The SHRM Members for Transparency Group: When Gerry Crispin Talks, We Probably Should Listen...
Jim Tressel Would Make a Crappy HR Director...

Checking Your Ego When Attendance is Low: All It Takes Is One...

Here's a story from the front lines of the software biz.  See if you see your life in this.

Company does cool marketing stuff to drive traffic to an event (webinar, seminar, etc.).  Company is disappointed by the response rate to the email marketing campaign and, as a result, questions whether marketing events that requireLow_attendance_090912_mn attendance are really worth the time, effort and expense.  After all, if a good response rate is 1% and half the people that sign up for the webinar don't actually attend, what's the point, right?

Then a funny thing happens.  One of 4 attendees to the webinar buys the product, and the sales cycle is a skinny 3 weeks.

The lesson?  Life is full of activities that require you to fill the top of the funnel with a lot of raw prospects/data, and the number of those prospects that will actually listen is pretty humbling.  Humbling enough to make you quit.  It happens in sales, recruiting and a thousand other activities in life - including finding a job.  Prospecting is a slog, and if you let it get you down, you can actually talk yourself into believing that the 3 people out of a thousand who show up to listen to you isn't a big enough group - which will affect your performance in front of the three people who show up.

Don't believe the hype.  Life's a stage, and when 3 people show up when you expect 100, you still need to perform.  You can choose to go through the motions because you're de-motivated, or you can choose to make the connection much more intimate as a result. 

If you choose the former, you're a victim.  If you choose the latter, you probably make the sale, get the job or make the connection that lands you 3 sales in the next year - or your next two jobs. 

All because you cared enough to perform your best in front of a small group.


Cathy Missildine-Martin

Wow, that is so true! I can remember doing webinars for 2 before. I was thinking the same thing as you mentioned, but you have to really think about who those 2 people are. As a result, I did get some business from 1 of the 2. Not a huge piece but, never the less the relationship has begun.

Rachelle Falls

Absolutley! You never know when you'll make that one connection that can change your a positive direction. Rock it! Those 3 people came to see you! Give them a show!


Nice post. I love reading your stuff!



I have done training for 1 person.
These people always came back.
I learned a lot about speaking doing these 1-1 trainings.

The Beatles moved a whole year to Germany to play one or two shows every night. Sometimes they played for a just few people. That is when they changed from good to great.
Bono (U2) also talks about performances when there were only a couple of people in the room.

Lots of rockstars try out there new tour in a small venue.They know if it works in a small place, it will work in larger stadia. (Although the techniques are different.)


Thanks for your post! I totally agree!

I've always worked (as many do) from the premise that if you promise something, you deliver on that promise. So for webinars, classes, etc., if 1 person or 50 show up, they get what they were promised. You never know who that one person may tell about you! So, if they do tell others, you want it to be positive!

Dwayne Melanccon

I did a talk for 3 people (in a room made for 150) at a conference last year. It was late Friday, on the last day of the conference so everyone had bailed and gone home.

However, I got 5 out of 5 ratings from all 3 attendees, which meant I was the highest rated speaker of the conference (they look at overall averages, apparently). I got invited to speak at the next conference in "prime time" - early afternoon, following the day 1 keynote.

You never know how these things will turn out.

James Lawther

And... If you put on a poor show, look put out, can't be bothered, the three people who did show up will tell their friends.

Interesting post, I enjoyed reading it.

The comments to this entry are closed.