Organizing business conferences and seminars is one of the smartest ways to market your business and create more awareness of your brand. This explains why several thousands of business conferences and seminars are staged every year.

How well your conference or seminar goes can determine how participants will see your business or brand. A perfectly staged business conference or seminar sends signals that your business can get things right all the time. On the other hand, a poorly staged one will create long-lasting negative impressions in the minds of participants.

Every process, journey, business venture or investment; begins with a plan. Nothing succeeds without critical planning and attention to detail. As an entrepreneur and business owner, you can never shy away from conducting seminars or doing business presentations. Why do i say this? Well, below are some reasons why business presentations and seminars are important.

Why Organizing Business Presentations and Seminars are Important for Entrepreneurs

Business presentations and seminars are important to the process of:

Most of the time, business conferences and seminars seem to run perfectly with all events flowing smoothly according to schedule. In reality however, a lot has to be done to make that happen. Organizing a successful conference or seminar requires extensive planning and preparation. Much has to be done to create the right atmosphere as well as a beneficial experience for the participants. Here are the steps involved in organizing a successful business conference or seminar.

7 Smart Ways to Organize a Business Conference or Seminar

1. Select a topic or theme

The topic or theme of your event will determine the set-up, target audiences or participants, guests, and the marketing approach. In general, a business conference or seminar for a particular industry will have as participants those conducting business within that industry or the target customers of businesses within that industry.

In addition, the theme or topic of your business conference or seminar will determine the type of marketing channels to be used for publicity as well as the individuals to make up the marketing team. For example, a business conference or seminar on internet marketing will most likely depend on online marketing channels, since the target audience can be reached online, not offline.

2. Select a venue

The venue selection for your business conference or seminar depends on multiple factors. These include the expected number of participants, the presence of any guests of honor or international guests, activities during the event, and so on.

A typical business conference or seminar of about 100 to 200 participants can be easily staged in a hotel seminar room, possibly in a classroom setting or theater style setting. However, events of 500 to 1,000 or more participants will require a large hall, auditorium, or convention center.

The location and quality standard of the venue are also important, especially if VIPs or foreign guests are expected to attend. With this, you will need a reputable location with an attractive environment and good quality facilities. You sure don’t want to invite VIPs to a business seminar holding in a location generally known to be a slum.

3. Create a marketing plan

You have to create a marketing plan that begins with determining whether or not there is much demand for your seminar to attract attendees. Even when you are holding an in-house workshop, you must identify reasons why people should attending your event, this will assist you in the planning of your content.

You should also determine how you will reach your attendees, and how much it will cost you to reach them. Are you going to reach them through the use of direct print advertising, mail or social media marketing? You need to also determine how much to charge your attendees. You can check to see what similar workshops renders and charges. However, you must note that your aim of organizing the seminar or workshop will determine if attendance to your seminar will be free or carry a cost.

4. Determine the content of the seminar

Before organizing a seminar or doing a presentation, you must first determine what your topic is, where you will source the information, who will deliver it and how the information will be presented to the people. You may also need to add a program or agenda, with beginning and ending time for each portion of the seminar. Do not forget to add the breaks. Also, write a list of materials you will require, such as a workbook, the speakers you will invite and lecture handouts.

5. Write a list of the logistics that will be required for the event

Note down the cost of booking a location or venue and make arrangements for seats, a registration table, audiovisual needs, projector,  a podium and refreshments. It is up to you to determine if you will be bringing food and beverage to the area, or if you will use on-site catering.

6. Create and mail invitations

Your invitations can range from a simple Microsoft Word printout to a fancy design created by a professional graphics designer. It all depends on the size and formality of your conference or seminar.

To allow your participants enough time to plan their attendance, you need to send them invitations weeks in advance to the event. However, don’t do this so far in advance that they may forget before the actual date arrives, such as sending invitations seven months before the event date. Alternatively, you can send your invitations by email. But bear in mind that some recipients might not get email invitations due to overzealous spam filters.

7. Start marketing

Marketing is the most critical and most challenging task involved in organizing a business conference or seminar, and it is the most vital determinant of your event’s success. This is because the number of participants turning up for your event depends largely on your marketing efforts. Similarly, whether or not your event will achieve its objectives or not depends largely on marketing. So, you need to adopt the right marketing strategy to draw an impressive attendance.

Depending on your target audience, you will need to focus more on either of online or offline marketing. Offline techniques include distributing flyers and handbills, advertising in newspapers and magazines, advertising on TV and radio, and so on. Online techniques include paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and so on.

8. Get everything else set

Since the purpose of your event is to get a message across to participants, you need to prepare your presentation materials ahead of the event. You will probably want to create a PowerPoint presentation so as to have a visual reference when you or your speakers are presenting material.

Don’t forget to provide pens and writing notes available for participants, especially if the topic of your business conference or seminar requires that a lot be put down. In addition, you need to decide how you will entertain your participants and guests. If your conference or seminar will be running for a few of hours, you will need to offer lunch or light refreshments. If it starts in the morning and runs over the lunch hour, you will need to provide lunch.

You also need to create name tags and a sign-in sheet. It’s nice for participants to be able to see other people’s name and where they are from immediately after meeting them.

Another thing you shouldn’t forget to do is promote your business—especially if that’s your main objective for staging the event. Create brochures and other promotional materials about your business and place them on participants’ tables. With the above steps taken, you can arrange the venue a day or two to the event and ensure everything is set.

Ajaero Tony Martins