Holding a seminar on a particular topic can teach people something new, re-educate people on something they already know and introduce advances in your industry. But holding a seminar can be costly. There are a number of decisions you will have to make so that you will know how much money to budget for your seminar and a number of factors that will affect the overall cost.
Start making a budget plan for your seminar by determining how much money you have to spend on it. If your organization has allotted a certain amount for the event you will need to know what it is. If you plan to charge for the seminar in hopes of breaking even you will have determine how much to charge based on the number of expected attendees and the overall projected cost of the event.
Determine the overall cost of the event by making a list of the items needed to hold the seminar. Include such things as the cost of renting a facility if you do not have space available, the cost of renting audio-visual equipment for the presenters, the cost of the presenters if they are being paid, the cost of any printed handouts and pens and the cost of renting tables and chairs if you are planning to do so.
Request a budget plan from a previous seminar your organization held to get an idea of how much it paid for each of these items. You will also want to get a list of recommended vendors your organization has used in the past. If your organization cannot recommend any vendors, contact your local chamber of commerce or other organizations you have good relations with and ask if they can recommend vendors. Call the vendors you plan to use and request estimates based on the number of participants you plan to have at your seminar.
Keep track of vendor estimates by creating a form on your computer. Make a section for each item you need. For example, make a section labeled "audio-visual" and type in the company and the approximate price. If you get quotes from two companies, include them both and their prices. Do this for each item on your list and total the amounts. If you have different prices from similar vendors, start by adding the amount of the vendor you prefer and switch to the less expensive vendor if your total ends up being too costly.
Compare the total projected cost of your seminar to the amount your company budgeted to see if it is acceptable. If the cost is too great, consider charging participants to attend the seminar. Divide the cost of the seminar, or the cost of the seminar beyond the budget, by the number of expected participants to determine how much you should charge people.