Hosting a seminar is one effective way to contribute value to your audience or community. Preparing well for a seminar might be tedious but it will be worth the effort because the long-term results for your brand are great. It is one way to establish credibility and build brand awareness in your field. Seminars are great avenues to deliver value to your audience.
Aside from building your presence with your audience, seminars are a great avenue for networking which audiences generally look forward to. People usually long for connection so being able to connect with colleagues in the industry and having an opportunity to expand business networks is usually a convincing factor for attendees to participate in a seminar. For event organizers, the audience of a seminar is usually considered as leads for conversion or for building a community.
In this article, we will give a complete guide on everything you need to know plus additional tips on how to prepare a seminar.
- Step-by-Step Process of Preparing for Your Seminar
- 1. Determine seminar goals and objectives
- 2. Set measurables indicators for a successful seminar
- 3. Choose a seminar topic and format
- 4. Determine seminar logistics like venue, platform, and event ticketing
- 5. Reach out to potential sponsors
- 6. Promote your seminar
- 7. Prepare for the seminar program
- 8. Conducting the Seminar
- 8. Follow-up and evaluation
- Preparation Checklist for Your Seminar
- Additional Tips in Preparing for Your Seminar
- Host Your Seminar with Event Espresso
Step-by-Step Process of Preparing for Your Seminar
1. Determine seminar goals and objectives
As with every event, the organizing team should clearly define the goal and objective of organizing. They should communicate the seminar goals and objectives among the whole event organizing team. If you’re organizing a fundraiser, clearly define the amount you need to raise and what it’s for. If you’re organizing a seminar, determine the specific outcome you want to achieve after the event. Some examples of goals and objectives are: to provide awareness of a certain product or service, provide training and professional development services, gather feedback or insights on the market, etc.
2. Set measurables indicators for a successful seminar
Setting a seminar goal and objective is not enough to ensure a successful seminar. Certain measurable indicators must be set as a basis to evaluate post-event success. For example, what measurable outcome must be hit for the seminar to be considered successful? What does success look like (KPIs), e.g.:
- A certain Net Promoter Score?
- Attendance numbers or rate?
- A number of sales?
- Number of students enrolled in a course?
Hitting these goals can help set your targets and tactics for future seminars.
3. Choose a seminar topic and format
The next step to preparing your seminar is choosing a topic. Your topic is important in determining how attractive your seminar will be for your potential attendees. Research relevant topics that can also be relevant to the industry you’re serving. One good way to determine what’s trending is by browsing through discussion forums or feeds on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Quora. By getting a pulse of what they’re talking about, event organizers can craft a program with engaging talking points relevant to the audience.
The format of a seminar can vary depending on the objectives and needs of the audience. Seminars are now not only limited by face-to-face events but also virtual or hybrid ones so consider what would your target audience prefer. Most seminars typically include a mix of presentations, discussions, and interactive activities. Presentations can be delivered by one or multiple speakers and can cover a variety of topics related to the theme of the seminar.
Discussions can be facilitated by a moderator through breakout groups, allowing attendees to share their insights and experiences. Seminars can also be formatted as a virtual roundtable too if a virtual format supports the specific topic well.
Interactive activities can include hands-on exercises, role-playing, or other activities that allow the audience to apply the information learned during the seminar. Overall, the format of the seminar should be designed to maximize engagement and ensure that attendees leave with a deeper understanding of the topic and the skills needed to apply it in their work or personal life.
4. Determine seminar logistics like venue, platform, and event ticketing
Next up is finalizing the date, time, and venue for the seminar. If you’re hosting an event with participants from different states, take note of the date and time that would work best for the different time zones your guests will be attending from.
With the date and time set, reservations for the venue can be accomplished. If it’s a virtual event, you can start preparing for the event ticket registration process and choosing the web platform you plan to host it on. If it’s a paid event, determine the price per ticket and how it will be sold.
Event Espresso is a WordPress plug-in solution you can consider with its unlimited ticket-selling feature at a $0 commission fee. It’s a simple, plug-and-play solution with a flat fee containing all the event ticketing solutions event organizers need. For events without a website, you can try Event Smart.
5. Reach out to potential sponsors
Depending on the size and goal of your seminar, you can start scouting for potential sponsors. Having sponsors can elevate your event with the support and partnership they can offer. Whether it’s the extra exposure or additional funding, make a good first impression by crafting a good sponsorship proposal.
6. Promote your seminar
Every event organizer dreams of selling out all tickets to their event. This requires going through a detailed event marketing plan and strategy.
To promote your seminar, start by preparing the needed promotional material that you will be posting on your event website or social media. There are free tools like Canva that can help you in creating custom publication materials regarding your event. A promotional graphic should contain all the basic information your attendee will look for like the name of the event, a short description of the event, date, time, venue, and ticket price.
An important aspect of promoting your seminar is by publishing your own event page. Having a custom event site builds your credibility as you customize and add social proof, event speaker details, etc. Your own site also allows Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which can boost the visibility of your seminar.
Finally, you can never go wrong with promoting your event on social media. Start by sharing it with your own circle and having your immediate circle reshare it. Take advantage of the algorithm and create your content in a way that immediately hooks the attention of your audience. Try creating short videos for different platforms and tap on user-generated content or social proof posts for a more authentic type of content.
7. Prepare for the seminar program
To prepare for the seminar program itself, we recommend starting planning at least 6 months before the event. You can start by creating a seminar program flow for your event. Add the time, expected activities per hour, and contact information of people involved to ensure smooth coordination throughout the seminar proper.
During the preparation period, you should also coordinate with your speakers and print seminar materials to use for the event.
One way to keep the audience engaged throughout the program is through the slides or Powerpoint presentation. Use the presentation slide as a compelling visual aid and include prompts like icebreaker questions to start the program with energy. The seminar speaker should practice good presentation skills by keeping the slides short and only including the main key points and engaging the crowd with empathic delivery.
By this time, you should set up and have your event ticketing registration ready to run. If you have a WordPress website, then selling your tickets and setting up registration won’t be a hassle. Event Espresso offers unlimited ticket selling at $0 commission fees. Enjoy all the features at a simple, flat rate. For those who don’t have a WordPress site, Event Smart allows you to host your own event page and sell unlimited tickets at a $0 commission fee as well.
8. Conducting the Seminar
To ensure a smooth seminar presentation, event organizers must oversee the whole attendee experience from start to finish. Start by sending an event confirmation email to remind participants of the upcoming seminar.
During the seminar, the organizers should align speakers or moderators on the overall program flow and seminar objectives. They should craft their presentations in an engaging way, citing case studies or real-life examples that participants can remember even after the seminar. The organizers can also utilize a segment where participants can be split into small groups to encourage networking among colleagues.
8. Follow-up and evaluation
After the seminar, it’s time to measure the success of your event based on the goals you’ve set in the beginning. If the seminar was an in-person event, you can pass along an evaluation paper or survey form to gather feedback and comments about the event. If the event was an online seminar, you can use your ticket registration platform like Event Espresso or Event Smart to send an email blast to the participants
Within a week post-event is the time when you send follow-ups. Send materials you have promised during the seminar discussion, or even deliver an additional bonus value item to them to keep your brand top of mind even after their experience with you. Event organizers can use this time to maximize and maintain a long-term relationship with them moving forward,
Preparation Checklist for Your Seminar
To help you how to prepare a seminar, here is a free downloadable preparation checklist for seminar planning that you can use. Feel free to print a copy or share it with someone who is planning a seminar soon.
Additional Tips in Preparing for Your Seminar
Part of preparing for a seminar is to make sure you have the right marketing principles to generate buzz for your seminar.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Build your community – No community is too small. Keep growing and nurturing your community no matter how small. A handful of very loyal audiences can surprise you with amazing results. Imagine 10 people inviting a person each to your seminar. You have added 10 new additional people into your community to nurture and made new people aware of you and your brand.
- Leverage social proof and user-generated content – Good testimonials and feedback would always be a classic way to convince your potential attendees. Don’t be afraid to share authentic user-generated content and behind the scene content. People connect more with authentic content.
- Review your prepared script with your emcee – Your host or speaker can make or break your event so it’s critical to go through the script and make it interesting. Narrow your script to bullet points with only the main points so the speaker or moderator can focus on conversing with the audience. Build a connection with the attendees by having eye contact and adapting to the pulse of your audience.
- Double-check your audio – Don’t lose the crowd with audio glitches. Your main avenue to communicate with your seminar participants is through the audio. Experiencing audio difficulties during your event can potentially lose your participants’ interest from the beginning.
Host Your Seminar with Event Espresso
Hosting a seminar is ideal with Event Espresso. It offers a user-friendly interface, allowing you to customize event registration forms, set ticket prices, and handle online registrations seamlessly. It also provides robust features like attendee management, event calendars, and payment processing integration. With EventEspresso.com, you can effortlessly handle every aspect of your seminar. This includes sending out invitations to collecting feedback after the event.
Watch a demo of Event Espresso now and start planning for your seminar.