Attracting New Clients Through Seminars

 

Seminars Are Back!
For the last several years, fewer firms were putting on seminars, in large part due to the tough economy.  Also, many firms thought that they could reach prospects primarily through the internet instead of a more traditional approach of seminars.

However, seminars are experiencing a significant up-turn – more and more firms are doing it!  Why?  There are several reasons:

- You can’t replace face-to-face interaction.  Whether as a speaker or a firm-member circulating the event and meeting attendees, seminars are a great method to get to know people personally.  This leads to sales meetings and closed deals.
- Using an “event management” firm makes it much easier to put on the event.  Otherwise, it can be a daunting task – and risky if you do it internally.
- Hotels and other venues are willing to negotiate.  This helps keep costs down.
- Marketing the event is easier, cheaper and more productive via the internet. There are numerous tools that can be used to promote the event and help insure good attendance.
-Many firms are doing better financially.  Instead of sitting on your hands and doing nothing, it is better to be active in marketing – your competitors are!

Establish Your Goals
What are the typical underlying objectives for hosting seminars?

1. Enhance the firm’s image (this is a typical motive for big events)
2. Develop sales opportunities (this is very well suited for small events)

Both objectives are geared at attracting clients.  If you are planning a seminar, keep this in mind: Big events (over 100 guests) tend to be more image-oriented, while smaller gatherings (of less than 25 guests) tend to lend themselves to developing better sales opportunities.  So what is your most important objective?

Risks & Rewards
So, let’s say that you like the concept of seminars meeting these stated objectives.  What are the risks and rewards?

Rewards:

1. Enhanced image/name awareness
2. Exposure to prospects and referral sources
3. Face to face time
4. Possible new busi­ness opportunities

Risks:

1. Poor/cheap promotion
2. Poor turnout
3. Poor presentation
4. Poor follow-up
5. Negative effect on the firm’s image.

So, seminars can be either:
1. A great marketing tool
2. A flop and embarrassment (hurting your firm’s image!)

Of course, you want to avoid the latter event. At Kevin Brown Marketing & Consulting, we have over 20 years of experience in managing seminars and other events.  Contact us to see how we can help you.

 

About the author: Kevin W. Brown, M.B.A. has worked with professional services firms for over 20 years. His firm, Kevin Brown Marketing & Consulting, is a full-service marketing and management consulting firm that specializes in serving lawyers, CPAs and other professional services firms. Phone: (714) 965-1556. Website: www.KevinBrownMarketing.com.