6 Tips for Planning a Successful Lunch and Learn post from Kara Anderson at C3.

Lunch and Learns are a great way to build relationships with potential clients while fostering understanding and growth in your company. Whether your objective is to bring in new clients or further educate your colleagues, food is always something to look forward to.

Preparing for your lunch and learn is key to a successful meeting. When done wrong, you might as well have given your presentation to an empty room. Here are some tips for executing the most effective lunch and learn for any business.

1. Preparing Your Material

Personalize your presentation to fit your audience. You may be presenting the same material that you have used a hundred times before. Do what you can to personalize for this group. Add logos and material that is relevant to their business. Not only will it show that you took the time to prepare, but it will tie in what they are most familiar with and make them more comfortable.

2. Choose the Right Venue

Location, location, location. This holds true for everything in business. If you are planning an offsite presentation, choose a venue that it central for everyone attending. Time is money, so if you can prevent huge travel times not only will your clients appreciate it but you will have a greater attendance at the meeting. Make sure the space is comfortable and there is enough room for them to enjoy their lunch.

3. Dietary Needs

Be sure to communicate with all attendees about their dietary restrictions to avoid embarrassment when your lunch and learn begins. This will also ensure attendance if the client or colleagues knows that you ordered specifically for their needs. All restaurants and caterers will be sure to separate and label items that are ordered for a particular person. Click here to see our Top Selling Menus.

4. Marketing and Communication

Be sure to market your event with phone calls, ground mail and emails detailing the nature of the presentation, venue and food. These days’ people are bombarded with marketing from every avenue. The reason you should do all three is simply to put your event in their minds. If they ignored your emails, a clever postcard will make them think of your email. Leaving a voicemail will often prompt people to look for your email as well.

5. Presentation

Now that you have people attending your lunch and learn, make sure your presentation is engaging and informative. A lot of people naturally want to make their presentations more vibrant with their own personal antidotes. Although a little charisma is great, distracting the client from the product or service is not the most effective way to win them over. They are attending to learn about what you have to offer and need the facts to do so. A great way to conclude your presentation is a product or gift card giveaway. When they see that product or gift card, they will think of you.

6. Follow Up

You definitely want to keep the momentum going, so following up is key. Send an email with a recap of the meeting along with presentation materials. Engaging them with questions will help keep the conversation going and help you for future presentations.

Food is the way to a anyone's heart, so win them over at your next lunch and learn with preparation and great food!

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