Seminar or Conference – how to make it a success

Outline the benefits

This is not as easy as it seems, especially when you consider how many are available at one time. In addition, once you have set the date it is going to happen, whether you are ready or not! Deadlines just have to be met and planning is vital so here is Bath Marketing Consultancy’s checklist:

Choose the title with extreme care – It needs to offer something valuable to the audience not just be a sales platform for you and your business. I suggest a title along the lines of “How to…..” i.e the benefits rather than the “We do this…..” type of approach.
Venue – select on the basis of audience (i.e size and type) and your budget. VISIT IT IN ADVANCE to ensure it is appropriate, has good acoustics, air conditioning, good service from the staff, blackout facilities, toilets etc.
Invitations – these should be quality and well produced invitations not just a piece of A4 with lots of words on it about you. These have to be sent out a long time in advance; 2-3 months is about right. Always specify the day, time, contents, directions, parking facilities etc.
Follow up – always telephone as a follow up as opposed to just an email or an e shot.
Day/Date – believe it or not, this can have a massive impact on attendance. Avoid Mondays or Fridays. Obviously avoid National holidays!
Location – again, this is very important. Chose somewhere easy to reach and maybe somewhere where overnight accommodation is available.
Timing – my suggestion is not to run a seminar for a full day on one topic. Offer a morning only starting at about 10am and run until 12.30pm and provide a buffet!
Outside speakers – these really add credibility especially from a client side so maybe look to team up with another business. It also means that the audience wont get bored of one topic. (I ran a seminar on website design and content management and brought in my SEO expert = a natural partnership).
On the day – make sure you arrive early to test everything and then have sufficient staff on hand during the event. Maybe have handouts, badges etc.
Copies of the material – make these accessible, but possibly as a download from your website!!

In summary, if you are going to run an event, do it properly and professionally or risk some serious consequences. You want to be remembered for the right reasons and, if done successfully, a seminar can make a real positive impact on your business.
Need help? Get in touch with me via my website….

3 thoughts on “Seminar or Conference – how to make it a success

  1. Heather Stanbury July 20, 2010 / 12:07 pm

    Marketers must check that the venue has wheelchair access, a hearing loop system, and a disabled access toilet. If the venue doesn't have these facilities and has not made a reasonable adjustment to accomodate disabled customers, they are in breach of the DDA and so are you if you continue to use them. You must also give your guests an opportunity to confidentially disclose any needs/requirements they may have. This can be done in an RSVP slip. Do not ask them if they are disabled (many people who are not fully able to not count themselves as disabled). Just leave a space for them to state if they have any access, hearing or visual requirements. Remember you must do this confidentially!

  2. Paul Tagent July 20, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    Great advice Heather and thanks for taking the time to make a comment.

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