Event Must NOT Haves

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At a recent discussion in the Seminar Marketing: Plan, Promote and Profit from Workshops and Seminars group on LinkedIn, we talked about the “Must Haves” and “Must NOT Haves” at our events.

In the previous post, we discussed the \”Must Haves\”.  Today is the turn of the “Must NOT Haves”.

What is it that we absolutely hate when we go to events? Is this something you do or have at your event, simply because it’s the way it’s always done?

Our experts weigh in…

Shannon Cherry | Be Heard Solutions

Shannon Cherry

Shannon Cherry
from BeHeardSolutions.com

A Pitchfest
Too many offers just confuses people and frankly, you’re going to get more refund requests!

Leave simply inspired
Look, it’s great to be inspired at an event, but inspiration doesn’t pay the bills. Give me something actionable!

Night time seminars
Frankly, I’m exhausted. Stop forcing us to get back into that room if you want me to show up in the morning ready to go!


Allison Phillips | Great Small Business Advice

Allison Phillips

Allison Phillips
from GreatSmallBusinessAdvice.com

Definitely no pitchfest (enough already)
But I do value a couple upsells that compliment the main event.

A looooong-winded introduction for each speaker detailing their successes from birth and beyond. (really, 1-2 mins is enough already)

A binder full of useless powerpoint slides that don’t actually make any sense as a reference tool AFTER of the event (unless I meticulously scribble tons of notes on it). Make the hardcopy a useful reference please – can be concise but with clear points noted.

I agree with Shannon, really don’t wanna be in a conference room at 8 or 9pm when I have to return there the next day. C’mon is that really necessary?


Bonnie Copeland | Rivendell Coaching

Bonnie Copeland

Bonnie Copeland
from RivendellCoaching.com

Presenters who simply read slides
Snooze..I can do that myself!

Poor or lacking equipment and too many people
If I can’t hear you I am not impressed.



Daphne Bousquet | Event Strategy Solutions

Daphne Bousquet

Daphne Bousquet (Me!)
from EventStrategySolutions.com

Powerpoint slides with so much information that I will never be able to write it all down
Either put the information in the workbook or give me the slides so that I can listen and learn. If you must do slides alone, break it up and slow down.

Freezing room temperatures
I understand you cannot please everyone all the time and you should always have a jacket, because meeting rooms get chilly. But if I am all bundled up and my nails are still purple, we have a problem.

Your Turn

Want to share your event pet peeves with us? What are your Event Must NOT Haves? Please add yours in the comments.

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Daphne Bousquet, CMP

Daphne Bousquet, CMP

For more strategies to make your workshops and seminars more profitable, you’ll want to pick up a copy of the free report "Three Simple Secrets To Making 10K In A Day With Small Workshops." Daphne Bousquet uses her 20+ years of event industry experience to create profitable event strategies and marketing for coaches, entrepreneurs, speakers and self employed professionals that want to grow their businesses with workshops and seminars. She is the creator of the Butts In Seats Virtual Boot Camp, a unique digital course that teaches you how to fill your events with your ideal audience.
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP


  1. Daphne, I’ve been standing in front of audiences for the past three decades and, without question, my biggest pet peeve are speakers who show up “unrehearsed”.

    You can tell, immediately, when someone is unprepared to deliver a presentation.

    Their presentations are usually very “choppy” and disjointed and they tend to constantly refer to their notes. They rarely make eye-to-eye contact with members of the audience since they’re basically “reading” their presentation.

    Yuck. Definitely a big turnoff for me.

    Another huge pet peeve is when speakers go off on tangents and move further and further away from their topic. Sometimes they go off on SO many tangents, I can’t even remember what the blinking topic is!

    Not cool and not enjoyable. Makes me think they really didn’t have much to say about their topic in the first place.
    Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur recently posted..3 Simple Keys to a Strategic Plan that Rocks!

    • Daphne Bousquet, CMP says:

      my biggest pet peeve are speakers who show up “unrehearsed”.

      I bet many of the unrehearsed speakers go to the other extreme and just fill their powerpoint with so much information that they just read it and not add anything interesting.

      It is why I like to just give my powerpoint presentation a visual representation, so it jars my memory and maybe one single thought. It keeps me on track.

      A bad speaker is definitely a turn off. That is why speaking in front of other people’s audiences is a good way to get people for your own seminar. You already have taken care of that fear, (or pet peeve). They can sign up for your event knowing that you will be a good speaker and they already like your presentation style.

      Of course, if you are making the mistakes you suggested, all bets are off! You won’t get a single soul to sign up for your seminar. LOL!

      • Really good points, Daphne!

        You are SO right …

        If you do a bang up job of speaking at someone else’s event, you can guarantee those attendees will show up at your next event. Let’s just say that’s the best kind of public speaking “leverage”. 🙂

        Bonnie Copeland, you, and me (and probably everyone else on the planet) feels the same way about someone reading their PPT slides or, worse yet, reading from their notes when speaking in public. If presenters want to go that route, they may as well email us the information and we can read it ourselves!
        Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur recently posted..3 Simple Keys to a Strategic Plan that Rocks!

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