Seminars are a big business with the potential for high ROI, so it’s no surprise you want to start your seminar business.
Every year, thousands of paid seminars are held in the United States. Millions of people attend these seminars, making seminars a significant revenue source for the organizers.
If you want to enjoy the such income, you can start your seminar business by identifying what subject you can teach at an expert level. And then looking for ways to organize a seminar. You can hire an event planner to manage it for you, or you can do it yourself.
For a successful seminar, you have to invite other industry experts who can impact people. That way, attendees have a variety of teachers to learn from and are not easily bored.
But it is also an option to start alone, especially as you’re new to the business. With time, you’ll build enough relationships to get other teachers on your team.
Want to know more about how to start your seminar business? Read on.
Steps to Starting Your Seminar Business
Here are the steps to follow when starting your seminar business:
1. Pick a Subject Area
First, you need to choose a subject or topic for your seminar. You can choose from popular topics such as self-help, sales, and leadership skills.
There will always be people who will not hesitate to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you run a seminar that will improve their lives or advance their careers.
Of course, this does not mean you should take advantage of the expectations of your potential audience. Because people are willing to pay for your seminar does not mean that you should exploit them.
So, when choosing a seminar topic, ensure it’s something that teaches marketable skills. That is, something your attendees will have a return on investment.
You must ensure that you find out what your target audience wants. Do they want to gain more knowledge or enhance their careers? What about your goal? Why are you hosting the seminar?
Do you aim to educate or build an audience for your other products or services? Your goals and that of your target audience will help you choose your seminar topic.
You must not simply jump on any topic simply because it happens to be lucrative. Here is a simple guideline for choosing a seminar topic:
Pick a seminar topic that is appropriate for the length of the seminar
You don’t want to choose a topic that is too broad to be effectively dissected in the seminar. In the same sense, you do not want a topic that is too narrow and will leave your audience feeling dissatisfied.
Avoid topics that must be summarized and not analyzed
Some topics are simply too complex or wide that they cannot be properly analyzed or discussed. You should avoid these topics. The only time they are fine is if you plan on having a series of seminars on the same topic.
Pick a topic that interests you
This point is very important. If you have absolutely no interest in medieval art, then you have no business choosing a topic centered around art from the Byzantine iconoclasm period.
Chances are, such a seminar would be a disaster. If you find your topic interesting, your audience will also find it interesting.
Choose a topic that you can find research material for
The internet is a vast trove of resources, and that includes research materials. But try as you may, there are topics you will simply not find enough material for. Especially if you do not have access to Deep Web libraries. Your seminar topic should be one that you can research extensively.
Don’t be afraid to switch a topic you have already chosen if it isn’t working out
So you have finally chosen your topic. But after working on it for a while, you realize it is not the best topic for your presentation, after all. You should not be afraid to change it. There are tons of other topics out there.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Who will attend your seminar? You need to do all the research and know the demographics of the people who are more likely to participate in the conference.
If you already have courses, books, or other products that you sell, begin your research from those purchasing your products.
Knowing your audience will enable you to reach the right people organically or through paid search.
When you know your audience and their demographics, you can more easily decide the pricing for the seminar, the location, and other logistics. Properly identifying your target audience is the bedrock of your marketing strategy.
If you find out your potential target audience mostly consists of low-income earners, you would not offer them a thousand-dollar workshop. You’ll have to tailor the price according to what they can afford.
Likewise, if the demographic data shows that they are more high-income, you can settle on a higher fee. You don’t want to underprice here as this will lead to your brand’s devaluation. They will doubt your expertise and may not pay for the seminar.
3. The Creation Process
After researching your target audience and choosing a topic, the next obvious step is creating the seminar.
This is a very extensive area and covers many smaller processes. You should develop an outline.
An outline based on the topic that you have chosen to teach will help you to organize your thoughts in a logical order. An outline shows you any holes in the program that your audience would notice.
You should decide on the speakers that will be at your seminar and what topics they will be speaking on.
The sooner that you contact them, the better. As soon as you know your speakers, then you can outline the entire event. This point should also be when you figure out the travel plans and accommodation for them.
Furthermore, technical and logistics issues should be looked into. Seminars are big on logistics and technical considerations, so you should iron out a plan for them.
If you can afford to, you can pay an expert to handle this part of the seminar. Even then, you must make regular inputs to ensure that your seminar is a success.
4. Get a Location
Getting a venue for your seminar depends on a variety of factors.
Before paying for a location, you need to know the number of people that will show up. You don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on a large venue only for it to turn out that you’re hosting a small number of people.
Before you pick a venue, consider if:
- there are housing accommodations in or close to the venue
- the is venue big enough to accommodate the attendees
- it is located in an upscale area for high-income earners
The answers to these questions will determine the kind of location you should get. If you get a massive venue for a small number of attendees, there would be many unfilled spaces, which would be embarrassing.
Also, get a venue in an area where there are good road and air links. You don’t want anything that will prevent the attendees from coming. The room or hall that you choose should come with basic equipment like a microphone, digital projector, lectern, restrooms, etc.
Always keep your audience in mind when searching for a venue. They are the ones who will determine the success of the seminar. The majority do not want to travel to get to the venue. Choose a place close to where most of your target audience is located.
5. Promote the Seminar
After researching your target audience, choosing a topic and location, it’s time to let people know you are hosting a seminar. Where do you promote your conference? And how?
The knowledge of your target audience comes in handy once again here. It will give you an idea of where and how to promote your seminar. You can start with their places of work, colleges, or the social media platform they use.
If you can find out where they hang out, you can even pay for promotions in those places. Also, promote your seminar on your website, social media, and even on search engines using targeted ads. LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to promote your seminar.
Use posters, banners, flyers, local newspapers, radio stations, etc. to promote your seminar and get people to attend.
Get printed invitations for the event out early.
During the seminar, ensure you get the attendees’ contact to keep in touch after the workshop. After the event, get in touch with them and ask for feedback. You should know what you did right or wrong and how to improve.
The attendees will provide this information in their feedback. You can use it to keep improving until your seminar business becomes world-class.
Q: Can you make money organizing seminars?
Yes. In recent years, seminars have increasingly become a lucrative business with a huge market in many countries. With that in mind, you can make a lot of money from the business, if you put an effort into following all the steps we have outlined.
Q: What other way can you make money producing seminars?
By marketing your other products. If you have any products that you create, you could take advantage of the audience that the seminars will provide to market them.
If you create some space at the back of the room or hall, you can sell any courses, books, tapes, or any other products that you make for extra cash.
Starting your seminar business can be challenging. But only if you do not make a surefire plan and stick to it.
And that is why we created this guide. This step-by-step guide details the steps that you should take in starting a seminar business. If you follow these steps, you will be on your way to creating an income stream while producing excellent seminars.
Finally, since you’re planning to start a seminar business, here is how to make money from webinars without stress.
Thanks for reading.