- Decide who to invite
Put together an invitation list from:
- Your current book of business and their family and friends
- Referrals (ask existing clients to bring a guest)
- Business acquaintances (doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers and others from your community)
- Employee groups
- Associations, clubs and organizations in your community
- Plan the date, time and location
Think about the types of people you are inviting and the time of the day or year when they are most likely to be free. Here are some things to consider:
- The best days of the week tend to be Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Midday may work best for retirees.
- Business owners are usually accessible for breakfast or lunch sessions.
For locations, consider space at a local library, community center, school, college campus, office building, restaurant or hotel. Try to find a convenient location that will be easy to access and make attendees feel comfortable.
Also keep in mind:
- The ideal group size is 20 to 30 people.
- Plan ahead for audio/visual needs and room set-up.
- Depending on the time, you may want to serve a meal or light refreshments.
- Promote your event
Send invitations to your guests three weeks before the event. If mailing invitations, consider addressing the envelopes by hand. Ask guests to bring a friend or their significant other to spread your reach. Consider using social media. Follow up with registrants a week before your event to confirm attendance and begin building rapport.
- Present the workshop
On workshop day, help educate participants and showcase your ability to address their financial planning needs. Some best practices:
- Meet and greet attendees at the door, and thank them for coming. Getting to know the crowd before speaking can ease your anxiety and theirs.
- Involve your audience. Ask open-ended questions to get people to engage in a dialogue with you.
- Avoid standing behind a podium as it can be seen as a barrier between you and the audience.
- At the end, ask your guests to fill out the evaluation form (BB11177) (PDF), and encourage them to indicate whether they would like to schedule a complimentary consultation and, if so, what they’d like to discuss.
- Follow up
Contact attendees interested in a follow-up discussion within 48 hours to thank them for coming, and be sure to offer a complimentary consultation. Consider sending a handwritten note. You can also contact guests who couldn’t attend to offer a one-on-one meeting or invite them to your next workshop.