Serving food at financial seminars is a very lucrative strategy. Food helps to get past basic, primal defense mechanisms and opens people up to both nourishment and new ideas. When people share a meal or even light refreshments, a primal bond is made. This bond influences emotional state and intellectual buying decisions to a very large extent. Trust can more easily be earned and reciprocated over food. On a very physical level, people become more accepting and understanding of ideas being promoted at the event or financial seminar involving food. Food boosts customer experience many-fold. Smart financial planners are taking queues from leading brands like Starbucks, which built huge names through "improving the customer experience" (www.forbes.com). Serving refreshments is Starbucks' main strategy in relating to its customers.
How Serving Food Can Increase Seminar Attendance
When receiving an invitation to attend a seminar, guests often consider attendance based on convenience as much as content. If a seminar fits neatly into an already packed schedule, attendance is likely to skyrocket. By serving food, advisers can gain customers who would have opted for a dinner instead of the latest investment information. This market of soft customers who are not focused completely on their finances will benefit the most from services and ideas offered at financial seminars. The right venue, which is often a restaurant, can make a huge difference in the comfort of guests as well as how long these guests stay at the seminar. "The right venue ensures all parties are comfortable and the meeting achieves its objectives. The wrong venue can lead to stress, discomfort, hunger and poor decision-making" (www.entrepreneur.com). Hungry guests will tune out to the information being offered. They may even opt to leave early in search of sustenance instead of hearing vital information or staying long enough to sign a business deal.
How Serving Food Can Increase Involvement, Leading to More Business
People who are comfortable tend to open up much more than those who are not. The real-estate business has captured this concept best by suggesting that "fresh-baked bread or cookies will make prospective buyers feel warm and comfortable . . . therefore be inspired to make an offer" (www.money.usnews.com).
Time-share sales companies almost always offer refreshments, because customers buy more, spend more, and tend to keep their purchases more of the time when food is served. "People love free, people love food, and thus, people love free food. Retailers, too, have their own reasons to love sampling, from the financial (samples have boosted sales in some cases by as much as 2,000 percent) to the behavioral (they can sway people to habitually buy things that they never used to purchase) "(www.theatlantic.com).
The financial and behavioral aspects affected by serving food transfer well to financial seminars. By serving unusual, yet tasty delights, customers can be transported out of their comfort zones and into a new mindset where new types of purchases or directions for their assets can be considered. Lastly, customers who partake of food offered are one step closer to partaking in financial advice offered. That involvement leads to more business written at financial seminars serving food.