Steep Digital Marketing Blog

The “Secret” to High Converting Seminars


The “Secret” to High Converting Seminars

If you haven’t noticed from our high-altitude branding yet, we’re proud to be a Colorado company. It’s crazy to look west from the Denver area and see the vast array of mountains spanning the front range and think that we’re lucky enough to call this place home. On a clear day (and we have more of those than any other state except Hawaii) we can see Longs Peak to the North and Pikes Peak 102 miles South! Two notable “Fourteeners,” which are peaks that exceed 14,000 feet.Should you ever find yourself in the Denver area, give any of our Digital Marketers a call, and we’ll tell give you a local insider list of some of the best places to visit on your trip to the Mile High city (YES we’re a mile high, not the other kind of high 😀).

So what does this have to do with your seminar marketing?

When you plan your trip to Colorado, you want to ensure that you maximize your time in our beautiful corner of the world. The fact that we live here, spend our time here and know what to do here, is a huge advantage. Our experience here qualifies us to offer unique advice on what to do here.

Seminar marketing is exactly the same! Because we produce successful seminar campaigns at a rapid rate means we know right out of the gate how to set up and market an event that will be successful. In this short post, I’ll give you some insider information based on huge amounts of experience that will help make your next seminar with us a massive success.

Location, Location, Location!

If it’s true in real estate, it’s double true in seminar marketing. In a recent analysis of our trademark Foothills seminar campaign, we found that when people follow our advice on picking a good seminar venue, we hit our guarantee on 96% of those campaigns. More than that, we exceeded our guarantee by an average of 41 registrants! The number one contributing factor to seminar success? Choosing a great venue.

So, what makes a good seminar venue? To really understand why we recommend colleges and libraries as great seminar venues, we have to understand the context of our advertising. We primarily market seminar events on Facebook – the number one traffic source in the world. Because Facebook is first and foremost a social platform (not an ecommerce platform), we need to understand that people are primarily on Facebook to learn what’s new, to be educated, or be entertained. It doesn’t matter if you see posts from your favorite sports team, your friends and family or even brands that you like – everything on Facebook revolves around newness, education, and entertainment.

When we hold ourselves out as financial educators on Facebook, we’re capitalizing on this craving for new information and to be educated. Coupling this educationally oriented content with a venue that supports education is key – that’s where colleges and libraries are king. Educationally oriented messages are in-tune with the spirit of social media, and educational venues continue that as a streamlined campaign. Finding a neutral and educational venue for your seminars is the #1 contributing factor to seminar success with Steep.

Timing is Everything!

One of our office’s favorite cheat-day breakfast spots is a bagel & muffin store called My Favorite Muffin. They use this misnomer as their company tagline “The all-day bakery café.” Why is this ironic? They’re only open at breakfast time! What am I supposed to do when I get a craving for a chocolate cheesecake muffin at 3:30 when the all-day bakery café isn’t open?

Joking aside, this is a perfect example of how serving your customers when they want to engage with you is a critical part of seminar success. Let’s say for example that we want to advertise a local seminar for people who are ages 55 to 65. Because the vast majority of this audience is working a full-time job, it’s important to realize that timing is vital to success. If we host an event for this group between 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, anyone who is unwilling or unable to adjust their work schedule is automatically disqualified from attending our workshop.

One of the most powerful assets that digital marketing provides us is real-time dynamic data. Looking back at seminars for this audience held during the day versus during the evening shows us that evening events are FAR preferred over their day time counterparts. In fact, the cost per conversion for a day-time event is an average of 30% more expensive. Further, we get direct feedback on social media when people comment on our ads. On one recent day-time event we received comments from 7 different people who wanted to come but stated that the time of the event did not work with their work schedules. Matching our message with the right timing is another important facet of seminar success.

If you build it, they will come!

I’ll be honest with you… I ran out of good one liners for this bit. There’s one more important part of seminar marketing that will help you get the highest number of people to attend your event, and that’s the timing of two-night campaigns.

It’s no secret that there is a higher number of no-shows with digital marketing than there is with other forms of traditional media. Whereas direct mail may have as high as an 80% attendance rate, the average with digital is about 50%. The saving grace of digital is that our cost per registration is so substantially lower that we can simply overbook to get our desired number of attendees.

That being said, one of the easiest wins we can have is scheduling two-night campaigns closer together to maximize attendance for both of the workshops. Typically, we launch ads for a two-night seminar about 18 days before the first event date. We also recommend that you schedule your second event date no further than one week after your first event date, but closer is always better. You see if we start advertising two and a half weeks before the first date, we’re inviting people to register three and a half weeks before the second event. Even if we’re able to get a good number of registrations for that second event, the likelihood that life will get in the way and scheduling conflicts will arise between registration and the event is very high. We see considerably higher attendance rates on second event dates when both dates are in the same week (Tuesday – Wednesday, Tuesday – Thursday, Wednesday – Thursday). Minimizing the time between your event dates will help you get the maximum possible attendance at both of your workshops.

Next time you’re thinking of coming to Colorado, ask our team for some experienced advice, and next time you’re planning a seminar – rely on our experience managing over 200 campaigns per month there as well. I love what Steve Jobs said, “None of us is smarter than all of us.” Together we can leverage our experience to create a high level of success. Want even more “secrets” to success?  Check out this page for a full list of the Best Practices that we’ve accumulated to serve you even better! See you at the top!

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