How to Organize a Seminar

Seminars are a great way to establish yourself as an expert. They are one of the few methods that allow you to claim expertise without having to actually demonstrate that expertise. And without having to present your ideas to your audience.

Despite the fact that you can gain "expert points" just by hosting the seminar and introducing the speakers, they do involve a fair amount of work. Most of this work is done during the organization or planning phase.

In this article I'm going to focus on the five areas you need to consider in order to organize any seminar.

But there is a sixth one that is more important though not, strictly speaking, part of the organizing. That sixth one is determining why you are giving the seminar, who you are going to give the seminar to and what format the seminars will take. Without having decided this beforehand you can not successfully organize a seminar.

Although there are different forms of seminar I'm going to concentrate on the multiple speaker formats in this article.

There are five main areas that you need to organize when you are planning a seminar:

1. Attendees

Your seminar is not going to be much of a success if it does not have attendees. Organizing or planning for attendees consist of four main parts. First you need to do things before the seminar. These are mainly focused on marketing and getting people to attend. Second, you need to do things while people are at the seminar. Many of these items will also be deal with under other headings. Third you need to make plans for when people are away from the seminar. This includes things like plans for hotel rooms and spouse programs. Finally, you need to make arrangements for after the seminar. Followups and reviews are important.

2. Speakers

Making arrangements for the speakers is another of the main areas. Under this heading come such items as booking speakers, arranging flights and hotels and related issues such as defining the need for escorts and security.

3. Environmental Arrangements

Under the headings of speakers and attendees there is a subheading of hotels. But while accommodations for your visitors is important there is a variation that is worthy of its own heading. I'm talking about making arrangements for a location for the seminar itself. Negotiations with the hotel for a room or multiple rooms can be long, complex and difficult. Or it can be quite simple. There's no way to tell despite the size and complexity of your seminar can help.

4. Handouts and Materials

It is the unusual seminar today that does not have some form of swag associated with it. But even if the event will not include free gifts there are a number of items you will need to plan for. These include the preparation and distribution of handouts and similar materials. And the arrangements for equipment needed by the presenters.

5. Support

Finally you need to think about those people who are the unsung heroes of any seminar. I'm talking about the support staff. Under this heading you will need to organize such elements as the registration desk, a sales desk, and aid for your attendees and speakers.

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