Planning a Business Seminar

September 13, 2018

Confirm the Purpose of the Seminar

Before you start planning the details of your business seminar, you need to start off with a foundation to build from. You should already have an idea of why you’re organizing a seminar, so all you need to do is nail down your keynote or central theme. Is it content marketing? Is it customer service? Is it leadership skills? Once you have that theme set, you can start branching out from there to determine your main audience and the learning objectives and skills you want them to walk away with.

  • Keynote
  • Learning objectives
  • Audience

Create an Event Profile

Event planning materials

Before you start reaching out to different venues, it’s important to establish an event profile so you can easily communicate the details of your event to the planners at each venue. Your event profile includes the following information:

  • Type of event
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Estimated number of guests

Request Venue Proposals

Sometimes all it takes is a quick Google search to find eligible venues in your preferred location. It’s helpful to make a list of venues with contact information so you can check them off as you reach out. This is where having a clear-cut event profile comes in handy so that you can easily communicate the information needed to get an accurate proposal or quote. In addition to the basic information in your event profile, the venue will need to know the following:

  • Type of room(s) needed
  • Food and beverage needs
  • A/V needs

It’s a great idea to choose a venue that’s easily accessible and offers plenty of parking. This will ensure that your guests have a good experience from start to finish. It’s also smart to choose a venue with a variety of rooms and spaces available, particularly ones that are equipped with the proper screens and A/V hookups.

Once you’ve selected your venue, many event centers—like The NEW Center—have a dedicated specialist or planner who will be there to help you take care of all the details so you’re not taking on all of it yourself.

Spec & Create Event Materials

Figuring out what kind of branded materials you need becomes much clearer after determining where your event will be held. When you tour the venue, take note of the different places you may want to hang signs or set up agendas. Your event keynote could also play a role in the design of event materials, especially attendee gifts and handouts.

Below are just a few of the materials you’ll likely want to have created for your event. If your company’s own marketing department doesn’t have the capacity to design materials, you’ll likely need to work with third-party design and printing companies.

  • Invitations
  • Agendas
  • Signage
  • Attendee gifts

Book Speakers & Trainers

Keynote speaker at a business seminar

Searching for speakers and trainers becomes a lot easier once you have your keynote and subsequent learning objectives established. Similar to finding event venues, speakers can easily be found with a quick Google search. Pay close attention to the experience and reviews of the speakers, as both of those aspects will give you some great insight into how successful they will be at your event. It’s also a good idea to ask around the office and see what speakers or trainers your coworkers have met or experienced at past events.

When booking speakers and trainers, it’s important to have already established a rough agenda so that you can give them a timeframe in addition to the event date. Start by blocking out chunks of time for each topic or objective, and fill in your talent from there.

Market Your Event

Perhaps the most important part of planning a seminar is figuring out how to get people to attend it. That’s where marketing comes in, and it’s a great idea to lean on your marketing department for help. You’ll need ads designed and set up, an email list researched and crafted, social media coverage, print media designed and distributed—and whatever else you come up with in your marketing plan.

The most accessible place to start is on social media. The first step is to create a Facebook event with all the pertinent information about the seminar included. Invite any contacts you already have and encourage your coworkers to share the event from their own accounts. Posts coming from your company’s Facebook page will help drum up some exposure and excitement for the event, and you can even boost your posts so they’re seen by your ideal audience.

Event Execution—Make It All Happen!

In the weeks before the big day, you might find yourself thinking like a conductor, and that’s exactly what you should be doing. Think about how your event signage is getting hung up and who’s doing the work for that. Think about how your guests will be greeted when they arrive. Think about how your speakers will get their materials up on the screens. Make yourself a checklist to keep track of all these little details so that you don’t feel frantic and scattered when the day of the seminar approaches.

Once you’ve finally reached the big day you’ve been planning for nearly a year—take a deep breath and realize that things happen. People will arrive late. There could be a slight technological difficulty. But it’s not the end of the world and yours isn’t the only seminar where things have gone awry.

Trust in your plan and all the work you’ve put in up to this point. This is where all those little details come together—your signs are hung in strategic places, your agendas are being handed out as guests come in, your branded gifts will be dispersed as guests leave, food and drinks are served at your scheduled lunch break time—and the list goes on.

Are You in the Process of Planning a Seminar?

The NEW Center is the perfect venue for you! We’re ready to help you choose the right spaces for your seminar and start nailing down all the details. Contact us today to speak with a specialist about your event and receive a detailed proposal.

Categories: Event Planning Tips

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