Archives For lunch & learns

Are You Getting the Conversion Rates You Need At Lunch & Learn Marketing Events?

I just returned from the Gold Coast – Florida. Not only was our conversion rate strong, something bigger happened, with the potential to double our success!

(Thanks Eric Kiehn and the entire C&W Computers Team for hosting a wonderful event for small business leaders!)

Lunch & learn conversion is somewhat of a mystery. Some have it, some don’t. In a recent post I named three key factors – Asset Owner Audience, Speaker with Authority, and something meaningful to convert to (Like an Assessment).

NOTE: If you still don’t have my High Conversion Security Assessment Template, down load it right here!

But there’s something else – something you can easily add to your next event with the potential to 2X or 5X your results! Listen in on the video as I explain what we did…

© 2018, David  Stelzl


What Message Works Best With Execs?

Having conducted dozens of lunch & learns over the past 10 years I can tell you what message works every time…there’s no question.  When I use the principles I laid out in The Event Marketing Success Kit – at least 50% of the the audience moves to the next step.  Here’s a quick refresher:


Also, make sure you have my recent report on getting more customers!  It’s free…


© 2014, David Stelzl

I had several conversations with consulting company sales people yesterday regarding event planning.  By far, most lunch & learn events don’t appeal to business owners and executives.  They attract the IT and security people.  On the other hand, most of those I meet with tell me, they would like the business leaders there.

Whether you agree or not, I am adamant about getting business leaders to these educational events.  This is the group that must understand the liabilities and risks associated with data loss.  This is the group that has the power to turn things around.  But this is also the hardest group to attract.  Here are 5 reasons this group won’t attend your next event…fix these and you’ll be on the road to fixing your events:

  • You didn’t invite them.
  • They don’t want to sit through a session designed for a technical audience.
  • They don’t want to meet with a mixed group – executives and technicians.
  • They don’t want to be sold to – a product oriented meeting designed to sell technology gear.
  • They don’t know anyone on your attendee list – it must not be that important.

Fixing Your Customer Event

Consider making it invitation only.  And be willing to reach out to business leaders in your community by phone.  Be ready to explain the value of your event to their administrative assistant.

Make sure your program is designed to educate business leaders, not field engineers.  Executives don’t need to know about protocol stacks, virtualization technology, or techniques for securing cloud applications.  They  do want to understand industry trends, competitive advantage, and liability.

Don’t create an event that appeals to both technologists and business leaders.  It won’t work.  The business leaders will lose interest when you start talking tech – the technical people will not appreciate the high level approach needed to appeal to executives.  Their different roles in the organization demand a different learning track.

Stop selling!  If you think your vendor sponsors must be the center of attention, you’ve made a mistake.  They want the same thing you want – an opportunity to fix real business problems.  Show them a better way to accomplish this and your partners will support your efforts.  The business leaders I am talking about have the ability to buy, but they don’t want to be sold.  They do want education.  The sale will come later where real needs exist.

Focus on creating a networking event.  I talk with business leaders of technology companies all the time.  They spend their own money to attend all kinds of partner events.  Half the value, they tell me, is in the relationships and networking that takes place during the breaks.  Can this also be true of your lunch & learn events?  It can.

© 2012, David Stelzl

PS. My new book, Event Marketing, 7 Secrets to Profitability Using Lunch & Learns and Sales Events will be out in just one week – stay tuned! – Oct 10th.

Building the List

January 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

Two of my children have started a business selling holiday baked goods (note: these are their pies!)  Valentines Day is right around the corner, so it’s a good time to be marketing chocolate and cookies, or anything family members might gravitate toward, to express appreciation to each other.  But how do my children build their call list?  The food is great (see picture), but getting the word out is difficult.  “It’s a process of list building,” I tell them.  “If you spend all of your time in the kitchen, experimenting with truffles and flavors, you’ll never sell anything”.  But, no matter what I say, their tendency is to spend their time on the part they love, sometimes letting the business die a slow death.

Building the list takes time.  In fact, you can’t really wait until the list is built, because it never is.  It’s a process that takes a lifetime.  Every contact should be a consideration, and every contact is, or knows someone who is.  With this in mind, we have developed cards with pictures of the treats they prepare, with simple directions to access their “Buy Now” website.  And every time they enter a store where they know someone, or meet a new prospect, they should be asking for referrals, handing out extra cards, and collecting more names.  It must become their passion to collect and maintain these names, treating each one with respect and gratefulness.

This is the process every sales person must go through as they look to spread their value and identify new prospects.  Event marketing depends on it, in fact, any marketing today depends on it, simply because people don’t want to hear from someone they don’t know.  In 2012, your business depends on great marketing – events, webinars, campaigns, and referrals…

PS.  Don’t miss my upcoming webinar (FREE) – Unlocking the Secrets of Event Marketing (Sign up Here)

© 2012, David Stelzl


Cheesy HTML Ads

November 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

The first thing I do in the morning is delete the email that looks like spam.  Then I go back and read the things that require action.  Inadvertently, I end up deleting things that are actually not spam, in the same way I have tossed valid mail, including bills, into the trash while sorting through mountains of garbage that land in my mail box each day.  If it looks like trash, it gets treated like trash – this is the only way to keep up.  The next time you plan an event, or are looking for a response from someone of importance, remember, their mailbox is full of people lobbying for their attention.  Make sure you have something that stands out – not in a colorful marketing way, but as something that looks important.  Some of the things I don’t throw in the trash include wedding invitations, overnight delivery packages, and bills (hopefully).   Note, I am far more excited about opening the wedding invite than a bill, so lean this direction when sending something you want opened.

© 2011, David Stelzl

My favorite marketing platform is local events.  My first major lunch & learn came on the heels of moving from an IT position to a presales support role in the wide area networking (WAN) space.  A major manufacturer sponsored our meeting, the marketing was taken care of by our in-house marketing person, sales people were charged with getting clients and prospects to the meeting, and I was offered an opportunity to be one of the speakers in our half-day event.  I hadn’t done much speaking at this point in my career, outside of a local Toastmasters club I had joined and some oral reports I did in school, so I labored over my presentation material wanting it to be just right.  As a presales guy, I wasn’t involved in the logistics of this event, just responsible for great content.  I had no working knowledge or experience with marketing, demand generation, follow up, or anything, other than articulating what various technologies could do (all from a speeds and feeds mentality.)

Finally that day came when I would present.  It was the first time I had seen an attendance list.  I had dreamed about presenting to 50 or 75 people, maybe even 100 would show up to hear my presentation! There were 6 on the list. Six!  I couldn’t imagine presenting to an audience of six.  Do you actually stand to do this, or just sit at a round table?  We decided to go forward given we had some pretty good names on our list.   You’ve probably guessed this already, but as I’ve come to learn, attrition is the biggest enemy of any event, and only two showed up.  I thought six was bad; two is horrible.  I think I would have rather had one and made it a sales call.  We had two companies with completely different business needs.  It was a total flop.

That was over twenty years ago, and since then I have learned that this really is a great way to market.  However it doesn’t just happen.  It takes a strategy, commitment from sales and marketing, and contribution from every person on the team.  When done right, it is an excellent investment, done wrong it can be a very costly mistake.

© 2011, David Stelzl