Do you need a new way to market your business? Are traditional ways of advertising not getting the results you want? Is public speaking and talking to people something you enjoy doing? Then perhaps running a seminar to enhance awareness of your business and/or service is something you should consider.
Holding seminars is a different approach to getting information out to a large audience. Today, people largely get their information from media sources such as television or the Internet. The value of being able to see and hear someone speak (in person) about something that they are passionate about is apparent: There is something to be said about having that face-to-face interaction with someone else, as it creates a familiarity and an environment where people can relate to each other and the products or services being discussed.
If you decide to hold a seminar, there are three things you need to consider that will help make it compelling:
- Decide on your seminar objectives,
- Decide how you’ll market your seminar, and
- Decide whether to use guest speakers.
What Are Your Seminar Objectives?
Before you start, it is important to set your seminar objectives. Without doing this, planning your seminar and what you want to get out of it is nearly impossible and probably very stressful. Like any business event, planning is essential. What do you want to get out of it? You might wish to get information out to the public about what services your business has to offer, advertise your website, collect testimonials, or attract media attention. Reasons for setting these objectives include:
- making sure that you can allocate resources for your seminar,
- making sure that you schedule the seminar at an effective time,
- ensuring that you are able to recognize your opportunities, and
- making sure that you stay motivated.
Marketing Your Seminar to Audiences
Marketing your seminar to audiences is also an important part of running this kind of event well. Without proper marketing techniques and tools, information about your seminar will not be effectively distributed to prospective audiences. According to author Barbara Siskind, “marketing your seminar is probably the most important stage in your planning activities. It will help you eliminate the risk of failure.”
Some ways to market and promote your seminar are:
- Create a media release to send to editors of various publications to grab their attention.
- Create a brochure or marketing piece as a handout at mall exhibits, community events, or businesses in the area.
- Create an effective advertisement with basic information about the seminar, including the benefits of attending, what will be learned, presenter information, a photo, and a brief description of the registering process.
- Create posters to put up in large areas if you are marketing in a large, urban area.
- Create invitations to give a more personal feel when marketing your seminar.
These take a little more time and effort, but the result is that the people who receive these invitations will most likely appreciate the effort you put in and consider coming to your seminar more thoroughly than if you were to simply pass out fliers or put up posters around your city.
Using Guest Speakers in Your Seminars
Using guest speakers in your seminars will help to take some of the pressure off of you and make your seminars more interesting with constantly changing content. Having someone else give a presentation can bring in more diverse content which will help your audience stay engaged; they’ll remain interested if your seminars feature a variety of individuals as opposed to simply one person who speaks at every seminar that you hold.
Using guest speakers may also be a smart option if you are not comfortable speaking in front of large audiences.
Guest speakers allow you to focus on some of the smaller details of your business seminar as opposed to focusing on the presentation. Although you will still be mainly involved in the seminar, you will be able to focus on your guests and run the entire seminar expertly; you won’t have to worry about handling questions or explaining concepts in further detail, as this is the presenter’s responsibility. Seminars are an informative way to get people interested in your products and/or services. However, it doesn’t matter how engaging your seminar is if you don’t take the time to determine the objectives of your event, promote your business seminar, or brainstorm new ideas to keep your audiences interested.
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