5 Tips for Hosting a Successful Lunch & Learn

Joshua Scott — October 20, 2016

A “lunch and learn” can a be a fantastic way to get sales leads, scope out vendors, or simply train your staff in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The concept is simple. First, you host a lunch. Then, you offer up some knowledge.

Depending on your goals and your business, the “learning” part can vary. If you’re a vendor, for example, you might host a lunch and learn for other industry professionals where you present some key insights or research. This can be a great method for building relationships that eventually turn into sales leads. Or you may bring a vendor to your lunch and learn so your sales staff can a get a first-hand lesson on the latest products or updates they’ll be selling (and the vendor may even be willing to pay for it!) You could even use a lunch and learn as a corporate training event – a little special treat goes a long way towards getting people engaged, after all.

Whatever your aim, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you want to pull off a successful lunch and learn.

1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

Are you speaking to seasoned industry veterans, fresh-faced sales noobies, or a mix of both? The answer should influence your presentation.

If you’re dealing with highly technical stuff, for example, you want to make sure your audience can follow along. You can get away with dropping jargon and technical terms if everyone’s starting on the same footing. But for those without your expertise, you’ll want to provide some background info in easy-to-understand language. There’s nothing worse than a potential sales lead not knowing what it is you actually do.

2. CULTIVATE THE RIGHT AUDIENCE

Closely related to the first tip, it’s crucial that you invite the right people to your lunch and learn – and get them to attend.

Who is it that you’re marketing to? What kinds of professionals or businesses would be interested in your presentation? Which people in what companies are you specifically trying to target? Do your homework and then reach out and don’t stop reaching out. Give them a call, send them an email, and mention the lunch and learn event and why they might be interested in attending.

3. PLAN A USEFUL PRESENTATION

The most important aspect of your presentation? It has to be educational. Not only that, it has to be useful. Your audience should walk away feeling like they can effectively use the information you’ve given them.

If you’re trying to get sales leads, don’t make the whole event one giant sales pitch. That gets old fast. Instead, offer up some experience, insight, or industry news that others can learn from. If you’re hosting salespeople who sell your products, make it clear what’s new and improved. More importantly, let them know exactly how they can make money from your product, whether it’s by emphasizing a new feature or listening for certain pain points.

4. BRING IN GREAT FOOD

Sure, the learning part is important, but it’s the lunch that gets people interested. Impress your audience and get a higher turnout by offering a delicious, mouth-watering menu, such as what Northern Fork can provide. With the right food, you’ll have people remembering your event for a while.

5. KEEP IT BRIEF

Your audience no doubt has other work to do, so don’t take up their entire afternoon. They are spending their lunch hour with you, after all. Make them like you and keep the event efficient and timely.

However, if you find yourself looking for more opportunities to meet face to face with your audience, there’s always the in-office happy hour.

For more information, check out our updated lunch and learn article Here !