Seminars have been widely used in professional services marketing and can be very effective if carried out properly.
My 15 top tips for running a successful seminar are:
- Be clear what your objective is at the outset and keep this in mind throughout the planning.
- Ensure your date does not conflict with any major sporting events, school holidays or key local events (Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays are generally the best days of the week).
- Consider the timing of your event and what will suit your target audience best.
- Take time to compile your invitation list, remembering your key objectives when determining who to invite and allowing for an approximate 30% attendance.
- Invite your guests 6-8 weeks before the event.
- Follow up with non-respondents approximately 2 weeks before the event.
- Prepare your seminar well in advance and practice it (preferably in front of a critical friend).
- Prepare any handouts at least 2 days before the event.
- Review the attendee list and do background research.
- Identify guests you are particularly interested in so you know who to target on the day (allocate them amongst colleagues if necessary)
- Provide feedback forms for the attendees.
- Meet with your colleagues after the seminar to agree and allocate follow up.
- Evaluate the success of the seminar – add up the total cost of the seminar (including the time spent) and measure against the return (it may take several months to really achieve a return on investment so this should be reviewed again after 6-12 months).
- Review the feedback forms and build this into future planning.
- Within 1-2 weeks of the seminar check that follow up has been actioned!
This is a brief summary of the basics to seminar success. If you require any assistance with planning a seminar or are wondering if a seminar might be the right marketing for your business please get in touch.
If you would like to add any tips to the list please comment below.