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Marketing Edge

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Friday, December 01, 2006

New business through seminars: worldwide perspectives

This podcast is a demonstration of several things that I believe are important to increasing interaction within a digital community. In this case, it's the digital community of marketers and communicators.

In this episode, you'll hear a listener's marketing challenge about conducting seminars and increasing attendance. The question comes from Ben Figgis of the Qatar Science and Technology Park. Ben conducts seminars around the world, educating companies on the benefits of Qatar's technology and scientific assets. His work is designed to encourage companies to establish offices at the park.

Today's Marketing Edge episode addresses Ben's questions with insight and comments from folks around the world – three different continents, to be exact. We're bringing some global marketing perspective to this discussion on the value of seminars as a marketing tactic.

Kent Kedl, executive director of a China strategy consultancy called Technomic Asia, says executives in China love seminars and that they are a vital component of the marketing mix in that country.

Mark Mitchell of the UK-based marketing and PR firm Pattison Mitchell says Europeans are much too pressed for time to be attending seminars just for the sake of exploring a topic. There must be a strong, clear value proposition for them to physically attend any meeting.

And yours truly, Albert Maruggi, provides the U.S. perspective on using seminars as a marketing tactic, covering the two categories of seminars: pitching vs. informational.

Each contributor gives ideas on how to determine whether seminars are appropriate for the market, a few ideas on how to position them, and some promotion tactics.

Show Notes:

0:00 - 4:30 – Show setup, driving interaction on podcasts and blogs, how to get your questions answered on the podcast.

4:30 – Situation description by Ben Figgis of the Qatar Science and Technology Park

6:30 – China perspective on seminars from Kent Kedl of Technomic Asia

11:30 – European perspective on seminars, which is very different than in China, according to Mark Mitchell of Pattison Mitchell

18:30 – U.S. perspective about seminars, which is a bit mixed, but nonetheless, it is still a difficult proposition for a company to conduct successful seminars on its own

Total running time: 28:31

We invite your comments on these and other podcasts. There are a number of ways to comment:
Interaction is critical to social media, and we want to drive valuable discussion on our blog. So for every comment we receive – whether it's audio we play back in a podcast, written on this blog or yelled at us after banging on our door – Provident Partners will donate a can of food to a local food shelf. Our financial budget for this effort is $100 per month, so let us hear what you have to say!


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