by Jenny Hamby
One common question faced by new seminar promoters is determining what day of the week they should hold their event. Here are some points to consider as you make important scheduling decisions.
If your attendees are primarily employees whose employers are footing the bill for their participation, hold the event during the workweek. In this scenario, attending your seminar is training, which most participants would reasonably expect to occur during the workweek.
When narrowing in on specific days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday tend to be better than Mondays and Fridays. If Friday is the last or only day of your seminar, be forewarned that the promise of a relaxing weekend will start calling by mid-afternoon. Don’t be surprised if participants’ attention starts fading in the afternoon or if some attendees even leave early.
Holding your seminar on a Friday may hurt your registration numbers a bit: If participants have weekend plans, they may not want to commit to sitting in a seminar until the end of the workday, especially if their weekend plans include travel.
Mondays also pose a challenge in that it’s the start of the workweek. This can impact registration numbers, as some participants will not want to be out of the office on the first, often busy, day of the week.
Fridays and Mondays pose an added challenge if your attendees must travel a great distance to get to your seminar. If they must dip into weekend time to get to or from your event, they may think twice about attending. To counteract this objection, hold your seminar in a tourist-friendly city and sell the destination. For example, Dr. Ralph Elliott’s upcoming Continuing Education Marketing Conference is being held on a Monday and Tuesday (August 30-31, http://www.clemsonconferences.com/). By holding the seminar in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, close to Lake Michigan, shopping, museums and other attractions, he’s leveraging the city’s appeal to attract participants to that particular event.
If, on the other hand, your audience consists primarily of people who can’t take time off during the workweek, test holding your event over a weekend. For example, many business owners don’t want to be away from their companies during the week. Another common example is people who are attending your seminar out of their personal interest vs. having their employers pay for their registration. Needing to take vacation time to attend a seminar may be enough to keep someone from registering for your event.
Whether Saturday or Sunday is best for your audience is something to test. A Sunday seminar may conflict with some of your audiences’ religious practices. However, some promoters are finding that Sundays are better because their prospects are busy with family activities on Saturdays.
A good way to identify which days are best for your seminars is to ask your audience. Send a poll to your mailing list and ask them to vote for their preference. Better yet, if you have specific dates in mind, ask for their input about which dates would work best.
As you move forward, be sure to take notes about which days you are scheduling your seminar and how many registrations you generate for each event. Over time, you may be able to spot a distinct winner in terms of which days are best for your topic and your audience.
About the Author
Jenny Hamby is a Certified Guerrilla Marketer and copywriter who helps consultants, speakers, and coaches promote their own seminars, workshops, teleseminars and webinars. Get your free copy of her e-course, 31 Secrets to Jumpstart Your Seminar Promotions.