Have you ever left a seminar thinking: “I could have done a better job than that!” Before you start signing up attendees, take a few minutes to think about what you are getting into. Putting on a seminar involves planning, time, and money. Understanding ins and outs of industry will go a long way in helping you hold a successful seminar. That’s where I come in. Over past 4 years, I have put on over 4,000 seminars, and a handful of national conventions. I will help you plan event, and make sure that someone shows up!
The first thing that you need to consider is your purpose for holding seminar. Are you trying to make money on ticket sales? Or money after class? Are you just trying to get people in door? Your goal of seminar will play a huge role in marketing method that you choose. Don’t be afraid to think outside of box here. Many companies will try to make most money possible on all fronts. This greedy train of thought will leave your seminar lacking some very important elements. Choose one and stick with it. Many seminar gurus know that real money in seminar business is in after class sales. This could be follow-up work from your instructor, a subsequent training seminar, an add-on product, etc. You want everyone to leave with something in their hand.
Now that you have your goal set, its time to put butts in chairs! Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that a successful seminar has to cost a lot of money. If your overall goal is to get after class sales, or fill up a room consider some of these options:
Give it away! It’s a radical idea, but one that I have grown to know and love. By offering class for free, you eliminate many of barriers to sale. Price is not an issue, and they will expect less from you. That doesn’t mean that you should skimp on content, but their expectations will be considerably lower. If you have resources and time, consider making a pre-seminar call to touch base with everyone that is signed up. This will encourage students to show up on time, and help built a relationship for future sales.
Submit a press release. Create a simple press release (1 page or less) highlighting your company and your seminar. Don’t forget to include your registration phone number. Submit that release to your local paper, and wait for phone to ring. If paper decides to pick it up- you get free publicity!
Cross-marketing opportunities. Depending on seminar, you may be able to find cross marketing opportunities. For instance, if you were doing a financial based seminar teaching students how to file their taxes, you could pair up with a local tax preparation office or accountant. They could pick up half of marketing tab, or advertise to their existing client base. The possibilities are endless. I have had some great results by pairing with local chamber of commerce or bank chains. They will offer their seminar space for free, and help with free advertising.