Putting together a seminar workshop can be a daunting prospect, but with the proper planning, it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you work from a seminar-planning template, then you can focus even more on the content of your presentation and conducting the seminar instead of the planning itself.
There are two main things you need to do initially when planning a seminar workshop:
- Determine the topic of your seminar.
- Pick an appropriate venue.
The topic of your seminar should be one that appeals to your target audience. It should be one that is somewhat novel in order to encourage people to attend, especially if you charge for it. You want people to get value out of attending your workshop and walk away with information that they can immediately put to use.
As for the venue, you’ll want one that is the appropriate size for the number of people you want to attend. If you are planning an intimate seminar for a handful of people, a restaurant may do. However, if you want to draw a larger audience, you may want to consider a hotel banquet or conference room to hold more people.
Once you have the two biggest hurdles out of the way, it’s time to organize your seminar workshop. Whether it’s just you, or you have a team of people with whom to work, there are several things that need to happen:
- Know your goals and objectives, both for the workshop itself and for the participants.
- Set your budget and stick to it as closely as possible. Also, set the price of attendance if it’s a paid event.
- Lock in the date, time and location of the seminar workshop.
- If you’re serving food at the event, get that squared away.
- Make sure the technology you need is available, whether it is standard audio visual, Wi-Fi or something more advanced.
- Plan your marketing strategy so you can be sure to reach the attendees you want.
- Promote the event with a marketing strategy that includes social media and traditional advertising channels.
- Create the seminar materials, including the agenda and any materials you want to distribute.
Since these are standard things to organize for any seminar workshop, it’s handy to have a seminar-planning checklist that you can run through for any event.
For many people, planning the seminar workshop is the easiest part and more so if you work from a seminar-planning template. Conducting a seminar is often a more stressful undertaking, especially if public speaking isn’t your thing.
When creating the meat of your seminar workshop, know how much time you have and be clear on the learning objectives you want to hit. For each section of your seminar, use a combination of lecture, visual aids and interaction. You want to make the seminar both engaging and informational so that your attendees stay engaged.
If it’s helpful, you can have role plays, frequent question and answer sessions and some breaks to help break up the lecture and get attendees involved. While there’s likely a lot of material you want to cover, you don’t want to overwhelm attendees with statistics and PowerPoint slides.
If conducting the seminar makes you nervous, practice in advance. Ask a friend or colleague to participate in practice sessions and provide constructive feedback.
End the seminar with a question and answer session for a specific length of time. If there are more questions than time allows, offer to respond later by email.
With proper planning and practice, your seminar workshop is likely to be a success.