Reprinted from The Woman's MoneyPaper

How to Turn Your Ideas Into Money

By Presenting Seminars -- Part Four

by Rene Gnam

EDITOR�S NOTE: Like never before, our country has an information glut with far too much material to absorb on new technology, personal achievements, business education, keeping abreast of change. The solution is intensive seminars of one or more days where an attendee can get more useful information than in a college course. Millions pay high fees to attend. They constantly search for new seminars to expand their horizons. Can you profit by this exploding interest?

In this series of informative articles, consultant Rene Gnam takes you through the basics of entering the high-pay world of seminaring.

A foremost direct response advertising consultant, Rene Gnam presents over 50 seminars a year and creates the advertising for many seminar sponsors. From his Florida office, he directs seminar marketing around the world and is deemed an expert on scientific analysis and projection of results. He has written two advertising books, several portfolios, recorded his techniques on audio cassettes, and recently presented 12 television programs on direct response advertising.


Okay, you've decided that seminar presentations may be for you, and your next logical questions is:

Do you need a staff?

Not at the beginning.

To start, get almost everything done outside, by pros. Be your own secretary/receptionist/negotiator. But if you're on someone else's payroll, you have a problem with telephone registrations for your seminars. Four solutions:

  1. If your seminar helps your employer's business, ask if your regular secretary can handle those phone registrations.

  2. Hire an outside phone answering service, but recognize that they have tons of turnover in personnel.

  3. Have calls routed to an intelligent relative or friend who is always home.

  4. Use an outside seminar firm.

The key is to have a reasonably intelligent and cordial phone person because 25 - 35% of your registrations at a local number will be by phone, 40% and over with an 800 number.

The level of intelligence of your phone person will make or break you. Your competence as a speaker is judged by the ability of your phone person to answer the simplest questions. One query you'll get constantly is: "What will she speak about?" Sounds dumb, doesn't it, especially since you prepared such a thorough listing of your subject matter? But you'll be surprised by the high-level people who need someone to read your topic listings to them.

Additional benefits for running your own seminars

Let me give you some figures to clearly point out why I am enthusiastic about seminaring:

It costs me less than $250 per thousand pieces mailed to send my seminar announcement brochures. I pre-screen everyone in all areas of business endeavor by my very careful mailing list selection based on years of experience. Only appropriate clients for my various back end business ventures get my mail.

I need ONLY 14 people per day in a seminar room to break even on ALL my costs.

That also means that I can afford to go to cities where most experts in my field never show up. Why? Because when you pull over 20 heads in Denver, over 25 in San Francisco, over 35 in Chicago, and well over 15 bodies in a slew of other cities, you can afford to fly yourself to lesser markets where you pull less.

And what does that do for you? You get:

  • fully pre-screened leads sitting and listening to you for one day, or two, or more days. Sometimes I run 3- 4- and 5-day events,

  • your prospects paying you to be prospects for more high dollar purchases from you, and to expose themselves to your products, your services, your business propositions,

  • peer-level selling working for you. What could possibly be better advertising than to have your prospects sit around at lunch, or chat during coffee breaks, discussing all they've learned from you, and how you might help them further with your products, with your additional services?

  • newspapers, newsletters and magazines in your field writing and reporting about your seminars, your expertise, your products, your services, and how wonderful your knowledge is,

  • the most important benefit I can imagine: You get your name, your product name, your service capabilities, your expertise, your company virtuosity EXPOSED to all those who right now are good prospects and EXPOSED to all those who in the future might be good,

  • a profit, if you do it right, on your overall seminar program and on future sales.

How much profit? That depends on how good you become and how professionally you conduct your promotion and programs. I paid myself $153,000 last year. On one series of seminars on a single subject area, I've produced $484,282.72 in front end revenues and $351,055.20 in back end.

But there's more to know about this:

Everyone who does NOT come to your seminar suddenly knows how good your products or services are, suddenly remembers you or your company as expert when he/she is in a position to buy what you are promoting.

And all those people, the other 999 out of a thousand who did not attend? They talk to others and spread your word. That's how I got consulting work from General Motors, TWA, Norelco, and dozens of others.

You're wonderful

When you run your own seminar, you target your mail to the right people. You get them to sit and listen to you for a full day or two or more. You get them to pay to listen to your demonstration of your expertise. Demonstrations work better than any other form of selling.

Well, go ahead carefully, forge ahead, run your own seminar. But, you must deliver the information you promise.

Because I always deliver exactly what my brochures promise -- and frequently more -- out of every four people who sit in my seminars, one becomes a client for one or another services I provide. You'd be tickled with 25% conversion from leads to sales, delighted to have a totally self-liquidating marketing plan, a program paying for itself, either breakeven or profit, and also converting 1-of-4 to regular back end customers.


And, there's something more than all the monetary benefits you derive...

People applaud you. In public.

And when they don't applaud, you'll still see their faces, radiant because you helped them, taught them, motivated them, convinced them that they could be as good as you are.

Sure, you're good. Recognize it. Do something about it.

And, no matter what you're promoting, when you run your own seminar, suddenly YOU ARE THE WINNER. Your expertise is the expertise that counts. You personally, or the company you represent, gets the limelight in your field.

Can you can do it? Find out!

When I started my current seminar series, I had eight competitors. Now, one remains.


Rene Gnam is an independent response marketing consultant

specializing in creative advertising techniques.

He can be reached at 813-407-8400


Photo of Marketing Consultant Rene Gnam

Rene Gnam is a Marketing Consultant and Advertising Copywriter

logo for Rene Gnam

I'm usually in Florida, and here are the numbers:

FAX 813-475-4354      CELL 813-407-8400

You can reach me right now by e-mail:


Get Rene Gnam's Experience & Expertise on Your Team!