Seminars are one of the best forms of learning content that a business can use to brand themselves as experts in their field. Every business should be conducting seminars on a regular basis. Fortunately for you, most of your competitors aren’t.
Why are seminars such a great form of learning content?
First off, they are easy to conduct. There are many ways to conduct a seminar. In this article I’m going focus on one way to conduct a seminar that is easy, relatively painless and very effective.
Secondly, they are one of the few ways to “borrow” someone else’s expertise and use it to build your reputation.
And finally, they can be created without spending time, energy and money creating your own materials.
In this article I’m going to focus on a method that gets other people to do most of the work!
There are 8 basic steps involved in creating this type of seminar:
1. Determine your target audience
Like any other type of marketing you need to begin by profiling your target audience. After all, if you aren’t selling to a particular audience then you probably aren’t going to be selling to anyone. Besides, everything else is easier when you know your target first!
2. Identify their problems
Everyone has problems that they want to solve. That they demand to solve. That they will spend money to solve. Also known as their hot buttons. Your job is to identify them. These problems (or more correctly their solutions) will become the topics for your seminar.
3. Identify people and companies who sell to your audience
Not everyone who is selling to your customer is a competitor. Most people who buy automobile magazines also purchase cars. They most likely also buy car accessories. And gas. And… you get the idea. These people are your treasure chest. Some of them will make great sponsors. Shall we add cheap to the list of benefits? And some of them can supply great speakers. All of them will make a great source of mailing lists and advertising if you can convince them to support your seminar.
4. Identify a key speaker or headliner.
Okay, now that you’ve got your minor speakers, sponsors and crowd generators in place it’s time to consider your audience again. Who would they most like to speak to? Who can solve their most pressing problem? You need to have one really good speaker who will draw a crowd.
5. Plan your seminar
First off, you need to know how long you are going to make the seminar — hours, days, weeks. Give each of your minor speakers an hour and a half. Run multiple streams if you have enough minor speakers. Second you need to identify what you’ll need to pull this off — materials, advertising, and support.
6. Book a hotel
Hotel management loves conferences. Sometimes they even throw in the conference rooms for week-long or weekend events. Put on your negotiation hat!
7. Send out invitations (aka get marketing)
You’re more or less ready so let’s get this thing launched. Print up your invitations and get your “non-competing competition” to do a mass mailing for you. Get them to include the invite in all their invoices. If you’ve managed to get enough sponsors then get your advertising started.