Finding new business through seminars
The third factor in deciding who to send is one you might not
readily think of. Men make up 80 to 90 per cent of the attendance
at these events, but analysis by the organisers shows that buyers
request to meet females at roughly twice the rate they request to
meet males. Therefore the female staff you send are likely to be
the most successful.
Now we turn to . . .
Running your own seminars
The cost of running your own seminar will probably be between
£20,000 and £40,000. (A lot of the variation depends on how you
view the cost of your staff’s time.) However, when done as they
should be done, seminars can pay you back several times over.
The purpose of seminars
The key benet of seminars is that they allow your staff to mingle
with the attendees. In practice, this means that the two most
effective formats are:
a morning seminar followed by lunch
an afternoon seminar followed by drinks and snacks.
Either format is ne; it’s the mingling that matters. The best ratio
will be one member of your staff to every four attendees. (Attendees
often come in pairs.) Too few of your staff means they will not get
round to everyone. Too many and the attendees will feel they are
being ‘sold to. The topics you choose should be about develop-
ments in your sector, not developments in your company, because
the best seminars are always the ones that do not sell overtly.
Choosing the right venue
Your company will be judged by the venue you choose for the
seminar, so choose somewhere upmarket. The smarter the venue,
the easier it is to justify your charges. A cheap venue is usually a
false economy.
Part 2
How to nd new business104
When choosing a venue, you should not rely on brochures and
websites but visit the site in person. The best venues are often
booked  ve to six months ahead so you will need to plan accord-
ingly. Also, the costs of venues vary remarkably, so with a little
shopping around it is relatively easy to get an upmarket venue
at a mid-market price. Ensure you choose the right size venue
(Fig. 8.3).
100–200 people
2,200 sq. feet
50–100 people
1,300 sq. feet
15–50 people
900 sq. feet
5–15 people
450 sq. feet
A good rule of thumb is as follows:
5–15 people
15–50 people
50–100 people
100–200 people
450 sq. feet
900 sq. feet
1,300 sq. feet
2,200 sq. feet
40 sq. metres
80 sq. metres
120 sq. metres
200 sq. metres
Figure 8.3 Choosing the right size venue
You will want at least two rooms. One for the presentations and one
for people to drink coffee and mingle during the breaks. You might
also want storage space and a separate room for your speakers.
Choosing the right date
An easy way to maximise the audience for your seminar is to pick
a date on which lots of people can attend. This is quite easy to do
if you follow certain rules:
The later in the week you hold the seminar, the more people
will attend. Therefore you should choose a Thursday or
Friday. However, people do not like staying late on Fridays,
so afternoon events should be held on Thursdays. Morning
and lunch-only events run best on Fridays.
You need to avoid times when a higher than average
number of people are on holiday. This rules out school

Get The Secrets of Selling, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.