Planning a Conference or Seminar
Planning a Seminar
Seminars and conferences are relatively the same, but there are some key differences in a seminar.
For example, both are designed for the most part to make money, but conferences are generally used by businesses in order to woo a new client or advertisers that are trying to present a new campaign.
Seminars are a little bit less business-like and can be more laid back.
Some seminars are there to inspire attendants, some are to raise funds for a charity; some are to sell something; and some seminars are there to inform attendants.
Whatever the reason is for your seminar, there is a little bit of a difference in organizing a successful one.
All too often you hear of a seminar that was pretty good if only more people showed up for it. Smart firms, companies and individuals decide to build and market seminars.
That's really what successful seminars are all about. The people who must deliver the seminar in those firms sometimes spend days making sure they do a great job.
Unfortunately, in too many organizations the efforts for building seminar attendance often miss the mark. Too many dollars and too many hours are wasted on attendance building tactics that just do not work.
So what happens now? Do you give up on seminars? The answer is no.
One of the most effective ways to build a professional service practice is to produce and deliver short (one-half day or less) seminars, speeches and host various other events.
Indeed, you will not find too many people disagreeing that speaking is a great marketing technique because it is more personal and builds trust.
Some advisors say that seminars and meetings don't work anymore. Clients and prospects seem to view it as a sale’s push.
These are the same advisors who are experts at seminars after holding two or three and finding out that they didn't work for them. They are the same people that held public seminars.
Today's people need to hold targeted seminars. Let me give you an example. What if you sent out a wedding style invitation to people of a certain community and invited them to the local club about a topic that was important to them?
For example, you can take any neighborhood in North America, get the mailing information and mailed an exclusive invitation for residents of various estates to discuss a topic specific to their community’s needs or concerns such as ensuring your estate is taxed at the lowest possible rate through estate trusts.
The invitation could include possibly a lunch or dinner and is at their local club. The club should help you with the meeting also so they can possibly attract new members and meet new people as well.
This is an example of targeted seminars and not just public seminars.
There are four keys to making your seminar work. They are:
1. Don't try to educate people, open their eyes
2. Don't inform people, define their problems
3. Don't offer solutions, provide a sample of solutions
4. Don't sell products, sell yourself
Ask your board of directors or top clients what type of seminars or information they might be interested in. Find top advisors who have completed successful seminars.
To get good at hosting seminars you need to practice, practice, practice and copy from the best to make seminars work. I have done several different seminars and after doing a dozen or so, I fund a formula that works.
Have daytime seminars in a top notch venue with a targeted list of clients, and follow up with them until we get them into a seminar or two.
Some of the top representatives in the country have been doing the same seminar every month for ten years.
They have a seminar so fine tuned that year in and year out, the representative doesn't ever worry how they will grow their business from one year to the next. That is what a good performance can do.