Have you ever considered holding seminars for your clients or employees? These events can increase brand awareness and strengthen your reputation. Depending on your audience, seminars can boost team morale and engagement or lead to more sales and revenue for your business. Furthermore, they help you stay relevant in a competitive market and establish yourself as an industry expert. Considering these facts, it pays off to learn how to organize a seminar for your team, prospects or business partners.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Your attendees will most likely ask questions during and after the event. Set time aside for a Q&A session and be prepared to offer further insights and recommendations.
Why Organize a Seminar?
Business events and face-to-face meetings generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year. In 2016, more than 1.9 million meetings were held in the U.S. alone. Business professionals organize seminars, workshops and other events to discuss and debate various topics, attract clients and share industry insights. Attendees have a chance to develop new skills, expand their knowledge and build meaningful connections.
Organizing seminars will shape how you collaborate with people. It's a good way to hone your public speaking skills and share your knowledge while helping others grow professionally. These events can also boost your revenue, inspire your employees and encourage people to follow their dreams, whether it's starting a business or landing a better job. Plus, you will increase the hype around your organization, establish thought leadership and build trust.
According to a 2015 survey, 88 percent of managers believer that meetings, including seminars, help them grow professionally. Approximately 93 percent say that these events improve their ability to close deals. About 90 percent attend face-to-face meetings to build connections and network with other professionals. Most senior level managers say that attending business events fosters collaboration, boosts team engagement and improves productivity.
Plan and Organize Your Seminar
Start by planning the event. Define your target audience, choose a topic and establish clear goals. Determine the costs involved and try to figure out what type of equipment and accessories will be required for your seminar.
Let's say that you're planning a women's seminar. In this case, you can organize a seminar that helps women entrepreneurs grow their business, succeed in male-dominated industries or balance work and family life. A seminar that appeals to fresh graduates can teach attendees how to gain a competitive edge in the job market, start their own business or advance in their careers.
Structure your event accordingly. Make sure you know the difference between a seminar and a workshop. The former is typically lecture-oriented and only takes a few hours; it usually appeals to a small group of people and doesn't actively engage attendees. Workshops, on the other hand, feature practical exercises, group discussions, debates and other activities that engage the audience; these events are more diverse and intense, appealing to larger groups of people. Additionally, they usually last longer than seminars.
Choose a Venue
Next, select a venue that can accommodate the number of guests. Make sure it provides everything you need for the event, including a computer, audio and video equipment, proper lighting and so on. Test the equipment in advance.
If possible, schedule a meeting with the speakers at the venue and practice before the actual event. Develop and confirm the agenda to ensure everything goes smoothly. Make any adjustments ahead of time.
Consider your budget as well. A seminar of 500 to 1,000 people will require more space, such as a convention center or an auditorium, so the costs will be higher. A hotel conference room will be enough for a small event of 100 to 150 people. Inquire about the level and quality of services, food and beverage options, room setup, amenities and other details.
Create and Mail Invitations
Reach out to your target audience by email. Create personalized invitations that describe the event and its purpose. Depending on your budget, you can either use a simple PDF or Word document or hire a graphic designer for this job.
Send the invitations a few weeks in advance and ask the recipients to confirm their presence. This will give you plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements. Prepare all the seminar materials, including name tags and handouts for your attendees, event signage and displays, slides and brochures. Send a reminder email a day or two before the seminar.
Depending on the size and goal of your event, you may also consider sending out press releases, advertising in the local media or launching online ad campaigns. If you're on a budget, reach out to sponsors and offer to promote them in exchange for funding. For example, hiring a famous speaker for just one hour can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In this case, it's important to attract media coverage and secure sponsorship for your event.
- Meetings Mean Business: Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy Report© 2018 Events Industry Council
- Meetings Mean Business: Business Leaders Survey
- Conference Monkey: What's the Difference Between a Conference, a Seminar, a Workshop and a Symposium?
- Eventbrite: Your Seminar Planning Checklist - 16 Steps to Success
- Ted McGrath Brands: How to Conduct Seminars & Conferences | Checklist & Guide
Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.