8 steps to organise your seminar!

8 steps to organise your seminar!

The sem­i­nar is a spe­cial pro­fes­sion­al event with organ­i­sa­tion­al prin­ci­ples of its own. It aims to train and inform par­tic­i­pants on a spe­cif­ic top­ic or theme. Despite the speci­fici­ties of such an event, organ­is­ing one is not so dif­fi­cult! Every­thing is a mat­ter of plan­ning and fore­cast­ing. If you don’t know where to start to ensure every­one has a good time at your sem­i­nar, fol­low­ing these few steps will show you the way for­ward.

1. Know your goals

Defin­ing the seminar’s goals is a crit­i­cal first step. You must be able to give a clear answer to the ques­tion: why are we organ­is­ing this sem­i­nar? Once this ques­tion is answered, you should know what you are expect­ing from the event. Based on these ele­ments you will devel­op a con­crete action plan. Defin­ing the event’s goals before­hand will allow you to know exact­ly what type of sem­i­nar to organ­ise, and there­fore suc­ceed in its organ­i­sa­tion. Some sem­i­nars, for exam­ple, will have team-build­ing as the main objec­tive, oth­ers will be used to train new hires or cel­e­brate an increase in rev­enues, etc. From the main goal, sev­er­al sec­ondary goals will fol­low — you should then pri­ori­tise them so as to best man­age them one by one.

2. Define who your attendees are

Sev­er­al stake­hold­ers should be con­sid­ered when you organ­ise this type of event. First­ly, you will need to deter­mine the tar­get you are aim­ing for. This step will be crit­i­cal in your event plan­ning. Your main tar­get is every­one who is direct­ly con­cerned and affect­ed by the main theme of the sem­i­nar. Nev­er­the­less, when we talk about par­tic­i­pants in this par­tic­u­lar case, they are not lim­it­ed to those attend­ing the sem­i­nar, but also include the speak­ers. Once you have iden­ti­fied the infor­ma­tion to con­vey and who will con­vey it, it is time to find the peo­ple who will share this infor­ma­tion. It is often advis­able to choose only one speak­er to ensure good flow and a log­i­cal con­ti­nu­ity in the way ideas are pre­sent­ed. But if that can­not be the case, do not hes­i­tate to involve more peo­ple.

3. Make budget forecasts

The sub­stance of your event has been defined, it is now time to know how the avail­able resources will be used to shape the for­mat accord­ing to your wish­es. This is where the bud­get fore­cast comes in. The bud­get is based on the first two steps as well as var­i­ous finan­cial con­straints. Once the goals are pri­ori­tised, you must assess the means nec­es­sary to achieve said goals. Each one will require finan­cial resources. It will there­fore be nec­es­sary to ensure that all planned expen­di­tures do not exceed the incomes allo­cat­ed to them. Our last advice on the bud­get is to always plan a mar­gin of error for poten­tial unfore­seen expens­es.

4. Choose the right date

The time has come to set the per­fect date for your sem­i­nar. The dif­fer­ent date options must be care­ful­ly assessed to pre­vent guests from being unavail­able. You will need to choose a date when the major­i­ty of the par­tic­i­pants will be avail­able. Avoid peri­ods when your tar­get audi­ence is like­ly to be on hol­i­days, or bank hol­i­days and nation­al cel­e­bra­tion days. Before set­ting a defin­i­tive date, it is also impor­tant to ask par­tic­i­pants if they are avail­able.

5. Find a suitable venue

An event’s venue should be cho­sen based on sev­er­al cri­te­ria. The first is capac­i­ty. Capac­i­ty here means the num­ber of peo­ple the room can hold, leav­ing the room airy and not too crowd­ed. Then, the sec­ond cri­te­ri­on to con­sid­er is the loca­tion. If you are organ­is­ing a sem­i­nar for peo­ple from your office, it is not nec­es­sary to choose the most remote venue in the city even if you want to be orig­i­nal, espe­cial­ly when the guests pay for their own trans­port. Access to the sem­i­nar should also be easy, with­out hav­ing to search for hours, wan­der­ing from one floor to anoth­er or from one build­ing to anoth­er. Once you have found a place that seems appro­pri­ate, you real­ly must vis­it it. A few pho­tos or some brochures will not show you the real state of the venues at that time. Bet­ter to be cau­tious.

6. Use an online registration solution

Using an online reg­is­tra­tion solu­tion will help you light­en your work­load. It will allow you to eas­i­ly man­age reg­is­tra­tions to the sem­i­nar and even sell your tick­ets online. The impor­tance of such a solu­tion is para­mount in the suc­cess of the organ­i­sa­tion of your sem­i­nar. That’s why you need to make sure that the online reg­is­tra­tion solu­tion you choose is easy to use, quick to roll-out, and has many fea­tures to help you man­age your reg­is­tra­tions.

7. Organise activities

When you organ­ise a sem­i­nar, always think about plan­ning the activ­i­ties that will take place dur­ing the event chrono­log­i­cal­ly. Detailed plan­ning must be done days or weeks in advance. To ensure that the plan is car­ried out cor­rect­ly, you will need to do some rehearsals and all the nec­es­sary checks before the event itself. You will also have to plan some breaks with food and drinks, includ­ing a mar­gin of error for all activ­i­ties to avoid being caught off guard by any unex­pect­ed cir­cum­stance.

8. One guiding principle: Communication

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion will deter­mine the image and the scope of your event. The big­ger the event, the more com­mu­ni­ca­tion you will need. You must fol­low-up with your audi­ence (your online reg­is­tra­tion solu­tion may allow you to do this auto­mat­i­cal­ly) at least once before the sem­i­nar takes place. A fol­low-up must be sent at least a week before the sem­i­nar — it will allow you to have a bet­ter esti­mate of the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants at the sem­i­nar (through the respons­es col­lect­ed), in addi­tion to remind­ing the par­tic­i­pants of the upcom­ing event. You can com­mu­ni­cate via your mini-site or web­site, but also using social media (Face­book, Twit­ter, Insta­gram, Snapchat, etc.). Nev­er­the­less, your com­mu­ni­ca­tion work does not stop there. Indeed, after the sem­i­nar, it will be essen­tial to send a report of the sem­i­nar — if any — as well as emails to thank the par­tic­i­pants, and to col­lect their feed­back and opin­ion.

You now have the essen­tial tips for organ­is­ing a suc­cess­ful sem­i­nar. Plan, sched­ule, and always have a good man­age­ment solu­tion at your side for your events to make your tasks eas­i­er, as well as those of your par­tic­i­pants.

Ready to organ­ise your own pro­fes­sion­al event? Start now with Weezevent:

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