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Best Practices for Dining Seminars

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Best Practices for Dining Seminars

Broadridge Advisor Solutions has a long history of helping clients market their financial seminars to a wide range of prospects across the country. The tips below are derived from the thousands of mailings we have performed and our Science of Seminar Marketing training program. These tips are crucial to the successful outcome of your dining seminar. If you have additional questions, please call Broadridge Advisor Solutions and we will be glad to assist you in your planning efforts.

The Seminar Presentation

  • Choosing the right seminar to present is critical. It conveys volumes about you and the professional standards you maintain. The energy and resources that you will spend in getting attendees to your seminar warrant a top-notch presentation.
  • Provide and reference an interactive workbook for all attendees for best results in scheduling follow-up meetings.
  • Distribute evaluation forms for attendees to complete that will provide helpful feedback and invite follow-up for a complimentary consultation.
  • For help in choosing the right seminar topic, call Broadridge.

The Meal

  • Provide one!
  • Dinners will generate the strongest response – by far.
  • Dinners are the best time of day for pre-retirees.
  • Serve dinner first followed by the presentation.
  • Lunch is an alternative, but should not be a stand-alone option.
  • Breakfast is an inferior choice.
  • Offering only sodas and cookies, appetizers, wine and cheese, or desserts will deliver a lower response.
  • Do not charge your prospects for attending the seminar.

The Location

  • A restaurant is the preferred location.
  • A country club or hotel can be used, but will generally result in fewer responses.
  • Do not hold dinners at convention centers, libraries, or your office.

The Time

  • Early evening is best.
  • Don’t start before 6:30 pm. People need time to arrive after work.
  • Don’t start after 7:30 pm. People won’t stay out too late.
  • Don’t expect working people to leave work to attend.
  • Retirees don’t have work conflicts, so the presentation can be scheduled earlier.

The Dates  

  • Hold a minimum of three dining seminars, each on different dates and schedule your events to span across a two-week period. Offering fewer than three events will limit the number of choices and holding events all in one week can artificially reduce the response from otherwise interested parties.
  • The best days to hold seminars are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. (See our Seminar Marketing Calendar for specific dates.)
  • Weekends, holidays, dates of major sporting events, such as playoffs and championships, and election days should be avoided.

The Mail Piece

  • Use the language provided in the dining invitation. The wording captures years of industry experience by Broadridge.
  • The invite should include a picture and brief bio of the presenter.
  • If possible, obtain a logo of the seminar location to add familiarity to the offering. Put the restaurant logo on the envelope, if possible.
  • 5,000-piece mailings are the preferred minimum for mailings representing multiple events.
  • We can accept content that you have created or have secured permission to utilize, however, additional design time will be required. By providing your own content or the content from a third party, you represent that you have the authority to use and/or modify that information and are giving Broadridge permission to use that information in the printing of your mailing piece.

The List  

  • List information is gathered from a variety of sources. Lists are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. The demographic information and the address information are subject to the methodology of the list provider and verification procedures.
  • Broadridge only uses reputable list sources with established track records. However, the lists will contain inaccuracies.
  • The only accurate way to validate income level is to review solid documentation. Verification of confidential information will need to take place during appointments with clients.
  • Standard deliverability rates are typically in the 95%-98% range (national standard).
  • Individuals within a particular ZIP Code may or may not be included in a list that you select. Although some homes or individuals may match your selected criteria, they may not receive the mailing if the list company is unable to verify their actual demographics. This is a standard challenge facing list-accumulation companies.
  • Due to Do Not Call regulations, Broadridge does not offer phone numbers with acquired lists. If you desire phone numbers, please discuss the options with your Marketing Consultant.

Mail Delivery  

  • Pieces are mailed Standard Presort.
  • Additional time will be required for mailings to Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Pieces should be scheduled to be delivered to the destination address no later than 10 calendar days before the seminar date.
  • Broadridge cannot dictate delivery time to the USPS and is not responsible for early or late deliveries relative to the seminar date. Often, the mailing will be delivered over several days to the destination addresses.
  • Responses to any offer or call for reservation will vary, and Broadridge cannot predict when or how quickly your prospects will respond.
  • Broadridge is not responsible for results. Please request feedback to help ensure your success.
  • Broadridge is NOT responsible for advisors’ mailings that overlap in an area.


  • We suggest using a live, staffed 24-hour professional answering service to accept your reservations.
  • Voice mail leaves the potential attendee uncertain and will diminish responses.


  • Confirm attendance two to three days prior to the seminar.
  • Confirmation should be done through a phone call, not by letter or other correspondence.

After the Seminar

  • Follow up the next day to schedule and confirm complimentary consultations. If you wait any longer, there is a very good chance of losing your prospects.
  • It is best to schedule the appointments yourself, instead of using an assistant. It will be much harder for your prospect to turn you down than your assistant. If you’ve established rapport, the sense of obligation will be strong.