Wellness workshops are an excellent marketing tool for health and wellness coaches.
It positions you as an authority in your field, and it also gives attendees an opportunity to get a feel for your coaching style, before signing up as a client.
Creating a workshop from scratch can feel overwhelming – not only do you need to get the content together, but you also have to plan out all the logistics and sell tickets.
To help get you started, here is a guide for planning your first (or next) workshop and live event.
Tips for Having a Successful Wellness Workshop
Having a successful live, in-person event requires a little more work than a webinar but they are much more profitable and fun. Sure, they take a bit of planning, but if you follow these tips you’ll be well on your way.
Have a Clear Objective
Your first need is to have a clear objective for the event. That is the only way you can successfully market it to your audience as well as potential JV partners and sponsors. People can see when something is well considered or not.
Find JV Partners
A joint venture partner (or two or three) can help you pull off a much larger and well attended event than if you did it all alone. The JV partners should be people who offer complementary product and services to yours rather than direct competitors.
Hire an Event Planner
The cost of an event planner is more than worth it when you consider all the little things that need to be done to ensure your event goes smoothly. An experienced event planner can actually save you money by helping prevent costly mistakes.
Once you know that the event is going to happen and you’ve sold a few tickets, it’s time to recruit some volunteers. The best volunteers are those who have signed up for information about your event but for whatever reason cannot afford to go but fit within your demographic.
Well, market wherever your audience lives, plays, works and socializes. Your marketing should be directed and specific in order to get a good response. You can have Google Hangouts, webinars, articles, blog posts, eReports and more to promote your event. Everyone involved should be promoting the event with these methods. Also consider advertising your event in the local paper to attract new people who might not find you online.
During your marketing, find ways to collect leads because the people you market to via email directly are more likely to sign up for your event than people who find your information in other ways. Consider allowing affiliates to market your event too.
If you can land a well-known sponsor for your event it will make your event seem even more impressive when you say “sponsored by xyz corporation” if that corporation or entity is well known and trusted by your audience.
Choose the Right Venue
One of the most important decisions you’ll make is where your even will occur. Ensure that the space is right for the size of your event. You don’t want people to feel too crowded, or as if they are swallowed up by the venue. You also want the style of the event to fit in with the style your audience has in terms of them worrying about what to wear and how to present themselves.
Get Technical Help
Even if you’re great with technology, monitors, computers, microphones and whatnot you really want someone else to take care of these issues. You want to be a personality at the event, not the technical person because it will take away from some of the fun for you. You’ll have enough things to do as it is.
Outsource The Content Creation
It is not necessary for you to actually write all the workshop materials from scratch! Clients don’t sign up with you just because you have good content. They sign up with you because of how you coach. Once you have decided on the topic for your workshop, there is nothing wrong with using ‘white label’ content for your workshop, as long as it is good quality! (Contact us to learn about how we can help you create the content for your next workshop!)
Practice the Performance
Your speech, the order of the talks, the use of the technology and so forth needs to be completed on site at the event location when possible to avoid any issues with lighting, technology or even walking up a step or two to get to the podium. This will make you all look more professional and avoid mishaps.
It’s been mentioned more than once in this list, but that’s how important it is. You should ask speakers to send you a copy of their presentation prior to the event so that if something happens you’ll have a copy, they’ll have a copy, and put a copy in the cloud just in case. But do not assume the internet will work. Have back up plans.
Allow for Breaks
Don’t forget to put realistic breaks into your event so that your participants do not get too fatigued or uncomfortable. Even interesting talks can put people to sleep if they are uncomfortable, hungry, or need to use the restroom.
Ensure the Temperature is Comfortable
A very important component of a successful event is how the environment feels to the participants. You don’t want it to be too cold or too warm in the location. If there is an issue, ask it to be fixed on behalf of your guests.
Serve Light, Healthy Food
This may be a given, for a health and wellness workmanship, but it also important to keep in mind to serve food that isn’t too heavy. You really want them to focus on your message and not their full and over-fed stomachs. Give options for different types of people. You can survey those who purchased a ticket to ensure the food choice fits most people.
Good planning and plenty of forethought will help ensure your event is a huge success. Not only that, but you’ll be able to create a profitable and fun outing for everyone involved.
Workshop Planning: Understanding Your Audience
The first rule of creating products, a new service offering, or of planning events is to understand your audience. This is true no matter what business or market you are in. You must be connected with the pulse of your audience to know in advance whether or not they can afford your event, want and need what you offer, and can take advantage of the opportunity.
Learning about your audience will also help you overcome many objections such as cost, subject matter, location, and time.
Your Audience’s Budget
If you know your audience well, you’ll know what type of disposable income they have. This allows you to plan and price your event accordingly. Once you know what they can afford, you can create a realistic budget for your event based on your audience’s ability to pay.
The Topics They Care About
Knowing your audience will help you pick just the right topic and theme for your live, in-person event. Remember, you need to make them want to leave their home to listen to your subject matter. Even if you have a very niche focus as a wellness coach (for example, gut health), understand what angle to approach the topic with.
Locations They’ll Love
Understanding who your audience is also helps you know what locations they’d love to visit. Even though in most cases people don’t see much of the area they’re in when they attend an event, the location still matters. Will it be too cold, too hot, too exotic, too costly? Only knowing your audience well can help you determine which is best.
At the Right Time
The other concern that knowing your audience can help clarify is the time factor. When an event should be held – which time of year, which days of the week or over a weekend – can all be answered by a thorough understanding of your audience.
Knowing your audience will help you overcome any objections they may have to attending a live event. Use your knowledge to create a live event that they’d want to attend, can afford to attend, and are able to attend. To learn more about your audience, it’s important that you go where they go (online and off), survey them, and listen to what they have to say.
You can study your audience via social media, free in-person meet ups and webinars. Leave no stone unturned to learn more about your audience so that you can put on a live event that is both profitable and fun for all involved, including yourself.
Finding and Hiring Help for Your In-Person Live Event
When you make the commitment to have a live, in-person event, you’re going to need help. It doesn’t matter if you plan your event in your own home town or if you’re traveling to a faraway location, hiring an event planner and others will save you time, money and headaches. In addition, you can always find people who will volunteer to help in exchange for a free event ticket and other perks.
Before you start asking for volunteers or hiring event planners, it’s important that you understand what your objectives are. Important considerations include what types of equipment will be used, what subjects will be covered at the event, as well as what your budget is. Once you know those things, it’s time to start getting help.
Some of the types of help you might want include:
This may be someone who is your virtual assistant who is happy to attend the event to help out in person. Usually you will cover their travel, event ticket, and other expenses associated with getting there. If your VA doesn’t want to do it, or can’t, look for someone who has experience helping out at other live events in your market.
Within your audience are people who would love to attend the event but may not be able to afford the cost of the ticket. Many times you’ll find people who will be happy to take on tasks such as manning the registration desk, ensuring that guests are comfortable, answering questions or directing traffic in exchange for a free ticket.
A professional event planner is always an important component of putting on a successful live event. Some venues offer a staff planner as part of their event packages but you can also find event planners online and maybe even among people you already know. In general, finding an event planner that lives near or has worked with the location in question is the best choice.
A great thing to consider is having a photographer and videographer on hand to record the event for future promotions. You may even be able to get a discount if you agree to let the photographer make a little money on the side by offering professional headshot packages at a discount to attendees.
Content Creator / Workshop Writer
As we mentioned above, it is not necessary for you to write all the workshop materials from scratch! Find a team or a writer who understands your particular area of expertise to create the content for you. Another option is to use ‘white label’ content and edit and brand it to suit your audience. (Contact us to learn about how we can help you create the content for your next workshop!)
Don’t forget that you’ll have technical issues and equipment that will need a professional touch. Some event venues have people on staff for that, but do not make assumptions; ensure that you have the right tech assistance there.
Many venues offer choices of menus and food options, but if yours does not then you’ll need to find someone to cater your event. The more you keep your guests comfortable and fed the more you can keep them involved with your event directly. Tip: Don’t feed them heavy foods that make them sleepy.
Hiring people and asking for volunteers for your event should be done early. You’ll be glad you got the extra help. Don’t try to do everything yourself if you want to have a successful live event and have fun too.
Earning Money Before, During and After Your Live Event
The best part of planning and hosting a live event is that you’ll have so many opportunities to earn revenue. You can make money on ticket sales, private 1-on-1 client sign ups, t-shirts and premium swag, books, advanced product sales, and even pre-sale tickets for future events. In addition, you can sell recordings of the event itself to attendees and non-attendees alike.
Making the most of your event’s earning power does take a bit of planning, though.
Be sure all your promotions are designed to collect leads. You can do so with online webinars, guest blog posts, free reports and other valuable information.
Separate those who bought tickets from those who did not. You can still market to the people who did not attend the event but who signed up for a free webinar or other resource. These people may be interested in many things leading up to the event as well as after, such as sponsorships, event recordings or other products and services.
Believe it or not, small and large businesses alike are happy to sponsor a well-planned event. Even smaller events can attract great sponsors. The important thing is to show what you can offer in terms of return on investment. In other words, “what’s in it for them?”
Both those who attend the event as well as those who did not will enjoy the ability to purchase audio or video recordings. You can sell them less expensively to those who were present, or offer them as an incentive to purchase tickets early. Afterwards, market the recordings to those who weren’t able to attend live.
If your event has workshops with limited seating or which run simultaneously, people will miss some of the workshops in person. Selling mini recordings will solve the problem of some attendees not being able to go a particular workshop.
Checklists, Tools & Premiums
Help attendees and others to get the most out of your event by offering checklists, tools and other additional materials. Even items that just help them remember, such as t-shirts, mugs and pictures sell well.
Don’t stop when the event is done, send follow ups to everyone including those who did and did not attend. Everyone should be sent immediate notification of future events or products and services related to the event.
Events can keep earning long after the venue is cleaned up and the lights have been turned off. In fact, with event recordings you can earn an income from the event years down the road by re-purposing the recordings, products and tools in a variety of ways.
Attracting Sponsors for Your Live Event
There are many different places you can locate potential sponsors for your events. You can approach customers, vendors, complementary businesses, or even corporations to become sponsors for your event.
Know Your Audience
With everything you do, understanding who your audience is will help you plan better events based on the needs and interests of your audience. By knowing your market, you’ll know what they can afford, what types of products and services they’re interested in, how much they’re willing to pay for the event and even what location is best.
Craft a Compelling Platform
It’s important that sponsors understand how your relationship with your audience will translate into sales if they sponsor your event. If you can demonstrate extended relationships with the people who will attend your event, then you can make a more compelling argument about why a sponsorship might offer them a great return on their investment.
Demonstrate High Integrity
No matter where you are in the process of your business or live events planning, continue to demonstrate that your business represents very high integrity. Remember that anything you do and say, especially online, will always be there. How you deal with customer complaints, how you answer email, and how fast you do what you say you will do are all important when trying to get sponsors for your event.
Plan Your Event Around Sponsorships
If you can focus events around sponsorships, you can almost guarantee that you’ll always have sponsors for every event that you do. If you give sponsors some control over the event in terms of naming them or choosing locations, you will be assured easier and faster agreements in the future.
Write a Directed Proposal
Every contact with a potential sponsor should be written for and sent to a specific person. Don’t write just one template and mass send it to many. Instead, write each proposal to a particular sponsor focusing on how the sponsorship will benefit them specifically.
Planning and getting sponsors for your live events goes hand-in-hand. Sponsorships can not only add to the bottom line by increasing the revenue on your event but it can also add to the success of the event itself. The attendees will leave having a bigger and better experience due to the sponsorships, and the sponsors will be happy for having connected with the attendees.