Topic: Advertising/PR

Help! Need Low Budget Seminar Promotion Ideas...

Posted by telemoxie on 1000 Points
I'm a free-lance marketing person and I have been retained by a good friend who wants me to market a series of seminars for IT folk.

My friend is President of his company and a genius at networking, but has neglected more traditional marketing. He has not focused on his web site, he does not have a corporate brochure, the flyers he has done are black and white 3.33" by 11" cards designed in Microsoft word and printed at Kinkos, his letterhead does not even have his current address. His intention is to sponsor this seminar series as a way to increase the size of his personal network. I do not feel that I'm at liberty to provide more information on his company or market.

My friend is a "results oriented" guy - if I can help him fill seats at the next seminar (first one had 25 or so of his personal contacts, he had sent an email) then I'll have the credibility to suggest small additional expenditures.

In the past, I have called HR departments on his behalf - and followed up with emails and attachments - but this project is directed at CEOs, CIOs and CTOs. Generally speaking, they do not want to hear from me. My current plan is to call the CFO or secretary to the CFO and ask them to forward a mailed invitation or emailed invitation to the proper folks. I'm also considering calling the assistant to the CEO. Naturally, as a master networker, my friend would prefer that I speak with the CIO or CEO directly...

My personal expertise is long-term programs, typically for clients who have technical solutions (e.g. software) and prepared marketing materials. I'm a telemarketing guy, and don't have tools or budget to prepare expensive materials.

I would appreciate any ideas to help get this project off the ground quickly. Thanks in advance.
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  • Posted by telemoxie on Author
    Thanks, Vevolution - I agree with you. I had suggested that he target the seminar to Sales and Business Development types - they are much easier to reach and spend more time at seminars - or to lower level IT folks.

    I don't want my personal predjudices interfere with at attempt to do the best possible job for my friend and client.

    Maybe the best I can hope for is to put in a good faith effort to do what he has asked - but to also do something which works - and hope he sees the light over time. (His last seminar had one or two technical guys and a couple dozen business development folk, by the way... )

    The seminar topic will NOT be about my client's business - it is merly to create an audience for expaning networking opportunities among high income folk.

    He is offering a nice breakfast for free, by the way.

  • Posted by telemoxie on Author
    thinkmor - next seminar is February 10th. We are looking for a small number of senior folk.

    I have a good list of local CEOs - any idea where I can buy a small list of CIOs (e.g. 500 names, local area) ?

  • Posted on Accepted
    Is this seminar a fee based or free seminar?

    As mentioned above, cheap or no budget will mean you will have a difficult time reaching C-level executives.

    If your seminar is going to be Feb 10th, then you don't have much of a lead time.

    If it's free, they may sign up but not show up. If it's fee based, they won't have time to get company approval or authorization.

    I agree, C-level executives will pick and choose the events they attend pretty strictly. If you really want to market to them, you need to start earlier and spend more money.

    A targeted direct mail and email campaign followed up with telemarketing. The quality of the seminar brochure needs to be professional looking. If your friend is producing black & white paper brochures from Kinko's then he will need to invest a bit more for a C-level type brochure.

    Try looking at a marketing barter with a trade magazine, ask them if you can insert a brochure in exchange for a sponsorship of the seminar.
  • Posted by telemoxie on Author
    Okay, we all seem to agree that marketing folk are a better target. But I still need to put forth a best effort here. How can I best invite CEOs, CIOs, CTOs to a breakfast networking event, with minimal budget?

    Maybe a standard business letter ? Maybe a hand addressed, hand stamped, hand written invitation?
  • Posted by telemoxie on Author
    This is a free seminar - providing a nice breakfast, coffee, etc - right downtown - with a 20-30 minute somewhat technical presentation (typically by the CEO of an IT vendor). One concern my buddy has is that, since he's paying for a nice breakfast, he wants to attract top-level folks.
  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Accepted
    Here are some prior questions related to seminar attendance: - talks about using the gatekeeper to get in the door - an interesting quote here by a KHE user called Corporate Glue - "Before you get to the who, what, where and how much, it is important that you are clear about the WHY." Other here have mentioned this - you need to have a reason that provides value to the attendees to get them in the door. - talks about attendance rates off of lists, and once again talks about having the seminar be valuable to the attendees.
  • Posted on Member
    i am running my own event management company in chandigarh. My main problem is this that i am new in this field and client did not show his faith on me and they have already tied up with old companies. I don't know how to approach to the client, what to say , what to not, i m totally confused. Kindly suggest me some marketing strategies.

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