September 12, 2022
In this episode, we sit down the LEGEND Nick Shackelford and talk about his event Geek Out and why in-person events are so important! #Adspend
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Nick Shackelford (00:00):
Hey, my name is Nick and I'm the CEO of structured. What does that fucking mean? Like what are you actually doing? Like, like for instance, um, even with Ashley, if I were Ashley, like Ashley, I know your title, but what do you do? You're like, dude, I am in accounts. I work with a creative team. You're you're in it and doing it. And that is way more relatable because every CEO and every company, they might have the title of CU they're doing different stuff.
Rabah Rahil (00:26):
Welcome back to another episode of your favorite DTC podcast ad spend. And if you see, we have the OG, the godfather, the legend, Nick Shackleford. He's actually out on the streets of Barcelona right now. We might even get him to interview some people. Um, he's holding up 15 people from dinner because he loves me so much and he's actually gonna do a podcast with me and my wonderful, beautiful coho who I got to hang out with last week. Ashmani Ash, how are you? Good,
Ash Melwani (00:57):
Man. How are you doing
Rabah Rahil (00:57):
Today? Fantastic. In that Avi swag as always. That is straight heat, but first I just wanna say one. I'm super thankful for you making the time for us, Nick. Thank you. Two. We actually get to see the fucking hair and it is looking fresh to death <laugh> um, and then three, thank you for putting on this incredible event called geek out. So I've had the, the pleasure to go to a bunch of 'em and it won't turn into a geek out circles joke. I promise. But I'm telling you geek out community is like one of the best communities I've ever been involved in. And I just wanna talk to you a little bit about how you built it. Um, but for people, for whatever reason, if you did live under a rock or you don't know who the godfather Nick is, can you just give us some background on you, how you got to where you are and kind of what you're doing now?
Nick Shackelford (01:41):
Absolutely. Well, as like right now, as I'm speaking, I'm walking the streets to Barlo, um, I'm excited because this is we've, we've been doing geek for five years and I never in my life could have imagined we'd be able to put a, put an incredible group of people together in another country. And now this is like, I, I say it all the time. This is the business that makes me the least amount of money, but as the amount of fun, um, because if anybody, nobody goes like, oh, you aren't really wanna do I wanna start an in person events company. That sounds, I really wanna go do that because we, everything we do is online and everything we do is basically like clicked and it sit there, build it and it, and I'm like, let's just do it in person. And it's important, especially now, like we did this during COVID and Robb, you came, you came to the LA one and it was like,
Rabah Rahil (02:26):
LA one was like,
Nick Shackelford (02:27):
We had, we had to have waivers. We had to have people, um, basically felt like you have masks. You had to have all these things. And then we got there and everybody was like, day one looking around like, fuck this, get rid of the mask, just got rid of it. And everyone just like, and talking and connecting. And I think I'm gonna kinda tart of it on you guys. Like at the end where we're at right now, we're, we're able to basically command a higher ticket price in the market compared to a lot of these other larger conferences or events, because we don't identify as a conference. We identify as a tight knit mastermind group. That's what we, that we choose to identify as that. And nowadays you can choose to identify as whatever you wanna identify as, and that's, that's what we choose on this. <laugh> so,
Rabah Rahil (03:11):
Nick Shackelford (03:12):
Go with that, that play, without that being said is like,
Rabah Rahil (03:14):
We you're getting cancel this
Nick Shackelford (03:16):
To me is the most important thing. And it's, and for two reasons, one you for founders, for people that are trying to build something, you're usually behind a computer or with a small team for a very long time. And you get into this chamber of thoughts and ideas and conversations. And you're the only one going through this or only this. And can't your co-founder like, you can't ask your checking of command. You can't necessarily ask these people that are supporting you on your vision, on your dream, because they're already aligned with you. They're already like, look, you either pay my check or I'm trying to make money with you on this. So they, they can't really give you the feedback loop. And so when you build something to a point where you can go, for instance, in Miami, I can look across the room and be like, Hey, are you, are you like when, when Ron did his talk around financials and building companies, it was one of the most impressive talks we've ever had. And the man spent weeks and weeks and weeks on probably probably over two months on this, honestly, I was gonna real with it. And we had people come up to, as soon as he finished, this is the best thing as soon as finished. And Hey, can I talk you again? What you just talked about and instantly you go, this man spent months in his room, in his office, rehearsing, all of a sudden, put it live, like live TV. You what happens and did that can't might facial expressions, but we start, listen, listen,
Rabah Rahil (04:58):
Oh man, I love that. I'm all pumped I'm out, uh, tomorrow for Bara. But, um, yeah, the Dubai geek out was sensational too, also international. But I think one of the interesting things that you guys do is I think it's more akin to an experience than it is a conference, but furthermore, I don't think people understand like the work you personally put into it. Like you personally vet people, you personally have people. So before I could give my talks, I have to actually do two or three run throughs with you. And it's not so much so like to gate keep where, which it is a little bit more so to make sure you filter for quality, but it's also like you have this really uncanny ability to give feedback to people in a really efficacious way where it doesn't feel condescending. And you also, again, probably just because of the reps you've gotten with geek out, you know, what really makes a good presentation what'll hit and what won't hit.
Rabah Rahil (05:53):
And you have some, some really interesting things. Like one of the things that really caught on to me was, um, self deprecation. Like it doesn't play as well as people think it does. Like if you're on a stage, you want people to be confident. And it's, it's so funny when people will throw some self deprecating jokes and you'll instantly cuz I've been, obviously I have to do rehearsals just like everybody else. And it's just so interesting to see like being a fly on the wall to that. And then the other thing to your point is there's this kind of joke in present or presenting. It's like, it's not really about the talk it's about after. And like, you know, you gave a good presentation cuz there's a line of people wanting to ask you these nuanced questions about like, Hey, how do I do this?
Rabah Rahil (06:32):
How do I do that? Cuz the presentation shouldn't be this all encompassing thing. It show almost in a way unlock other doors or if you will like higher order questions. And so not really any kind of question there for you, just kind of a, a remark on how like I think people don't understand how like they think you're just throwing a big party and you do throw a great parties. Don't get me wrong. But like the actual event is so on time. It's so on point the AV guy, um, oh what's his name? He's the best he's David, David, just like a me first rate AV stuff all the time. Everything is on, on time. Everything's ran. Well, it's like all the pet peeves I have of big conferences never happened there. And the quality of people are just incredible. So how did you, I guess how, how did you do all this? Like how, how did this manifest like cuz I'm guessing the first geek out was not that level, was it? Or no, no,
Nick Shackelford (07:23):
No, no, no. You gave me so much to work with. Thank you for the lead on this. So this, I started speaking officially like 20 18, 20, 20 either end of 20, early 2018 with common thread. And it was like my first time I did a talk around pop songs. Like it was one of the big ones. I was like, this is a good showcase. Oh like we did some crazy numbers there and I always knew like, this is the one thing like you and people talk about this. Like those who can't do teach, right? Like that's like E easy. Say like that's why go gurus exist. Those who can't do teach or I'm like, those that do should be teaching because then you could like you're in the trenches. You can communicate, you could talk about it. And me personally, before I get into the things I think about, that's why my content has had to evolve.
Nick Shackelford (08:03):
Like I used to be the Facebook guy, oh, this dude can talk Facebook ads and strategies. And now like I had to go into, okay, what's building a company agency. Okay. TikTok is something that I have to get into. So you have to elevate the type of content that you're sharing so that you're doing it. Or you have to be extremely explicit on, I I'm a mouthpiece to what this team and these group of people are fabricating, which is what a lot of my TikTok talk is, is like I had 36 hours of interviews. I recorded everything. I asked really good questions. And lemme tell you exactly what I learned from all this. And so synthesizing and putting it into a very way of consumption. There's things. There's inspiration and there's action, right? Like you want, there's interesting. If of presentations, one is a take home, meaning I have every single detailed note on this slide.
Nick Shackelford (09:00):
Another one is spoken to well as spoken to when I, when you go to watch somebody in person, the most important thing is the presenter. So the, the supporting slides is supposed to up how, in which you communicate things because this is, and this you and I go back and forth on this stuff too, because if you have too much on the slide and you're trying to make very clear points, they're reading, they're not listening. You want them listening to you. And it was actually, it was something that I, I, um, Carl did in Dubai. That is something I don't know if he did on purpose, but it was a very impactful note that I took away and I'm using it in, in Barcelona for the Philly world talk is he went into a black blank slide and I was like, whoa, whoa, this is insane. So he did this talk. He made his point and all of a sudden the slide went blank and I watched the entire room cause I'm always sitting in the back and I'll a little more, my, this, I watched the entire group of like heads went from looking at the screen.
Nick Shackelford (09:53):
I'm just, just commanded everybody to shut up and look. And that is, that's the point of like your goal as the speaker and the presenter is to not let the, not let the train get off the track. You have to start them from the beginning. Yep. You gotta get 'em all due to the end. You gotta let them exit safely with the, with the feedback and how things are working. So for, for me to keep it, I learned this from a failure world. So when we first found them, now they're a big production. Have a lot of things going on. They give, we give a prep, speaker, prep deck. That's like, here's our deck. Here's our audience. Here's a crowd. Here's how you do things. And then after that you have to set three calls, a advance two 15 minute and one 30, the 15 minute.
Nick Shackelford (10:30):
And this is, I do spot design. Cause I don't get season speakers, just a couple, one or two that have been with me for a while. But they were never before. And so we want people that don't know how to present their talk, but know how to do. And so I can teach them in talking. So that's why with working with you and a lot of people, the easiest thing for someone to do is make a joke about themselves. Cause they know themselves, which is why they always go self deprecating. And you don't necessarily want them to go that way because you, me as like, let's say, I'm the coordinator on the planner. I trust you. Rava to jump on the stage because I think you're an expert in the space. Cause you have access to things that a lot of people don't have access to.
Nick Shackelford (11:04):
And because you're with me, the credibility of what geek out or what any event really puts on. Exactly. Cause you, you deserve to be there. So if I'm someone sitting and I'm spending thousands of dollars to be here to listen and you go first, be like, look guys, I'm just like you. I suck. I'm I'm I don't know what I'm doing as well. I'm figuring out to, to speak. You're kinda like I fucking paid for this, this talk <laugh> and you have to think about that. Like there's, there's a way there's areas where you can build connection there's areas where you can build relation on this was oftentimes is, is what are you doing today? Like this is the someone that gives them the biggest pet pee to everybody. Hey, my name is Nick and I'm the CEO of tructure. What does that fucking mean?
Nick Shackelford (11:42):
Like what are you actually doing? Like, like for instance, um, even with Ash, Ashley, if I were Ashley like Ashley, I know your title, what do you do? You're like, dude, I'm in accounts. I work with a creative team. You're you're in it and doing it. And that is way more relatable because every CEO and every company, they might have the title of CEO, but they're doing different stuff. And you might wanna, you wanna know like, what are they, how are they doing it? Where are they doing it? Why are they doing it? Are they in a level of revenue that isn't uh, isn't, isn't outta my level. Are they above my level? So you're trying to drop these little nuggets of clues so people can adapt it to their own situation. And I think the, the gift of, of communicating clearly, oh my gosh, there's nothing better than seeing some ideas go off or inspiration.
Nick Shackelford (12:21):
You, you alluded to it, you go, you can't give away everything, but you have to give away enough for them to take that presentation away, give it to them, their team, give it to their, their leads, give it to somebody and be like, Hey, can you do this? Or does this work for me? That is, that's the point where you win and something that's actually I've been telling my guys to do is cuz usually, um, they'll build guys and girls, sorry guys and girls do. They'll build a presentation. That's a hundred, 200 slides, our talk. And this is a phrase that it's Charlie always comes at me about. Whether is a good thing. If you ask me to speak for an hour, I'm ready right now. If you asked me to speak for 20 minutes, I need a month because to be very, excuse me, to be very concise in your wording, takes a lot of thought and effort to make sure that the person's tracking.
Nick Shackelford (13:04):
So if you are speaking for a succinct 20 minutes and you're expressing exactly what you need them to do, you better, you better not have any holes. Cause as soon as you give a hole, you're like, wait, you just started the campaign. All of a sudden you're putting the creatives in like, how are you doing this? So it's really, really interesting to see somebody as they sit, sit there, take the time, build it. And you just, that's why we use Google slides because it's easy to hide a slide. It's easy to be like, oh, that actually doesn't apply anymore. Cause I just built my entire presentation out. And so when we starting to tell people do is look, just build everything you have save the presentation, the cure code and descend them the whole thing. And they're gonna see, okay, you hid this, maybe a speaker notes in it. And so that way they can kind get behind your brain. Cause at the end of the day, what a presentation is, is the delivery of a very clear concepts, workflows or processes that you believe is important and impactful for the audience that is listening to him. Hard, stop
Rabah Rahil (14:03):
Mic drop, amazing. And for all the novices out there, this is not recommended to be on the streets, on the move, still dropping heat. This is, this is the expert level, uh, type of presenting. But um, what is your takeaways Ash? Like what was cuz you're a, a geek out newbie. How did you like it? What was your experience? Cause uh, I, I, I wouldn't say I'm a vet, but I'm, I'm approaching, I'm getting my stars. Right, right. Shaq I'm I'm approaching it. I'm almost, I, I might get the Jersey hung in a few years. Like it it's getting there. It's it's, you know, I'm, I'm getting some PT, but uh, what's from your perspective, Ash, like, uh, a new eyes on that. How, how would you perceive kind of geek out and like what Nick's saying about presenting, cuz I, I I'm all in, so I wanna figure out different perspectives cuz it just resonates with me so much what Shaq's saying.
Speaker 4 (14:51):
Yeah, no. As a, at least as a, as a brand, a brand owner and like an operator, right. You can really cut through and see the bullshit that people are putting out. Right? Like you're either you can tell if somebody's in the weeds or they're not. Right. So when you can come to an event like geek out and you can literally sit in a room and watch some of these presenters, whether they're operators or founders or not even agency owners. Right. You're talking about actual operators. Yeah. Who are, like you said in the ad accounts, in the, you know, managing the P and LS, this and that. Like you, you can see the actual dedication and like the fact that somebody's actually going through this, that is the knowledge that I want to take home. That's why I'm flying five, six hours across the country to come and listen to these people where I, the issues that I'm facing right now.
Speaker 4 (15:39):
I want to know how people in my position are dealing with them. Right. I don't want to go and get, you know, pitch by an agency because one, I don't know how many clients they have. I don't know if that person who's pitching me is going to actually be in charge of my account or this and that. I want to know and learn from people who are doing it. And I think Nick has attracted that crowd of, you know, very specific operators for each segment of the business. Right? So like this last geek out, you literally had somebody who's professional at Facebook ads, right? Like literally giving value and nuggets where it's like, all right, go and test this when you get home, right. TikTok go and test this when you get home. Um, you know, Ron gave an entire talk about financial tools and it's like, Hey, I will connect you with these people who have literally helped us to take this and turn it into this.
Speaker 4 (16:35):
Right. It's not like, oh yeah, we're, you know, we did this and we, we, you know, lowered C by X amount, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, you're not giving anything. It's like being in a room of people who are going through the same things as you and finding a way to relate. Right. Um, I think two, two episodes, you know, two episodes ago, Raba, we mentioned like, I think the, the playing field kind of reset after yeah. You know, the updates with iOS 14 and this and that. Um, and now it's like, people are finding new ways to kind of get back on track and it's like, alright, well I wanna know what's going on. And I wanna understand because one, nobody knows or nobody knew what to do after the fact. But now it's like the, the new techniques and the new strategies that people are coming out with are probably coming from the people who are literally operating. And that's why I can trust the information that people are putting out. And that is why I trust Shaq to put together a conference of people that I can actually learn from and like take actionable inside, away. Um, so I mean props to you, Shaq, I mean, I'm kind of jealous. I'm not Barcelo right now to
Nick Shackelford (17:48):
Important to me that I'm not figure out. We try to give many, especially from around the world, speak like Ram speaker, all international, every single one's international, other than Cody and you. So I'm sitting there going like, this is, this is the duty and it's fucking crazy. So like we have this guy that his name is Emmanuel and he spoke with us.
Rabah Rahil (18:23):
Nick Shackelford (18:25):
It's a beautiful story. Emmanuel spoke with us in, uh, for the very first time in Dubai. And I met him, never met him, but he's been very kind. He was great online. And he goes, Nick, I don't have good English. I go, I don't care. You, you, you know what you're talking about? And he goes, don't worry. I'm going get a professional English coach. And I go, no, you're not. This is incredible. He goes, I've taking professional. This gonna speak fluent, fluent Italian living in Spanish. So speaking a little bit of Spanish, this man jumped on stage. His jokes nailed everything. This guy is opening before me at a world. So it's like this like gets, there's so many narratives. I'll talk about this of this. Every time I go to the event, there's three different communities that have to be managed and, and idolized around. I've never been able to explore this, but for some reason it's really being really connected by you guys here. So I appreciate the opportunity to speak on it.
Rabah Rahil (19:22):
The Barcelona cellular was so good to us for a while. Back from the, the, the hard hitting streets of Barcelona shack has turned off his text messages. I think he's back. We, we dropped you off on, um, the three, the three cohorts that you essentially cultivate for your yeah. The three, I guess, inherent communities within the whole geek out experience.
Nick Shackelford (19:42):
Okay. So there's three core communities that have to always kind of be in play, which is a little bit stressful. And especially since its on me as like the host, the curator, and then the, I guess, lack of a better phrase, the deal maker. Um, so you have your, you have your attendees, you have the sponsors and then you have the speakers. Speakers need to feel like everything that they're doing the time and effort and value they're putting into the presentation is worth it for those mm-hmm <affirmative> and they need to feel as though, Hey, I got connections outta this. Thank you so much for allowing me to go through this cuz asking someone to go on top of their already busy work life and schedule and travel and leave their family and kids business. Like they have to technically get something outta this. If you think about it in a very like give and take relationship, which you don't always wanna think about it like this, cause you, your friends are there for you to, for you're leaving, bring away all XYZ.
Nick Shackelford (20:33):
So if you, you have to think about that stuff. The founders that are attending, they're leaving their businesses, leaving their family. Like it's really difficult, especially as you're growing, say you have multiple kids going there and you're Le I have to leave your significant other. Then it's a lot of more stressful. And then you can, can you, you fully be connected into that event and the sponsor, same thing, leaving their family, they gotta get deal flows. And so thinking about how all three of these things play in a place where everybody's still same integrity, they're not feeling like they're justed upon or there's a good mixture of everything. Tech media and, and brand. And it's, it's something where even when I was talking to Andrew, uh, uh, e-commerce fuel live, we had a great conversation with this and he told me, you Darren, he goes, dude, I didn't how you guys are doing it on, on the consistency.
Nick Shackelford (21:18):
Cause they only one to two a year. We do, we do 13, we do 13. We dos, we do the full, full on events. And next year we're trying to do 35 next year. So we sit and look at each other and go like, how is this even possible to get it done in an efficient manner? And it actually comes down to this year alone. Like if anybody's been contemplating putting a get together or, or something, some sort of shoes, I think this year is a huge indicator that people want people, people want connections. People wanna be back and forth. And like, I I'm even to the point where how do we segment it so that like we just have sub founders and they, these people are getting dinners across. Or how do we just have like apparel founders and these dudes need to get dinner across the year or even the female founder one.
Nick Shackelford (22:01):
I know one, one of my, uh, great, great, uh, people on our team. She's a sweetie. She's like, I just want female founders. I just want female, uh, uh, badass bitches on that. And I was like, awesome. Like bring them, like, let's see what you guys can do. And they put together incredible presentation and collection of people. And it's now more than ever important to have people to just keep you in check, think that's what you have your close people, right. That's why you have family. That's why you have your group that you communicate. Cause you just need someone to just look left, look like I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. Am crazy or not. And it's, it's somebody now more than ever. I think everybody has to find and you can find it. You just have to ask for it. Ash, like first, specifically Ash and I were texting one day and I was like, why are you not on Twitter? Why? I was like, dude, why are you not on Twitter? I think you can do great Twitter. And he was like, I don't, I don't, you didn't downplay it. But you're like, dude, like I'm busy or like I have. So like obviously you have stuff going on, but then a couple weeks and you're like, I hear you. I get it. I'm. So in like that, that's what your group should do to, you know?
Speaker 4 (23:00):
Yeah, no you hit Shaq hit me with that, that one retweet that uh, changed my life. And um, I <laugh> honestly like that. That was it, man. <laugh> once tweet went viral and we were off to the race shack. I appreciate you for
Nick Shackelford (23:16):
That. I think Twitter more than like, I never was a Twitter guy until chase challenged me. So chain time and shout out to the homie. He was like, dude, I am I'm no longer. An Instagram was like, yeah, you don't post any good pictures anyway. So don't like, don't, don't put that on me dude. Like, dude, I ain't got nothing to share anyways either, but I, I do like Instagram, but I'm I'm realizing Twitter is very businessy. Like Twitter Twitter's there's deals in Twitter. There's there's reach in Twitter. There's people that you should never really have access to on Twitter, responding to you. And it's, and it's something that talk about community like this little DTC bubble that we have over here at times can get a little bit reckless, but more often than not. It's pretty, it's pretty valuable, man.
Speaker 4 (23:57):
Yeah. I mean like even recently I've been trying to tweet a little bit more transparently about like, Hey, like this week really sucked or like, Hey, this week, this is what we're doing. Right. And I'm getting more into this cadence of like trying to be a little bit more open. Like recently I started tweeting about literally the creatives that we're testing. Right? So like just seeing, I think people seeing that transparency and like, like people are coming outta the, the weed works and like, dude, I really appreciate this, right? Like, oh, like I I've been like struggling for a while and I really appreciate this. And like your advice has helped me turn the business around, which is in incredible. Right? So like being able to kind of also share with everybody and then have those people reciprocate and be like, well, you know what, we're also seeing the same thing.
Speaker 4 (24:39):
It kind of also validates what I'm feeling. Right? So like there'll be weeks where I like, I feel like a shit marketer, right? Like shit's not doing well. I have, I don't have any control, but it's like, Hey, there's other, there's 10 other people kind of echoing what you're saying. And then like that happening on Twitter makes me feel better. But then being able to do that in a very, in a, in a face to face, like level of like this conference, like geek out, it's like, oh shit, you get to really level with somebody and then kind of brainstorm how to get out of it. Right. It, it takes that, that relationship to the next level. People,
Nick Shackelford (25:13):
You, you, you spark somebody. I mean, people think that words like they're like, oh, those are just words. Those are just words. Like words are so powerful. And especially when you say at the right time and someone's able to listen and they're they're they have the capacity to listen sometimes. Like we, I have this conversation with Joe, one of our creative guys, I'm like, bro, I've been telling you the same thing for so long. And I never get mad at repeating myself. Cause you might not be able to listen to her. You might not be ready to listen to it cause it's not applicable before you just yet. And when you start seeing this, this individual that voted this company over here, say it, and then this next guy says something simply like dude, every, all these guys that are doing something are saying something similar and I'm starting to listen, I'm starting to get it. I'm starting to hear it. And it's extremely getting, getting the consistency of sharing, like the cadence of sharing, importa of information on a business level, both on a level, both on a inspirational level speaks to so many different people, phrases in those life. And it's weird to say this, especially cuz at the end of the day, like it's not life or death. We're not, we're not solving world major issues, but we are providing all right,
Rabah Rahil (26:17):
We're not working in medicine or
Nick Shackelford (26:18):
Something. No, no we're, we're not, we're not, we're not, we're not, no, we're not. And, and I don't discredit that, but there's a lot of livelihood. There's a lot of effort and a lot of people's livelihoods at times, aligning on how they grow these companies and businesses, they mouse. And we think about this. I tell our agency this all the time I go, look, we have I'm, I'm gonna paraphrase. We have 70 clients. Every one of our clients has probably two points of contact. 70 times two. They probably have let's say on average, a team of 10, just, just think about the multiple, just from like that thought process of all the people you empower or employee and those mouths that are being fed. And so if you can give some sort of information or, or piece of, of content that can inspire someone to feel some type of way, that allows you to go back into it. Which another part we don't even think about is just having the ability to mentally be okay with all the crap that's happening in our lives and seeing somebody else feeling what you're feeling. There's no ROI on that. Other than this guy's going or girl going, I don't, I, I can have a little bit of a peace within my mind. I might can calm down. It's it's crazy powerful.
Rabah Rahil (27:24):
I have a couple things there cuz you, you peak some interest. One R I P to, uh, my podcast editor, cuz your soundtrack is shit with the background music, but Hey, it's all good baby. We're gonna make it work. <laugh> um, no, but so you did something with the, um, dinner that should not be named, but tell people about kind of your little card thing. I think that's really cool. Cause you do that with your team as well. And I think that there's, there's, there's a lot of value to that, you know I'm talking about, right?
Nick Shackelford (27:50):
Yeah. I call saying was at the, on the front of the card it's I'm Nick and I'm the CEO of geek out structured and constant. And like that's, that's what the world sees. That's what my bio is. That's what LinkedIn sees. And on the back of it is uh, the back of the card, which is a car that no one really looks at your content iteration or what we like to say is what do you really need? Like what is the thing that you need? What, what do you working through right now in your brain had such an incredible conversation with this guy named Brian, Brian Cano. He's out of a good Texas dude.
Rabah Rahil (28:31):
He's the best he's
Nick Shackelford (28:32):
Eighteens. Oh my God, dude. Great
Rabah Rahil (28:33):
Love. Shout out, Brian, love Brian. He's the best he's
Nick Shackelford (28:35):
Coming on the back. We gotta, we gotta, we gotta chat out the end of it. And he was like, dude, I'm going through this thing where like, should I jump in over here? Should I stick with what I'm doing over here? Let's talk through it and you don't get that. Like you don't, you, you wouldn't, we wouldn't have talked about that stuff if I just saw like, oh dude, you're, you're a XYZ XYZ company. That's that's fucking cool man. But instead it's no, I get that part that allows me to put some context what you might be going through. But then the back of it is just this like interpersonal, um, ability to express it. And the craziest thing that the dichotomy across this is, you're getting people to write this in a bar, like they're writing this thing, this intimate thing in a bar and they're like, wait, what are we doing?
Nick Shackelford (29:17):
This like this, this, this weird emotional thing that you go through and I'm like, cool, I'm gonna take that from you. I'm gonna read that. And you're like, all right, okay. I guess I'm on that with you now, now that connection that I have and the connection that the person that they just shared it with and the ability for them to like, think about it is so it's, so it's important. Like if, if I could do anything, say, say I get a check for 10 million, which is my number that I'm good at. Like I don't need more than 10 million. Um, and they go, what do you wanna do? I go, I just wanna ask really good questions and just watch, watch social dynamic situations of people interacting and then asking them and analyzing, oh shit, asking them and analyzing like, how did that, why did you do that? What did you just go through? That's that's all I do for the rest of my life.
Rabah Rahil (30:05):
Yeah. Amazing. Um, I know we're pushing up against it and I know you put 15 people on hold for dinner. So let me ask, uh, a few more closing questions and then ask, you can get your last in as well. But um, if you were starting today, how would you build a community or if somebody was starting today and wanted to build a community as successful as kind of what geek out has been cultivated into and then, uh, what tips are like, how, how do you see the world shaping them now? Cause I think the in real life stuff is absolutely amazing bets challenges. The economics there, like that was all honestly the first ladder or the last ladder to fall for us here at triple where it's like, we needed to make sure all these other foundational things were printing money. And then we can kind of throw parties. That'll then kind of, you know, um, link to business objectives. But to be fair, the ROI is there. Like the in real life stuff is sensational, but there's logistics that goes with it, et cetera, et cetera. So if you were starting a community today, how, how would you do that? Or like what kind of tips or, um, little idea bombs you could give people.
Nick Shackelford (31:05):
I, I think about this a lot actually. Cause we did, we, we did this intentionally with <inaudible>, uh, at the very, very beginning. So we, we are marketers. So a lot of the people that are listening this maybe they have maybe, maybe they're not starting at zero. So I don't think I can start from the actually I'll go two different ways. If I'm starting at zero, I've done nothing. Um, and I don't have a lot of cash to put into this. You have to go get a sponsor and the sponsor you're gonna, the you're gonna articulate to them is like, look, I know I have this value and I have this audience. I D know how people are gonna be there. Stick that about that. And the second thing to your audience is like, look, I wanna spend my time to put together a dope, awesome experience in event.
Nick Shackelford (31:51):
If you wanna do business with this person, do business with them. If you don't, don't worry about it. But the, the reason why you guys are enjoying these drink space place, whatever is because of this person, this sponsor. So just being very clear and front right away is way. The only way I'd go about this B is don't make any profit. You just don't just cover your costs, get the experience you're gonna get into conversations and you're gonna get into like deal flows. You're gonna get into series A's you're gonna get into C round. You're gonna get into a lot of these like nons discussed areas that come because of the community and the connection that you currently have. And there's very difficult for me to put a price point on this, but to, to, to be on a cap table with crazy VCs and being yeah, would be like, look, we both went in on X.
Nick Shackelford (32:38):
We should be able to that'll help you out, down the line that that goes so, so very far. Um, second, if you are a marketer, low ticket, more people, you have to go very, very broad. I went, went, went very high level and we went extremely at the, basically the top of the, the top to be a part of this when it's easier to go newbie and get, it's easier to go a little bit beginner, cause you're gonna get a wide net and you're gonna find a couple rock stars, a couple people that really vibe with your, your experience or vibe with what you're trying to do. And they're gonna stick with you. There's a guy, actually, his name is his name is Ja and he's got incredible, uh, community discord group. Um, and this dude is a, is a legend. He's OGs great in the space.
Nick Shackelford (33:25):
And he didn't build like a crazy high level group. He built one that's like on its way up. And he giving a lot of these earlier people earlier dropship with earlier business guys, access to tools that a lot of the top guys have. And now that he's bringing that whole crew of community up and he is got a much bigger reach. So I do think you can get a bigger reach and find the tribe from there rather than go extremely rental. Cause I think it's gonna take a lot more cash to do that. Um, and the final thing I would say is double down on two things. Either you're gonna be an experience or you're gonna have incredible content. We did both. We did incredible experience and we did incredible content, but we started with content. And then as we started to evolve, we started to realize that some people were not coming to us for content. Some people were coming to us for experience and escapism. So if we can give them escape, doctors
Rabah Rahil (34:12):
Geek out groupers,
Nick Shackelford (34:13):
If we can give,
Rabah Rahil (34:14):
Like I've seen like three or four people there, it's amazing. People love the
Nick Shackelford (34:18):
Experience. No, they, we, we have a guy that was with us in Austin and he was with us in Miami and he's gonna be here in Barcelona and HES. Like he goes, you tell me where I'm there. You tell me where I'm there and I just laugh. And he is, do pick and choose which ones go that they haven't before. So in Barcelona we have, uh, S 17% overlap of those that came to any other events, a it's international, but from the, the, the Dubai event specifically. So it's, it's crazy to the location has so much to do with it.
Rabah Rahil (34:55):
I'm still butt heard about the Dr by the way,
Nick Shackelford (34:58):
2022. Yes. Jack
Speaker 4 (35:01):
SHA. I got one question, right? So I definitely wanna start getting into building a community. Like obviously we have the Avi community, but I wanna start building, you know, the community of something similar to what you guys are doing, right. Especially with Raba and triple oil. Right. Um, you know, last week we had the event in New York, which is great, and I want to continue doing that. Right? So that one, it it's beneficial for me, cuz then I can get to meet as many people who are in the weeds like I am. But if there was one thing that you would make sure that we do, when we start doing more of the events, what would it
Nick Shackelford (35:36):
Be? The dinners, the dinners is the best. And, and it's a little difficult in New Jersey. It's a little bit easier New Jersey than it is in New York. The dinners are, are very, and we're still optimizing this as well. We're do, we're gonna do 35 dinners next year. So like we, we, we split tested this year. We're gonna roll this out aggressively next year. Cause it just, it just works. Um, you can get a room of 15 to 25 people, 20 people. Your average cost is probably gonna be around five to 15,000. Um, in New York, even in New York, we're able to find something cause we're gonna do one in, in September. We, we were able to find an event in New York or space, full money for everything for about $12,000. And so nobody, nobody has to spend any money on that. So it's pretty, pretty good on this. Um, the DS is the place to go. And then having, having very structured initial questions like one or two that's topical for the table, um, and then being very intentional where you sit, where you sit people. So I know event bright and there's one other tool that people use that no way far users to collect some information quickly and just ask one, one to three questions. The first question usually is what is a problem that you're trying to solve in the next 30 days? Boom, relevant, important, right there. Second is unique.
Nick Shackelford (36:55):
Awesome. Now I know what is, is, um, is there anything that you need right now, which is kind of like not towards business, more towards personal, which is more of like my, of the pardon. So really good three intentional questions and then doing your best to not do a sit down. And I learned this the hard way. So you can do it. If you a sit down meal, a sit, if you standup you a standup standup it's it's on this side, you run into somebody going like, are we doing a dinner? Are we sitting down and eating? You're like, dude, there's like tons of food here. Just go grab and eat as much as you want. So there might, they might get a different feeling on this. So the way that we're gonna try and split test, this is we're gonna do appetizers at the table. So you have to go and get it and then sit down for a main course and stand up, back up for coffee.
Rabah Rahil (37:59):
Speaker 4 (38:00):
Was. So when you're asking these questions, is it more so of like a round table discussion or is it just like, Hey, here's the questions like
Rabah Rahil (38:07):
Nick Shackelford (38:07):
So it's gonna be shaped by the room and the size of how many people you are there. We done, we did, we've done long table, one giant long table. And it was really difficult to hear. And for that to happen, it's basically gonna be 30 people. Each person talked for two minutes. So like, how are you eating? Like how, how, how are people focusing on this? And then, so I didn't like that. We tried it. It was okay. I did not like it as much. Then we did. We broke people with people in groups of table, uh, groups of, uh, eight in LA. And it was the table. The, the, the group themselves had a good discussion. And then the final thing we did was in Austin, which was no, sit down, all stand up. And I really, really liked it. People were two, people were moving and grooving and it, we just did alcohol and really good, really good finger foods. So that, that's my main takeaway on the room's gonna shape how it's gonna be across. If you're gonna go safe, you can be like, I'm gonna go to hotel room and they're gonna cater it. Then you can be like completely in control the environment. It's just not as vibey.
Rabah Rahil (39:09):
If yeah. If I could throw in my 2 cents there, I, cuz I was at both and we've had the, uh, events as well now. And I think it's absolutely spot on what you're saying. I personally hate the dinner. I won't go to dinners anymore because you're locked into, like you said, the left and the right. And if left and right sucks. It's, you're, you're dead in the water there. And then it's awkward to like, cuz you're talking over people's shoulders. If you're standing up and stuff like that, super awkward. What you did in Austin, I think is the path where there was kind of those high tables. So you're sitting but not sitting. Um, you had the finger foods, but really people were vibing. Man, you get some drinks, you do this. Honestly, the, for me like at these experiences, the food is just so people don't die.
Rabah Rahil (39:48):
Yeah. Yeah. Like, like cuz most people are gonna be boozing and chatting and jamming. It's also awkward if you have a nice big meal, because like you have to put all your attention into this meal, you're eating like just grab some finger foods, blah blah, blah. Like most of the time people are drinking, doing business. Um, I, I love the, the dinner that shouldn't be spoken about in Austin. I thought that was the, the best way to put it on. Like I, I just, and I keep saying this folks, cuz uh, when you get invited to one of these, um, there's all this really interesting messaging. It's like a DTC fight club. So I'm just kind of poking shack, uh, with that a little bit. But um, Shaq, you've been so, so amazing with your time, man. Let, let people know how to follow you. How can they get more involved with geek out? Um, this time is yours, my friend, thank
Nick Shackelford (40:30):
You guys. So geek out. We do these a, this, this year alone. We have 13 people in attendance at anything that we've done. So we have four more, three for the bar, Miami Nashville event to, we have to all in. It's just you, even if you don't, even if you come in and like kind of what we're talking about here, Ash came to one, he is like, oh cool. I can take this away. Rob came into one. He is like, oh cool. I can do my own thing over here. I think the more people that build communities like this, the more we can kinda mix across it. I think it's just, I think it's just extremely important crowdsourcing information to problem solve. Especially right now. There's a lot of things that people are trying to work through. I don't necessarily know how to form the questions. It's important to just, just talk it, talk it through a lot of us, get ideas and concepts out by verbalizing it. They might not know exactly what they're trying to say, but they start speaking like, oh my God, that makes a lot of sense. Now that I six times to six different people, Ingle everybody.
Rabah Rahil (41:52):
I Instagram feed too. Don't don't sell that short. It's awesome. And you get to see the, the terrible slides and socks that he wears and the puppies, uh, the, the love shack, your, your IG feed is fantastic and don't sleep on the GeekOuts too. I think Nick undersold, it, they're really incredible for people that are really high achievers that need to unplug, but can't let like hate vacations hate sitting on the beach and stuff like that. You can come and just chill. One of the cool things. And again, this isn't like a geek out pitch. I'm saying this sincerely the way they have it set up is really cool. There's actually the speaker arena is what I'll call it. And then there's these breakout areas. And so you don't even need to be in the speaker arena the whole time and you can go schmooze in these other breakout areas.
Rabah Rahil (42:32):
And he actually, again, David streamed king, they actually stream the talks in these other areas as well. So you can like be in there, but if you're like me where you can't sit down for a bunch of time or whatever, and you just wanna schmooze or go or whatever, um, they're really cool experiences. So I think that's one of the craziest things that you guys have made where it's like, you can treat it as a escapism vacation of like, man, I need to get away from my business. But at the same time, like I don't wanna go to the beach or I won't wanna do this. Like I can just go meet a bunch of other crushers and maybe I do some business, maybe I don't or if you just want to go and you have the, you know, cash is spent to really skill up. Um, it also satisfies those things. So I think it's really interesting how you've been able to accomplish both of those. Okay. Enough of grab asing Ash, tell the people about vitamin shop, tell the people what to do. They know the stick, but I want to hear it from you.
Speaker 4 (43:21):
Yeah, absolutely. Man. Uh, follow me on Twitter, Ash for Melan. Um, if you need some collage in your life, go check out Avi at vitamin shop. Um, if there's one down the road from you, go there and take a picture and send it to me. Love that. And then hopefully if you're in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania area, we wanna start throwing events with triple well, so let's go reach out. We'll uh, let's get something going.
Rabah Rahil (43:44):
Amazing. Thank you so much, Nick. You're the best. If you do wanna try triple well, we are try triple well.com. We are also on the bird app at triple well. Um, and then, uh, Ash, you forgot to mention your mentor pass. Shout out, Kenny Ash is on mentor. Are you on mentor pass Shaq?
Nick Shackelford (44:00):
Yeah, like I think I'm done
Rabah Rahil (44:00):
30 shack attacks on the men.
Rabah Rahil (44:04):
Look at this. Guy's just dropping numbers is dropping numbers. And then if you wanna support and uh, supposedly Shaq donates his, uh, proceeds to, uh, puppy charities. I donate all my P or charity or all my, uh, proceeds to, uh, buying more sneaker heat. Um, and I need some more mentor pass because I'm not even bringing new heat to this geek out. I had to do, uh, we're getting a new condo and so all the monies to that right now. But uh, I got some eyes on things. So if you guys wanna jam more, I'll mentor pass I'm on there. SHA you're the best. Thanks again. Tell everybody we love them. I'll see you in a couple days. Bombo. Thanks again, Ash. You're the best. Love you guys.
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