This is a guide on how to pull a company or client workshop/seminar together that doesn’t cost the earth, has clear tangible reasons for being run, will be memorable for all the right reasons and delivers a measurable success to the sponsors involved. There are currently hundreds of marketing/selling/ infomercial seminars taking place across every city in every country around the world, so why would you consider running one in the first place?
In short, if you can fill a room with potential buyers and introducers who might love what your company offers you’ve got a great chance of winning some business rather than traipsing all over the country knocking on doors. When run well, these can be some of the most powerful and successful business development forums available to all businesses. The key difference here is knowing who the target attendee is and understanding why they would bother to turn up and give up their precious time to be there. Anything else is just wishful thinking, costly and potentially very damaging to the company’s brand when it turns out looking like an amateur hour event.
- Who? This is the first thing to ask yourself and I mean here exactly who – names, job titles, rank within the company, ability to make decisions, likelihood of becoming either a long term supporter and promoter of your company or a key quality client. Having just ten clearly targeted people in the room rather than 50 random strangers attending is a far better investment for all involved.
- What? What are you going to give them that is so compelling that they would want to attend. A combination of crucial industry knowledge and updates, entertaining speakers that will add value to their business or a private audience with either a celebrity or someone that has overachieved within their industry. This is far more likely fill a room with the right people. Telling the MD that they are not the best speaker in the world can sometimes be the hardest part of planning here, so seriously consider who will front the day! Can they entertain and enthuse an audience, if not they will damage your brand and potentially the whole event can backfire – it must be memorable for all the right reasons.
- When? i.e. time of day. Everyone has their own preference here: some people are morning people, others midnight owls. Lunchtimes give you more time, however some will not want to attend and cut their day in half. This will again be driven by the calibre and rank and file of those being invited – another breakfast networking event may not be a big enough draw for some but is perfect for others. You also need to consider the day of the week and week of the month – these events will take 6-8 weeks to market – that is aside of the preparation time before you go to the market place, having agreed the running order, venue and sponsors. Don’t forget to avoid the football world cup final or equivalent global events that may well have a bearing. There really are other things going on in the world outside of your business that need to be considered in the planning stages.