How to build a successful seminar – and move your seminar from good to great by creating the right experience.

Dr Cheryl Whiting, Director, Veda Education and Training Consultancy Ltd offers some advice on how to design and deliver a seminar that positively promotes you and your business.

Seminars are a great marketing strategy, valuable to both your business and your clients. However, to be successful, you need to carefully plan in order to be impressive, and to be sure you make the right impact and get the outcomes you desire. 

Seminars are an excellent way of making yourself visible; raising awareness of yourself, your product and service or your company. It provides the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, build your credibility and gain peoples trust. It’s a useful means of sharing information, building relationships, getting to know existing clients and finding new ones. 

My work as an educator and trainer involves helping and supporting people to design and deliver workshops and seminars that makes them memorable for all the right reasons. Ensuring that their audience are left wanting more, rather than running for the door. Skilful presentation is an art, but words alone do not make you unforgettable; both design and delivery are significant. Aim to make it enjoyable and offer your clients an entertaining experience, rather than a lecture, no one wants to feel that they are back at school!   

So, here’s a few ways to help you to design a deliver a great seminar

  • Planning should start with both yourself and your clients in mind. Before you plan it’s important to understand the purpose of delivery, is it to gain insight into customer needs, convert prospects into clients, may be promote other services? etc.  Make sure you pick a venue that complements your subject as this adds to the experience, this helps to subtly reinforce your message. If you are promoting investment opportunities, a decorative and classy hotel is far more attractive and pleasing on the eye than your local community centre
  • Have a clear sense of content, your aims and objectives. Don’t try to include too much, remember it should be fun and easy to deliver and your audience will not want to be bombarded with information. Think of ways to make it interactive, this helps keep everyone awake and engaged. It also means you do less work and allows people the opportunity to share their experiences which the rest of the audience can learn from. Ensure you inspire and make a difference, people will want to leave with useful relevant information, and an understanding that can be acted on.  
  • Be sure to plan your style of delivery in a way which works for you and plays to your own strengths, as this ensures you appear authentic and sincere. Ensure your presentation is well structured with a clear beginning, middle and end you should be comfortable with, and adept at chosen method of delivery. Your passion and proficiency will then complement your authoritative expertise and enhance your credibility. 
  • Make sure you know your audience in advance, who are they? Where are they from? and what will you be able to offer them that is of benefit? Make sure you connect with your audience in some way before you start the seminar. Meet and greet, take time to chat and learn something about everyone. This raises your potential to connect your audience with the content, and be more participant centred by drawing on their experiences to illustrate points. What is more you create an immediate talking point for when you follow up after the event. In addition, make sure you orchestrate opportunities for people to mix and mingle with other participants too. People often attend events to network, such opportunities help create energy, build rapport and enables you to foster good group dynamics. 
  • Add value by giving people more than they expected. Your audience will want to see value for money and value in the relation to the time they have invested. Do not underestimate the importance of good quality refreshments; food and drink unite people and should complement your event. So, if you’re promoting health and wellbeing, it’s wise to favour fruit over donuts. People like take away gifts as well as take away memories, what can you offer your audience? Bonus materials, prize draw entry, a £10 voucher, free months subscription or consultation or an e-book are always attractive options.  

Seminars are a great way to show case yourself and can benefit your business in many ways. Knowing what you want it to feel and look like is where it all starts, delivering an enjoyable experience that leaves your audience inspired and wanting more is where it ends. If you’d like further help and advice on how to design and deliver a seminar that’s engaging and interactive, need help to design creative materials or learn how to exude confidence and make an impact then get in touch. There’s a 30-minute free consultation on offer to Bronze, Silver and Gold Business Growth Network members. To book and arrange your consultation email Cheryl – info@vedaconsultancy.co.uk Discover more about Cheryl and  Veda Education and Training here: www.vedaconsultancy.co.uk