Black Friday Deals // A BoS Autopsy on the Black Friday hype

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A BoS Autopsy on Black Friday

Your inboxes have no doubt been flooded for most of November with “Pre-Black Friday Discounts”, “register now for early access to Black Friday deal” and my personal favourite “#000000Friday”.  So why does every retailer and business across the globe try to make Black Friday happen?

Cashing in on massive hype is not a new or ground-breaking idea in the retail world – ‘Boxing Day Sales’ is a very familiar term to us in the UK despite sales often starting late-November and continuing through to New Year. Recent rises in online shopping has been forcing high street shops to reduce prices earlier and earlier as they no longer have the upper hand in controlling consumer purchasing.  A recent Which? report shows that 48% of items were sold at a lower price after Black Friday and that 61% were actually cheaper before their Black Friday sale price.

How to combat Black Friday

You may have seen we recently advertised our own Black Friday discount with a whopping 50% off all ticket prices purchased on 29th November!!

Black Friday Deal

You may also have noticed the deal came with the caveat of the original price being inflated 500% as of 23:59 on 28th November.

So, if we are offering a deal, why aren’t we doing it like everyone else?

A Good Deal

A good deal can be defined as “an acknowledgement that a situation or proposal is acceptable, pleasing, or fortuitous”  or, more in keeping with Black Friday, “value for money”. For us, BoS fits both definitions. It means a great deal to us and to our attendees, we also believe that the value you as an attendee get far outweighs the cost of your ticket. That is true at any time of the year.

Here’s a couple of people who would agree with us:

“I am not sure that I could have done this* without the things that I learned at BoS and from the BoS community” (* this = selling PrecisionLender for $510 million, cash)  Carl Ryden (Founder/CEO, PrecisionLender)

“I was thinking about the most important biz decisions we’ve made in 19 years, and attending BoS immediately came to mind. We met some of the most influential people in our lives. Totally leveled up the business and ourselves as founders because of it.” – Natalie Nagele (Founder/CEO, Wildbit)

“I’ve now attended 15 BoS Conferences & all provided ideas we used to grow our company. This is the most important conference that I attend. Period.” – Shawn Anderson (Founder/CEO, PDQ.com)

We hear from so many of our attendees how valuable BoS has been to them in their success stories and we are proud to offer a great deal of insight and access to experienced people who have information to share and are wanting to share what they have learned with other. We also value the time and consideration spent purchasing a ticket to come to BoS and becoming part of the community. We value the time you take out of work to actually attend.  You make a good deal of effort to come to BoS and we want you to know we see you, and we don’t want to devalue your input with gimmicky sales and discounts which undermines your hard work. We also keep the event small enough that we can get to know the attendees in person, understand what they are trying to achieve and solve for in their businesses. This is not a massively scalable model. That is OK with us.

Attending Cheap or Free Events

There are events aplenty that discount their tickets. Discounting is not a bad thing per se. If you run an event that has significant sponsorship revenue and have sold your sponsors on the size of the audience they will be in front of, giving tickets away makes sense. The organiser needs to fill the room and as the profit will come from the sponsors, the marginal cost of additional people is very low. You’re likely to find a way to snag a free, or very cheap pass, to attend. There will be talks selected for the value of the content. There will be talks selected because they are given by someone from a company who just happens to be a sponsor. You will probably be at a multi-track event so you learn to pick the ones that you attend.

If a startup founder with no funding wants to attend an event at no cost and meet lots of investors, they’re probably not the right fit for our audience. If you want to attend an event, take an exhibition stand, grab business cards, scan badges and build a mailing list of prospects to contact post event, we are definitely not the right place for you.

Different events do different jobs – from offering a place where people can go to be inspired, feel part of a tribe, meet new sales prospects, investors, other entrepreneurs, the press, learn new ideas, have a party and a break from the office.

Business of Software Conference

We’re not aiming to be the biggest conference in the world. We are aiming to be the best conference in the world for the leaders of growing software and SaaS companies to come together, learn from experts on stage and fellow entrepreneurs in the audience. We are single track, put a huge amount of thought into creating a coherent narrative across all the talks, and cannot afford to shove some sponsors on stage to sell some stuff. We don’t want to put bums on seats for the sake of filling a bigger auditorium – for us, that detracts from the value that our core audience gets.

Tickets for BoS are not cheap, but giving tickets away, offering big discounts, two-for-ones, one day flash sales undermines the value of a ticket. It also penalises, unfairly in our view, the people that attend regularly, those that purchase tickets early, repeat customers – all of the good folk that are loyal, valued members of the community.

That does not mean it’s not ‘a good deal’. (And we are unique, as far as we are aware, in offering our attendees a no quibble refund guarantee – attend and you don’t feel you got value, we will refund your ticket price). We aren’t a regular conference. We don’t do regular deals. Just because something is cheap, does not make it good value. Quality is its own economy.

The Autopsy on our Black Friday Deal?

So far, no tickets sold. There is still a while to go though so fill your boots! Our Black Friday Offer is Still Live!

Black Friday BoS USA

Time is running out etc etc. We will keep you updated.


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One response to “Black Friday Deals // A BoS Autopsy on the Black Friday hype”

  1. Not a single sale!

    We must have got our pricing wrong or our discount wrong. Next year, we might try increasing the ticket price by 10x and then offering a 25% discount, 50% feels too much – there must be a trick.

    That should do it.

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