5 Tips for Planning a Successful Business Seminar

A business seminar can celebrate your business’ successes or pave the way for a promising new future. A successful seminar will have employees discussing what they’ve learned, imputing new strategies into their business approaches and remembering the event fondly. To stage a successful seminar, incorporate these five tips into your planning process.
Business Speakers

Hire a Speaker

A business motivational speaker can act as the focus of a seminar or one of the many events that take place during it. You can determine the seminar theme or conversely, browse through available speakers and choose a theme based on their specializations. If the event occurs over several days, you may want to hire several speakers. Speakers may be able to speak on topics such as:

  • Innovation in the industry
  • Marketing strategies
  • The current market
  • Celebrating successes
  • Worker productivity
  • Industry expertise

These are just a few of the potential speech topics you’ll find available from professional speakers, all of which could make great themes.

Determine the Event’s Theme

Whether you determine the event theme first and find a speaker to suit the theme or let finding a suitable speaker spark the idea for your event’s theme, this is one of the first tasks you’ll have to do. If you don’t have a theme, the seminar won’t come together cohesively and the lessons taught during the event will be forgotten shortly after the fact.

A theme is something you can pinpoint into one or two words to drill that theme home with employees, such as “innovation” or “Internet marketing.” The title of the event should complement the theme.

Find the Right Venue

The size and scale of your event should factor into selecting the seminar’s venue. If the event is limited to a small number of employees or is a casual gathering, your office might work well, with a conference room as the place for a business speaker or other keystone events. If the seminar is for a large company or you want a large number of employees to attend a speaker’s presentation, you may have to move outside of the company.

Suitable venues for larger gatherings include:

  • A convention or conference center
  • A community or school theater
  • A large community or school gym
  • An area outside the company or in a park
  • A nearby university campus auditorium

Once you’ve selected a venue, make sure it’s available for booking on the day(s) of the event and think of what you might need to outfit the area for your event, such as chairs and multimedia equipment. If you select an outdoor venue, book a secondary location or date in case of bad weather.

Emphasize Interactivity

The best way to ensure employees take home the seminar theme is to engage them rather than lecture to them. As much as possible, make the event interactive with roundtable discussions, games and speakers who are willing to stick around to answer employee questions. You might also have teams from different departments compete for prizes or employee perks.

Promote, Promote, Promote

Build up excitement for your event in the weeks and months beforehand. Promote the event as soon as possible via email, social media, the company website and posters around the office. You might even start the games the weeks before the event as you countdown to the big day, offering small prizes to the first to correctly answer questions related to the theme. An engaged, excited employee is more likely to learn from the seminar.

Hiring a professional speaker, determining the theme of the event, finding an appropriate venue, making the event interactive and promoting the event beforehand are ways to stage a successful business seminar. For future seminar success, take a poll of your employees after the seminar to see what they thought of it. You can also touch base with them a month or so later to see if they’re still using what they learned in their work.

About the Author: Abel Katzenberger is a contributing writer and seminar consultant. He’s supervised seminars for everything from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses. He uses the event-planning company Leading Authorities for his seminars.

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