About Us

Ken & Karen Founders

Welcome to Events That Sell, the resource which helps you to plan, produce and deliver your own, highly profitable live events.

Events That Sell was created by us, Karen Corban and Ken Wood, to share what we’ve learned about running successful live events with people who want to do the same.

Is that you?

Some speakers we've worked with

We have run our own event promotion business for 22 years, producing 1,208 live events in 7 countries and doing $94 million in total sales at those events.

During that time we worked with 110 different speakers from around the world. In some cases they were new to speaking when we met them, and they didn’t yet have a high profile.

We helped them to get their brand and positioning right, showed them how to tune up their presentation and we coached them on their sales offer to produce strong & consistent results from the stage.

At the end of 2014, we were ready for a change and decided to retire from running our own live events.

And we want to continue with the part of our previous business that we enjoy the most: helping speakers, coaches and business people to be successful in this industry.

We want you to use our successes and failures to reach your own business and event goals. This is also why we publish our blog posts and guides, so that you see what has actually worked for us.​

This blog is the result. Here you’ll find information and resources to help you plan and produce your own live events.

Running an event where you speak and sell from the stage, allows you to reach more people, make an impact and is a hugely profitable strategy when done well.

You can quickly build trust, confidence and authority with new clients when you have them in a room with you, and are able to engage with them in person. It’s easier to make large ticket sales, such as masterminds or high-end coaching, at live events, compared to online or over the phone, because of the power social proof provides.

We want to help you get in the game and master it - fast. So take a look around, read some posts and contact us if you have questions.

A participant asks a question at a business event

Do we know what we're talking about?

Here are some facts & figures on our event promotions business, Universal Stars (previously known as Universal Events).

  • We ran 1,208 live events over a 22-year period, from 1993 to 2014 
  • We promoted 110 world class speakers (a partial list is below)
  • Most events were held in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland, with a few workshops in Canary Islands (Spain), Portugal and Fiji
  • During our busiest 6 years, we ran 120 to 140 live events per year
  • We'd quite often have 3 events running at once, in different locations around the world, and a couple of times per year we'd have 4 events running simultaneously
  • Events ranged in size from as few as 10 up to 4,500 attendees
  • More than 500,000 people attended our live events in total 
  • Events varied in length from 1 day to 7 days
  • Together the events totalled 3,148 days (or 8 years and 7 months) of event time over the 22 year history of the business
  • Most of our events included one or more sales offers made from stage
  • We ran 202 events which each generated more than $100k in sales and 27 events which each produced more than $1 million in sales
  • In total, our live events generated $94 million in sales
  • Our annual revenue peaked at $16 million
  • Our business made the BRW Fast 100 list (fastest-growing companies in Australia) for three years in a row: 2007, 2008 and 2009
  • During the 5 year period covered by the Business Review Weekly (BRW) magazine awards, our revenue grew by 16 times
  • Our Director and Founder, Karen ranked in Smart Company's Top 40 Female Entrepreneurs in Australia, in 2010 and 2011.
  • Last but not least, live events are our passion, a wonderful adventure and a ton of fun. Now it's time to help you to grow your own profitable, live events and leave a lasting impact.

A personal development seminar for 2,800 people at Sydney Convention Centre

Speakers who we've worked with

This is a partial list of the speakers who've been on our stage at some point over the years. Some of them got their start with us and have gone on to even greater success.

From the USA

From Australia

From the UK

Mike Koenigs

Brad Fallon

Jay Conrad Levinson

Alex Mandossian

Jay Abraham

Joe Sugarman

Keith Cunningham

Chet Holmes

Scott Hallman

Christopher Guerriero

Cameron Johnson

Armand Morin

Tad James​

Christine Commerford

Lorel Langmeyer

Stephen Pierce

Dave Lakhani

Joel Comm

Chris Howard

John Carlton

Tom Wheelwright

Joel Roberts

Robert Dilts

Robert McDonald

Tim Hallbom

Suzi Smith

Bob Bodenhamer

Dean Hynes

David Fagan​

Scott Rewick

Saen Higgins

Bill Walsh

Melanie Benson Strick

Michelle Masters

Carl Buchheit

Siimon Reynolds

Michelle Duval

Kerwin Rae

James Schramko

Nik Halik

Andrew Barnett

Mark Rowland

Clinton Swaine

Justin Herald

Andrew McCauley

Brendan Nichols

Brett McFall

Phil Anderson

Cherie Barber

Stephen Tolle

Travis Bell​

Ben Harvey

Mal Emery

George Lee Sye

Joanna Martin​

Johnnie Cass

Duane Alley

Annette Huygens-Tholen

Terianne Palmer

Sue Papadoulos

Emily Gowor​

Alan Furlong

John Dwyer​

Darren Stevens

Sean Rasmussen

Ari Galper

Jeff Slayter

Heather Porter

Paul Holland

Alexi Neocleous

Leah Barton

Julio De Laffitte

Shaune Clarke

Phillipa Bond

Simon Coulson

Marcus De Maria

Sue Knight​

Daniel Wagner

Julian Treasure

Rohan Weerasinghe

John Lee

Glenn Armstrong

Rob Moore

Paul Avins

Juswant Rai

Sylvia Rai

Simon Zutshi


New Zealand:

Sam Bakker​

What is our Vision and Mission?

Vision

To unleash the potential of business owners globally, through the integration of success mindset strategies and live events.

Mission

Events That Sell, (a division of Universal Stars), provides world class online education and mentoring. This is a dedicated service for our community of more than 60,000 entrepreneurs, business owners and professional experts, helping them to grow their businesses, through leveraging the powerful and lucrative marketing channel of live events. This vehicle allows them to make an impact on the world, grow their businesses and create the kind of future they really want.

The Events That Sell Manifesto

Share an Image of our Manifesto…

Our personal story

Karen running the show from the back of the room

Karen's dream as a teenager, was to travel the world and to help people. Born into an entrepreneurial family, she observed her parents build and operate a series of retail businesses and later a resort hotel. 

Discussions around the family dinner table were often about business and it was anticipated that the kids would grow up to be entrepreneurs themselves. ​Karen went from university to opening her own retail clothing store at age 22, and other fashion businesses followed.

Her first business was not plain sailing. There were ups and downs, years of profits and years of losses. Her youthfulness had it's own set of problems and yet, luckily she had a mentor to guide her, which made a huge difference.​

Eventually, Karen's passion for personal development led her to take a year off and attend seminars all over the world. At an event in Hawaii, she approached the American speaker and invited him to come to Australia.

Having committed to fill a room of 400 people (her first event), she flew home and started learning about the seminar and events industry. Within a couple of years, Karen was getting more attendees to her events for that speaker, Tad James, than he was seeing anywhere else in the world.

An early Universal Stars event

Karen and Ken on their wedding day

Ken met Karen when he attended one of her first live events, in 1994. It was a training on Ericksonian hypnosis; a fact which caused much amusement to their friends once they started dating. The rumours that Karen may have hypnotised Ken at our first meeting were finally put to rest when we married in 2001.

In 2004, Ken sold out of his IT business and joined Karen in Universal Stars. Together we grew the business, expanded to the UK and travelled the world.

For 22 years we've had the honour of helping men, women and teenagers to grow by transforming their lives and businesses—to dare to dream, live their passion and make it a reality.

It’s been a wild ride, and a mission we love.

There were times that were scary, times we felt burnt out, times we wanted to give up. And yet, we hung in there, received coaching, enlisted the help of wonderful mentors, kept learning and worked hard. We made many costly mistakes and we also celebrated wonderful wins, travelled a lot and had tons of fun. Our passion and mission kept us going through the challenging times.

Fast forward to 2014, and we were both ready for a change​. After a few years of running 4 businesses simultaneously, we definitely needed a break and a new challenge. So, it was time to change our business model, package up our combined decades of expertise, and continue to help business owners all over the world to reach their goals. 

Without an office that we needed to be near, Karen could finally achieve a long-term dream of avoiding cold Sydney winters. The tropical north beckoned and now here we are.

What Others Say


Michelle Duval Founder and Director, Equilibrio Coaching

Karen Corban is one of those rare people who has a very real, deep love for people and has committed her life to supporting them. From working closely with Karen as a speaker over the last 18 years, I have witnessed first hand her passion and focus grow hundreds of people attending her events into thousands of people, regularly attracting 5,000 people at events in some countries.

Karen creates raving fans, and an exceptionally loyal following of people who attend her events and work within her teams - many spanning two decades with her. This is an exceptionally rare and exciting opportunity to learn from such an experienced and esteemed professional in this field.

Karen Corban, is a universal star when it comes to promotional strategy. She shares her skills and experience with such generosity! The mentoring process with Karen is fluid and directive. Valuable to any growing or established business. 5 stars.

Allison Low Co-Director, Dynamic Mind Works
Pauline Martin-Brooks Founder JV School

If you are even thinking of running an event then you need to become part of Karen's community today. With expertise in both smaller intimate events and events with several thousands of people and all the logistics that entails, Karen knows more about events than anyone I know. Her generosity and charm combined with real world strategies will help you get results fast.

Universal Stars gave me a lot of benefit with their experience of putting events on. My first event was 204 people - I was blown away, I felt like Justin Bieber! My first 5 events we had about 1,000 people overall. Why? Because Universal Stars knew what they were doing.

They showed me how to send out to a list, how to promote the event, how to put on the event and how to sell at the event, which is even more important of course.

So these days I tell everybody no matter what business they are in: think about holding an event! Hold an event so you can showcase your skills, one to many.

In a short period, of about 6 months, I was able really hone my skills in terms of events putting them on and making money from them. Thank you, Ken and Karen.

John Dwyer Marketing Speaker
Duane Alley Personal Development Speaker

As I transitioned from working for someone else to successfully launching my own training company, coaching business and events management company, it was only possible because of the skills I learnt, that I was mentored in, taught and coached by Karen, Ken and the team at Universal Stars.

The very first program I went into was a new one they were introducing. It must have only had about 30 or 40 people in the room. Within 2 or 3 years they built that program into 2,000 or 3,000 people at each event.

I saw some amazing growth! I’ve seen Ken and Karen drive their company in a pretty special way, with integrity and a real passion to deliver the absolute best educational programs you can find anywhere in the world.

Phil Anderson Property Speaker
Terriane PalmerPersonal Development Speaker

I'd like to thank you personally, because way back in the beginning you shared some advice with me and you always had time for me when I wanted to run something by you. Some of that advice that has got me here today: you guys have been the platform that's allowed me to go out and do what I love.

I know I'm just one of many people who can tell a very similar story.