Archives For marketing events

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

This week I’ve been working on several things in the financial realm.  I’ll be speaking this weekend out in California at a financial conference and yesterday I was working with a company out in Kansas on value pricing and managing financial metrics.

Financial matters are important to your business.  I often see them on the goal sheet.  “Make this much money this year…”  I don’t consider this a goal – instead, think of it as the result of achieving well planned goals.  Tacked up on the cork board in my office I have two sheets of paper – it’s my two page business plan. Why is it so short – because, just like a business owner I spoke with last week, I will never look at my plan if it’s buried deep inside my MacBook Pro.  I need it printed – hard copy!  Tacked up right in front of me.  On it I have several numbers I track…in fact, I maintain three other sheets, which are in large point-size fonts, right above my plan.  These are my scoreboards, and they track my monthly numbers – metrics I am keeping track of as I go through my year.  Everyone should have this – if you plan to hit certain targets.  Here are some numbers you should be watching:

Target Numbers:  Call them whatever you want, but these are my annual numbers.  Consider the target numbers you need to hit between now and your year-end.  I track GP (Gross Profit), MMR (monthly recurring revenue), Overhead % (which I try to maintain at 10%), and Retained Earnings.  If you’re in sales – GP and MMR are probably your two key target numbers, but you may have others such as new accounts this year, or a GP number on one of your major accounts.

Critical Numbers: These are generally events or ratios I care about, or that I believe will help me achieve my goals.  For instance, I track No. of Speaking Days/month, No. of Public Workshops/quarter, No. of eLearning Workshops/quarter, and No. of consulting days/month.  Pick one –  I know that if I hit 75 speaking days in a year, my financial targets will likely be met – I track this monthly to make sure I get there.  My scorecard, tacked up right above this plan tracks these speaking days by month using a bar chart.  One of the clients I am working with is focused on converting a large list of active clients to a new offering we have been working on in the area of security services.  This is a simple ratio – what percent of the clients have been converted?  We’ve set a goal for this year to convert 25% of them.  If we do that, we’ll know our offering is headed in the right direction.

KPIs: Drilling down to the quarter, I have created a table to track the quarter – this gives me a quick understanding of how my year is going.  On this list I have important goals to be achieved, along with a metric they will impact.  These are my Key Performance Indicators.

Some of the things you should be concerned with if you manage a business or run a division – resource utilization numbers, burden cost, project overruns, and gross profit (forget about Revenue numbers unless you are publicly held), etc.

If you run a sales organization, you should be conducting marketing events.  In my book, Event Marketing, 7 Secrets to Profitability, I discuss several points of conversion – these are numbers to track on a scoreboard – numbers that can be improved to drive net-new business.  I’ve included a conversion sheet in the appendix of this book that will allow you to start tracking your progress.

If you’re still tracking “number of calls you made today”, and “how many meetings resulted”, you may want to rethink your sales strategy…this is old school thinking.

© 2013, David Stelzl

If you have attended any of my webinars, or perhaps signed up for my online Making Money w/ Security class, you’ve been to my EventBrite page. This has been a great tool for setting up just about any kind of event, both online and live.  I wanted to pass this along to you as you consider doing lunch & learns and marketing webinars this year…a couple of great features to ease the burden of event planning:

  1. First, the fee; Eventbrite charges a percentage of what you charge, so if your event is free (which most lunch & learns and marketing webinars are), your fee will be $0!  It doesn’t get much better…
  2. You can limit the number of seats, so if you have a Webex account that permits 100 seats, you can limit your sign up to 100 attendees.  Same would go for a live event.
  3. You can set up different ticket types, so in my Making Money w/ Security class I have three different ticket types; one at list price, one for early sign up, and one for mentor alumni.  This really helps when the event has a fee associated with it.
  4. It’s easy to customize.  I often have a picture to go with my event, so uploading a photo is common.  On some sites you have to make the picture a certain size, but Eventbrite is smart enough to modify your photo so that it works without any changes.
  5. You can include a location which automatically displays the Google Maps picture!  Pretty cool for live events.
  6. You can specify what information you want to collect.  Some can be optional, and others can be mandatory, but its all up to you.
  7. You can mass email your list, keeping people up to date, and sending out reminders – all prescheduled and easy to create.  That is how  I get the 24 hr notice out, then the 6 hour, then the 1 hour reminders. This cuts down on attrition.
  8. You can also do mass email marketing with a list right from Eventbrite and it will track your responses.  I don’t use this, but its out there.
  9. You can connect with Google Analytics, or just view the Eventbrite statistics.  Google gives you more, but the Eventbrite stats are good enough in most cases.
  10. Finally, you can duplicate an event – making it easy to set up a next event of a similar type – for instance, if you do monthly webinar events.

There you have it – give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

© 2012, David Stelzl


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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

Here’s  a great question on Getting Your Message Out – becoming an Adviser, from this week’s Making Money with Security workshop (Virtual).


You gave some excellent information on what to say and do when you are in front of the executives/asset owner…when communicating by email and by other electronic means…

You mentioned that sound bites alone are ineffective and how you throw most of your marketing mail away. I agree with both of these statements, so with that said, do you have any suggestions for what I can do to increase our chances of getting our marketing messages heard/read?


Content is the key.  When your goal is to sell, people feel sold.  When your goal is to educate, people feel helped.  The key is in finding things that are helpful to the buyer – the asset owner.  Most asset owners are not technologists, so educating them on products, or anything technical, sounds like an opportunity for demotion.  Expect to be delegated back down to IT.

Sound bites, or statistical data may be somewhat interesting, however it must be presented from a source they care about.  If the Wall Street Journal publishes it in their daily paper, chances are it appeals to business people.  However, statistics, as we stated in class, lead to judgmental thinking, not emotional buying.  So while, sound bites do build credibility, don’t expect them to lead to a sale.  Use them as attention grabbers only.

In my book, The House & the Cloud, I talk about “Idea Emails”.  These are ideas that I present to prospects to create knowledge gaps.  “I have some ideas I’d like to share with you on how to make sure your employees are not stealing company secrets”.  Idea emails are one example of creating curiosity through a knowledge gap that potentially helps a client/prospect with something they would care about.  Other messaging might be “How to” posts on your blog – how to educate the organization on safe data handling or presenting “Seven things your employees need to know before traveling with company laptops”.  This type of education can be written to appeal to asset owners in a non-technical, business format.

In summary, create content, use knowledge gaps to generate interest, and then educate with your content.  This education should lead to action using services your firm provides.  As an example, my wife was reading a document on the harmful effects of amalgam fillings (dental).  The document began describing all kinds of symptoms people complain of every day.  The article went on to explain the importance of removing these fillings using a special process that prevents serious side effects including possible fatality from poisoning.  The doctor writing included several case studies showing how patients had been improperly diagnosed and treated for major diseases including MS.  He described the procedure for removal and then recommended using other synthetic metal-free materials.  Of course, both my wife and I had the metal removed from our mouths.  While we did not use the doctor who wrote the article, we would have, had he been local and had he called on us.

© 2010, David Stelzl