Digital marketing gets all the attention these days — and with good reason. In an always-connected world, having a digital marketing strategy is a must for business survival, and it's been proven time and again as a strategy for success. But digital marketing is not the only key to a thriving business. Because we're human, there's just something about in-person interactions that never go out of style, and hosting a live event or seminar is still a great way to achieve this. By incorporating live seminars into your sales and marketing strategy, it will give your business an edge that helps you get noticed and grow your bottom line.
The Benefits of Live Seminars
Why expend the time and energy it takes to host a live event when you could just send an email or make a phone call? Here are a few reasons:
Enhances your online marketing. Each time someone reads your email newsletter or follows you on social media, it plants a seed that identifies you as a trusted knowledge source in your field. But people read so much online every day that you can just become another face in someone's inbox after a while. By learning more about your services in person, it humanizes you and creates an added level of trust that wouldn't have existed otherwise.
Increases your exposure. Live seminars open you up to entirely new groups of people who aren’t in your network. They also invite people to learn more about a topic that they may never have sought out on their own.
Produces highly qualified leads. Because the people attending your event are already interested in what you have to offer, it produces a set of highly qualified leads that are ready and eager to take that next step.
Educates consumers and strengthens relationships. Seminars provide a one-stop-shop for prospective clients to learn about your product or service, while providing a space for them to get questions answered. This not only instills confidence in their buying decisions but also positions you as an expert, thereby boosting your credibility. In addition, events can be used to develop relationships with business partners and expand your professional network, especially if you're offering continuing education credits.
Tips for Hosting a Successful Seminar
Whether you're selling real estate, investment packages, or something different altogether, the following tips can ensure your next seminar is a success from start to finish:
1. Narrow down your audience. This first step is critical. If you plan to talk about commercial real estate investing to a group of millennial first-time-homebuyers, you've got the wrong group. Know who you'll be speaking to so you can craft your message accordingly and also target them effectively when promoting your event.
2. Make it worth their time. Why should people take time out of their schedules to attend? Don't just repeat what they can find on Google. This is your time to shine and add value to attendees through your expert knowledge. Provide information that's relevant and actionable so that they leave equipped and empowered. Make sure you practice your presentation and think through all the details in advance, including handouts and visuals that enhance your presentation.
3. Speak their language. Remember, you talk about your business every day, but the people attending your seminar likely don't, so you may need to change your vocabulary. Don't use industry jargon or terms that won't resonate with your audience. If your topic is not typically attractive to consumers, frame the conversation in a way that relates to them. For example, "What they didn't teach you in school about saving for retirement" might attract more attendees than "Retirement Essentials Workshop."
4. Consider the environment. Where you hold the event also has a huge impact on turnout. Choose the right location based on the audience. Pick a coffee shop or restaurant for a more laid back agenda, and opt for an office or conference space for a more professional gathering. If targeting millennials, try something different like a beer or wine tasting event, if appropriate. You could even offer a limited seating exclusive to create intrigue and anticipation.
5. Spread the word. Even with the best presentation and location, your event is only as effective as your turnout. Get the word out by sending invites to your targeted email and direct mail lists, and purchase targeted ads on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, hang posters at local businesses, and be sure to promote the event on your website. Finally, collect RSVPs through sites like Meetup.com or Eventbrite so you know who's planning to attend.
6. Follow up. Your seminar is just the beginning. Next comes the important work of following up. Be sure to capture attendees' information, then reach out within a couple days to thank them for attending and assess whether they're ready to buy or if the relationship needs further nurturing. Don't forget to add them to your email list and invite them to follow you on social media.