Seminar Success/What day?time?

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Aug 13, 2007 4:05 pm

For people who have had success building their books with seminars--which days and times do you think are the most successful.


Not Monday night because of Football.


Wednesday lunch is good cause all the Drs are closed.


Not Friday AT ALL!!!!!


What are your thoughts.  Lunch, Dinner?  Weening out the plate lickers?


thanks.

Aug 13, 2007 8:41 pm

vbrainy-I have done some seminars and am just finishing the planning for a September event.  All the literature says to hold them Tuesday/Thursday.  Time depends on which age segment you are planning to target.  Dinners outdraw lunches/breakfast by far.  Here is what I got from the seminar people I am using this time.  Bear with me on the format, lol.

Venue:  Local restaurants
equivalent to Outback Steakhouse that have a function room or national chains
like Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Olive Garden that have a function
room.  Country Clubs don’t pull as well but may be used as a last
resort.

       

NOT RECOMMENDED – Hotels,
Ethnic Restaurants, Libraries, Banquet Centers, Private Clubs, Buffets, Your
office, museums, art galleries

 

Best Days:  Tuesdays and
Thursdays, followed by Wednesdays.  You should advertise 2-3 seminars in
one 5,000- 7,000 piece mailing. Other days are not recommended

 

Dinners have out-pulled lunches 2 to
1.  Breakfasts, appetizers, high teas, refreshments, snacks only are not
recommended.

 

Ages to prospect:  Pre-Retirees
– Age 50 at an absolute minimum, but 55+ has drawn better

                                  
Retirees – Ages 60-79

 

Income:  Pre-Retirees - $50k or
$75K +

                
Retirees – $30K - $70K

               
Targeting higher incomes has had an adverse impact on response

 

Starting Times: Pre-Retirees –
Three dates at 6:30pm or
Two dates at 6:30pm
and 

                                                            
one at 4:30pm

                             
Retirees – Three dates at 4:30pm
or Two dates at 4:30pm and
one at

                                                    
6:30pm

Aug 13, 2007 9:32 pm

If you have time i would like to hear more about tactics that work with seminars, the topic does not seem to get much attention on this site recently. do you do a mailing and have #'s to call and follow-up, or just fire out that 5000 mailings and wait and see who shows up? Sounds really expensive for the mailing. what type of results does that yield - 25 people and you close a couple or.... is that conservative or wishful?



Aug 13, 2007 10:00 pm

I am relatively new to seminar gig.  I am having 3 people present, and all 3 are seasoned vets, so I have been using them, along with wholesalers to prep and gather some "best practices."  For the first group I am sending out 7500 postcard style invites, knowing full well postcards have a small turnout than a full blown wedding style invite.  I am hoping the restaurant we are using will draw a decent amount of people to make up for the postcard style invite.
I am paying .50 per mailing, which includes design of the invite (not much, I had someone else design it from scratch so I did not use one of their cookie cutter designs), postage, and RSVP service.  I can check daily via internet who has RSVP's and the # of projected attendees.  The service will also call them as a reminder as the seminar gets closer.  I plan on calling them myself as well the day before.
They tell me .8% response is good for a postcard.  A full blown wedding invite usually generates 1-1.1%.
Also figure food/drink is roughly $30/person after gratuity and taxes in my area.

Aug 13, 2007 10:06 pm

Sunday mornings at 11am. I would rent a fellowship hall at a church.

Aug 13, 2007 10:08 pm
theironhorse:

I am relatively new to seminar gig.  I am having 3 people present, and all 3 are seasoned vets, so I have been using them, along with wholesalers to prep and gather some "best practices."  For the first group I am sending out 7500 postcard style invites, knowing full well postcards have a small turnout than a full blown wedding style invite.  I am hoping the restaurant we are using will draw a decent amount of people to make up for the postcard style invite.
I am paying .50 per mailing, which includes design of the invite (not much, I had someone else design it from scratch so I did not use one of their cookie cutter designs), postage, and RSVP service.  I can check daily via internet who has RSVP's and the # of projected attendees.  The service will also call them as a reminder as the seminar gets closer.  I plan on calling them myself as well the day before.
They tell me .8% response is good for a postcard.  A full blown wedding invite usually generates 1-1.1%.
Also figure food/drink is roughly $30/person after gratuity and taxes in my area.


I'm sure that the 3 guys who are presenting will be very grateful for the clients that they get off of your marketing money and effort.

Aug 13, 2007 10:14 pm

bobby thinks seminars suck - is that the only message


Aug 13, 2007 11:44 pm

yeah, he is a genius and constructive fella too. figured he'd love seminars as most VA guys use them to prey on the elderly. 
my 3 presenters are an attorney (non security licensed), a wholesaler, and an estate planning "wholesaler" who I will split the 2nd to die life with 50/50, otherwise, there will nobody taking anything from me. 
thanks for the input-now feel free to go back to perusing the RR forum another 2-3 hours replying to people who think you are an idiot.

Aug 14, 2007 9:05 am
theironhorse:

yeah, he is a genius and constructive fella too. figured he'd love seminars as most VA guys use them to prey on the elderly. 
my 3 presenters are an attorney (non security licensed), a wholesaler, and an estate planning "wholesaler" who I will split the 2nd to die life with 50/50, otherwise, there will nobody taking anything from me. 
thanks for the input-now feel free to go back to perusing the RR forum another 2-3 hours replying to people who think you are an idiot.


The idiot is gonna be the guy at the seminar who doesnt' seem to know anything about the topic because he has to get other people to do the talking. He will be MORE of an idiot when he tries to schedule appointments and the prospects don't remember him and wonder why they should do business with a guy who doesn't know anything. Now, THAT'S an idiot!

Aug 14, 2007 9:40 am

IGNORE BOBBY HULL


IGNORE DEVILS ADVOCATE


They are not worth responding to.

Aug 14, 2007 9:44 am

Ironhorse.  Good posts and thank you.  I had not heard the Tues, Thurs were best.  The 1% response rate you quoted is the same I myself have experienced with the seminars I have done.  After they get the invitation, I try to call as many as possible.  It kinda turns a cold call into a warm call.


Prospect, Prospect, Prospect that is what we have to continually do.  And finding what works for you and what you LIKE is best.  Because if you are not doing what you like, you will not last long.


I just try to identify qualified prospects, and then work with them to make a plan that accomplishes their goals.


Some will. Some won't--next.


Keep the positive attitude.


Have a prosperous day.

Aug 14, 2007 9:46 am

He may not say it in the nicest way, but what he is saying is very true.  At a seminar, if you're not doing most of the talking, who will remember you?  If he has the 3 experts doing the presentation, why would people call him?  They will call the attorney, the CPA, or whatever.  This was something that we were cautioned about also.  If you want to get experts to speak, make sure that the crowd understands they are there to back you up. 



And



vbrainy:

IGNORE BOBBY HULL


IGNORE DEVILS ADVOCATE


They are not worth responding to.

Aug 14, 2007 10:22 am
shadow191:

He may not say it in the nicest way, but what he is saying is very true.  At a seminar, if you're not doing most of the talking, who will remember you?  If he has the 3 experts doing the presentation, why would people call him?  They will call the attorney, the CPA, or whatever.  This was something that we were cautioned about also.  If you want to get experts to speak, make sure that the crowd understands they are there to back you up. 



Are you saying that if you do a seminar you should sit back and wait for the phone to ring?


I've organized, participated in, authorized and observed hundreds of seminars.  Most involve having outside "experts."


The idea is for the registered person to make a follow up phone call the next day or two.


If you wait for the people who were there to call you you'll be waiting till the cows come home.

Aug 14, 2007 10:33 am

I always do most of the presentation, and I have had a good deal of training and experience in public speaking.  It has been a great way for me to get in front of people and bring on clients.

Aug 14, 2007 11:01 am

Has anyone done a live online webinar? I'm toying with doing one next month and see what kind of response I get. It will be a lot cheaper than at a restaurant.


I've done lot's of one-on-one presentations online and had very good success with it.


I'd like to hear your feedback...

Aug 14, 2007 11:26 am

My mistake, I should have rephrased that.  My point was that if he won't be remembered from the seminar, people might not be as inclined to meet with him.  He definitely should follow up with attendees.


Outside experts are great because the provide value.  Obviously if all we did was the canned "cornerstones of retirement" seminar that everyone does, no one would go.  But if he has 3 experts and he does a minimal amount of the talking, what will happen when he makes the followup calls?



DAtoo:
shadow191:

He may not say it in the nicest way, but what he is saying is very true.  At a seminar, if you're not doing most of the talking, who will remember you?  If he has the 3 experts doing the presentation, why would people call him?  They will call the attorney, the CPA, or whatever.  This was something that we were cautioned about also.  If you want to get experts to speak, make sure that the crowd understands they are there to back you up. 



Are you saying that if you do a seminar you should sit back and wait for the phone to ring?


I've organized, participated in, authorized and observed hundreds of seminars.  Most involve having outside "experts."


The idea is for the registered person to make a follow up phone call the next day or two.


If you wait for the people who were there to call you you'll be waiting till the cows come home.

Aug 14, 2007 11:32 am
EDJ to RIA:

Has anyone done a live online webinar? I'm toying with doing one next month and see what kind of response I get. It will be a lot cheaper than at a restaurant.


I've done lot's of one-on-one presentations online and had very good success with it.


I'd like to hear your feedback...



We have a VERY tough compliance department.  Live stuff never flies.  You have to have a preapproved script and NASD letters on everything.  It sounds fun, but pretty dangerous.


How can you be sure that attendees will be from the states you are registered in?

Aug 14, 2007 11:51 am

I think it is a big mistake to assume I am going to sit there and let everyone else present without saying a word.  I have done that before (3 years ago) and am fully aware that I need to be seen as the leader of this group, which I will be.  I will moderate the entire thing and will spend the first 7-10 minutes giving an overview of my practice and why my "group" is different.  I definitely plan on being in charge.
For this particular topic I need an attorney and someone well versed in estate planning......I will not pretend to know everything.  However, these are also people who have and do refer/split business with me.

For other, less involved seminars, ie basic investing, business owner stuff I do 75% of the speaking myself.

Aug 14, 2007 11:55 am

I would agree with BH in that you need to project to the audience that you are the expert, but that your resources allow you to bring in a select group of experts for their benefit.


You need to control the seminar, perhaps with opening/closing remarks, and some points thrown in along the way...


If you are hosting an hour long seminar, having 3 speakers plus yourself may be overkill. Perhaps you can trim one off the list and save them for a future event...


Aug 14, 2007 11:56 am
theironhorse:

I think it is a big mistake to assume I am going to sit there and let everyone else present without saying a word.  I have done that before (3 years ago) and am fully aware that I need to be seen as the leader of this group, which I will be.  I will moderate the entire thing and will spend the first 7-10 minutes giving an overview of my practice and why my "group" is different.  I definitely plan on being in charge.
For this particular topic I need an attorney and someone well versed in estate planning......I will not pretend to know everything.  However, these are also people who have and do refer/split business with me.

For other, less involved seminars, ie basic investing, business owner stuff I do 75% of the speaking myself.


I assumed it because you said it. Are you lying about being "relatively new" to seminars? I'm sure your "team" members are quite pleased that you are prospecting for them.