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SPI 698: Two Weeks Later, and I’m Done.

Card Party, my three-day live event in the Pokémon space, is over. With half a million dollars at stake, it’s hard to believe the fear I felt is now behind me. I’m exhausted, but I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out!

If you’ve been following my Deep Pocket Monster journey, you know how much I value the fantastic community we’ve built on YouTube. In episodes 622, 688, and 694, I talked all about how we designed Card Party as a celebration of that. I’m now happy to share the lessons learned from our massive success!

With FlynnCon under my belt and years of experience as a keynote speaker, I felt responsible and compelled to create an event unlike any other in the Pokémon niche. I’m grateful to say that the response from attendees, creators, sponsors, and vendors, has been incredible. In fact, we’ve already sold hundreds of tickets for next year’s event!

So listen in to hear all about how we created an amazing experience and delivered unforgettable moments with our first edition of Card Party!

SPI 698: Two Weeks Later, and I’m Done.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he refused to play hide and seek when he was a kid because he was too scared he would never be found. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: All right, and I think it’s only fitting that I create an episode here that relates to the episode that I published two weeks ago, which was titled Two Weeks From Today, I’ll Be Done, and it’s two weeks since then, and in fact, I am done. Not done with this podcast. In fact, we have episode 700 coming up, which is a big deal.

But I’m done with the event that I’ve been talking about over the course of the last six months in the Pokemon space, Card Party. And I’m back. I’m tired, I’m exhausted, and I could not be happier with how it all turned out. Now, it wasn’t a perfect event, but for a first year event, the feedback, the organization, just the, I mean, even though I was stressed the whole time, it was all for, for good reasons because I had things coming up or because, you know, I had to scramble to create something, not because I was trying to fix anything or there were fires to put out and I just wanted to share with you a few thoughts and this is a great way for me to record just sort of what’s on my mind, still kind of riding that high.

I think I’m running off the fumes of that high of, of the event this past weekend. And again, I’m just really grateful and, you know, there was, there was a lot at at stake. You know, it was a half million dollar event to put on. There were people flying in from all over the world. The biggest YouTube creators in the Pokemon space who’ve been in this for over a decade were coming and trusting me to put on a good show for them and, and also to keep them safe.

There were gonna be a lot of kids there and to make sure that they had things to do was really important to me and also for their parents’ sake. And there were a lot of sponsors and vendors and exhibitors who were there, who were bringing, I mean there were cards, individual cards that were there on display that were millions of dollars.

And these companies were really important to me cuz I knew that if we could impress them, we could potentially build longer term relationships with them, not just with Card Party, but even with just myself and my own brand. And the response from everybody from attendee to creator to vendor to sponsor has just been over the moon.

One of my favorite moments after the event was, I, I spoke with this veteran conference goer, or, or exposition goer, his name is Gem Mint Pokemon, and he’s been in the space for, I mean, almost ever since Pokemon was created in 1999 here in the US as as a card game at least. And he just said this was the most incredibly organized, fun, most exciting event the community has ever had, just ever. And, and that brought me to tears. I just, I admire this person, I respect him, and he’s a great guy. And to hear him say that just right in front of me, to me, right after this event just meant the world to me. Cause I, I highly respected his opinion.

Not only that, I got to meet the president of several companies, including Ultrapro. If you’ve heard of Ultrapro, if you’ve probably been in sports or sport collecting. The president of Ultrapro came to Card Party and I got to meet him and he had some really amazing impressions of, of the event and, you know, said, Hey, after the event, let’s, let’s talk.

Which is always exciting. There were some vendors there who were a little skeptical of this because it wasn’t the traditional event that they were used to going to. But you know what? Sometimes you have to break the mold. Sometimes you have to try something a little different. So that’s exactly what we did.

Instead of what traditionally happens, which is one giant expo hall, and there’s maybe a activity stage on the side where panels are happening sort of simultaneously. We decided to separate the, the different spaces. So there was an expo hall, the ballroom of the Marriott in Anaheim, California. One of the main ballrooms was used as the expo hall where there were vendors and there was a stage there, but it was not the center of attention like at these other events. There were other rooms. One of the other rooms was sort of the what we call the activity room where the meet and greets were happening, and that’s where a lot of the celebrities in the space were set up with a table and there were stanchions where, you know, the lines both v i p and general admission ticket could stand to get autographs from a lot of these people who are watched every day by this community.

In the same room was the tournament that was being held for the game because these cards, these Pokemon cards are in fact, or were in fact created specifically for playing the game. And over time it’s just been something that people have then started to collect. And then there were also kid activity rooms.

One was sort of like for more smaller kids toddlers with puzzles and games and stuff that people could play with. But then the other room was more of a classroom style room where we focused on artwork. And artwork is a major component of Pokemon and we hired a few people, artists in the community to go and sort of lead sessions there and workshops and teach people.

And you know, we had a little art gallery set up where kids and adults who were creating things could pin up their artwork. And so over the course of the entire event, this wall just continued to get more and more artwork from the community within it, which was amazing because it was in a hotel there was a lot of lobby space where just everybody was hanging out and trading, and kids were on the floor and there were a lot of tables and a lot of discussions happening.

Probably my favorite thing about the event was seeing the creators. You know, these people, these YouTubers who spend all their time on a screen or on a camera, in person with their fans. And we had a hospitality room set up for the creators. It was a space for them to escape in case they wanted to get away from the crowds or just kind of hang out, just as a group without any other people bothering them.

And every time I went in there to check on the creators, it was empty. They were always on the floor interacting with fans, and it just really speaks to the quality of the kind of people in this community who are really there for the fans and to, to meet and greet with others. Another room that was at this event, so, was the main stage, and this was very new to this sort of space. If you’ve ever been to business events like Social Media Marketing World, or Crafting Commerce, or Traffic and Conversion Summit, you know the major component of these kinds of events are the stage work, the the main stage, the keynotes. Now, there’s not keynotes in the world of Pokemon, but I wanted to bring a main stage presence to this one where the entire group can come together and listen to panels with some of their favorite creators, play games. Price is Right style, and that’s exactly what I ended up doing. And it was fun and it was interactive and I got to speak and I think people were very impressed with how well sort of crafted my talks were, and you know, honestly, the years of experience over a decade experience speaking on stage definitely helped with that. And the ability to host a panel with these creators and use my interview skills from decade plus of podcasting and thousands of episodes of podcasting really came into play and the interaction with the audience and playing games on Saturday morning of this three day event we brought over a thousand people into the main stage room, and on the stage was myself and an adjudicator. His name was Michael. From the Guinness World Records and we actually together as a community set a world record, the most people to open trading card packages simultaneously. So every person, single filed, walked in was handed a pack of Pokemon, told not to open it yet until instructed to do so.

We had to find stewarts, which were people that were not going to be participating in this record, but were sort of standing on the side in charge of 50 people at a time to make sure they did it correctly. Because the adjudicator obviously couldn’t keep an eye out on everybody individually. And it was just a, a really fun, I mean, experience.

It was magical. We all celebrated, we all, I mean, I remember when Michael, after we set this record, He handed me the plaque, the world record plaque that you see everywhere on YouTube. It’s like we finally got one and I really made sure to tell everybody that this was ours. This was not mine. This was Card Party.

My name is not it, my channel’s name is on it. But this was something that we all took part in together and every single person in that room now had something they could say to bring back home that they’ve, that they didn’t have before. Something that would make them feel special like they belong to something.

And I wanna give credit to Chris Gullo, which is where I got the idea from to do a world record at my event. His event, which he used to hold back in Portland back in the day called World Domination Summit, they broke records quite often from the longest chain of floating river tube. People, that’s not the right way to say it, but you know, people on a river, on float tubes, all holding hands and kind of floating down the river.

That was one, I think they broke one where they had the most number of people in a space doing yoga, and then another year they had the most people eating bed and breakfast or something like that, which was interesting. And every time that event ended, I always heard about the world record, even though the event was not about the world record, it was a community building experience and at Card Party, somebody even mentioned it felt like an initiation into the community. It’s like something that we could all share in and, and bond over. We ended up creating and printing out cards. It couldn’t be a card party without cards, but we had our Card Party cards created about nine of them.

That you could find and collect while you were at the event. You got one for attending the VIPs, got one. But if you broke the world record with us, you got a world record card that was designed and guess who? It was designed by members of the community, and we featured their names on these cards. So everything we could do, all these little touches and details were all about community.

And I know that word gets thrown around quite often, but. Honestly, when you truly focus on making connections and creating a safe space for people to come together, it is absolutely like magic. We were able to sell hundreds of tickets for 2024 already, so, and we haven’t even selected the time, date, or place yet.

People want to come back that much. Some of the moments that also touched me were when people were leaving, they were saying goodbye to the friends that they made, people that they had never met before, but had become best friends with over the course of the, of the couple days. And who said they were, they were gonna stay in contact with each other.

Who said that they were going to fly, to the Card Party Generation Two together, and that’s what we’re calling it, Card Party Gen Two. It goes along with the sort of Pokemon cannon, you know, we had first edition and then gen two, and then gen three, and it was a lot of fun. There was one moment though that actually there were a couple magical moments for me.

We hired a company, shout out to Eric, you know who you are, a company that edited a video for us that was edited the same day and played then at the, at the event. And I had seen that at events before, like at Social Media Marketing World and, and, and other events where, you know, you’re still at the event, but you’re seeing video footage of yourself and the attendees and everything that was happening at the event you’re at.

You don’t have to wait weeks. It’s there even just being played on stage at the event. And so I hired a person to come in on Friday and film on Saturday as well, and edit a video quickly. So that we could play it on Saturday evening. And, you know, I had a song made big, big shout out to Music Radio Creative.

I mean, Isabella had such a quick turnaround for a song that I wrote the lyrics for in the style of sort of Blink 182 or Simple Plan that was catchy that went along with this video. And after the video ended, I, I just was speechless. I was in tears. I think it was overwhelmed from just how smooth everything was going to the stress of putting it all together to just seeing it come to life and seeing the smiles and the cheers and and, and the joy that was, you know, in all ages that were there.

And I just had gotten a standing ovation at that moment, which was just incredible. I think people really saw how much work the team and I put into this. Also, shout out to the entire staff that helped this and, and of course my assistant Jessica, who, oh my gosh, she was there for me so many times when I was just freaking out.

Thank you, Jess. But the team over at Podcast Movement, they’re my partners Inputing on this event and they did a tremendous job taking the organization that happens at business events but you know, me injecting the creativity and the just fun into it. Not that Podcast Movement or other events like that aren’t fun, but you know what I mean, like the Pokemon aspect to it.

So, so that was a magical moment that night that I played that video in front of everybody and it just brought me to tears. And then another night we played a little game, and this game was, was something that turned out to be historical in that moment because the way it worked was we randomly selected members of the audience to come up on stage four people, and they did what was called a pack battle.

Now pack of Pokemon cards you open it up and there are cards inside, but the cards have different value or worth. So a pack battle is opening a card or a pack of cards along with somebody else who has a pack of cards and seeing which pack has the most valuable card, and whoever has the most valuable card in their pack wins that battle. So we had four people on stage. Two battles to then find out who was gonna go head to head in the finals. And in the finals was this adult named Abe. And this kid who was just, he was like, he must have been like 12 or 13. And it was interesting because the adult Abe, he went first, he picked a pack and this, you know, these were like the original packs of Pokemons.

It was a huge deal. And, and the cars were very expensive. The other packs that they were opening were sort of more modern. This is, this was a vintage pack that they were battling and they each got to open one. So Abe just randomly selected one, he opened it and he pulled the number two card in the set it, it’s called the Blastoise which is a Pokemon character and evolved form of Squirtle and it, it was a extremely valuable card. I mean, there was only one card in the entire set that could beat that card, and it was the Charizard, which is the fire breathing Dragon Pokemon, and the chances that in the random pack that this kid selected was the Charizard was very slim. And there was a moment where we were just leading up to it.

The tension was building the audio guy did a great job of adding some sort of tense music, and then all of a sudden he hit the Charizard. And man, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it right now, but the room exploded. It absolutely exploded, and we were all yelling. We couldn’t believe it. The kid was shaking in disbelief and Abe was celebrating with him because he’s, he was just a great sport.

The entire room couldn’t believe it. And so many people actually did record it. And I have quite a bit of footage of it actually. And I also, I think I have some like really good footage of it somewhere, but I, I don’t think it’s in our hands yet. But anyway, it was, it was just, I mean, we couldn’t have written that better.

To have that work out in the way it did with the random selections, with the random grabbing of packs, and to have it be the number two followed by the number one. It was just, it was just poetic. I think it really just was like a, like, you know, I know some of us don’t believe in these kinds of divine intervention type of things, or these higher beings, but I mean, he was definitely playing a role that night because my gosh, there was just no, no way that that would ever happen.

Otherwise it seems, I mean, yes, it was random and it was by chance, but the, just all the circumstances in front of a thousand people, it was, it was magic. It was absolute magic. And, and that’s what happens when you bring your community together, right? You might not always pull a Charizard when you need to.

But when you bring people together who speak a common language, who could nerd out about a card like that and scream and yell, and feel these feelings when most of the other world wouldn’t even care at all, that’s how you know you’re bringing the right people together. And when you have the sponsors go up to you after and say, Pat, whatever you do for year two, we are all in.

When you have attendees already booking their 2024 tickets without even knowing where it is. When you have people say it was probably the best time they’ve ever had in their life, when you’ve had people say it was the best bonding experience that they’ve had with their kids, then you know you’ve done something right.

So I’m very proud, and, and I am, I’m very proud of myself. I think it’s important that after you accomplish something, you be proud of yourself. I am so proud of myself, so proud of myself. But I also know I couldn’t have done this alone. Every single person there, the team, and every ticket sold. I mean, we ended up selling 2,500 tickets.

I mean, 500 tickets came in after the event started. It was, it was starting to, you know, the word was starting to spread. So it was incredible. Thank you for following this journey. I may talk about Card Party again in the future, but I know that there was a lot of talk about it leading up to this point, and what a relief.

Gen Two next year, Card.Party if you wanna check it out. And I did see some people who did come from the SPI world there, which was amazing, and they brought their kids. It was absolutely incredible. So thank you so much. If you did come up to me and say hello, or if you got an autograph community, everybody, it’s a magical thing.

Peace out, take care, and I’ll see you in the next one. Cheers.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!


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with Pat Flynn

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