5 ideas for filling up a classroom, webinar or full day event

by | Jul 17, 2012 | Business | 6 comments


photo credit:alvimannclassroom

Last summer I spent a lot of time with really cool entrepreneurs who were launching and creating content online. We did a lot of last minute things. In fact, some of them were dreams & 48 hours later we had invited people to attend and delivered the content. It was FUN, last minute & not even close to perfect. Want to know how we sometimes had 30 people registered for an event with less than a weeks lead time?

Here are 5 things we did to create buzz, pull in our right people & fill the room:

1. Create a simple twitter contest

This was for a fairly expensive program. She was just getting started (didn’t have a big list or following yet) so her class wasn’t full (a virtual program).  She offered free tuition to 5 people (short notes in FaceBook mentioning it & inviting people to “click here”.)  This brought interested people to page on her website mentioning the same thing… BUT, included a set of rules.  To get into the contest, visitors are asked follow her on twitter, and send out 2 specific tweets.  They’re automatically entered into the contest to potentially get free tuition to her course.  People are shared – tweets bouncing around everywhere,fresh traffic to her site, and new twitter followers.  Announce the winner through social media & on the blog.  Advertising & social proof in exchange for free seats… Cool, right?

2. Follow up with your own email list

It seemed a bit crazy to send out two emails within a couple of days. So instead of bombarding the entire email list with a 2nd request, we looked into the mailchimp backend to see who had been interested enough to click through to the website – and sent a special email to that smaller group of people. The 2nd email said something like, “I noticed you were curious about the program I’m offering on Monday. Do you have any questions I can answer? Send me a quick note!”   Simple & sort of personal.

3. Ask questions like “Where do my Fans Hang Out?”

We did a quick brainstorm of where ideal customers hang out online. Are they in specific FaceBook Groups? Do we have any friends or connections in the group who are raving fans and might help us by sharing a link? Create an invitation and share to the group

4. Ask friends or colleagues to share through Social Media – with easy prewritten tweets

Creating 5-10 tweets and sending a quick message to the people in your life who you know would love to help. Keep the tweets LESS than 110 characters so that they can be re-tweeted without text being lost, and be sure to include your twitter handle so you can thank them for sending the message (makes a huge difference, and they’re more likely to copy and past & share if it’s easy)

5. Offered Scholarship Seats & Pay What You Can

When it’s completely last minute there are sometimes people who just don’t have the money set aside. Sometimes it works in the reverse (pulled in by the excitement and click “buy now”). But for people who need more time to prepare we’ve used a scholarship strategy (a simple email link at the bottom of a sales page (or invitation) that invites them to write to you about their desire to be in the program, works. The Pay What You Can model can also work (if it’s right for your business model), especially if you’re creating an experiential event.  Flexible payment options can work too. People will remember the experience for a long time, and even if you don’t receive as much during the first event, they will undoubtedly become long term customers.


Of these 5 ideas which one could you use to get your program, webinar or event filled in a short time frame? Do you have any other great ideas you could share with the readers of my blog? I look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. Dot Hurley

    Some great ideas. I will definitely use some of these when I come to set up my raw food classes and on-line courses this autumn.

    • Loralee

      That’s great to hear Dot! If you want to send me a PM I can connect you with some people who are holding raw food classes right now. I’m sure they’d give you tips on what’s working in your industry! Love to connect you.

  2. Susan Joy Schleef

    These are great ideas. Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to trying some of them out as soon as I can. I especially like the idea of the Twitter contest to get people to help spread the word in exchange for a chance to win free enrollment (or a free product).

    • Loralee

      Yeah, the Twitter one sure is fun! I wouldn’t recommend it though, if you’re ideal customer avatar isn’t hanging out in Twitter. It really depends on the program offering, but I think this idea could work with any type of social sharing (including creating fabulous short messages people could copy, paste and send in a personal email to 5 friends). Thanks so much for participating in the conversation Susan.

  3. Danielle Ford

    Thanks LoraLee! Love the idea of the Twitter/ReTweeting contest! Just got a million ideas to use for Young Moms Club!

    • Loralee

      Danielle, this message got stuck in spam and just saw it today. Can’t wait to hear what you’ve done. Did you start a twitter contest by chance? Love seeing your project grow! It’s so important! <3