Get Seminar Attendees Back to Their Seats

Tired of Seminar Breaks Running Longer than Scheduled?
Use These 3 Powerful Tactics to Herd Seminar Attendees Back to Their Seminar Seats on Time

By Jenny Hamby, the Seminar Marketing Pro™
Certified Guerrilla Marketer and Direct-Response Copywriter

Effectively encouraging prospects to get their butts back into their seats is critical to your schedule. If every break runs over by ten minutes, you could be an hour or more behind schedule by the end of your day … or be forced to sacrifice valuable content just for the sake of ending your seminar on time.

Here are three tricks you can try to effectively encourage seminar attendees to scoot themselves back into their seats by the time you want to get restarted:

Before you start the break, have everyone synchronize their watches. It’s a natural tendency to tell seminar attendees the time you’d like them to be back in their seats. But “Please be back in your seminar seat by 10:30” will mean different things to different people, depending on what time their watches read. Some seminar attendees will think you’re giving them a 9-minute break; other might think they’re getting 17 minutes to chit chat outside the seminar meeting room. So start by telling everyone, “My watch reads 9:45…so let’s be back in our seminar seats in 15 minutes, at 10 a.m.”
Herd seminar attendees back to their seats. When running his popular BigSeminar Internet marketing events, Armand Morin sends staff members out among the networking seminar attendees with cowbells, New Years noisemakers and other attention-grabbing devices.

Seminar attendees are quickly trained to start moving back to the seminar room when they hear the bells…and even when they don’t go back to their seats, they are very consciously choosing to stay out in the hallway for more networking; there are no claims of “Gosh, I didn’t know the seminar started again.”
This tip again comes from Armand, and it’s the most powerful tactic I’ve ever seen used for getting seminar attendees back to their seats on time: Bribe them. Give every attendee an individually numbered ticket, and at the start of each session of your seminar, draw a number for a giveaway. Armand gives away popular electronic doodads like headsets and voice recognition software. But you can also give away educational items from your bookshelves, such as your books, audio programs, and even other experts’ products that you are finished using.
Your own respect of the schedule will strongly influence your seminar attendees’ willingness to be back in their seats on time. If you announce and demonstrate throughout the event that you are committed to starting and ending on time, your seminar attendees will be more willing to show you the same respect. And they’ll do their part by being in their seminar seats by your deadline.


guerrilla-marketerJenny Hamby is a Certified Guerrilla Marketer and direct-response copywriter who helps speakers, coaches and consultants fill seminar seats and make more money from their own seminars and workshops. Her on- and offline direct marketing campaigns have netted response rates as high as 84 percent … on budgets as small as $125.

For 31 of her most powerful seminar marketing secrets, click here.