FREE Events? Is there such a thing as a ‘free’ lunch?

There are mixed views around attending FREE Training events or seminars, and having
attended a few myself, understandably so. The quality of the presenters and the quality of the content can vary significantly, as can your experience.

Let’s face it, FREE events are all about marketing. You’re not stupid. You know that. So, when you sign up to attend a FREE event, you know that at some point, the business delivering the event are going to ‘sell’ or promote something. That’s what’s in it for them. What’s in it for you, is that you have the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ at no cost other than the investment of your time.

Now, if you’re anything like me with a busy life, time is precious. My time is extremely valuable to me so, if I am going to attend a FREE event, I want to be sure that I’m going to get a return on my investment. I want to know that it’s going to be worth my while.

So, when considering attending a FREE event, the first thing you need to do is be clear about the purpose for which you are attending. What are YOU wanting to get out of the day? Once you are clear about this, check that that is what you will be getting! There’s nothing worse than sitting through something, wishing you hadn’t bothered.

Secondly, research the company and/or the presenters. Does their background and expertise support your objectives? Use the internet for starters. You’ll be surprised at how
much you can find out. After all, you wouldn’t want to attend a food seminar specialising in sausages, if you ran a vegetarian restaurant. Whilst they may offer some vegetarian options, my guess would be that these wouldn’t be their specialism and they probably wouldn’t be in a position to answer any vegetarian specific questions at any depth. You want to be sure that your facilitators understand your needs, can relate to your world and speak your language!

Now when it comes to the selling part, for me, there are two distinct differences in approach. One approach is for the organisers to hold their audience hostage and not let anyone leave the room until they have signed up to their services and the second is to allow people to make up their own minds on the product, based on the experience that they have just had. These differences result in one of two final impressions. The first is a feeling of being SOLD to and the second, a feeling of being INFORMED. I know which one I prefer.

Our approach to our FREE events are based on what we believe our clients want and appreciate.  Our sessions are value packed and informative and it is evident from the feedback that we have received on them that our participants truly appreciate what we offer. What we deliver on our free sessions is a true reflection of the services that we offer
(what you see is what you get). We like to think that we treat people the way that we like to be treated, with honesty and integrity and respect for individual choice. If, at the end of the session, what we offer is not for you, that’s ok, at least you’ll be making a well informed decision. And if it is, then you can be confident in any further investment in us that you make.

So, the answer to the question I believe is “yes”. If at the end of any FREE session you feel sufficiently informed to make a confident decision, regardless of whether that is to invest further or not, then it was worth attending. Remember to check out the menu, check out the chef and enjoy your free lunches…

Posted on July 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

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