banks are having so much trouble rolling it out. The best part is the author offers a simple summary of the generally agreed upon interpretations that might help get this settled faster.

Here’s a written recap of this webinar

WEEK 3 – APRIL 1, 2020

Think Like a Startup Again

The road to recovery doesn’t pass through 2019

Originally aired 4/1/2020

In this episode, we cover the highlights of the CARES Act and what it could mean for employers.

Then Tom outlines three levels of strategic response for small businesses that are trying to figure out what to do next.

Mentioned in this webinar:

Here’s a GREAT resource from the good folks at US Travel Association on the CARES  Act program

The SBA $10,000 quick loan application is here.

Please contact your bank for information on PPP and other loan options.

Here is a written summary of this webcast.

WEEK 2 – MARCH 25, 2020

Cash Flow in an Extended Crisis

How to make your cash last as long as possible

Originally aired 3/25/20

We are all aware now that this pandemic crisis will affect our businesses for months to come. How do we keep our businesses going when there is no revenue coming in?

Link to CASH FLOW MODELING SPREADSHEET that Tom demonstrates in the webinar.

Link to CARES ACT Summary for Small Business

Link to Information on SBA Economic Disaster Loans

AVIXA Message to Live Events Industry

AVIXA Covid-19 News and Updates

AVIXA Training FAQ’s

Wallace Johnson of AV-Matters talked with Tom Stimson about the first two webinars in this podcast.

Here is a written summary of this webcast.

WEEK 1 – MARCH 18, 2020

Responding to COVID-19 in Your Live Events Business

Time for a reality check. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Originally aired 3/18/20

Our industry is in crisis and your businesses are critically affected. Tom Stimson will try to answer your business questions about how to deal with the fallout of this pandemic.


Schedule a free 15-minute check in with Tom to make sure you are making strong choices and ask any private questions you may have.


Join the conversation at the AV-Matters Facebook group to see how other AV industry professionals are responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

All Rights Reserved. © Stimson Group LLC 2020