CONDUCTING A SUCCESSFUL SEMINAR
Introduction of Seminar
Seminars are forums in which issues are raised and explored, but not necessarily resolved; they require you to think, to practice the skills of analysis and synthesis, and by doing so, possibly leave with more and better ideas than the ones with which you came.
“Seminars are not a place for the transmission of data. Ideally they go beyond the sharing of facts and probe the depths of the subject matter at hand.” The success of the seminar is dependent on the group's ability to work together and, through intelligent discussion, develop an understanding of the material that they wouldn't have thought of on their own. Tips to successful seminars:
• Plan your overall objectives
• Plan your marketing mix of the seminar
• Plan your invitations and approach
• Plan your target group
• Plan you target list of attendees
• Plan your date and location
• Plan your type of seminar- large or small
• Plan your speakers and topics
• Plan your venue and details
• Plan your staff time and resources
• Plan your budget
• Plan your handouts and questionnaires
• Plan your equipment
• Plan your talk and time
• Review all details over and over
• Plan your follow up
• Repeat and improve
Steps for Planning the Seminar
Successful seminar planning begins two to three months before the proposed seminar date. Following these steps will help to ensure good planning. Allot 12-14 months to carefully plan your first seminar. I. BUILDING COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR THE SEMINARS
Estimated time needed: 4-6 months
✓ Establish local commitment to the seminars.
✓ Inform Education Committee of your programming plans. ✓ Encourage local support and sponsorship by inviting local policy decision-makers to accompany you to a state seminar.
Much time is needed to plan and nurture the partnerships with co-coordinators and advisory committee members. They not only share the workload for the seminars; they bring fresh perspectives, new networks, and additional resources to seminar planning and implementation.
✓ Recruit 15 to 20 active, committed persons.
✓ Recruit diverse and influential members of the community to serve. ✓ Educate committee members on the goals and process of Seminars. ✓ Get commitment and consensus to hold a seminar.
✓ Establish the structure of the committee (i.e. determine who will comprise the steering/executive committee and establish committee members’ responsibilities.)
Before you decide to hold a seminar, make a list and compare prices before you finalize and commit to a location and a date. Below is a list of items for you to consider for a seminar
✓ Establish a budget for the seminar.
Speaker: Speaking fee
Location: Room rental
Audio visual rental
Size and frequency
Paper & Printing for flyers/invitations:
Stamps and envelopes for mailing:
Handouts: Folders and inserts
TOTAL (plus all applicable taxes):
II. PLANNING THE SEMINAR
Estimated time needed: 6-8 months
✓ Choose a topic that is timely for the community.
✓ Review topics previously presented at the state and national level and determine if one matches community needs/interests. (Choosing a previously presented topic is recommended for the first seminar.) Structure
✓ Determine seminar format:
- How many speakers?
- Will you incorporate a discussion period? If so, how will it be facilitated? - Who will moderate the event?