Some Seminars work better than others, but if planned and marketed well, these types of events can be leveraged to enhance your credibility, increase brand awareness and initiate sales.
Here are a few items to consider when planning your own successful lead generation Seminar.
Seminars are ideal for businesses with a high dollar sale value, and include service firms that win business and sales, based on their industry knowledge and expertise.
Professional service firms in particular, can run extremely successful Seminars by utilising the education angle which lends itself to an increase in clients and therefore sales.
Obtain the biggest impact for your investment – make full use of what you already have at your disposal.
Your budget is important and the idea here is to attract the highest number of qualified prospects for your marketing dollar.
Invite your clients along and give them an incentive to offer referrals. Another option is to simply ask clients to forward your initiation onto friends and colleagues.
Connect with businesses outside your knowledge base, to create event partners for your Seminar. Their non competing support and endorsement can provide many benefits.
Event partners can assist by inviting their clients to the Seminar, providing an additional avenue for referrals.
Event Partners can also assist in a sponsorship capacity. For example they supply funds to assist you in promoting the Seminar. In return, you might offer access to your invitation list. The options for your event partners’ involvement in the Seminar are unlimited.
To reach new clients, take care in order to determine the best access to your target market.
If you deal with end consumers, press advertising and e-mail marketing are generally the most cost effective approach. If you deal with business-to-business, target your audience accordingly remembering direct marketing can be a powerful option for this market.
No matter what form of media you utilise to sell your Seminar to clients, ensure you really sell the benefits of attending. Include bullet points about what they’ll learn. It is also important to provide testimonials and case studies. Include relevant and detailed information which you know your clients want to hear.
You can expect no-shows at the Seminar. However it is good to have a strategy in place to minimise your no-shows.
When a registration is received, send them a note to make them feel good about their commitment and their decision to explore their options.
It is a fantastic opportunity to make them feel great about their decision to attend. Be sure to include a teaser of information about what they will discover at the Seminar. Look to raise a level of enthusiasm and momentum.
This may also extend to your ticketing or confirmation for the event, clever design will add a feeling of real value, create the look and feel of an event worthy of attending.
Everyone is busy nowadays, so remember to send a reminder to all attendees prior to the Seminar.
The Seminar itself should run between one and three hours. For example you can commence the Seminar around 6pm to give people enough time to arrive at the Seminar. This ensures the Seminar can finish at a sensible time allowing Clients to arrive home at a reasonable hour. Always have a 15 minute break.
Mid week evenings work best, as Monday follows the weekend it is not preferable. Tuesday and Wednesday’s are popular days to hold Seminar events.
If you are using direct e-mail marketing, invites should be sent up to a month prior to the event date. If your event is not fully booked, follow up your invited clients by sending an RSVP reminder two weeks before the event date.
The key to a successful Seminar is unquestionably, to be educational. Offer valuable solutions, case studies and “how-to’s”. Be interactive and include visuals to communicate your message. Embrace highly relevant examples and provide participants with ‘take home’ value, and design a workbook or hand out.
Everything that is said at the Seminar should enthuse and inspire attendees toward a specific direction and action. Use your passion to build interest and encourage your clients to realise that the way to obtain the optimum result - is to enlist your services and your knowledge. Define the optimum result for you, obviously this depends upon your industry and expertise.
While the purpose of the Seminar is to provide information, and to build your credibility, it is also to generate business and sales.
To do that, you need a call to action at the end of the Seminar. Be clear about what do you want the client to do? Then use this information to make a special offer that applies only at the Seminar. A Limited ‘too good too refuse’ offer will create a sense of urgency and action in the direction of increasing sales and business in general.
Ask for feedback on your Seminar by providing a post even survey. This is a valuable tool for improvement.
Send a thank you and follow up all your leads.
Send all participants a note to thank them for their time and attendance.
Your thank you note will provide an opportunity to follow up clients who have not taken up the original offer – your call to action.
Remember to collect all relevant information from your new clients and contacts at the time of registration. You have increased your database to which, you can now market future Seminars.