It’s 10:45, Saturday morning. Lloyd Irvin is on stage talking about, guess what, marketing. This time on how to drive the new student to the class you want him to be placed on and the success ladder he will be subject to. The conference room at Renaissance Hotel at Sea World, Orlando is organized into three rows of chairs; the first, on the left, has 57 people seated, 129 in the middle, 56 on the right.
Hidden in the audience there’s one of the protagonists of the UFC fight of the night last week, his face still testament to how tough and bloody a fight it was. There’s also the second American ever to become Jiu-Jitsu World Champion as a black belt. One MMA veteran in a back seat has a record of over 115 matches. And another fighter, a Brazilian and IBJJF hall of famer, owns eight world titles. But they and the other 238 people, among them other prestigious martial artists, are all silent. Their position here takes them back to their first movements on the mats, as students.
We are at the beginning of the third day of the MMA Revolution 5.0 event, and most of these people have already spent serious money in products to improve theirs schools. But that was clear from day one.
“Who’s new here?” asked Irvin, during the introductory speech. Roughly forty percent of the crowd stood up. “Whoever has a $20 bill in their wallet, could you please bring it to me?” he continued. A line took shape, and for the next minute or so, he traded each $20 bill for a $100 bill. Then Irvin explained that yes, he will make money in exchange for knowledge during the next days. But he boldly claims that each dollar spent will multiply several times.
So a couple days passed by and courses about sales, pay-per-click ads, children and after-school programs, social media etc. were taught, and innovations on how to implement different, crazy types of technology were shown. During a sales presentation run by Marcos Avellan, a group of 47 owners who already bought the course stood up saying the program drove over 50,000 extra dollars since their staff began to use it. A few kept standing when the mark reached $100,000. And the line of them willing to walk to the microphone to issue spontaneous testimonials was getting to the size of one of the Disney attractions at the nearby Magic Kingdom amusement park.
At this point, even after the aforementioned sales example but not being here to hear all these testimonials I’ve heard thus far, you may be asking: “Will the Jiu-Jitsu and MMA schools with representatives in attendance capitalize on all the knowledge shared over the long weekend?” I’m sure the majority will. Just like I make sure to pay for my physical conditioning classes to make sure I will actually attend them, these school owners, many of them disciplined enough to become multiple-time champions in their styles, value their money spent and I bet they are now eager to get it back. Multiple times.