To sell effectively in any environment, companies need to project a clear sales message to groups of prospects. The most cost effective method of doing this is a professionally organized seminar. It must be specially tailored to the prospects’ areas of interest and offer an unrivalled opportunity to explain “up front” what the company stands for and outline the solutions and services proposed.
Expertly handled seminars will provide detailed feedback on the real needs and attitudes of potential clients. It can also offer the opportunity to meet the other important players within targeted organisations.
However, to achieve the greatest effect, a seminar must address a specific business area. Not only is this more attractive to the audience than a general meeting, but it also enables you to structure the event for the highest levels of presentation.
The manner in which the event is planned and organised reflects as much on the quality and capability of the company as any other activity undertaken. Therefore, planning and attention to detail are by far the most important ingredients.
So what are the essential steps and areas you need to consider when organising a professional seminar? (This list is a guide and is by no means exhaustive)
Understanding the Importance & Purpose of Setting Objectives
The most important first step is to set objectives, so that the success or failure of the exercise can be benchmarked afterwards.
The Five Musts of Setting Objectives
Objectives must have a numerical projection of the expected results:
They must be practical
They must be difficult, but attainable
They must be exciting
They must be big
- What are the marketing objectives for your seminar?
- How will these objectives help you sustain or increase your share of sales?
- What new and existing concept, solutions, features and services are to be included?
- What will be their order of importance in relation to the audience invited?
- What is the description of these concepts and solutions in terms of function, benefit and price?
- Who will be the key people at your seminar?
- What are their buying habits, preferences and needs? Are these changing?
- Where is demand increasing? Where is it declining?
- Why should your customers buy from you, rather than your competitors?
- What are your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses and trends?
- What sales aids should you be using?
- Who to invite
- When to hold your seminar – timing is key
- Where to hold your seminar? identify a suitable location
- Finance and costing
- Selecting speakers
- Input from industry specialists
- Support from manufacturers/distributors
Check that your concept supports your original objective, which in turn supports your marketing plan.
In Summary – Do Remember
Every seminar presentation is a sales opportunity and should be structured as a selling vehicle.