Planning a seminar is similar to organizing a company event—you need to do it way ahead of time and make good use of organizational skills so that the event will be a success. Usually, a team or a committee is in charge of organizing a seminar; however, if you happen to take the role of the speaker as well as the organizer, then you need to know certain techniques that will eliminate problems and prevent things from going wrong during the scheduled event.
One way to ensure that everything will be in order and go according to plan is to have a seminar checklist. Just as a busy executive would need a to-do list as a reminder of what needs to be done for the day, a seminar facilitator and/or speaker would also benefit from a checklist.
What to Include in the Seminar Checklist?
A seminar checklist will serve as your “reminder” of the things that need to be secured and prepared before, during, and after your seminar. Some neophytes make the mistake of including only what they need during the event itself and as a result, a lot of important things are overlooked.
Below is a comprehensive list of things that need to be included in your checklist:
- Event Profile: Assuming that the purpose and theme of the seminar has already been decided, you need to decide on when the seminar will be held. Plan the date, time, and duration of the event.
- Venue Selection: Once the dates have been set, the next thing to do is to look for a very good venue for the seminar. Often, seminars are held in hotel function rooms and convention centers however there is also an option to simply hold it in the company meeting rooms if the number of participants is small.
- Sponsorships: Depending on the theme and size of the seminar, you may also include sponsorships from companies such as consumer brands.
Vendors: Some seminars are scheduled for only a couple of hours while others take even two full days. In this case, you may need to contact a caterer for the food and beverage needed during the event. Other possible vendors to contact would be technical support and florists.
- Room Setup: You need to take care of the seating arrangement/formation, location of the podium, as well as set up for displays and banners. These things should be done at least a day ahead of the event.
- Event PR: Newsletters, email invitation, banners, and others should be handled weeks before the event so that your target participants will have more time to register, arrange their schedules, and even invite others for the event.
- A/V Requirements: You will need to prepare the LCD projector, laptop, sound system, laser pointer, lighting, and your presentation. These things should be checked and re-checked prior to the day of the seminar.
- Event Speakers and Roles: If you will need other speakers for the seminar, you ought to verify their attendance on the said day. Additionally, you should also communicate clearly with them regarding their roles and topics.
- Event Staff: Staff needed for the event such as ushers should be informed clearly of their roles and responsibilities during the seminar.
Additional Seminar Checklist
Aside from those mentioned above, it is also necessary to include the following in your checklist:
- Registration requirements: You will need to set up a registration booth in the venue. This will include forms, tables, pens, badges, nametags, and others.
- Handouts: Items such as seminar manuals or handouts should also be printed out and readied days before the event.
Participant materials: Participants will need materials such as pens and notepads during the event. Make sure to have these ready.
- Miscellaneous: Seminar survey forms and other miscellaneous items such as bottled water and claim stubs should be prepared.
Benefits of Preparing a Seminar Checklist
When everything has been carefully planned and taken care of before the event itself, then you will be less stressed and less worried about conducting the seminar. Instead of wasting your energy worrying about what could go wrong, you can put your focus on preparing your presentation. In addition, when things go smoothly as planned, you will feel more confident on the event day itself and this will be evident when you conduct the seminar.