22 Begged, Borrowed, Stolen & even a few Original Direct Response Seminar Ideas!
1. Determine what your real goals are for your seminar. And for your promotion.
Is the promotion ONLY to sell the seminar? Or, are you looking for other things, too? Image? Awareness? New clients? Maybe even the sale of product?
Know what is expected! Know your objectives. And then prepare accordingly.
2. Know your direct competition for your seminar. And, your competition for your products and services.
Do you have "indirect" seminar competition, too...those who are professions in the staging of special events, workshops, a congress, symposiums, meetings and other activities which may compete with you?
Be prepared...not surprised...know all your competition!
3. Specifically identify your audience. Make certain you can both identify and reach the right people.
Who exactly do you want to reach? Why? Is this the person who attends? Or influences? How many people inside the same organization do you need to reach? Their titles? What is the company size...number of employees, number of locations, sales volume? Have any of these attended your event previously?
There is no such thing as too much knowledge about your audience...make sure you know who will buy what you sell.
First, answer these 3 prime questions. And, then this is what your seminar promotional package should say.
4. The title, the name of the event, clearly, crisp, concise, self-explanatory - very understandable. Your name, your title (and sub-title, too), must summarize your entire message.
5. The dates, location and all "local" information. Complete with days of week and dates, exact location by name of site and street address, telephone and fax numbers.
Sometimes the dates are shown with a calendar. Sometimes the site is described with a map.
6. The benefits of attending your seminar.
Know the difference between features and benefits...and share the benefits. What people will learn, or earn, or make, or save, or how they will be better off, more intelligent...any of a score of reasons - benefits - of attending.
7. A list of who should attend.
The types of people who will benefit by attending your special seminar event. Most often this is done with a variety of different business titles and/or descriptions.
8. Clearly define the program. What the program agenda is... what is going to be addressed at this event.
It might be in an outline format. Sometimes it is done by morning, afternoon, evening. Sometimes in chronological order. The schedule of what is happening when is key to your success.
9. What "extra value" are you offering? A premium? A discount for early registration and payment. Both!? Other? i.e., if your marketplace commits now, what do they gain? Over and above the seminar message.
10. How does your audience register, sign-up to be a part of your event?
Have clear and complete registration information. Your promotional package and registration form must share your complete story.
11. Use testimonials to support your event.
Quotes from others make you credible, believable. Use them to support your message and to sell.
12. Pictures / charts / graphs / maps / illustrations.
Anything graphic makes your promotional package more interesting. And consequently understandable. Use graphic tools to get and keep attention.
13. Your sponsor information...who YOU are! And why you can make this offer...i.e., your credibility. Telling your story will help you sell your seminar.
14. How to pay.
Cost and payment options. Today that means mail, phone, fax, E-mail for receiving an order. That means credit cards, checks, money-orders, cash for payment. The more options you offer your audience the more response you will get. Make it easy for your audience to spend their money with you.
Also, include cancellation and transfer options...the more you tell the more you will sell.
15. The materials the audience will take home.
The physical notebooks, support brochures, computer disks...any handout materials the attendees will take away and use later gives your seminar additional value.
16. For the seminar leaders, those presenting - a full biographical sketch on each person who will be a part of your program. Including a picture of each makes your message even more credible.
17. Continuing education credit information can give your seminar additional value.
If you have this option, and / or if you have a tie with a formal school, university or other educational institute, include that news. Some of your audience will buy from you because you offer this relationship and "extra" to their benefit.
18. Tax credit or tax deduction status is another benefit you may offer.
This "fact" needs to be carefully researched so as not to mis-lead, nor to mis-state. If your seminar is eligible for special tax consideration, make certain your marketplace knows.
19. A Guarantee of Satisfaction.
Nothing is more important in your seminar promotion than to clearly state - and then boldly promote - your absolute guarantee of satisfaction. Your guarantee should be short, easy to read, easy to understand, with few to no exceptions. The stronger your guarantee the stronger your full message.
20. Your copy needs to be emotional as well as rational.
Emotion is important in any learning process...even the decision to attend - or not! - may be made more on emotion than on reason. Use emotional sales copy to boost your seminar attendance.
21. Make your contact information available.
Not just your corporation name - at least 1 live person, too. With their complete name and title, phone, fax and mailing address at a minimum. E-mail and Web site, too - if appropriate. Make yourself available to talk with your marketplace.
Establish a Timetable
Now that you have your promotion ready to go to market, here is a recommended timetable.
22. This schedule assumes your prime tool will be direct mail, or facsimile.
Newspaper, radio and other media might also be used...usually within the last 2 weeks immediately prior to your seminar date;
1st mailing/contact 18-24 weeks out from seminar date, 2nd mailing/contact 12-15 weeks out from seminar date, 3rd mailing/contact 6-9 weeks out from seminar date, & 4th mailing/contact 3-4 weeks before the seminar date.
Bonus #23. Try a TeleMarketing campaign to your best prospects who have not registered. This effort made 10-14 days before the event many times will yield outstanding results.
AND, to guarantee a higher attendance, 2-3 days before your seminar, telephone to reconfirm the event with all who are pre-registered. This will remind them of their commitment...and shows YOU care.