Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Hosting a Seminar

You’ve heard that you need to host seminars as part of your marketing strategy, but if you haven’t done one before you may not know exactly the approach you should take for making it a success.

You know that it is a way to generate new clients. However, if you focus solely on using a seminar as a lead generator, you may fall short of your goal.

The seminar should just be part of your process. You want to educate your potential clients. It’s something they probably don’t think they need, but you know that they do. Giving them new information will give them something to reflect on, and to reach out to you about in the near future.

By providing potential clients with valuable information, you are more likely to retain them and increase profitability for your firm. That is also the reason why you want to be certain when planning a seminar that you don’t make one of these mistakes that could sabotage your success:

Mistake #1: Failing to Deliver a Valuable Proposition.

Not knowing your value proposition is one of the biggest reasons that seminars fail. Avoid this mistake. You need to know your value propositions in order to present them effectively.

Know what motivates your market and then send the message effectively to your audience. Teach them how to protect their audience from long-term care costs, save their home, and more. This will result in seminars that are well attended and additional appointments in the near future.

As part of the value, consider waiving the meeting fee. Make sure your attendees understand what you are talking to them about. Tell stories about experiences you have had but be sure to keep client information confidential. Also be certain that your staff members understand your value propositions as they will be communicating with potential clients before and after the seminar.

Mistake #2: Failing to Establish Goals and Create a Budget.

When it comes to hosting a seminar, you need to do more than just put it on the calendar and fill the seats. You need to know how much time to invest so that you get a return on your investment.

To calculate this, you need to know the number of participants that will likely schedule a meeting after the seminar, as well as the percentage of attendees that will likely retain your services. Take into consideration the cost of your seminar and marketing expenses, then have a profit goal for each seminar.

Mistake #3: Failing to Put the Right People in the Right Place.

You need to have all of the right people in place to make your seminar a success. Know who is responsible for preparing all the materials, who is responsible for planning the dates of the seminars, and who is taking care of the administrative tasks.

Be sure that someone is in charge of knowing how many seats you will have available at your seminar and who is responsible for enrollment and filling those seats. And don’t forget the post seminar follow up.

Someone needs to be placed in charge of following up and getting those attendees to schedule a consultation if they didn’t do so at the seminar. Any one who fails to do their job correctly, from setting the date to following up after the seminar could drastically impact how well your results are.

Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong Location for Your Seminar

Especially since you are likely catering to an older crowd, choosing the wrong location can be catastrophic for your seminar. When choosing the location, first consider your budget.

Common places for hosting a seminar are your office, a senior center, library, Chamber of Commerce, or a hotel. Some of the places will have a lot of walk-in attendees, and others won’t. You need to be prepared for that to happen. Be sure that the location you choose has good lighting, is handicap accessible, has ample parking, and plenty of seating.

The location of your seminar can make or break how well it is attended, so don’t overlook this seemingly minor detail.

Mistake #5: Failing to Have Adequate Materials

Be sure that the materials you plan to hand out at the seminar demonstrate the value of the information you are providing as well as the value of your services.

Consider materials that will benefit the target audience, but also those that may be attending with them such as caregivers, family, or other loved ones. Be sure your attendees have a way to take down notes, such as notepads and ink pens. Provide a personal and financial information sheet for them so they know what they need to start working on before they have a consultation with you at your office.

Mistake #6: Failing to Present Appropriate Stories

You need to tell stories to engage your audience, but you also need to know how to tell those stories and which stories you shouldn’t share at all. Some stories will turn people away.

Verify that you are confident in the legal principles that the story you are sharing will convey. Know which slides of your presentation match with the stories that you will be sharing and connect the story to a legal concept that you want to demonstrate.

Be comfortable with the delivery of your story and make it personal. Share your emotions and include a purpose to the story so that people understand why you are sharing it.

Mistake #7: Failing to Follow Up

This one could really wreck the outcome of your seminar. Follow up begins as soon as your presentation is over, so don’t rush everyone out the door or cut your seminar off too short.

Close your seminar properly by giving attendees time to ask questions. Offer a place in the back where people can go to schedule a one on one consultation with you at a later date.

If part of your process is calling clients after the seminar is over. Let them know when you will be calling and commit to keeping that promise. Keep in mind that the longer you wait to follow up, the less likely a person will be to schedule a consultation.


Plan ahead for the best seminar results. Understanding what goes into preparing and planning for a seminar is one of the most important aspects of hosting your own seminar.

Preparing ahead of time for the date, location, and what will happen during and after the seminar are all key for getting the best return on your investment.

At Bambiz, we work with elder law and estate planning firms and have extensive experience in developing social media marketing strategies unique to your firm, location, and potential client base.

To learn more about how we can help grow your business using online marketing, schedule a free 15-minute call with us.

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