10 Tips for Generating Seminar Attendees | DMA

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10 Tips for Generating Seminar Attendees

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Next time you want to host a seminar, consider using these ten tips to increase the amount of attendees for your seminar.

1. Announcement Time.

The common assumption is that people should get an invite to a seminar out at least 2-3 months in advance, this assumption is far from correct.

For the average 2-hour seminar, an appropriate time frame to advertise or send out invitations is about 3-4 weeks prior. Don’t send the invites too early or the attendees will forget about them and don’t send them too late when everybody has already made other plans for the time.

2. Invitation Style fee

Although we live in a technology-based society, it would be best to send out a paper copy invitation along with an email invite. Sometimes emails get lost or forgotten. By sending a paper copy, the client has two ways to remember your event.

3. Send a Reminder

It is important for the seminar host to send out a reminder email roughly a 5-7 days prior to the first seminar. This will remind clients and increase the likelihood of having your ideal turnout.

4. Send out at least 1,000 invites!

The average response/attendance rate for seminars is 2% of the amount of invites mailed. If you want a good turnout, sending at least 1,000 invites is a good place to start. A higher number of invites sent out will result in a higher number of attendees.

5. Have an Attendance Fee

Surprisingly, people prefer to attend seminars that have a registration fee. This is likely because when people hear the word “seminar”, they often think of educational, serious, something beneficial.

A “free seminar” instantly makes people think of a college student presenting something to the class, not a professional business manager presenting a new strategy to clients. Consider charging a small registration fee. It doesn’t need to be more than $10 per person.

Photo by Kevin Dooley

6. The Event Title

The title of your seminar must be eye catching, clearly stated, and not too long or too short. Research has shown that using the words “How to” somewhere in your title will generate a larger attendee response.

Make a list of a dozen or so potential titles for your seminar and ask a few people to comment on which title would make them more likely to attend the event.

7. Can you Partner?

Partnering up with another firm or business associate has shown to nearly double the attendance rate of seminars. People like to see multiple people presenting and doing the research. It provides more than one person’s view.

This is especially true if the partner is from a separate company because it shows other businesses agree to the terms presented in the seminar.

8. Know your Target

Before you send out 1,000 invitations, it is crucial that you determine your target audience. You may have the perfect title, perfect event summary, an awesome partner, but none of that means anything if you are sending invites to people who have no interest in such a topic.

Determine your target audience and make sure you are sending the invites out to people in the business or whom you feel would genuinely enjoy the topic.

9. Use Telemarketers (if possible)

If you are able, consider hiring a small team of telemarketers to contact potential clients on your list. After sending an email, have the telemarketers make a quick call to each person on the list and confirm whether or not they are coming to the event.

Photo by Roberto Trm

10. Follow up

After the event, follow up with those who attended. Send an email or make a phone call asking if they liked the seminar, what they didn’t like, would they come to another one, etc. This lets the attendees know their presence was valued.

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