The Secrets to Running a Successful Seminar

In this article, we'll share with you ideas and inspiration for anyone who is thinking of speaking or hosting a seminar at an event.


Matthew Larcome

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Seminars and workshops are an important ingredient at any type of exhibition.  They form the core agenda for the event and help attract a targeted audience.  

When we organise our regional business shows, we carefully select seminar themes based on what our visitors would benefit from the most.  And in this article today, we’re going to share with you how you can run the perfect seminar to not only help promote what you do, but to be seen as an industry expert.

The first step is to make sure you secure a speaking slot.  If you’re exhibiting at an event, never assume that the organisers will provide you with a free seminar.  For some events, including the exhibitions we organise at Memo Events, you have to apply to be a speaker.  

If this is the case, make sure you include as much detail as possible so that the organiser knows exactly what you are looking to speak about and how it will benefit visitors to the business show.

Secondly, when it comes to seminars, less is sometimes more.  The perfect seminar length is around 20 – 30 minutes.  Longer speaking slots are always reserved for keynote speakers.  But if you’re just looking at providing visitors with a more in-depth look into what you do and how you can help them, our tip is to keep your seminar short.  Remember that it’s not a sales pitch either, it should be an insight into the services you provide.

The third step is to ensure you have rehearsed your presentation.  Make sure that it is funny and engaging.  Visitors will switch off and stop paying attention to you if you make your seminar dull and boring. Be honest with the subject you are talking about.  If you’re talking about auto-enrolment, for example, make sure you have an interesting seminar title and that you make the content as exciting as possible.

The fourth step is to promote your seminar as much as you can.  If you’ve been fortunate enough to have been given a speaking slot, do everything you can to ensure you get bums on seats.  Nobody wants to talk to a room full of chairs!  There are loads of ways to market your seminar.  You can email your database inviting them along, print flyers to hand out at your stand and tell people you meet at the show to attend… the list is endless.  And don’t forget social media either!  It’s a very powerful way to cost-effectively advertise anything you’re doing at an event you are apart of.

Finally, don’t forget to follow up.  Find a way of collecting the contact details of the people in the room. Get visitors to write down their details on their way in or simply collect business cards.  It’s important that you invite people to your stand (if you have one) so that they can find out more. You also want their details so you can send them content after the show.  

Speaking at a business show is a privilege and never take it for granted that the room will be packed.  You have to help the organisers of the event to promote the seminar too and think about the subject and the way your seminar will be advertised to attract the right audience.

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