HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL SEMINAR Presidents Meeting ARMA Intl. Conference-Boston October 18-22, 2003 Presented By Dolores Salazar Northern New Mexico Chapter #119

1. Set up a Seminar Committee *appoint committee early *have regular planning meetings *be prepared to work hard 2.Have brainstorming session as early on as possible (you almost need an entire year to plan) *What will be a good date -have more than one date open -look for a date when people will most likely attend -make sure that no other function will interfere -consider budget availability of attendees/employers -decide if you want a cut off date or will registrations be accepted at the door *How much seed money do you have -do you have seed money -do you have to raise money and if so how much and how will you do it and when—do you have enough time to do it -if you don’t have funds have you considered applying for an ARMA grant

*Should you have a one-day or two-day seminar -what will your funds allow -how much planning do you want to do -a two-day seminar allows unit credits to be earned from a local university -which will attract your audience -can you fill up a two-day seminar with good topics/speakers *Do you want to have vendor exhibits -do you have the space accommodations -what will you charge -will you do your vendors justice -will you have a good selection *Where are you expenses going to be -what are your speaker expenses -how much will the seminar room cost -will thee be costs for equipment -what are costs for meals/breaks -what will you spend on essentials—name tags/pens/sign-in sheets -what will be your printing costs -what will you spend on speaker thank you gifts -what are costs for advertising brochure -what are mailing costs -what are costs for certificates -what are costs for goody bags -will you give out door prizes and if so how much can you spend -how will you advertise and is there a cost *How much will you charge -how much money do you want to make

-how many registrations can you accept -what are your expenses -will your early bird registration be less and if so how much—this helps not to have to do everything at the last minute and tells you how the registration is going -will you add on the ARMA Intl./local dues to registration to recruit members *What is your audience -what kind of audience will you target -what agencies will you target -how do you bring the audience back to your next seminar *How will you target your audience -how will you advertise -how will you make initial contacts -how will you build your mailing list for next time— add attendees and those contacted *What topics do you want presented -how do you find out your audience’s needs -how can you meet your audience’s needs *Set up and agenda -plan your entire day—including meals/breaks -how do you wan you day broken down—group workshops/break-out sessions -select your mistress/master of ceremonies -publish your agenda/topics/speaker’s bios in your initial brochure *What speaker options do you have -contact ARMA/HQ or local chapters for speakers list -attend ARMA Conference/other seminars and get

names/addresses of good speakers -find out what other chapters are doing—you might be able to piggy back on their seminars and save costs -poll members on which good speakers they have heard -research local speaker options if funds are low -find out what speakers will charge -contact speakers early so that they can block date and make travel arrangements at a reduced cost to you *What type of accommodations are available -check local resources -find a good mid-point location for target audience -how many people can you accommodate/feed -how can they set up conference room for you -is it comfortable -what kind of sleeping accommodations are there and can you get a reduced rate -if it’s a hotel will they give you a free night’s stay for a door prize -will they include a free conference room/hospitality room -do they have needed equipment or can they get it for you—audio visual, microphones -what kind of meals are available and what’s the cost -what kind of break items are available and what’s the cost -are there any time constraints *What services are available -do members have printing capabilities—brochures, certificates -do members have contacts with vendors for donations for door prizes/goody bags -do members have computer access to send out announcements/brochures electronically

-can members donate items for door prizes -do members have access to co-workers to recruit attendees—mailing lists -do members have access to advertising mechanisms at their work place/community -do members know of good speakers -do members have contacts at conference facilities 3.Break up the above tasks among the committee *follow up *see if members need assistance 4.Have regular status meetings to make sure things are getting done *make sure things are getting done according to schedule *document/approve as you go 5.Finalize *sign contracts *collect registration fees *set up last minute logistics—registration table, volunteers *make sure everything looks professional and organized 6.Enjoy Conference *advertise your chapter—display boards are nice, have brochures available *greet people and make them feel welcome *network *have attendees evaluate conference *thank attendees and speakers *secretary should send thank yous to those who donated items

7.Do a lessons learned after conference *helps with planning for next time—what worked and what didn’t—how can you make it better *compute evaluation material *use feedback to plan next seminar

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