For the majority of businesses seminar marketing is still a very viable tool. For whatever reason, it is not being used as a marketing tool; perhaps past experiences with seminars left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers. Many seminars were a ruse to get you into a confined space and then the “smooth” sales pitch was presented. Today, a value based, educational seminar can still be successful if it is presented for the right purpose and in the right way.
The following are keys to a successful seminar:
- The purpose of a seminar is to enrich those in attendance not those giving the presentation. Those in attendance must perceive value before they attend.
- Know your target audience and present topics that will interest them.
- A well-known sponsor will add a lot of credibility. Examples of possible sponsors may include law firms, financial institutions, spiritual institutions, well known firms, etc. Once you have selected your target audience make a list of sponsors that are important to them and then explain the benefits of a sponsorship.
- Having more than one discipline for a presentation allows for diversification and also helps in attendance building.
- Seminars are often considered a “numbers game”. I believe that a manageable number is under 50 attendees. This will allow those in attendance to spend a few private minutes with the presenters and ask questions.
- Seminars need to be populated by the presenters. Ask your friends/clients to attend and to bring a guest. General advertising to your target market may bring in a few people but until those in attendance tell their friends how great your seminar was, people that don’t know you will be reluctant to attend.
- The right day and the right time are two important factors. Attendees get tired (and bored) if their interest level is not elevated. I feel comfortable with a total time of one and a half hours. Two hours may work, but the structure of the seminar has to be such that interest is maintained. In my experience, Tuesday through Thursday are the best evenings for a seminar
- Practice, practice, practice! You are on the stage. Your performance will not only impact those in attendance but will spread by word of mouth to a lot more people. Run through your presentation at least two times. If it’s a group presentation, gather your group for at least one “dry run” and don’t be afraid to critique each other.
- Give those in attendance an opportunity to leave their name and e-mail address to be contacted for future educational seminars. Have available for pick up information on your company if you are the sole speaker or brochures on all the participants if there are other presenters.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “what are we doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr
Nick J. Petra CFP visit us at www.strategicduck.com
Make it a successful today!