Marketing the In-House Seminar
Many speakers and seminar leaders will do “in-house” seminars as well as public seminars. Although I’ll do them, I don’t like them as much as public seminars. Very rarely can you sell anywhere near the amount of product. Many times, companies will buy your product(s) as part of the package you sell them. Even though you can move quite a bit of product, it usually won’t be as much as at a public seminar or event.
Just from a fees perspective, however, this is a very profitable side of the seminar business. Expenses are extremely low. Someone sees you doing your thing in a public seminar and they ask you to come do basically the same thing for their employees. Another possible way is that from doing a fair amount of advertising you get a call directly to do an in-house seminar.
Either way produces some very nice, high margin business for you.
I suggest that you schedule in-house seminars on days when you don’t have any public seminars scheduled. Use them to fill in your schedule. That’s how I’ve been doing it for years and it’s worked well for me.
Some people in this business do exclusively on-site or in-house seminars. If this is more your style, then your marketing methodology will be different. I talk quite a bit about that in my book: Speaking for Millions.
Doing a public seminar will generate considerable onsite business. Before they were acquired, this is how CareerTrack used to work. They would give their public seminars as a virtual loss leader. At the end of the seminar they would hand out a form that would give people the opportunity to request someone to call them about an on-site seminar. Sales reps would then follow up on anyone who requested information. Even if they broke even on the public events, they made it back from the onsite events.
During the course of your seminar, drop little hints that you do inhouse seminars. When you are delivering your information make sure to weave in stories about work that you’ve done with other clients who have used you for that purpose.
There are a number of other ways to promote in-house seminars.
First, speak anywhere, anytime you can. Even do it for free if they allow you to sell products. The more you are seen, the greater the chances of someone hiring you for an in-house event. I will frequently pick up in-house seminars and speaking engagements after I speak at a trade show. This is a great showcase for yourself and your talents.
The only time I would do a speech for free is when you’re given the opportunity to get in front of precisely the right audience. I might do this myself three or four times a year. Make sure you don’t talk yourself into thinking it’s the right audience and waste your time.
Second, actively pursue referrals. If you get a chance to speak somewhere, ask them who else might be interested in having you do a seminar for them.
Third, write a book. As an author, you’re going to get a lot of calls to speak or do in-house seminars in your area of expertise. (For more information, check out my book, Publishing for Maximum Profit.)
Fourth, attend the trade show events in your niche markets. Write articles for their publications. Get to be well-known in your field. This will increase your opportunities for in-house seminar work.
Last, create some good promotional material for yourself. You should have a one-page flyer describing each of the seminar topics you can do in house. Include glowing testimonial letters you get.
Use your evaluations to generate in-house seminars. On the evaluations put a check box for people to check if they want to bring you to their organizations to do a seminar. If you are brought in-house, you’ll only make a speaking fee and rarely be able to sell product. This is fine, however, since your cost of marketing is basically zero.
You may also want to prepare a demo video from the tape you have of events that you record.
Do these things and your chances of getting in-house work will be great.
If you want more information, pick up a copy of my book Speaking for Millions.