Finally! Kajabi had another in-person conference. The last one was hard to beat ... but they sure did it. Come hear about my amazing experience in Austin, TX!
Okay, I don't know any other way to tell you this so I'm just going to come right out with it: THIS POST IS GOING TO BE LONG.
And I'm not sorry!! So there.
I just attended one of the best events for professional and personal growth of my life. My main goal is to share it with you. I also want to record it for myself - becauseI really lack in the long-term memory department.
So as much as Kajabi Hero Live meant to me, I'll forget chunks of it if I don't write it down. Voila! Extensive, book-length blog post comin' up!!
I used a lot of headings, etc. so hopefully you can skim past the parts you don't care about to get to the stuff you do. Or you could be my new best friend and just read the whole dang thing. No pressure. Totally up to you ... 😂
Image courtesy of Fairmont Austin (I added a filter)
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This is the 4th post in a series re: the super exciting "Kajabi Hero Live" event in Austin, Texas from May 30 to June 1, 2023. Links to all KHL-related posts are:
Kajabi Hero Live Austin 2023: Everything You Need to Know
There's a ton of information in that first post and also an explanation of what Kajabi is (if you're not familiar). So that's where I would start. Then read the updates in the order posted 'including this one where I share my review. (Spoiler: IT WAS AMAZING!!!)
What's Kajabi Hero Live?
Aw, I hate switching to the past tense now and saying "Kajabi Hero Live WAS ..." because in all the posts I've written before this, it was still upcoming. I'm so sad that it's over :( But, wow, what an event!!
Kajabi Hero Live was an out-of-this world in-person conference held by Kajabi, the all-in-one software that I and thousands of others use to run our digital businesses, host our online course and sales funnels, etc. (wow, Erika, hyphen much?).
You can see what all the hype is about here at my Kajabi Partner Link (<< it's better than going directly to Kajabi.com because my link gets you double the free trial, yeah!).
What's In a Name? Kajabi Hero Live vs Kajabi Impact Summit
I have some posts from back in 2019 where I talk about the first time Kajabi had an in-person conference. It was called the Kajabi Impact Summit and occurred in April 2019 in Orange County, California. My policy is I don't go to conferences. But for Kajabi, I make an exception.
You can read my Impact Summit posts here:
Kajabi was planning an event 18 months later, to be held in 2020, but well, you know what happened then, womp womp!
That's why we - especially those of us who were around back when the 2nd summit was canceled - are SO HAPPY about Kajabi Hero Live!
Side question: Will they continue to call future events "Kajabi Hero Live"? Or will they start again with a new name like they did this time? I guess arguments could be made for either side. Doesn't matter much to me, as I'll attend no matter what they call it!
I do like how the KHL name puts Kajabi Heroes (that's us, their customers!) at the center and held up as the main purpose. It was a theme that was clearly emphasized throughout the conference and was felt deeply by the attendees. I felt it, and heard many people comment on it.
Just another reason I heart you so much, Kajabi!
Was Kajabi Hero Live Worth the Wait?
Even though we had to wait for 4 years, I have to say that Kajabi more than made up for lost time and it was worth the wait in SO many ways!
TL;DR yes, this is going to be a good review. About the only "negative" i can say is that there was too much going on at Kajabi Hero Live and I got very little sleep, lol. But as far as problems go, that's a good one to have, right?
Okay, on with the review!
Kajabi Hero Live - Where Was It and When?
KHL was held in Austin, Texas, USA at the Fairmont Austin hotel in downtown Austin. The official event ran from Tuesday, May 30 through Thursday, June 1, 2023
... though as you keep reading, you'll see that KHL-related goodness extended into several extra days on either side of that, woo hoo!
Why Was Kajabi Hero Live Held in Austin?
As I talked about in my first post in this series, I wasn't sure why they chose Austin as the location for the conference. After all, the first one in 2019 had been held in Irvine, California, home of Disneyland ... and Kajabi Headquarters.
Although I much preferred the Irvine location (since I'm from California), I understood that it was more central in the US and therefore better for more people possibly. Also, I wondered if maaaaaybe Kajabi was contemplating moving to Austin, a popular thing for California tech companies to do these days.
Well, during Kajabi Hero Live, I was part of two convos where Sean Kim, President of Kajabi, was asked about the Austin location, and one of those convos included Allie Fernando, the coordinator of KHL. The gist of both conversations was that Austin was chosen 1. to mix things up, 2. to be a more central location, and 3. no, Kajabi has no plans to move to Austin, lol.
Please keep in mind, these were casual conversations "after hours" during dinner and/or cocktails, so they aren't official statements of Kajabi or anything. But I thought I'd share 'what I heard" with you :)
What Were the Rooms at the Fairmont Austin Like?
Okay, the Fairmont is what me and mine like to call "schwa schwa." In other words, it's very classy and high-dollar - while we are NOT 😂 I always say "we put the K in Klassy."
I was in a standard room on the 9th floor with an okay view of downtown Austin. All the nice accoutrements were present and accounted for: Fluffy white comforters, fluffy white bathrobes, fluffy white towels, yummy-smelling shampoo, etc.
The only thing I didn't like - and it's probably the opposite of everyone else - is that the mini fridge was completely a mini bar. In other words, it was full to the brim with (overpriced) paid items.
Were Rooms Pricey at the Fairmont Austin?
We all know that hotel room prices vary greatly based on some kind of algorithm like Amazon uses. So they're more expensive when the hotel is in demand and cost less when the hotel has a lot of vacancies.
That said, of all the times I looked at Fairmont Austin room prices from February to June 2023, they ranged from $220 (for a standard 2 Queen or 1 King room) to over $1500 (for a big fancy suite) per night.
I actually heard a couple people say they were staying in those suites. Say what now?? KAJABI BALLERS!!! They did not come to PLAY! Kajabi does make a lot of millionaires so I shouldn't have been surprised by this. Very impressive 👍🏼
How About the Fairmont Austin Hotel Facilities?
As you would imagine a luxury hotel, the Fairmont Austin had a huge marble lobby with floor to ceiling glass across the whole front, valets to take your bags to your room, and even the NON-valet parking was $50/night, wowza!
The hotel had 2 bars and 2 restaurants, all amazing with gorgeous atmospheres and crazy-expensive food and drinks. There was a spa, pool, jacuzzi, etc. that I had no time to try. Room service was good but expensive.
The 7th floor where several of the Kajabi Hero Live events were held had a huge ballroom, along with an outdoor rooftop pool, bar, and table/seating area. There was also a kind of 'hidden' indoor/outdoor bar that we didn't discover until the last night and we were so bummed!
The staff was top-notch; they only let me down on one occasion, when I asked for a wine opener to be brought up with my room service order - and not only did it not come up with the food, but then the waiter didn't bring it up as he said he would either. I know, I know, first world schwa-schwa problems!!
I took all the photos above. You can also see pretty sparkly photos here on the Fairmont Austin photo gallery page.
Kajabi Hero Live - How Was the Schedule of Events Handled?
In my other posts that were written leading up to Kajabi Hero Live, I tried to piece together the complete schedule. I like to be uber-organized when it comes to that because I need a visual to keep a bunch of details straight.
I did the best I could with an Google sheet (of course I did!) but what I really wanted was to put all the events, dates, times, and locations in my GCal. Then as I was out and about at the conference, I could quickly see on my phone where I needed to be next.
Alas, Kajabi didn't make this easy. The best version of the official schedule that I saw was in the Kajabi Hero Live Community group; here's part of it as an example:
As you can see, it's beautiful graphically, completely nails their branding for the event, is easy to read, etc. But it was not copy/paste-able and when I asked in the group if we could get a GCal version, one wasn't available.
So during the event, I felt like I was constantly having to check the Community, my GCal, my emails, etc. to make sure I wasn't missing something and knew where to go at what time. Bummer.
Also, it's not specific as to who would be speaking or what the topic was at any given time. I hear that's a tactic many conferences use because if attendees know exactly what's coming up, they're more likely to skip certain sessions - whereas if it's a mystery, they'll show up for all sessions. Wicked smart.
Why Didn't Kajabi Give Us an Importable Calendar?
I don't know why a GCal version wasn't shared with attendees. But one thing I've learned about Kajabi since being a customer and power user since 2016 is that there's always a good reason, a method to their madness.
So I wasn't ticked about it or anything. I heard that specifics with some of the speakers, etc. were still fluid up until pretty close to the event start.
So maybe that was the reason - because had they given us a GCal version, that could've gotten pretty complicated to keep all attendees up-to-date. I've coordinated events before and fully sympathize.
If you were in the KHL 2023 Community, they DID do a great job of emailing us with at least "it's coming up" and "it's starting now" for all of the Hero-led and extra Kajabi events!
The emails had the basics like this and if you clicked on it, it took you into the Community event (like a Facebook Event) with all the extra details. Pretty slick! 🎉
Kajabi Hero Live - Who Were the Presenters and Panelists?
That's it. There's just too much to tell you about. I need to do at least one more post on Kajabi Hero Live 2023! Because I was going to list out all the presenters/panel members, give my short impression or tekeaway, and share a quick journal of each event I attended as well.
For now, I'll just include the final list of who took the stage once all was said and done (there were some surprises!). Then I'll go into more detail in my next post. Deal? DEAL!
Kajabi Hero Live - Speakers/Presenters - Tuesday, May 30, 2023 (VIP DAY)
Ahad Khan, Kajabi CEO - Welcome
Graham Cochrane - Workshop
Ellin Yin - Workshop
Sneak Peek - new Kajabi features
Kajabi Hero Live - Speakers/Presenters - Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Krista Williams - Hero-led activity
Brendon Burchard - Keynote
Panel: How 3 Kajabi Heroes Have Built Thriving Online Communities
VIP Lunch & Learn w/Brendon Burchard
Priya Parker - Keynote
Steve Harris - Workshop
Panel: A creator's BFF - How to Use AI to Scale Your Knowledge Business
Kenny Reuter & JCron - fireside chat
Kajabi Hero Live - Speakers/Presenters - Thursday, June 1, 2023
Ali Abdaal - Hero-led presentation
Panel: Dolla Dolla Bills: How to Make Your First Dollar as a Creator
Abu Fofonah - Workshop
Panel: How to Monetize Like a Pro - Subscriptions, Upsells, Order Bumps, and Flex Pay
VIP Lunch & Learn w/Ali Abdaal
Dominique Broadway - Workshop
Jamie Kern Lima - Keynote
Hero awards ceremony
Kajabi Hero Live - wrap-up/done
What Did It Cost to Attend Kajabi Hero Live and Was It Worth It?
Depending on when you bought your ticket and whether you got VIP or General Admission, the ticket price varied from $797 to $1497. I paid the additional cost to attend as a VIP and I'm very glad I did. I didn't spring for it during the initial Kajabi Impact Summit in 2019 and I've always regretted it.
What made the VIP ticket worth it for Kajabi Hero Live was:
Early check-in/registration (no standing in line)
A head start on meeting people in the hotel (many came 1, 2, even 3 days early)
3 extra presentations - a GREAT welcome from Kajabi CEO, important and helpful workshops by Graham and Ellen
Nighttime networking party amongst a smaller group on the VIP night (catered, rooftop pool, 2 free drinks)
2 catered lunches with a smaller group and "up-closer" talks from Brendon Burchard and Ali Abdaal
Sneak peek of new Kajabi features
Also, because VIP things started on Tuesday, it forced me to arrive on Monday ... which ended up being so cool! I got there in the late afternoon, unpacked, rested, had a really fun and late night meeting other Heroes at the bar, and wasn't rushed getting ready Tuesday morning, which is really helpful for an introvert.
Kajabi Hero Live - When Is the Next One?
According to Ahad and Allie, they definitely want and plan to have more events like this. Yearly? I don't know but I hope so! They of course wouldn't have had a date for the next one at that point, and if they did, they wouldn't have shared it, lol.
I did hear from a lot of Kajabians that they would need more notice next time to make sure they could attend. I believe that most people heard about Kajabi Hero Live 2023 in late February and early March. Some couldn't get their visa that quickly, some had personal and business commitments they couldn't get out of, etc.
Luckily, I had no problem making it work and I'm super impatient so I was glad that the wait from booking my KHL-VIP ticket to the actual event wasn't very long. Guess you can't make everyone happy tho amiright?
Do You Have to Be a Kajabi Customer to Attend Their Live Events?
One thing I want to point out is that you can only attend Kajabi's live events if you're a paying Kajabi customer (I'm SO glad they do it that way!). You can't just be on a Kajabi trial; you have to be past that and have a subscription.
If i were you, I'd take me up on my offer right now for a 30-day free trial of Kajabi. When-not-if you fall in love with it ... ha ... you can join our fun and amazing gang of Kajabi Heroes, and then we'll be able to see you at the next Kajabi live event. Yeah baby!!
How Can I Stay Updated on the Next Kajabi Hero Live Event?
If you want to make sure not to miss any future Kajabi conferences, join my email list, and follow me and Kajabi on social media. If you weren't already convinced that I'm Kajabi's biggest fan and "in the loop" before, I'll bet I've convinced you now 😂
In the meantime, check out my new friend David Ramos's awesome list post of creator economy live events you can attend!
My Overall Review of Kajabi Hero Live 2023
I think even if you only skimmed this post much less read the whole thing - it's pretty clear that I FREAKING LOVED KAJABI HERO LIVE! It was well-organized, classy/high-dollar/impressive, next level and very representative of Kajabi and how they always operate. It was a very special event, Just like the last one, it stood out from the crowd by being a "no-pitching from the stage" event which we attendees really appreciate.
Kajabi not only gave us knowledgable, motivating speakers and panels but gave us opportunities to network and support each other, and have a blast while doing it all.
All in all, I feel safe generalizing to say that any live experiences that Kajabi puts on is going to be the best option for an online business conference to attend.