These days there are seminars for every topic you can think of. Everything from financial planning to gardening has some sort of seminar available for people to learn more. People want to attend these seminars because it provides them with information quickly. We’re living in an on-demand society and people don’t have the attention span for long classes on a given subject.
Chances are good that your attendees will have a few expectations of your seminar. Falling short on those expectations could cause your seminar to flop. Here are some tips for hosting a successful seminar.
Tips for hosting a successful seminar
Identify speakers early
Many times seminar attendees will attend to hear a particular speaker or even several of your speakers. The earlier on that you can book your speakers, the better an attendee can decide to attend.
Post a list of your speakers on your website and social media so that potential attendees can find the information easily.
Create speaker bios so that anyone who doesn’t know the speaker can get an idea of their background. Equally important, provide a title and brief description of the talk each speaker will be giving. This will let attendees decide whether they want to hear a certain talk or not.
Help with accommodations
Many seminars attract visitors from out of town and may be unfamiliar with the area.
Take the time to arrange for special event rates at a nearby hotel. This can save your attendees a little bit of money, which they’ll certainly appreciate.
Create a map or list of local points of interest and post it on your website. Out of town attendees will want to know where coffee shops and restaurants are, as well as banks and ATMs, pharmacies, bars, and information on public transportation.
The goal is to educate, not get rich
When hosting a successful seminar, make your #1 priority the education of your attendees. Of course, you need to cover expenses of the seminar, so charge accordingly. If you aren’t charging enough, you probably won’t be willing to host the seminar again in the future.
What you want to create is an environment where the attendees get something of value from your seminar. Doing this will help promote the goodwill of your brand, and increase the trust factor that people will have with you.
The fewer sales related topics pertaining to your organization there are during the seminar, the more comfortable people will tend to be with you. Try to build the relationship with your attendees, and the sales will come later.
If you want a seemingly “organic” sales approach, try inviting a few of your satisfied customers who may become advocates for you without you asking them to be. Plant those “seeds” around your seminar, and let them praise your work.
Provide a way for attendees to connect
It can be a good idea for you to post a list of attendees on your website and ways to get in touch with them. Something like a small photo, their name, website, and a link to a relevant social media profile.
This can help attendees who want to connect with someone they met by offering a way to get in touch. Also, providing an attendee list before the seminar can help people decide to attend if they see someone on the list that they’ve been meaning to connect with.