As I predicted in my last blog just before our first "fee-based" Speaker Series event our attendance numbers were significantly lower, however what I am pleased to share is that although quanity was down, quality was up. Our attendance #'s were 26 (down from an average of 75-120) but the small group atmosphere was ignited by energy and exchange that can only sometimes happen in that setting.
The feedback/emails that I received from the attendees (NOT on the paper survey) was confirmation that these "fee-based" Speaker Series have value and were invabluable to those that attended. We pushed ahead with our plans to hold the break-out mini workshop immediately following and had 5 participants at that and again, it continued to be a valuable experience and education for those that attended.
As always the positive fallout of our Speaker Series continues to amaze me - - one of the attendees has been energized to start an Entrepreneurial Support Group (ie - MasterMind); several attendees have registered for our workshops we are offering in 2010; and the speaker donated her books to our research library and an attendee stepped up to be a judge in our upcoming HS Business Plan competition this Spring.
We are moving in to our 2010 line up and will continue our fee-based Speaker Series with the topic: The Emotional Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship on Fri, Jan 8th - our pre-registration numbers are low, but I have nopes that will again have attendance of approx. 25-30 and another successful event! I have used the same marketing/public relations efforts for this event as before. This speaker does not require a fee (she is PT faculty and has graciously agreed to not charge) so I am able to re-direct some funds to paid newspaper.
Two changes I will be implementing in a response to the lower attendance and in an effort to create a more intitmate envirornment for learnng and sharing are: 1) moved the event to a small room with seating for up to 50; 2) providing coffee/refreshments sponsored by area organizations and businesses to create a more "social" atmosphere. Looking forward to testing the "feel" of this on Friday.
We have three remaining Speaker Series events after this Friday - I look forward to sharing our results with you and how the Coleman Grant has positiviely affected our ongoing efforts to educate and excite our region about entrepreneurship!