From Zero to Hero: Improving Workshop Marketing Strategy for Business Owners

As a marketing strategist and consultant, I often face the gruesome task of reviving the dead - in this case, a failed workshop. Recently, I worked with a client who had hosted a workshop that failed to attract any attendees. In this blog post, I'll share how we helped her diagnose the marketing challenges and improve her workshop marketing strategy for future workshops without causing any more casualties.

Client Background

To begin with, let’s take a look at the client’s background. The client is a business owner who runs regular workshops on various topics related to her industry. She recently hosted a workshop that was as lonely as a cat lady at a dog park, and she wanted to understand why it failed and how she could improve her workshop marketing strategy for future workshops.

Client Challenges

The client's main challenge was identifying why the workshop didn't attract any attendees, even though she had promoted it through multiple marketing channels. Additionally, she wanted to know what went wrong and how she could improve her workshop marketing strategy to ensure that her future workshops were successful, unlike her previous ones. In other words, she was hoping for a standing ovation but ended up standing alone, like a teacher waiting for a student who never showed up. According to a study by Eventbrite, 44% of marketers said that producing events that stand out is their biggest challenge.

Our Approach

To diagnose the client's marketing challenges, we asked several questions to gather more information about the workshop and its promotion. We also analysed the marketing data to understand what worked and what didn't. In other words, we put on our detective hats, minus the cool gadgets.

Key Questions

To identify the root cause of the failed workshop, we asked the following questions:

  • Where did the idea for the workshop come from? Was it a random idea, or did it have some substance?
  • Was there a known demand or interest for the workshop? Did anyone care about it?
  • Where does the workshop fall in the overall customer journey? Was it an important piece of the puzzle or just a random jigsaw piece?
  • Was there any strategy behind who was being invited? Or did she invite her mum's quilting club members?
  • For people who received a private invitation, what was their reason for not attending? Did they forget, or did they not want to hurt her feelings?

Diagnosis of Workshop Marketing

Based on the client's responses, we identified that the workshop's marketing copy was as clear as mud, which made it difficult for potential attendees to understand why they should attend. Additionally, the client needed to target the right audience, and the workshop didn't fit into the overall customer journey, making it less appealing to potential attendees. In other words, the client's marketing approach was about as practical as using a hammer to open a can of soda.

Workshop Marketing Data Analysis

To gain more insights, we also analysed the workshop marketing data, including:

  • What marketing emails were sent/opened/clicked
  • What were the results of social media marketing
  • How many people were invited personally
  • What has the conversion rate been like in the past

This data showed that the workshop marketing emails were about as popular as a dentist's appointment, and the social media marketing didn't yield any significant results. According to a study by Mailchimp, the average email open rate for the consulting industry is 20.13%, and the click rate is 2.49%. Furthermore, the client didn't invite enough people personally, and the conversion rate for previous workshops was low. It was like trying to win a marathon with one leg tied behind your back.

Recommendations for Workshop Marketing

Based on our diagnosis, we recommended the following improvements for the client's future workshop marketing:

Improve the Workshop Marketing Copy

We suggested that the client improve the workshop marketing copy, emphasising why to attend and what outcomes they'll achieve from it. The workshop marketing copy should clearly communicate the benefits of attending the workshop and address the target audience's pain points. In other words, she needed to make the workshop as appealing as a puppy in a pet store.

Refine the Process to Identify Hot Prospects

Additionally, we recommended the client refine the process to identify hot prospects to invite to the workshop. This would involve conducting market research to understand the target audience's needs and interests and identifying where they congregated online and offline. The client should then reach out to these prospects with a personalised message that resonates with their pain points and interests. This would increase the chances of the right people attending the workshop.

Integrate the Workshop into the Customer Journey

We also recommended that the client integrate the workshop into the overall customer journey. This would involve identifying where the workshop fits in the customer journey and how it can address the target audience's pain points at that stage. By doing this, the client can ensure that the workshop is not just a random event but a crucial piece of the puzzle that helps move the target audience towards a purchase decision.

Increase Personal Invitations and Follow-ups

Lastly, we suggested the client increase personal invitations and follow-ups. Personal invitations are more effective than mass marketing efforts because they show the client values the prospect's attendance. According to a study by Eventbrite, personal invitations can be up to 34 times more effective than mass marketing efforts for event attendance. Additionally, follow-ups can remind prospects of the workshop and encourage them to attend. By doing this, the client can increase the chances of people attending the workshop and make it more successful.


In conclusion, our approach helped the client diagnose the marketing challenges behind the failed workshop and improve her workshop marketing strategy for future workshops. By improving the workshop marketing copy, refining the process to identify hot prospects, integrating the workshop into the customer journey, and increasing personal invitations and follow-ups, the client can ensure that her future workshops are successful and valuable to the target audience. It just goes to show that with the right approach, even a failed workshop can be revived and made successful.

If you're facing a marketing challenge like our client or want to optimise your marketing strategy and take your business to the next level, I encourage you to book a free 15-minute call with me to see what a Marketing Diagnosis can do for your business. With my expertise and experience, we can work together to uncover the root causes of your marketing challenges, develop a tailored marketing strategy that fits your business needs, and, ultimately, achieve your business goals. Don't let your marketing efforts go to waste - book your free call with me today and take the first step towards a more successful business!

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