Each one of us has attended a seminar, perhaps, at least once in our life. A seminar is probably the most basic event that most event organizers will prepare. Seminars usually take a day or two, at times for only half a day. Planning a seminar despite the specifics may not be too difficult to handle. How do you start to ensure that your attendees will spend a good time at your seminar? Starting to plan it as early as you can is one of the keys to make your event a successful one. Ready to plan your seminar?
Below are some steps for you to move forward:
- Know your goals/objectives.
This is the critical first step and you must have answers to these questions to develop concrete action plans:
- What is the topic of the seminar?
- Who is the audience?
- Why are we organizing this seminar?
- Why do people need to attend this seminar?
- Where should the seminar be held?
Being able to define your goals at the start will mean that you know exactly what type of seminar to organize, thus, make a success out of it. Some examples of seminars are team building, the orientation of new hires, business goals planning, and the like. Aside from the primary goals, you may have secondary goals – so prioritize and manage each of these goals one by one. It is important as well to establish if you need to make a profit out of the seminar so have this in mind right from the start.
- Have a clear budget
The core of your event has been defined and now is the time to ascertain how the available resources you have will be used up to shape your plans. Budget forecasting is important. Once you have prioritized your goals, gauge all the steps necessary to achieve each goal. Each goal will require financial resources, so ensure that what you’ll be spending will not exceed the budget you have allocated. It is also recommended as always to plan for a certain margin of error to be ready for probable unforeseen situations. It would be helpful if you can get hold of figures from past seminars for baseline data reference.
- Search for good sponsors
Learn what type of sponsorships you can offer. Research on the sponsors who have collaborated with the same kind of seminars and brands you are having with the same target market/audience. Prioritize the best choices and start to reach them via e-mail, their website or social media accounts. Afterwards, have a final list of all sponsorship contributions for your seminar.
- Choose the proper location, time, venue and vendors
Select your perfect geographical area as you identify the venue needed. Location is an important criterion when planning a seminar. There should be accessibility as you do not want the attendees searching for the venue for hours or maybe go from one building or floor to another. Better to be cautious so have a site visit. Check how many attendees will there be so as to set the venue’s capacity. A good venue can hold the number of people you expect but leaving the room well-ventilated and not crammed. Ask also the availability of Wi-Fi as well as other infrastructure (e.g. Audio-visual equipment, projector, etc.) you may need. See also if the venue has their own partner-vendors and if none, make a shortlist of local vendors you can depend on. Note also security needs and if this will be accommodated. If you are thinking of event space for rent, you may check out Roomz for listings as new ones are added daily.
- Develop your seminar website
The first thing you need to decide on is if you will need to have your own website or maybe a registration page. If you do – have this approved by the decision-makers. Once you have the go signal, you can either update your website or make a new one. Make sure that your site can handle the increased traffic once you go on selling the seminar. Lastly and this is perhaps the most important, see to it that your website is mobile-optimized as most people nowadays are on their mobile phones 24 x7.
- Promote your seminar
A few tips to promote your seminar:
- Create a messaging document that will be aligned with your seminar’s brand and objectives.
- Include seminar promotions in your e-mail and social media calendar and schedule accordingly.
- Create a Facebook Event for your seminar. You may also do promo videos to attract more attention.
- Post teaser and promo materials in all your social media accounts making a remarkable online presence.
- Establish your seminar agenda
What you need is an outline of your seminar’s program and schedule. Decide on the activities to be included and who’ll speak at what portion in your program. Don’t forget to provide intermissions to your attendees, whether restroom breaks, five-minute stretches and/or snacks. As you complete your agenda’s draft – have it checked and approved by the decision-makers. It is recommended to have a finalized program two months before the actual event. Days fly by so you need to focus on the pertinent details leading up to the event itself.
- Finalize timelines with your vendors (AV, venue, food, set-up)
Set aside time to finalize timelines with all your vendors – the AV, the venue, the set-up or decors, the food caterer, etc. This is perhaps the last phase of planning but nevertheless, one of the most critical steps. How would you go ahead with the event without making sure that all details are final and have the assurance to be taken cared of by all the vendors? Have a PLAN B, just in case. Ensure everything is foolproof; after all, one event can make or break you as an event organizer and the company that you represent.
With all the tips we gave you in this post, you are now set to plan the most successful seminar in time. As you gear up for the event, use these 8 tips to make sure everything will be in the right place and time. So, take a moment to relax and wait for the day of the event as success is surely guaranteed.