Free Vs. Paid Workshops – Which should you do?

Are ‘free’ workshops really ‘free?’ No! As service providers we are investing something, our time, renting training facility, equipment and some cost.
Recently I was having discussion with a colleague who said he can never run a free program. According to him people tend to measure value in ‘money’ terms, rather than measuring value in ‘value’ terms. They generally see value charged and everything ‘free’ as worthless. So basically, nothing should be ‘free.’

So should you price some of your workshops and make some absolutely free? Let’s read on to know.

Serving a purpose – In the early stages of launching DRS Etiquette and Image Consulting, we established three free workshops to take place yearly for children and youth, the unemployed and for women empowerment. These workshops are solely humane. It’s our way of giving back to the community and creating a people armed with the necessary knowledge to live a holistic and fulfilling life.
Now the ‘free in this sort of workshop is not a poor one. For this kind of workshop you can’t charge the participants for partaking in your training, but you can push for a token fee for training material, until you have enough players to fully support your vision.

Mistake – Never make a mistake of running free workshops with the aim of up selling people to your more advanced courses.

What to do – instead of offering an absolute free workshop, create low paid entry level training and premium priced training. When you go this route, you will not get all the clients. But you will get people who sense value and pay for premium and that’s fine. Your growth will be steady and progressive.

Should the pure perks stop? My answer is unequivocal NO! As service providers when we offer ‘free’ training we are being ‘generous’ and ‘impacting’ lives, and  that’s an act that should never go out of style. What you may do so that your training is not ‘poor free’ is to apply the qualification option for people to qualify to attend your free training. That being said, avoid buzz like sign up for this and that to qualify to participate in dash workshop.

Example; you can say ten winners will be drawn at random. The prize can be a waiver of Effective Communication Skills Workshop of up ₦60,000.00. The odds of winning the prize will depend on the total number of qualified entries received.

And then, to qualify for the entry in the drawing, you can set up requirements that must be met. I will say for example: (1) the entrant must be a new customer (2) the entrant must be a customer service personnel, to fit the Expected audience (3) must recommend the workshop (4) must attend our future paid workshops.

Essentially, you need to know why you are running a workshop so that, you can decide whether to charge or not.

Create More Success
Damilola Ogunremi

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