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  • #990040
    Calcul8or
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    Has anyone had any experience and/or success generating business by holding seminars/workshops?

    Do you have any advice to share or guidelines to follow?

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1175074
    davo23
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    I don’t fall into the category of businesses who have done this, but I am in the early stages of putting together some material to hold a free seminar in January. I’ve spoken with a few different designers, web developers, SEO firms who have done this with some success.

    It would be great to hear from others on here who also generate work this way.

    Dave

    #1175075
    Calcul8or
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    That’s interesting Dave. What are you including as part of your presentation? How are you going to invite people to come along? I was thinking of offering food as an incentive! lol……there are some people out there who will sit through boring meetings so long as there’s food to be had! hehehe

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1175076
    davo23
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    Calcul8or, post: 203735 wrote:
    That’s interesting Dave. What are you including as part of your presentation? How are you going to invite people to come along? I was thinking of offering food as an incentive! lol……there are some people out there who will sit through boring meetings so long as there’s food to be had! hehehe

    Haha, I’m not afraid to admit that I would also come along for food! haha

    To get people to come along I’ve been thinking about using meetup.com to attract people to the seminar. I see a few people using that as a means to get people in the door and it seems to work well. But I’m trying to find other ways to do it. My other plan is to look at running a really targeted facebook and display campaign – have an ad designed targeting business who want to increase their profitability on their adwords campaign, drive them to a landing page with the free registration page. Will have to see how that goes though.

    It’s still early stages, but I want to make the content around how a seasoned search marketer would set up an adwords campaign – campaign structures, how to set up analytics, how to set up adwords tracking, and how to start optimising a campaign.

    #1175077
    Calcul8or
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    Hmmm…..I was thinking of targeting prospective clients in a geographical area, by either calling them or popping in with some promotional material. Our businesses are alike in that we aren’t industry specific, so picking any industrial type area at random would be fine.

    I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to facebook and adwords, only because I haven’t had any spectacular results with either. Probably more because my facebook page likes all belong to friends and family who are too tight to mention (lol), and I’ve never really splurged on adwords.

    But I will be very interested to know how you go with your strategy!

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1175078
    davo23
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    Yeah, when I do marketing adwords and facebook (pay per click) is where my mind runs to first. That’s mainly because I do it day in and day out. I always end up scared of other mediums because I’ve never done it. I guess it’s what your used to – I should probably look into traditional advertising, though.

    Yeah, I think picking up the phone and going in in person would be effective. A bit of personal contact and networking is always good.

    #1175079
    JohnW
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    Hi Calculator,
    I’m going to say this first. The single most important issue that any live presenter must realise is that…

    you should only expect your audience to remember THREE things.

    If you don’t define these in your up front planning and make sure your presentation compliments/reinforces them, you are likely to waste your time.

    You haven’t actually specified for us your target audience, seminar topic, objectives, audience size or seminar duration.

    I’ve done my share of spruiking at seminars over the years. They can be unbelievably rewarding or a waste of time.

    Success is likely to revolve around your:

    • Planning
    • Relevance
    • Implementation
    • Presentation skills
    • Follow up

    Everything must start with your target audience.

    You want to define a very specific audience in your planning. That includes defining issues like the size of business, type of business, the responsibility of the target person within the business, etc.

    The more tightly you can target an audience’s demographics, the more tightly you can focus your presentation and the more relevant it will be to them.

    The greater the relevance to your audience, the greater the chance of you generating the action outcomes you are seeking.

    Putting together a good presentation is time consuming but sometimes it does not take much time to modify it to different target audiences. Eg. It may only mean changing the examples or case studies to make the same basic presentation relevant to totally different audience types.

    You may want to think about holding multiple seminars to smaller, more focused audiences than to one larger, less focused audience.

    Implementation of the seminar needs to include elements like time of day, day of week, location, catering and handouts. Always give your audience a handout of your presentation that includes your call-to-action and YOUR CONTACT DETAILS with an invite to contact you to answer any questions.

    Public speaking is HARD and FEARED by most people! The hardest part is to acquire presentation confidence. If you don’t have it, don’t do it.

    That does not mean don’t hold the seminar but it may mean you find a presenter and perhaps you might take on the role of a seminar chairperson or similar.

    If you are holding seminars with a small number of participants, make sure you collect their names and contact details and make sure you follow up with every one of them.

    You certainly know how to start a thread of incredible complexity.

    Hope this opens up some of the issues.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1175080
    Calcul8or
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    Thank you for your input and suggestions John!

    The first thing about your post that reassured me is that the idea of holding seminars as a means of marketing certainly is a legitimate and seemingly worthwhile way to do things, if done right!

    I was thinking more along the lines of small gatherings of maybe 5-10 people at a time, so that it didn’t become too impersonal. As for timing, I thought around lunchtime might be good, since that would be a good time to serve them some food! Getting their details would be of the utmost importance, and I would achieve this by handing out invitations that required them to register online.

    The plan is to choose an industrial area where there are lots of medium sized businesses, walk in and leave an invitation for the boss. Not necessarily ask to speak to them or anything, but leave enough info and details for them to at least want to find out more maybe? Then have them visit a page on my website that explains what the meeting will be about, and a registration section they can use to book a spot.

    As for the presentation, I have devised a four step business optimisation plan, which I could expand on and illustrate using examples and perhaps create a narrative on how it could help their business. If they find the presentation compeling enough, then maybe they’d be willing to sign up for the first free step.

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1175081
    JohnW
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    Hi Calcul8or,
    There are certainly attributes of small groups that are very different to larger ones.

    If you are limited to the people resources you can bring to organising, presenting and following up the meeting, I’d go small.

    Small should also enable you to know more about the needs of the folk attending and allow you to tailor a more relevant presentation. You could also position it as a working seminar and invite folk to bring along specific problems to be discussed – added relevance and benefit for attendees.

    If you only want 5-10, you really want to nail them down to attending.

    If something urgent crops up before your meeting and folk opt out last minute, it can leave a big obvious hole in your attendence.

    If possible, I’d have someone making phone calls to the 5-10 attendees the morning of the meeting to confirm attendence “for catering purposes.” (I assume you are at least offering coffee and biscuits.)

    Good luck,
    JohnW

    #1175082
    Calcul8or
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    I think food would be one of the major drawcards, so definitely a good idea to use it as an excuse to confirm attendance. Who knows, if the seminar/discussion doesn’t work, I might discover new destiny in catering!

    Asking them to bring their problems along is a great suggestion as well! Discussing those and mapping out a possible solution might bring me closer to being engaged by them!

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1175083
    JohnW
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    Calcul8or, post: 204015 wrote:
    I think food would be one of the major drawcards, so definitely a good idea to use it as an excuse to confirm attendance. Who knows, if the seminar/discussion doesn’t work, I might discover new destiny in catering.
    Are catering companies on your list of target audience members?…

    Are you able to meld an audience that has synergistic attributes?

    Eg: Real estate agents and removalists, design consultants, tradies, etc.

    If you can, use it when inviting people. No point doing this if you don’t tell prospective attendees in advance.

    With a small audience you should be able to think about these issues that may generate added benefit for folk to attend.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1175084
    Calcul8or
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    That’s something I definitely hadn’t thought about, but what a great idea! I do have the flexibility to invite whatever kind of business I want, and structuring it to target businesses that compliment each other is actually a stroke of genius.

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
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