Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. My corollary is that when you are promoting a seminar, the chances of something going wrong increase exponentially with the size of your event and how much you have the results of your promotions at stake.
Think of one of my copywriting clients whose seminar brochure disappeared sometime after being dropped off at the post office. My client had been promoting this particular event for years. He knew from experience that all he needed to do to fill the room was mail a brochure.
So when the phone, which usually rings after a brochure has been dropped, was deathly silent, he knew something was seriously wrong.
Phone calls to several key clients confirmed the worst: that the brochure, which we had spent weeks reworking, never made it to their clients’ mailboxes. Now the seminary, his biggest source of income for the year, was in danger of being a failure.
Instead of complaining about his bad luck, the client immediately switched to Plan B. He ordered more brochures, arranged another mailing, and called the phones to get records.
Murphy’s Law is not always presented in such a dramatic way. But it doesn’t hurt to formulate a Plan B for most scenarios. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the worst:
- Use first class mail if you can afford the expense. Third-class mail is more likely to be lost (even if the post office doesn’t support it).
- Don’t rely on a single submission to do all your promotional work.
- The more times and in different ways you contact prospects, the more likely you are to succeed … and the less effect a “missed” email will have on you.
- Stay in touch with your suppliers. If it looks like a supplier will miss a deadline, which will ruin the rest of your promotional program, you want to have enough time to hire someone else to finish the job.
- Get to your meeting room early to make sure it’s set up exactly the way you specified. You don’t want to rearrange the tables when attendees start showing up.
- Make sure you have the names and phone numbers of the key contact people at your hotel (or any facility hosting your event) so you know who to call if you need help.
- Bring copies of your brochures with you so you can get extra packages ready for attendees if you run out … or if the packages you send from your office go missing.
- Know where the emergency exits are. And share this information during the opening “cleanup” announcements rather than waiting until an emergency situation arises to try to give directions.
Remember, if something can go wrong, it will go wrong, especially when marketing and producing a seminar. Prepare a Plan B (and even C) to make sure you are ready for any mishap that comes your way.