To succeed in the seminar business, being up-to-date with the latest trends and topics is essential.
If you want to compete in this industry, it's important that you focus some of your efforts on
market research. Being knowledgeable about what is happening in the market and what people
want to know and will want to know will keep you way ahead of your competition. This is why
performing in-depth research as a means for preparing your seminar program should be part of
your business strategy.
One of the ways in which you can perform market research is to conduct it on your own. Find
out what topics are currently top sellers. Look for ads in newspapers to find out what type of
seminars are being offered, by whom and where.
You might also want to consider looking at newspaper clippings about these seminars. Small
news fillers, editorials, columns and special interest articles are excellent sources of information
about a particular topic. Some newspaper editors and columnists, for example, will write about
the seminars they have gone to. Some might even give a full review, both of the topic and the
You could also look at trade magazines in the industry you want to focus on. Trade journals in
fields such as medicine, finance, construction and entrepreneurship are excellent sources of
information about new seminars. Often, you'll find a list of seminars across the country in the
back pages of these magazines, including the titles, dates, list of topics and even the names of the
Information from these resources is invaluable to your business conducting seminars. From here,
you'll learn about how effective certain seminars are, who typically goes to these seminars and
most importantly, who your competitors are.
Determining The Trend
It's not easy to determine the trends in the seminar industry. However, you can be sure that once
a specific topic is a hit, it will be the buzz of the business for months to come. In fact, it could
become the model and basis of many seminars that appear as an offshoot of the original concept.
Checking Out Your Competition
Consider it as some sort of industry spying but there's nothing illegal about learning directly
from your competitors. Even the best speakers periodically attend seminars themselves, mainly
to learn about new trends and often to learn what their competitors are doing. This is a good
practice on your part if you wish to improve yourself as a seminar speaker or presenter.
What You Should Do
When looking for seminars to attend as part of your in-depth research, look for industry-specific
seminars or those that will discuss topics you are interested in. If your goal is to teach new skills
to accountants and bookkeepers, for example, attending a seminar designed specifically for
architects and engineers will be useless for you.
Try to find out what the specific topics are. Generally, seminar providers will send out
invitations and brochures about their lectures and this will include an outline of the subject. If the
subjects seem interesting or relevant, then that's probably the seminar you want to attend. You
can also get this information online, where speakers regularly post updates and topics, either on
their own websites, a club website or forums.
When you do attend these seminars, ask for every brochure, write-up and material the speaker
will provide. You can't commit everything to memory and in most cases, speakers refuse to have
their seminars videotaped or recorded. Follow the lecture using the seminar outline and take
notes about key points in the topics that will be discussed. You might also want to take note of
how the speaker delivers the lecture and which topics received the most interest and reaction
from the audience. You can use these notes later when you want to prepare or improve your own
Other than newspapers, magazines and online resources, you can also tap local convention
bureaus, agents and groups who regularly offer seminars. You'll usually find a list of schedules
and some insight about which topics will be discussed but you can ask for specific seminars that
you want to attend. Chances are, they will be able to help you or give you a referral. There is no
need to tell them you wish to use your learning later. Just let them know what topics you are