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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

4 ways to turn your seminar into a "rock star" event

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I was asked the other day on a coaching call, “Why do certain financial professionals continue to have success with seminars, while I’ve seen my results dwindle over the years?”

It was a great question that I followed up with a few of my own:

  • When your prospect gets your invite in the mail, does it stand out from the five other invitations they’ve gotten that week?

  • If you received your own invite in the mail, would your seminar be something you’d be excited to attend, or would you simply throw the invitation in the trash with the rest of the junk mail?

  • If your prospects choose not to attend, will they get another invitation from you in a few weeks to the exact same seminar (essentially, eliminating all urgency)?

Instead of looking at your seminars through the eyes of a presenter, view your seminars from the perspective of the potential attendee. Ask yourself: If I were to attend this seminar, what would I enjoy? What would get me interested, engaged and excited?

These observations can allow you to transform your run-of-the-mill seminars into the kind of “rock star” seminars people look forward to, with you as the featured guest.

The good news is that any financial professional can transform their seminar into a true “rock star” event by taking a few simple steps. If done well, it’s possible you can get a bigger jump on the competition from hosting just a few “rock star” seminars a year. For example, you can focus on the evenings you are hosting seminars, making sure these are the must-see attractions for retirees in your market.

Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Upgrade the experience by “playing the part” of a professional speaker.

Rather than taking the traditional path, have some fun with it and make your seminars unique. Build a stage backdrop with pop-up banners. You can incorporate great images that include your company tag line or motto, contact information, etc., for around $1,000. Also, invest in a high-end speaker and microphone system to make you look like a professional.

2. Treat your seminar like a Broadway show.

Include “real tickets” in the invite and require attendees to have them in order to get into the event. After all, what concert or sporting seminar can you attend without a ticket?

Also, offer free valet parking. There is nothing worse than struggling to find a place to park or having to walk a long distance to a seminar. Your senior clients will appreciate this.

3. Keep it classy.

Use only high-end venues to host your seminar. Surveys show that the best restaurant options are American steakhouses followed by Italian restaurants. If a prospect gets a competitor’s invite for the same night, would they choose to go to Outback Steakhouse or Ruth’s Chris Steak House?

You will also find that your prospects will dress nicer and are willing to travel from longer distances. There is also benefit to your brand by associating it with a high-end brand’s logo with on the invite.

4. Change your mindset.

Just like you can’t make a movie without extras, you don’t want to host a seminar where half of the room is empty. Not every person that attends your seminar is going to become a client, but keep a positive mindset and thank the people in attendance, even if they are just there for the free meal.

Having a packed room makes you look “in demand” and helps create a high-energy atmosphere.

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