Can You Really Get Decision Makers To Attend Your Event?

July 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

Blog QR AdI’m getting ready to kick off today’s Making Money w/ Security workshop (online) in about an hour – but before leaving yesterday’s webinar on Event Marketing, I just had to comment on one of the comments I received after my presentation.  One of the attendees wrote – “Not enough detail, it’s not as easy as he makes it sound”…he goes on to say that he’s tried and the right people don’t attend.

First, I do read my comments, and I appreciate people taking the time…every other comment I received was extremely positive…but this one deserves a response since he took the time to write it.  Here are a few points taken from yesterday’s content, and expanded some…

1. I started off the event by stating, “There is no way to cover this topic in 90 minutes – so there is a 6 hour audio training program, 100 page detailed field guide, and Quick Start reference manual available. (See the sidebar)”  Not that I am doing this webinar just to sell more books, but 90 minutes is what my client asked for, and so that’s all the time I had.  And that is why I mentioned these other resources…He’s right – I couldn’t give enough detail in 90 minutes…so, buy the training materials if you want more detail.

2. It’s not that easy…well, I didn’t say it was easy in yesterday’s event.  I said “Marketing is a science”.  I went on to explain that I’ve been working on this for about 10 years, and longer if you count my time as a reseller.  It’s codified – not easy.  And so, that is why there is a 6 hour training course.  You can’t argue with results.  The fact is, I do track attendees and responses, and the average marketing event does end up with 75% of the attendees moving to step 2 – the assessment phase.

Does lack of time or a high-level overview deserve a negative comment?  No, it underscores the need for more in-depth training.  Is codified the same as simple?  No, calculus uses formulas, but it’s far from simple.  The truth is, when I meet a marketing director who is struggling to get the right attendees – there is always a reason.  Most of the time it goes back to the message they are advertising.

This person’s comment also mentioned a problem with having the right speaker available.  There are thousands of great speakers – this one is simple to fix.  Its a simple case of companies not wanting to pay for a speaker.  And so they settle with the local free speaker, or put someone on their team in front of an executive audience. As I have said before, professional speaking is a profession like any other profession.  The person who decides to go out on a sales call once in a while is not going to succeed, and the manager who decides to get up and present every once in a while is also likely to fail.  I’m not going to someone who’s never performed surgery to fix a rotator cuff just to save some money.

Don’t discount event marketing just because your last event didn’t go well. Figure out why it didn’t go well and fix it.  The Complete Marketing Success Kit might be a good place to start – but start somewhere and find out how to make it successful.  Sales people have already shown us that old-school cold calling is expensive and largely ineffective.  Get it right, the right people will be there.

© 2013, David Stelzl

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