Roundtable Dinners – The Seminar Alternative: Part 1

There is an alternative to seminars that eliminates the need for formal public speaking and presentations, and actually provides better results. It’s called a Roundtable Dinner™, and here’s how it works.

You have a low-pressure dinner with 3-4 pre-screened buying units that are truly interested in hearing what you have to say. You initiate a discussion revolving around the topic you wish to present to the group (and which they are expecting to discuss already). You discuss. Everyone gets involved, enjoys the night, and finds the information helpful. Then, you follow-up with them to close the sale later, which they are happy to do because you did not pressure them, but rather truly helped them with a problem they were facing.

Simple as pie. Effective as anything you’ve ever tried before! In this article, I’m going to walk you through the pre-dinner steps you need to take to host a successful Roundtable Dinner™. Let’s jump in.

Step One: The List is the Key

The wrong key leaves you stuck on the outside, wishing you could get to all the great sales behind the door. The right key gets you inside. For Roundtable Dinners™, the list you promote to makes all the difference. So spend an adequate amount of time researching who your ideal prospect is. It takes a comprehensive examination of the area’s demographics and geography to understand and build a customized list that will be receptive and provide results. At RocketPrint & Mail, this is the very first thing we do with customers and prospects, because it is the crux of marketing success.

If you’ve worked with a direct mail marketing company before and weren’t interviewed within an inch of your life, chances are you were disappointed with the results. Coming up with the correct mailing list for an event is no simple task. You have to roll up your sleeves and fully evaluate all of the available information.

Whether it’s a seminar or a Roundtable Dinner™ makes no difference when it comes to lists. If you invite the wrong people, you waste valuable time and money and wind up with a low return on your investment. That’s why we’ve included this service as part of our Roundtable Dinners™ Marketing Program. It takes work and expertise to make a marketing program effective there are no shortcuts. We do the due diligence, investing the time and effort to customize each program and maximize the return on your investment.

Step Two: THE VENUE

Location, location, location! Here’s where the research and evaluation from Step One come into play again. The venue has to match both the demographics and the location of the target audience. The type of restaurant depends on what you are presenting and to whom you are presenting it. There is no “one size fits all” solution, but there are a couple points to keep in mind.

  • Choose a venue that will provide a pre-set menu. Many restaurants will print a specific limited menu just for your dinner, but you’ll need to work this with them beforehand, obviously. Doing this eliminates the awkwardness of prospects not knowing how expensive they can order without being rude.
  • Predetermine the table location. You don’t want to be stuck in a very loud section of the restaurant where it is a struggle to hear each other. That is a nightmare! If possible, get a private room. This maintains the public feel of the dinner, but gets you the quiet you need to discuss freely.
  • Work out the timing of when orders are taken and when meals are served ahead of time with the venue staff. This limits interruptions and potential awkward moments.

Step Three: THE INVITATION

Sending the right kind of invitations at the right time and prequalifying the diners will determine whether your night is a boon or a bust. The first thing to do is match the style of the invite to the type of prospect you are trying to attract. High class? Middle class? Men? Women? Couples? All of this goes into the design of the invite, because if the invite doesn’t resonate with the prospect, they’ll pas over it for something that does.

We can help you do everything you need to get your guest to the dinner table, including providing good sales copy and invite design. The copy should include a list of specific investment-related questions that will weed out unqualified prospects. Our resident experts have conducted hundreds of seminars and Roundtable Dinners™, and we know the whole formula from determining the correct list and venue to pre-qualifying the diners so that you speak only with truly qualified buyers. Our pros will help you make this new program succeed, even if you’ve never done anything like this before!

To get started with a Roundtable Dinner Marketing Program for your business, call 1-800-442-0112. And don’t forget to check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this article series for more tips on planning your Roundtable Dinner™!

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation's most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing–all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC's "Your Business." PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership. Find Joy on Google+

If you would like to interview Joy or book her as a speaker, please email joyspeak@postcardmania.com or call 1-800-442-0112 ext. 281.

Speak to a Marketing Consultant 1-800-442-0112
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