Every year, hundreds of thousands of people pay to attend meetings, seminars, workshops and training programs where professional presenters encourage, enlighten and enliven them. Some of these folks are sent by their companies to learn new skills – everything from time management to basic math smarts to super sales techniques. Others attend on their own, seeking personal growth – how to communicate better with spouses, significant others and kids; manage stress; or on investments.
I guess you have already got an insight of what all you can achieve in this segment!
In recent years, with increasing demand for professionalism, learning through seminars has become the preferred method of learning for many professionals and organizations. This has made the Seminar Production business to become a very viable business in most countries. Instead of enrolling in a school and spending 2-3 years learning all the things they want to learn along with those they don’t want to learn, people are getting more willing to pay for 1-2 days seminars and learn just what they are interested to learn.
Seminar Production is a business that is easy to set up and operate and a hidden gold mind. If you follow all what I am about to share with you, I guarantee you to make it big time in the business. These are 8 simple steps to follow and anyone can get them right.
Step 1: Decide Between Speaking And Producing
The very first thing you need to do in getting into Seminar Production business is to decide between producing seminars only and producing and speaking in them. As a producer only, you know your work begins with identifying an area of need in the society, getting resourceful people to address that need in the best way possible while satisfying all the parties involved.
As a producer and speaker, you have to do everything the producer does and be the one still, to address the need area. As you choose to go into this business, it is important you first make this decision. Note that most of the money is in the production.
Step 2: Polish Up Your Skills
If you choose to be the speaker, you need to polish up your public speaking and teaching skills. People love to listen to someone who is interesting, lively, passionate, charismatic, intelligent and practical. If you are cold and dull, you will bore the audience, even if you are making sense.
If you choose to be the producer, you need to be a full time entrepreneur. You need to be innovative, dynamic, hardworking and friendly. You need to get your management and marketing strategies right and be the best in what you do. Beware of competition. If you don’t have any competitors when you begin, you will soon have them.
Step 3: Do Your Market Research
Doing a market research to find out what gap of knowledge needs to be filled is the third thing to do. A society with a very vibrant economy and business climate like Nigeria will need lots of seminars around business, investment and professionalism; one in which people are so conscious of education will need seminars around education, research, and professionalism. What do you think a society that upholds agriculture, will need? Do your market research, finding out what people are willing to pay so much money to learn about.
Step 4: Choose Your Niche
You need to decide which group of people you will be targeting with your seminars. Decide if you will be going for business men and women, for professionals, for students, for job-seekers, for religious bodies, for non-governmental organizations, for companies, for couples, for singles, and so on. From your market research you will be able to make this decision and also go on to decide on what your seminars should center on (i.e. what topics to address).
I advise that you go for providing very practical than theoretical knowledge. More people will be willing to pay to learn how to produce animal feed locally than to learn how to lead people.
Step 5: Look For Speakers
In every society and community including yours, there are people who hold considerable knowledge on subjects that people are seeking to learn about. Some of these people can boast of many years of experience in a particular field, on top of the knowledge they have. Some are even renowned consultants and household names in your society. These are the people you need to look out for. However, get resource persons who will be practical in their approach and speak from experience. If possible, get people who have established themselves as gurus in whatever they know.
Step6: Work On The Logistics
In the seminar production business, this is where the bulk of the work lies. The logistics has to do with getting the best venue for the seminar, getting the speakers and facilitators ready and well taken care of, marketing the seminar, registering the candidates before and on the day of the seminar, following up on the candidates to ensure they make it to the seminar, getting in place all the tools and equipment necessary for the smooth and exciting delivery of knowledge during the seminar, and so on.
The success of the seminar depends a lot on this. You may need to hire someone fully or temporarily to provide you support in this.
Step 7: Get Your Seminar Production Started
Like many other businesses, the business of seminar production is one where you start and grow to polish up your flaws and keep improving until people think you are the best in what you do. So get started even if you don’t have everything in place. However, make sure there is remarkable improvement with each seminar.
People may be patient with you for the first two to three seminars but if you keep disappointing them, you will soon have an uphill task convincing them to attend; except you change your subject of interest or target audience. Little things like your time-consciousness, your organization, your presentations, neatness of the environment, comfort of the venue, dressing of the facilitators and speakers, etc. all end up counting for much.
Step 8: Get Feed-Back & Do Follow-Up
One thing that may just make the difference between you and other persons doing the same business is the fact that you take the pains to find out what the participants have gained and how they feel about each seminar. Don’t assume they are happy because you saw them smiling at the end of the lesson. Don’t also be so passive in finding out their impressions. Let this be an integral part of what you do and a priority. Of course if you want to grow in any business, you will give it all it deserves.
So, produce detailed questionnaires for your seminar participants to fill at the end of each session or lesson. Encourage them to be honest as they fill it and let them know why the information is important to you. Study these response sheets and make sure you act on the information on them as soon as possible.
Apart from getting feed-back from your seminar participants, it is also important to follow up to see how the participants are able to practice what they learned. Call them, visit them and find out what they are doing with the knowledge they got. Help them wherever and whenever they are stuck. It is more than just a business. It is a relationship. Cultivate the relationship well and you will always have a full hall at your seminars. Don’t forget to give discounts!
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