Seminar Checklist: Birmingham Event Venue Manager Gives His Advice

There are literally thousands of seminars or training events across the country each week. It is one of the most common events that are held and that planners will organize. There are defined steps to follow when planning a seminar.

Setting a date: make sure you do not compete with major trade association meetings, big college or professional games, major holidays, etc. In general plan according to the following time line:

4-6 months
Define the objectives for the seminar
Set an agenda, select potential speakers and topics
Set the times and date(s)
Define the space(s) needed and AV equipment
Determine whether your date conflicts with national trade meetings, local major events, etc.
Determine key attendee profile
Choose a color scheme or theme if applicable
Choose a graphic designer for enduring material/invitation etc
Determine your budget
Obtain cost estimates for venue, rentals, additional services needed
Choose a venue. Remember to carefully define the venues responsibilities
Define a promotional plan

3 months
Finalize speaker arrangements, allotted time frames, order of speakers, etc
Contact key invitees, purchase mailing lists, email lists, use social media, advertisements, etc.
Determine catering needs
Define AV requirements, room set up, lighting, podium, screen, backup equipment etc.
Confirm all contracts for food, beverages, rentals
Order invitations, posters and other print material
Define publicity such as billboards, radio, newspaper, TV, if applicable
Finalize audio and visual contract if venue cannot supply them

4-8 weeks
Distribute posters if applicable
Finalize transportation/hotel accommodations
Release press announcement
Determine the need for directional signs for the event venue, directional signs to registration, etc
Create all handouts and PowerPoint presentations, etc

2-3 weeks
Confirm all arrangements with all vendors
Define the seating arrangements and create name tags and/or table place cards
Finalize agenda
Confirm transportation schedules, hotel arrangements
Set exact time for deliveries of AV equipment, backdrops, etc
Finalize decorator arrangements
Finalize speaker biographies and handouts

1 week
Finalize all catering arrangements and number of attendees
Write checks for vendors
Send Reminders to all attendees on times, address, parking arrangements etc.

1 day
Walk through the venue
Ensure parking arrangements are made
Final call to caterer, venue etc

Event Day
Arrive early
Unpack all equipment and ensure they function
Ensure all supplies have arrived and are complete
Set up registration desk, name tags, etc.
Check Sound and AV
Ensure all staff will arrive on time
Final task assignments in case of illness/absence
Circulate and solve last minute issues
Have a “Time Keeper” give each speaker the 5 and 1 minute warning

No matter what type of seminar, training event or conference, Woodrow Hall can help. We have AV equipment, plenty of space, tables, chairs, kitchen and loads of parking. Call 205-243-4243 today!

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