Event Design

Learnings From a Record-Breaking Virtual Book Launch

Skift Take

At a time when virtual events seem to be losing steam, some are wildly successful and help companies generate millions of dollars in revenue.

On August 21, Alex Hormozi launched his latest book via a Zoom Meeting with over half a million people registered to attend the event. Despite technical challenges, 85,000 attended the 90-minute event live on Zoom, and more watched on YouTube. According to Hormozi, the event shattered the Guinness World Record for a virtual live business event.

The launch culminated years of work and cost Hormozi $300,000. The total number of people who have viewed the live stream on YouTube, both live and on-demand, is now over 600,000 and growing. But beyond the sheer reach of the virtual event, there are several learnings worth taking from it.

This virtual event launched Hormozi’s second book called $100M Leads. The first was called $100M Offers. Hormozi is an entrepreneur with a track record in the fitness industry and the founder and managing partner of Acquisition.com. He regularly shares his expertise in customer acquisition and monetization online and his millions of followers consider him a marketing guru.

Think Beyond Direct Revenue

On the surface, selling physical and digital copies of the book was the event’s main goal. Hormozi says he sold half of the 150,000 copies of the book during the event, making around $2.25 million in sales. While the numbers are impressive, looking deeper, it is clear that Hormozi’s investment in this free-to-attend event goes far beyond book sales. It is more about elevating the brand and connecting a community of followers. 

The event took attendees on a 90-minute application of the book’s content. Hormozi ran through several of the concepts around finding leads. He then introduced several manuals and courses and used price anchoring to establish the value of these materials. Spoiler alert: he later made all of these available at no cost to attendees. The book itself is available at no cost as an audiobook on the author’s podcast

Hormozi priced digital offerings throughout his presentation but ultimately sold only physical books, promoted his brand and showcased other products. Hormozi looks to profit through acquiring or investing in companies through Acquisition.com. He makes no secret of this by inviting companies with more than $3 million in annual revenue to apply to work with Hormozi and his team. Hormozi and his wife and business partner Leila Hormozi, are also available for speaking engagements with a fee starting at $100,000.

Learning: Don’t try to make money directly from a virtual event. Keep digital products free. Instead use them to build brand equity and strategically support other revenue streams.

Partnering for Maximum Reach

Looking through Hormozi’s social content leading up to the launch, it is clear that the event was the single point of focus for the entire team for a long time. Hormozi didn’t rely on his large following to reach so many people. He created a wide selection of preview content leading up to the event, including launching a free chapter. 

The key tactic that led to such a large registration number was actively recruiting affiliates to help him promote the event. This is one of the key tactics featured in the book, and Hormozi set out to lead by example. An impressive 23,722 affiliates promoted the virtual book launch.

While some followers likely would have been all too glad to promote the event, Hormozi incentivized them. The deal was simple: get ten or more people to register through unique affiliate links and receive access to two unreleased chapters of the new book. 

There was also an additional perk for the top-performing affiliates: Hormozi committed to participating in a private ask-me-anything (AMA) session for their audience. This double-tiered affiliate approach cleverly offers differentiated perks matching for different types of affiliates.

Learning: Use every opportunity and technique available to promote the event synergistically.

Presentation Matters

The virtual book launch was streamed live from Worre Studios in Las Vegas, a 25,000-square-foot virtual studio facility opened in April 2021. At its center lies a 360-degree 4K LED screen with 65 million pixels. Forty-eight computers backstage enable a theoretical 250,000 attendees, with 2,744 visible on the screen at any one time. The setup is powered by Immersive Design Studios’ CANVAS technology platform, also used by Tony Robbins to power his virtual events.

The choice to use a Zoom Meeting, rather than stream to YouTube was an intentional choice for Hormozi, who enjoyed interacting with the participants during the event. Although attendees could only interact through the chat function, Hormozi could see thousands of participants and get energy from their reactions.

Hormozi created his own slides, a mix of his verbatim script, simple icons, and hand-drawn doodles. Hormozi’s use of his basic artwork is intentional. It lends a DIY feel to the presentation, which is all about empowering anyone to acquire customers. The visuals are good enough to explain the concepts but not overly slick to put concepts on a pedestal.

The presentation had an obvious flow that created tension and delight. Hormozi started off building trust with the audience, before going on to create tension by setting prices for bundles of digital products. He releases the tension by revealing that they are available at no cost resulting in many attendees showing their joy on camera. He used the last few minutes to pitch the physical books and tease the next book leaving the audience wanting more.

Learning: Meticulously plan your live presentation to create a gripping storyline that keeps attendees engaged for the entire event.

Regardless of how much you rate Hormozi’s content or if you like his style, it’s undeniable that this event was incredibly well thought out. It was the embodiment of his work, and it was wildly successful.