Seminars actually take more time to plan than people think. It is not just lecturing a crowd of people. Time must be taken to effectively plan for the seminar. Many factors must be taken in after all. Who is coming to the seminar? What should the main purpose of the seminar be? How should I promote this seminar? All of these questions must take time to answer. Failing to effectively plan for a seminar results in a low attendee turnout and a clumsy looking seminar. Keep these tips in mind when planning for a successful seminar.
- Know your audience- Some people fail to ever think about who they are speaking to. They end up unsuccessful in their attempts to draw attention to their seminar. If you plan on giving a seminar to primarily young people, do not put advertisements in newspapers where they will probably not look. Likewise, if you want to draw senior citizens to your seminars, don’t put an ad on Facebook or some other social networking site where they will probably not look either. Advertise somewhere your audience goes to accesses often. There is no point in promoting your seminar where your prospective audience will not see it.
- Plan early- Seminars can take up to 4-6 weeks to plan. Planning a seminar shouldn’t be done in less than a week. Cutting your planning time short will result in a clumsy, unorganized and awkward seminar. Have all the details in place before the seminar. Make sure to reserve the appropriate venue for your seminar as well. Reserving a venue for 30 people only to realize that 50 people are coming is never a good idea. Time constraints are also factors that need to be considered. Planning a seminar for working adults in the middle of the day during the weekdays is a recipe for disaster, so make sure to set a time and date that is available to your audience. If the seminar requires any AV or technical work, make sure to plan ahead for that as well so everything runs smoothly during the presentation. All of these factors take time to figure out so make sure to plan well ahead for the seminar.
- Expect Mistakes- Obviously, we are not perfect and sometimes issues can come up. Don’t panic. The audience will most likely not notice the issue unless you call attention to it. Hopefully, the issue is minor enough that it requires no attention. If it isn’t, have it taken care of discreetly.
- Ask for feedback- All the planning has paid off and the seminar is finally delivered! As well as the seminar did or did not go, make sure to give the audience a chance to respond. Hand out sheets the audience can fill out to tell you how you did. Was it informative? Did it run smoothly? These will be used to make your next seminar even better.
Planning a seminar doesn’t have to be the monster people make it out to be. Use these tips to make seminar planning a breeze.