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Monday, September 14, 2009

Event Marketing - Why See People One-At-A-Time When You Can Sell Groups of Twenty?

Do you get enough direct mail?
Too much email pollution?
Is telephone tag an expensive part of your schedule?

Would you be interested in an inexpensive way to increase the time and attention available for educating prospects about your services?

Background Information
Since the 1970's I have been designing and producing events to teach groups of people new skills and information. I use events because they:
  • are inexpensive, and
  • satisfy the participants.
I have designed and led events that met weekly for over ten years, one-week events, two-day events, one-day events, half-day events and one-hour events. I have observed how an event can be a simple, effective, low-cost, selling tool.

This is about designing short shows that sell for you.

The First Step Is Setting A Date.

Second, Create A Great Title.
The title creates interest, so I spend half my development time playing with titles.

Some say that a negative is the strongest title, i.e. "How to stop getting caught making stupid mistakes!"

I like positive uplifting titles. For positive titles, the first criteria is the "WIIFM Test" for What's In It For Me? When prospects see a clear benefit from the title, they are more likely to attend…and are already considering your offer.

I also make claims about the value of the event. The audience creates the value of the performance. Coaching them on what to expect improves their response.

Creating the Audience
Many people would now spend time developing the presentation, which is exactly the wrong thing to do!

Your primary concern should be creating the audience! We can create the presentation in forty minutes, the day before the event.

Who are your best clients? Determine why they are your best clients and then identify other groups that have similar attributes.

Who do you already know? Ask them to fill the audience, by attending and bringing others. Provide tools to help them.

What could you offer your co-sponsors for helping? Access to people in the audience, the same thing you want!

I invite my clients to events to give them another opportunity to buy. Perhaps I haven't learned what other things they want and they haven't learned all I do.

How many people do you want in your audience? I always figure maximum occupancy, standing room only, sardine packed. More than that and I take everyone to a larger room, a corridor or outside. Encourage the audience to decide they are attending a popular event!

How To Market Your Event
My best channel for producing an audience is direct contact-Walking up to someone and asking them to attend. I print and distribute invitations. I also ask others to use the invitations to bring the audience.

I send out letters every month, which brings in some attendance, but chiefly creates an ongoing communication with the companies I am prospecting.

Finally, there are excellent free media opportunities. Find them and use them. Direct mail and advertising typically produce less than 10% of my audience.

Designing Your Event
This is for selling, not showing how smart you are.
  • Make a list of twenty most-asked questions about your subject.
  • Prioritize the questions.
  • Define one or two physical exercises for your audience for every hour you will be working with them. People learn more when their learning is tied to physical activity.
  • Create value-packed handouts.
For one of my favorite events, I show people a better way to introduce themselves and tell what they do for their customers.

I talk for less than 18 minutes setting up the exercises, each person in the room gets to talk for about five minutes. People in the audience buy from each other which makes me the “expert.”

Finally, finish on time. That is more important than finishing your presentation. Your prospects need to know that you keep your promises.


  1. Dick,

    Events are such a great idea for businesses to get themselves offline and into the real world. Putting a face to the name of your business is invaluable not to mention can be lucaritive.

    As a small business owner myself, I've gotten into the business of developing and presenting small events where I can educate my target audience on specific marketing topics. I'm always amazed at how many people approach me after the event to know more and ultimately turn into clients.

    Events are a great way to establish yourself as a leader in your field as well.

    Thanks for the posting. I hope a lot of people read your article.


    Rebecca Ryckman, MBA
    Managing Partner
    The Stiletto Group
    Make an Impression

  2. Thanks for putting down in words what I consciencely do to make my business better. It has made me more observant on following the proper steps to getting it right the first time.

  3. This post offers intriguing insights into reimagining event marketing strategies. By emphasizing group sales and direct engagement, it aligns with the principles of experiential marketing. Leveraging experiential tactics can enhance audience connections, driving deeper engagement and fostering memorable experiences. Integrating experiential approaches into event marketing could undoubtedly elevate customer interactions and amplify brand impact.