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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