In today’s fast-paced world, the need for bite-sized learning — short yet substantial pieces of information delivered in a time-bound manner — has grown tremendously.
For this reason, the value attached to seminars and other business-initiated forums has increased as well. When confronted with a choice between going through hundreds of pages of research material or listening to experts discuss topics of interest in a comfortable and convenient setting, the latter will most likely be preferred.
This demonstrates the wisdom behind conducting regular seminars as a cost-efficient and effective way for companies to reach out to their target customers and/or industry partners.
Here are five (5) helpful S.T.E.P.S. in achieving a successful and smooth-running seminar:
1) Set the objectives and goals
As with any corporate event, everything starts with identifying the purpose of the seminar. The objectives will set the tone for the event — providing the basis on how, where, and when to conduct the seminar, as well as whom to involve and how much to spend.
2) Take time to select the best roster of topics and speakers
As soon as the basic elements of the seminar have been identified (objectives, budget, event date and time, venue, target audience), organizers are now free to move forward to the next phase of the preparation.
Agreeing on the main and supporting topics of the seminar is a key factor in ensuring its success — so are the individuals to whom you assign them for discussion. While the chosen topics are able to rouse curiosity and interest among your intended audience even before the event takes place, the choice of speakers can also contribute the seminar’s overall success in terms of attendance and engagement. These two elements are the “heart and soul” of the event. Don’t leave these to chance, or to complacency.
3) Event details and cost projections must be identified
Got your preferred speakers to confirm their commitment to the seminar? Great! This is when it gets interesting. As soon as you have your line-up of topics and experts ready, you are now ready to go into full event planning and accounting mode. Create an outline of the seminar activities on an hourly basis, and identify the costs assigned to each segment of the program. Make sure to include necessary plans of action needed for setting up the venue and for marketing the event.
Once you have these, your team can now come up with marketing materials, the seminar’s program flow, and the comprehensive expense budget.
4) Prepare all the seminar materials and other technical requirements
Based on the topics and program sequence prepared, take time to proofread, compile and print all the seminar materials on a per-topic basis at least one (1) week before the actual event, ready for distribution!
And take our word for it, a little technical rehearsal can’t hurt! Make sure all the speakers’ visual presentations (if any) have been tested and given a quick run through prior to the event. Just to make sure that all the files are compatible with the equipment being used, and that all the equipment are in optimum condition.
5) Schedule one final production meeting before the actual event
Once all the details are in place, schedule a production meeting with the entire team, suppliers and speakers included, to ensure a smooth-flowing (if not stress-free) seminar!