I had a vendor recently host their first seminar. This was one of my vendors first seminar. They went all out on this. They rented a room in a very nice hotel. Sent invitations, and collected user information at the door. They had packets for training on their software, refreshments and finger food. Everything was great. They advertised in some local industry papers. They seemed to do all the right things, until I got there.
Here is where the problem lies, they charged $100.00 to cover expenses. Guess how many people showed up? Six. Since I am a Marketer who consults on these things, I picked up on many things immediately. First, I asked why they charged $100.00. They told me that most companies charge $200.00 (like Adobe). A three person company is not Adobe. They charged to cover expenses and to make a little profit. This is where thinking like a business owner gets you into trouble. They also did not send anything out electronically. No emails, no landing pages with registration to collect information, nothing. No incentives for attending like drawings for a prize.
A Marketer would say, charge nothing, get as many people in the door as possible (Awareness, and Acquisition). The more people in the door, the better chances you have at conversions. People like Free. They expect free. When was the last time you paid for a webinar?
The other thing that stood out immediately is they were not capturing the event on video. I explained to them it’s about reach and awareness. If you video the seminar, it could then potentially be a webinar. Record the laptop screen you were demonstrating on. This could have been broken up into a series of video blogs, in which you put it out on as many channels as possible. It was unfortunately a lesson learned the hard way. One phone call in the planning stages to their client who is a marketer, could have righted the ship before it hit the iceberg.
Bottom line, we live in a digital age, think digital.