Running a Seminar as part of marketing?

The decision to run a seminar should not be taken lightly. It is very likely that you know your subject matter inside out and could pull together a presentation very quickly, but a seminar is a tool that is used to enhance your reputation so care, attention and in particular, preparation should be taken. There might be an argument for a conference rather than a seminar as this would imply that you are on a major marketing push and have reputable speakers from outside your organisation. 

Seminar or conference, it is all about making it a success and it is not as easy as it seems. Once you have fixed the date, it is going to happen! You cannot postpone or cancel as this would have very negative implications for your business, so plan ahead and here is my checklist:

Choose the actual title with care; make sure that you are offering something valuable like “how to achieve…….” or “The benefits of …….”
The venue is paramount. Make sure you visit in advance and have good audio visual equipment (if required).
What about the parking, signage, cloakroom facilities, refreshments etc
Produce formal invitations that are sent out in advance and that specify format, content, directions, timings etc
Follow up your invitations by telephone! (obvious, but very often missed)
Chose the best date (avoid start or end of the week, national holidays etc)
Try and give at least 6 weeks notice of the event to your invitees
The location must be accessible with parking & possible overnight accommodation if required)
Make the timing of the event comfortable – not a whole day of non-stop talking
Use outside speakers if possible to add credibility
On the day of the seminar/conference, make sure you have enough staff on hand as well as badges for the delegates – remember they are unlikely to know each other!
Make your leave behinds good

In other words, if you are going to invest time and money into this sort of marketing activity, do it properly and for the right reasons. I feel that one of the best ways of achieving success is to get a professional company/organiser in to arrange the event……………….and a professional marketing company to do the marketing!

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