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The Perfect Storm: Why now is the best time to do education workshops


The Perfect Storm: Why now is the best time to do education workshops

Prior to the Covid shutdown, digitally marketed events hosted at neutral venues led the financial advisor industry in popularity. With lower lead costs, higher net worth attendees and less competition, it’s clear why these were the preferred marketing method for advisors. Coming out of covid, many advisors returned to the traditional event format with direct mail and dinner seminars.

In this post I’m going to share with you the real factors behind this shift, the reasons digital is poised to dominate going forward and 4 ways you’ll increase your ROI with educational seminars.

The market is shifting from direct mail to digital

To understand where we are, we need to understand how we got here. Following Covid, marketing naturally shifted to direct mail for 2 reasons. 1: Restaurants were desperate for revenue and opened for events as soon as they were allowed to; 2: Direct Mail was virtually unused for over a year creating an unsaturated market condition. Naturally, many advisors gravitated to reopening restaurants and responsive marketing, but now the pendulum is swinging the other direction.

Today direct mail is highly congested and response rates are falling. On the other hand, neutral venues were slow to reopen for public events largely because most colleges and libraries have affiliations with state and local governments charged with enforcing covid policies. Now that most neutral venues are finally open for seminars, they’re benefitting from the same boost in response rates that direct mail and restaurants experienced last year.

4 reasons you’ll increase your ROI with educational seminars:

1. Educational workshops drastically reduce your marketing expenses.
Digital marketing for educational seminars at neutral venues reduce your marketing expenses in two ways. First, your cost per lead will be lower with digital. The ability to deliver your message directly to your ideal clients through social media is by far the cheapest marketing method you can use today. With most Baby Boomers spending over 2 hours per day on social media, you’ve got a captive audience and low marketing costs. Second, by jettisoning the high cost of feeding your attendees an expensive dinner, your total cost to market educational workshops is far lower. The combination of lower lead costs and lower event costs naturally favor digital marketing for educational seminars as compared to dinner seminars.
2. Educational workshops create less-competitive selling opportunities.
When you ask a room of prospects at a dinner seminar if they’ve ever attended an event like this before, roughly 75% of them will raise their hands. Ask the same question at an educational seminar and that number drops to about 25%. There are two important takeaways from this information. First, you can have more influence on a prospect who is not a serial event attendee. You’re likely the first financial advisor who has engaged them at an event making it far more likely that they’ll engage with you after the event. Second, if roughly 50% of seminar attendees schedule an appointment with the event host following a seminar, you can bet that the majority of your dinner seminar attendees have recently met with another financial advisor. Contrast that to the small percentage of educational workshop attendees, and you have the recipe for a massively different experience when it comes to competitive selling situations. If you’re looking to reduce the battle between you and other local advisors, you’ll have a much better experience with prospects from educational events.
3. Educational workshops appeal to a different audience than dinner seminars.
In an analysis of over $1B in financial production, Track That Advisor found several key factors that suggest that educational seminar attendees are a totally different audience than their dinner seminar counterparts.

  • 70% of all booked first appointments show up to their appointment following an educational seminar.
  • The average case size for educational seminars is 15% higher from educational events ($511k vs $450k).
  • 56% of all second appointments from educational workshops events convert to sales.

The following findings suggest that more affluent and discerning clients attend educational seminars who simply won’t attend dinner seminars. This results in lower competition, higher case sizes, a higher closing rate, and higher ROI.

4. Educational seminars bring you prospects with the right intentions.
Dinner seminars attract people with two value propositions; 1: Get some financial insight, 2: Get a free meal when you attend. This has the potential to attract people to your event who want to attend only for the free meal. When you eliminate meals from the offer in your educational workshops, you’re getting people whose primary interest is your content.


A broad look at the current state of event marketing combined with the inherent advantages of hosting educational workshops paints a clear picture of where advisors should be investing their marketing budget.

Here is actual client feedback from current clients who are hosting Steep events right now that supports this shift to educational events:

“We hosted 8 Steep events so far in 2022. After analyzing our numbers, we found that this is our highest ROI on any marketing at a 600% ROI. As a result we’ve planned 8 more events just in Q4 and have 23 events planned in 2023.”

“Our 16 Steep events in 2021 and 2022 are yielding an average case size of $543K. We’ve relied on this marketing funnel for 5 years, and we have a full schedule planned for 2023.”

“My Steep events have generated a total of $14M in annuity sales in the last 7 months. I just hired a sub-advisor so I can host events in another part of town. I’m doubling down on Steep!”

Ready to get started? Click here to schedule a call with a Steep Account Manager to see how our unique marketing method for educational seminars can transform your business!

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