57 Ways to Grow Your Business: 26 – Run Seminars and Webinars

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Seminars are an excellent way to attract new customers and impress existing ones. The purpose of running a seminar is to generate enough interest in the subject matter that participants will want to follow it up with a face-to-face appointment where you can provide all the answers! Here’s a checklist:

  1. Choose a subject that is topical and relates directly to your audience. They will be asking “WIIFM?” (“what’s in it for me?”)
  2. Target your audience by only inviting people you know will be interested in the subject matter
  3. Make sure you have an experienced public speaker who also knows the subject matter
  4. Provide a summary of the key areas you want to address in the seminar. Back up your outline with relevant examples
  5. Run the seminar at your place of business if you have appropriate facilities, otherwise hold it at a local hotel
  6. To reduce your costs and expand your target audience, consider running a joint seminar with another group
  7. Send a covering letter together with your invitation for the seminar. Include a standard response form to make it as easy as possible for your customers/potential customers to reply. Make sure you include a map showing the location of the venue, contact details and a ‘reply by’ date
  8. Follow up the invitations by email and telephone in order to generate more participants. Be sure to also contact those people who have accepted, just to remind them
  9. The best time to run the seminar is in the early evening or early morning. This reduces the impact on a customer’s work day
  10. The ideal length of a seminar is between 45 minutes and 1¼ hours. This gives you the opportunity to have 2 or 3 speakers
  11. At the end of the seminar, make sure you have warm food and appropriate beverages. This is the ideal opportunity to network with customers/potential customers and to get appointments. Giving name badges to all participants, including your team, will aid this process
  12. The day after the seminar, have your marketing person follow up and ask the questions, “did you enjoy the seminar?” and “would you like to be invited to the next one?”

Running webinars may be a good alternative to doing seminars; after all, it cuts the costs dramatically, meaning that you can afford to do them more often. They will also help you to reach a wider audience.