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In-Person Seminars Now

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What You Need to Know

  • Digital events cost less than dinner seminars.
  • The attendees are more interested in the content than in the food.
  • You can use recordings of online presentations to create content for your YouTube channel and company website.

Live events have been the bread and butter of financial services lead generation for years.

Some ask: Is this marketing staple past its expiration date?

In the early days, lunch and dinner seminars were magnets for retirees and pre-retirees. Not only did they offer free meals, but seminars also gave seniors an excuse to get out of the house, meet new people, and listen to advice from a trusted expert.

Unfortunately, as seminars became ubiquitous and seniors grew savvier about their true purpose, they declined in popularity. It became harder for agents and advisors to fill rooms, even with promises of a steak dinner and door prizes.

Perhaps more importantly, the quality of the attendee also declined. People started coming for the food and often ignored the presentation. Or, they used the seminar as a way to confirm what their current advisor was telling them, or as a “date night.” Seminars, many of which cost $3,000 or more, became an iffy proposition with lots of logistical headaches and little return on investment.

The Change

Along came the pandemic, and live, in-person seminars disappeared altogether, leaving agents to contemplate new ways to tell their stories. Digital gatherings, using media such as Zoom or Go to Webinar, exploded in popularity.

Some advisors who had been hesitant to embrace virtual technology were suddenly forced to replace their in-person events with digital meetings.

Should you switch to or continue your digital meetings?

Many financial professionals wonder if, when the pandemic is entirely out of the picture, they should transition to 100% virtual client and prospect gatherings.

The Digital Edge

Maybe a better question might be, “What are the advantages of going digital?”

Of course, an obvious immediate benefit of digital meetings is that they cost less than in-person seminars. Many online meeting delivery systems, such as TicketSpice and Eventbrite, are either free or very low-cost. Even when you factor in expenses such as the cost of emailing or direct-mailing invitations, list purchase, hosting and ticketing, you can typically do 10 or more online live events for less than the cost of one dinner seminar.

Another plus of digital is that, because you aren’t feeding anyone, it’s likely that anyone who registers and attends your presentation will be a more serious and high-quality prospect. For many people, especially older seniors, getting sound financial information in their own homes makes them feel more comfortable, especially post-COVID.

Online seminars can be “wash, rinse and repeat.” Many systems let you run on-demand meetings seven days a week, multiple times a day. Depending on your subject matter, you can craft a webinar presentation once and then set it to replay numerous times. Not only is this convenient for prospects and clients, but it can also result in some random organic lead generation when people searching for financial information stumble upon your event. Hosting online presentations can also help you create digital content to upload to your social media sites, YouTube channel or company website.

The Bottom Line

For some agents and advisors, virtual presentations are an ideal solution for creating gatherings for prospects and clients. In an era where many retirees may be fearful of mingling with others, webinars and virtual events have become attractive and accepted. An online event costs much less to produce and deploy, can be automated to save time and effort, and makes it easier to reach more people more quickly.

Even if agents choose to resume some in-person meetings, having a professionally produced digital version of their content may still be an excellent marketing tactic.


Scott SelfScott Self is the owner of RetirementPlanningMasters.com in Punta Gorda, Florida.

(Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock)