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How to Market Seminars

10 Ways to Fill Empty Seats

Filling empty seminar and workshop seats is not an easy task. Knowing how to market seminars is a specialized skill requiring an understanding of your target market, and how to effectively reach them. Good seminar marketing is a key part of the success of any seminar -- just look at how many people out there advertise themselves as seminar marketing experts, and you’ll see how important it is.

Below are 10 seminar marketing ideas for you to use to fill empty seats. Put these seminar and workshop marketing tips in place, and you will discover the economic rewards far outweigh the extra effort required.

  1. On line seminar listing sites. Market seminars and workshops by listing them online. There are many online listing services that allow you to sell not only goods and services but also events, seminars, workshops and classes. A little research will help you find the ones most appropriate to your seminar or workshop. It’s easy and it’s usually free. Check out www.kijiji.com and you’ll see some good examples.
  2. Build a warm list instead of a cold list. Any seminar marketing expert will tell you, renting a list and sending out flyers or emails is not the most productive way to fill empty seats in your seminars and workshops. Instead try building a ‘warm’ list of people who are specifically interested in attending seminars like yours. There are many ways to create a warm list, but the simplest is to have people subscribe to a monthly email from your website. Use the newsletter to firmly establish yourself as an expert in between seminars. Then use the newsletter list to market your next workshop or seminar.
  3. Have your training accredited by professional organizations. This is a little tougher and may take some more work but it is worth it in the long run. Many professional certifications require ongoing continuing education by accredited members. While some organizations keep that training in-house, many others approve outside training seminars as credits towards their continuing education program.
  4. Market to past graduates of your program. Who better way to fill empty seats than your past graduates? They may already have taken the course, but keep them on your mailing list. All it takes in one or two referrals for each seminar to help fill empty seats.
  5. Give special ‘last minute’ pricing to fill those extra empty seats. Any seats that remain empty on the day of your seminar are lost revenue. A week to ten days before your seminar, list a few empty seats at a special last minute training price and try to fill them. Use a service like www.lastminutetraining.ca to list your seminars and fill your empty seats. Avoid sending out the last minute special offer to your regular marketing list or your regular clients will start waiting until the last minute to sign up. Indirect marketing of last minute pricing protects your brand, and your marketing list.
  6. Spend some time and create quality seminar and workshop marketing brochures. There are proven methods to writing seminar and workshop marketing brochures. Focus your efforts on writing a brochure that has the correct content to attract your target participants, and you will quickly fill those empty seats. You can find more information on creating seminar marketing content at www.howtomarketseminars.com.
  7. Create a two-page seminar marketing website for your seminar. It should be short, and simple, there is no need for fancy graphics and flashing buttons. Create a simple, professional looking page that contains complete information about your seminar. Think of terms that someone would use to search for training seminars like the one you are offering, and include those terms in the body text and page title of your seminar website.
  8. Transform your existing website by sorting your potential participants into main categories and write content that speaks directly to each category. Website conversion is one of the most important aspects of internet marketing. What point is there to having a website if your visitors simple visit the front page and then leave? Inspire your visitors to get further information by creating banners or links that are directly targeted to them. Then, when they follow the link make sure the content addresses their specific concerns.
  9. Team up with non-profit membership organizations and offer special ‘member’ pricing in exchange for marketing to their list. These organizations are always looking for ways to bring more value to their members. Not only will marketing a seminar directly to their list attract more seminar participants, but links back from their websites to yours may help your search engine ranking results.
  10. Personal networking – get out there and network. Nothing works better than personal networking to attract more participants to your workshops.

Use these 10 tips and you will increase the number of seminar participants. Knowing how to market seminars may be a bit of a science, but with some trial and error you should be able to find the methods that work best for you, and increase attendance to fill those empty seats.

Which fits you?