The seminar industry is growing every year.
As more people recognize the huge benefits of receiving knowledge from a renowned expert, seminars in most industries are becoming more prominent.
At the same time, more experts are deciding that they have something to offer, and are considering starting their own seminar business that could boost their reputation and help drive more sales.
But for many, the process can seem complicated. After all, countless details go into planning a seminar, so executing it without prior experience can seem like a difficult challenge.
The good news is, even if you’re completely new to producing seminars, it’s entirely possible to produce one that will be a huge success.
With that in mind, let’s explore some of the most important aspects of starting a seminar business that you should consider.
Before we can dig into the specific strategies of producing and managing seminars, we need to understand some of the fundamental principles or what seminars are and why they are important.
In essence, seminars are events that are laser-focused on a specific subject, aiming to provide useful insights and answers to problems for the topics that they discuss.
Usually, seminars are hosted by industry experts who have a reputation in their field. For people to be interested, the workshop must not only have useful information but also have the authority of the speaker to back the claims that are made.
One of the biggest advantages of seminars is the opportunity to interact with the speaker and get answers to specific questions. Unlike books or pre-recorded materials, seminars provide unique value to the attendees, helping them address issues that they are facing and move past them in the most efficient way possible.
Often, seminars are also a place to connect with like-minded professionals in the field, expanding your network, and building partnerships. Sometimes, networking can be the most powerful aspect of a seminar that entices most people to go.
But even though they offer many benefits to attendees, why should you be the one to organize one? Well, there are just as many, if not more, benefits to seminar organizers as well.
For one thing, seminars are one of the best ways to build up your brand and become an authority in your field. If people see you on the stage or even know that you’re speaking on a subject, they will immediately assume that you are an expert, which can have long-reaching benefits for your business and career.
You can even use the seminars themselves as a lead generation tool by positioning your topics to showcase how you could help. For instance, if you understand a subject well, you could introduce the solution to the problem and connect it with the services that you offer.
Because you are providing immense value upfront, people will be much more likely to trust you and will likely allow you to guide them through their problems, opting for your services above everyone else’s simply because they’ve gotten to know and trust you.
How to Put Together a Seminar?
Now that we’ve looked at what seminars are and why you should organize them, we can explore the process of organizing seminars that get your ideal customers to take notice.
Understand Your Target Market
Before you can take any further steps in the planning process, you will need to answer the single most important question:
Who is your ideal attendee?
Only once you clearly establish the specific person that you want to reach, will you be able to make informed decisions about the seminar planning and execution.
There are simply too many variables and different approaches at various stages of the planning process. Therefore, having the people that you want to reach in your mind at all times will be vital if you want your event to cut through the clutter and move people to take action.
If you already have a business or are an expert in a field, you will probably want to look at your current customers or the people who could benefit the most from what you have to share.
To make your seminar business successful, you will likely not only need to attract people who might be interested in the topic but also reach those who have the best chance of wanting to use your services or buy your products.
You should also look at the competition and see what types of seminars are the most popular in your industry. That way, you can get a better idea of what people are looking for and can model your own seminar business in the same direction.
At the same time, you may discover opportunities for seminars that aren’t utilized by anyone else, providing you with an easier path towards entering the market and helping you fill the initial workshops up before you can get a reputation and build traction.
But probably your best insights about who to target and how to execute the numerous steps of seminar organization will come from talking to people directly.
If you can talk with your audience through the channels that you currently have, you will learn an immense amount about their biggest challenges and how they would like to address them.
As you put together your first seminars, you can use them as opportunities to talk with your audience as well. That way, you can discover what else they would like to learn and put together seminars about those topics.
Figure Out How You Can Add Value
The primary purpose of a seminar is to enhance people’s lives. Whether it’s advancing their careers, getting past hurdles in personal lives, or just gaining insights about accomplishing goals in general, seminars must always provide value, or you will have a hard time attracting attendees.
Therefore, after you figure out who you want to target, you must take the time to figure out why you’re the right person to help them. During this process, it’s also important to figure out how you can leverage some of the character traits of great leaders and put them at the forefront of how you are perceived.
Since you probably have at least some experience in the field that you want to talk about, finding things to talk about might not be that difficult. And if you took the time to speak with people from your target market, you might already have at least a few ideas about some of the most pressing problems they’re facing.
The thing to focus on is providing value, but that value should have a measurable impact on people’s lives. That way, when you present your topic, you can immediately highlight what the attendee can expect to gain and how it can impact their lives for the better.
You could provide actionable knowledge that helps advance people’s careers. Or offer advice on overcoming challenges in their personal lives. But you need something that will be the foundation of what you’re offering, as that’s the only way to get people’s attention when they have so many distractions in their daily lives.
Once again, you must consider how you can leverage the value you provide to attendees and position your services or products as the natural next step in the attendees’ journey.
Providing information is always a good thing. And you don’t necessarily need to always be thinking about sales. But if you plan on growing your seminar business, you need to be able to rely on your seminars to provide you with income beyond the attendance tickets.
Figure Out the Technical Details
A lot of the aspects of putting together a successful seminar are strategic. You need to understand who you’re trying to reach and provide the most value through the expertise you share.
However, beyond that, there’s also the need to make the event happen. And that has countless challenges that are probably completely unfamiliar to someone who has a little bit of experience in the events industry.
You will need to figure out where you want your event to happen, picking a venue based on how many people you think will attend, what amenities you require, and the most convenient location for everyone involved.
You will also need to figure out the suppliers for the event. That includes catering, drinks, and entertainment, not to mention the actual speakers that will appeal to the attendees.
Even seemingly little details like how you check in the guests or what ID badge to use for your event can play an important role, as misunderstandings or hold-ups during the event can disrupt the schedule and frustrate your guests.
With experience, you will probably find that these aspects become more familiar and easier to execute. But as you’re starting out, you might want to consult more experienced event planners that can help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls of the industry.
Put Together a Marketing Strategy
If you want your seminars to be successful, you must up your digital marketing game to help you fill-up the seats on most of your events. But with the competition rising in most industries, that’s not always an easy task.
Today, most of the best strategies you could employ are on the web, so having a website as a central hub for your efforts is a good starting point.
When designing your website, make sure that you take into account the insights you gain about your audience, designing branding elements and your brand’s voice to match your audience’s expectations.
Once your website is set up, you’ll need to create multiple landing pages and funnel traffic from a wide variety of sources.
If you have an existing audience on social media, you should make the most out of the organic reach that it can offer and actively promote your upcoming seminar. If you want to reach even more people, consider holding a contest for sharing your content and offer tickets to your event as a prize.
Since influencers play a vital role in attracting qualified leads for your seminars, you should focus a lot of your attention on getting in front of their audiences.
One good way to do that is to seek out opportunities for appearing on podcasts in your niche. That can provide you access to a hungry and responsive audience and give you a chance to showcase your expertise.
You could also seek out a social media influencer that has a following in your niche and offer him to partner up in promoting your upcoming seminar.
While you may not be able to target A-list influencers with millions of followers, the smaller influencers are usually easier to approach, more affordable to work with and have loyal and responsive audiences that are easier to persuade.
Finally, if you want to reach targeted pockets of people that you know could benefit from your seminar, using paid ads is always a viable option.
While it may be costly at first, when you fine-tune your ads and they become profitable, you can quickly scale and virtually ensure that every single event you host is fully booked in advance.
Combining the strategies listed above will help you get your events booked in the short term, but they’re just as effective in getting your personal brand more exposure.
In the long term, this will make your seminars one of the most anticipated events in your industry, which will allow you to raise prices and rely on word-of-mouth marketing to generate most of your leads for you.
Building a successful seminar business is a complicated task, which can sometimes take years to accomplish. Still, with the right strategies and a thorough approach, even someone with little experience in the field can build up their brand and become a prominent figure that constantly sells out their events.
By following the steps listed above, you will be well on your way to producing your first seminar and building a loyal following of people that will become your very best customers.
- 10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skill
- 10 Reasons to Start a Career in Public Speaking
- How Improving Your Public Speaking Skills Makes You a Better Boss?
- 7 Easy Actions You Can Take to Be an Effective Speaker
- The Importance of Presentation Skills in the Workplace
- Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes When Giving a Presentation