When conducting prospecting events, location selection is a vital piece of the marketing puzzle and can have a great influence on its success as well as failure. With that said, we know that the entire outcome of the event is not solely based on the location as other factors such as presentation, topic, demographics etc. are vital as well. But the location selection should not be taken lightly or discounted.
Impact of Demographics
When considering a location, we must take quite a few factors into consideration. First: What is the demographic and psychographics of your target audience? This is a factor because we want to make sure the location selection fits the demographic or is age appropriate in concept for the audience. For example, if you were going to have a young age demographic you would want something that is a fit to their lifestyle based on age. It might be an alternative location meeting room at an entertainment type of venue rather than a formal dining establishment. Not to say that younger demographics don’t like formal dining, but the goal is to have the location be part of the draw.
The Draw of the Location
The draw topic is an interesting one and there are a few different schools of thought. Too many times it has been said that advisors don’t like "plate lickers," but here is a different way of looking at that topic. If they didn’t come and have dinner, you would have most likely never been in front of them and they would have most likely never heard your message, thus you would have never had the opportunity to meet with them and determine if you both are a fit to move forward with the client/professional relationship. The goal of the marketing is to create a desire to come to your event. When they get your invitation, you want the chemical response of interest, arousal and curiosity.
Balance Interest with Accessibility
Another example is that for the younger demographic you may want to consider a destination type location, meaning a place they have interest in beyond your invitation. A place they have wanted to visit or experience before your marketing ever hit their door. The age demographic also forces us to take into consideration accessibility as well. For instance, if you are going to have a 65+ age demographic, you will most likely get attendees that have mobility limitations and an entrance with high volume or steep stairs could be a problem.
What is the Layout?
Next on the location checklist is room layout or design. The room layout and design is important on many levels. First, how many people can you seat comfortably in whatever format you are choosing to apply? If it’s a dinner event, can everyone sit comfortably and see the presenter without having to turn or move because they were seated with their back to the podium? Are the tables square or round? These are important details for both the audience and the speaker.
Visit the Location in Advance
You must go visit the location and check it out for yourself. You must see the layout and experience the location first hand. You can call and ask if this is a good location for your type of event, but do you honestly think the person that has the job of booking the meeting facilities at this location would tell you it isn’t good? Probably not. Everything matters, colors, lighting, acoustics, cleanliness, etc. Everything! If you are going to spend the time and money to do a live prospecting event, why would you leave anything to chance?
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