There is a major difference between visibility and conversion. The key to success for any event is the understanding of the factors driving conversion.

You've told everyone that you are having a seminar, tele-seminar, webinar, etc. As a strategy to gain visibility, you invested in Google Ads and Facebook ads. You've promoted to your database and posted the event on your website. You've blogged about it. Yet, you look at your registrant list and it is not at the level you had hoped. Hey, you know your stuff! You're an expert on this subject. Why aren't people signing up?

Whether you are hosting a paid event or a free one, driving attendance is challenging. All of the advertising in the world does not put people in your event. It just informs people that you are having an event. How do you drive attendance for your event? How do you get people to move from an inert state to an active one? The key to registrant conversion is the event description. There is a five-step formula that takes "tire-kickers" and makes them participants.

The traditional way that event descriptions are written is to tell the reader what the event is all about. The parallel to sales is to tell a prospect of a solution when you have not yet identified a problem. Look at the way this article has been presented to you. I didn't start with telling you my methodology. I presented a challenge that faces anyone who hosts events. The description should start with a problem that the target audience for the event is experiencing. Thus, the first one, at most two, paragraphs explain the issue, or problem to the reader.

We all have problems and issues in our lives. Yet, we aren't trying to solve all of them this minute. Once the reader has been presented with the issue, they need to also understand the impact this is having on them, their business, their family, etc. Without this element, the reader will simply look at this as another problem they have and metaphorically throw it in the bucket with the other ones. The impact creates a sense of urgency and tells the reader, "Of all of the problems you have, this one needs to be dealt with right now. It's critical and here is why." The best way to present the issue is to finish the "issue" portion of the description with the impact. If you don't tell the reader of the impact, they will not feel a sense of urgency to resolve it.

The solution portion of the description is the opportunity to explain to the reader what information will be presented during the event that will help the attendee with the issue that was presented above. It should be clear, concise, and action oriented. Think of energy words like action-packed, hands-on, powerful, interactive, etc. You will also want to be mindful of SEO when writing the solution as it will help search engines to increase visibility to your event.

The traditional event description usually has a section presenting what you will learn. That's nice to share, but is not necessarily an effective way to drive conversion. Consider telling the reader what they will be able to do immediately following your event that they either can't do now or can't do as well now. This approach creates action and energy. It allows the reader to visualize themselves being more proficient at tackling the problem you presented earlier.

Unless you have a household name, credibility is a critical requirement of the event description. Without that, you will not be able to convert registrants that are not already familiar with you. In most cases, there are thousands of people who present similar content. Since time and dollars are fixed, precious resources, the reader needs to know that you are an expert on this specific subject and others can vouch for you. What they need to see is: "Of all of the people in the world from which to learn this information, why you?

There are two components to establishing credibility. The first is to present, in a few sentences, what makes you an expert on this specific subject matter. This is very different than a bio. It is specific to the topic of this event. Why are you passionate about this subject? Passion sells! The second is the use of testimonials. Testimonials are critical for converting those who don't know you into registrants. Use testimonials that vouch for you as an expert on this topic. A testimonial for you as an author is meaningless when you are delivering content on financial planning.

With those five elements presented, the obvious question is how long should the description be. The true test of that is to ensure that the value of the event is consistent with the description. A description comprised of two sentences and three bullet points does not convey value. The best suggestion is once you have created your description, test it on colleagues. Do they see the value? Would they be motivated to attend? Once the polish is applied, you are ready to drive registrants to your event!

Author's Bio: 

Lee B. Salz is the C.E.O. of Business Expert Webinars, President of Sales Architects, and author of “Soar Despite Your Dodo Sales Manager.” Lee is an online columnist for Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, a print columnist for SalesforceXP Magazine, and the host of the Internet radio show, “Secrets of Business Gurus.” Look for Lee's new book in February 2009 titled, "The Sales Marriage” where he shares the secrets to hiring the right sales people. He is a passionate, dynamic speaker and a business consultant. Lee can be reached at or 763.416.4321.