A corporate seminar is a fantastic way to educate and update employees on fundamental trends in your industry. In contrast to a workshop, these day-long events often involve between 50 and 200 employees and include external expert speakers that coach your workforce through complex concepts and processes.
Think of them like conferences with a slightly narrower focus. As an example, a tech company might hold a corporate seminar on how to leverage machine learning in their data analytics. Or a hotel chain might hold a manager’s seminar on post-COVID protocols. In either case, these are highly specialized events with clear educational goals.
But how does one plan a corporate seminar? How do you ensure that the venue, speakers and agendas align to create a winning event? In this post, let’s walk through the three pivotal steps toward a successful day.
Set a Budget, Timeframe and Vision Statement
The first steps in crafting a successful corporate seminar involve a manager, a team, and a shared document for budgets, timeframes and statements of purpose.
As you outline a budget to kick over to your CFO (or equivalent money manager), think holistically. Consider separate line items for the venue rental, speaker fees, travel and accommodation (if applicable), transport (if applicable), food and refreshments, handouts and materials and lanyards. You may also be required to include employee wages as part of your calculation.
Next, you can plan a timeframe. It’s best practice to leave about six months of lead time between planning and the event, which should give you time to book all the necessary elements. This also ensures attendees have enough time to book holidays around the event. On that note, plan your event far away from the December holidays and peak summer holiday season.
Finally, give your seminar a purpose – a vision statement that communicates learning objectives and expected value. This vision statement should help you secure a budget and justify your event to employees and c-suite executives.
Choose the Right Venue
According to seminar expert and chief marketing officer J.J. Barnes, “location is key to attendance.” Speaking to Business News Daily, she recommends “booking a venue in a convenient area with a vibrant atmosphere.” This mixture of centrality and interest will help guarantee attendance.
For an example of the ideal venue, consider the Le Treport corporate event venue. It’s centrally located in Mississauga, boxed in by four major highways that serve Toronto – a regional hub for business and commerce. The venue is modern and impressive with every amenity a seminar needs, and they even feature in-house catering for food and refreshments.
Book Speakers and Guests
Once you’ve determined your vision statement and location, you can research experts for your seminar. To stay on budget, look for expert speakers close to home (which will save on transport and accommodation costs).
For instance, if you are delivering a seminar on machine learning in corporate data analysis, consult local tech firms, LinkedIn pages, The National Speakers Organization, and secondary educational institutions for specialized experts. The ideal lecturer will a) have experience with public speaking and b) experience coaching teams toward an actionable understanding of the topic.
Once you’ve tackled these three primary steps, you are 99% of the way toward a successful event. All that’s left to do is print materials, finalize refreshments, coordinate transportation, and drum up excitement for your corporate seminar.