Tip #1: Charge a Reasonable Fee

Contrary to popular belief, free seminars are not necessarily the golden-brick road of generating quality leads. In fact, the offer of a free seminar can often conjure up images of pushy salespeople and shoddy products — neither of which lead to quality relationships with clients.

Instead, consider charging a small fee to attend. In many cases, seminar leaders have found that a $15 to $25 charge dramatically increases the quality of prospects. Furthermore, consider donating the charge, or a portion of it, to a charity — an act which promotes the positive free-seminar feeling, without supporting the negative sales-pitch aura.

Tip #2: Cut down on “Plate-Lickers”

According to Kerry Johnson, 25 percent of seminar attendees are “plate-lickers”–people who are looking for a free meal and a night out. To ward off these unhelpful seat-fillers, Johnson encourages contacting the RSVPs with the following questions:

1. What about the seminar invitation attracted you?

2. What do you want to gain as a result of attending?

3. Do you have an advisor? Are you happy with them?

4. Would you say that your retirement account has more than $100,000 or less?

In general, the people you want at your seminar will have serious answers to these questions. Reaching out before the event can help you target some of their main needs as well as keep free-loaders at bay.

Tip #3: Build alliances to supplement your message

Who says seminars have to be a one-trick pony? According to Lee Hyder, a 17-year veteran of senior sales, working together with senior-related services can make the return on a small seminar much greater.

“You have to think outside of the box and start to consider alliances with those catering to the same senior demographic as yourself,” Hyder says. “That can include chiropractors, audiologists and even property/casualty agents.”

By partnering with businesses of a similar mindset you can increase your reach and influence within varying markets. Plus, having a co-host makes footing the bill a little less costly.