How to Host a Workshop That Doesn’t Break the Bank

May 12, 2016


Have you ever wanted to host a workshop but been afraid the cost of doing one will break the bank?

There’s no question that workshops can be a terrific way to attract clients and gain business but one of the main obstacles to hosting them is making them profitable.

There are all different types of workshops and events and many ways to include them in your business model. Let’s talk about all of the most common workshops and events and ways you can do them without breaking the bank.

Keep in mind, that once you’ve designed your Signature System and Signature Talk you can expand and contract it in and use it in any or all of the following.

Half Day Workshops

Half Day Workshops are typically about a 3-4 hour event. Just enough time to cover content your ideal client is struggling with, allow them to learn through exercises, have a hot seat to help someone create a breakthrough, show off your abilities as an expert, make an offer and network.

Offers to make from Half Day Workshops are typically no price or lower priced. So for example, I’ve often offered a complimentary Client Conversion Session (sales conversation) or a ticket to my 3 day event, Talk & Profit LIVE!  The first is no cost, the second (especially during the Early Bird stage) is a great offer.

Cost Saving Secrets

These events don’t have to cost a small fortune. Here are a few ways I’ve been able to host them without breaking the bank:

  1. Your venue doesn’t have to be expensive. Choose a no to low cost event space
  2. No alcohol. Offer very light refreshments, if any at all.
  3. Purchase your own overhead projector and screen vs. renting. It’s an upfront cost but if you’re hosting events frequently they’ll pay for themselves in no time
  4. Know your numbers. Factor in the cost of materials and event space into the cost of the ticket

Full Day Workshops

A Full Day Workshop is one that runs from about 9am-5pm. This type of event allows you even more time to spend with your attendees to offer more content and more value.

Typically these workshops will provide multiple segments for teaching, completing exercises, group shares and networking.

I’ve often included a lunch for everyone and or a VIP upgrade that includes lunch.

These types of events allow for you to make a higher offer. Remember, you’ve developed more like, know and trust with them because you’ve spent a full day together.

I’ve offered my Signature Talk Design VIP Intensives, Webinar Design VIP Intensives, Workshop Design Intensives, private coaching and my 6 month group coaching program from some of my Full Day Workshops.

Cost Saving Secrets

These events can be slightly more expensive especially if you decide to have more materials, a meal and or refreshments. So ways to keep costs contained are:

  1. Research many venues. Several event spaces and negotiate with the sales staff. Some of your guests may come in over night and need a room. The hotel may reduce the cost of the space if you can promise to fill a specific number of rooms. But be careful of room blocks. With just a few hotel rooms you shouldn’t need to get a block.
  2. Avoid tourist spots. Choose a space that’s not in a high-cost tourist attraction area (but still close to public transportation). These will be less expensive venues.
  3. Consider having one sponsor. This will allow for most of the costs to be covered, this way you won’t have to worry about incurring a loss.

3-Day Events

These are just as stated, 3 full days (sometimes even starting the night before with registration and or a kick off party). These mega events can break the bank, often because you’re reserving a room block, possibly including snacks, beverages or meals. Maybe you’ve decided to have audio/visual, video, a photographer, etc.

With 3-day events you’ve got a lot of moving parts and with the moving parts you’ve got a lot more expenses.

But 3-day events can be the perfect way give your all to your audience. Like in my event, Talk & Profit LIVE! I spent three full days covering speaking, selling and business structure to create a lucrative, lifestyle business. Each day covers specific content to help attendees gain a great deal of value and support to move their business forward.

Offers from 3-day events can be priced even higher, mainly because you’re spending a great deal of time with your attendees, delivering a lot of value. I’ve offered my Expansion Coaching Club Mastermind program from my live event.

Cost Saving Secrets

Over the years I’ve watched as many entrepreneurs I know design 3-day events that cost then my kid’s college tuition. I’m not sure about you, but I have no interest in running an event that’s going to cause me to break the bank. So here are some of my secrets to keeping the costs down on these events:

  1. Start early. To design, fill and host a 3-day event, you’re going to want to start a minimum of 6 months ahead of time.
  2. Hire an event planner. One of the best investments you can make to support you with your event is hiring someone who can work with the hotel, handle the details and coordinate everything for you. I’m fortunate to have an event planner who specializes in marketing, sponsorships and events. You’ll get to see her in action if you come to my 3-day event.  
  3. Have more sponsors. Now I’m a fan of having sponsors who are aligned with your brand. So as you’re putting together your sponsorship wish list, make sure you’re looking for alignment.
  4. Negotiate your hotel contract. Don’t assume that the quote is the quote, work with the hotel to get the best rates.
  5. Create an event experience in alignment with your brand (not what everyone else does) some events have budgets of $50,000-$100,000. That’s going to take lots of sponsors, lots of ticket sales, and likely a lot of stress. My events are designed to be more workshop style vs. production style, so it means you come and get stuff done. I also don’t want to have them videotaped, therefore that’s one less high cost item.

Before you host your workshops, think about where they belong in your marketing strategy. What type of event you want to host and what you need to know before you host one.

Don’t be afraid to do them, if you plan early and create the right strategy they can be incredibly fabulous and profitable events.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Would you like to host a workshop or event? What do you feel you need to know before you do? If you’ve had a Half, Full or 3-Day event, what would you say are some of your “don’t break the bank secrets”? Let me know in the comments below.

Jeannie Spiro: Business Coach & Strategist

Hey there!

I’m Jeannie Spiro, business coach and strategist for woman coaches and service-providers. Want to make more money in your business? Here’s how I can help.

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