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Organising your first Seminar

Mr Nathan McKendrick


When organising your first seminar you should make sure you are mentally prepared. Make sure you have a clear and precise idea of what you are aiming for. It is also helpful to involve other people in the planning of the seminar, if you don’t you may miss something out or forget to do something important. Write everything down on paper and make sure you have a clear idea of what your plan is and what you want to achieve

The list below covers the areas that need to be considered when organising your first seminar.

1. What type of seminar

This should include techniques, grading syllabus, sparring, etc.

2. Guest Instructor

Choose someone who you think is suitable to take the seminar. For example if you were to hold a techniques seminar you would choose someone on the techniques committee, eg. Mr Graeme Patterson.

3. Dates

The dates and times should be organised with the guest instructor.

4. Notifying instructors

Inform the head instructors of the guest you want to invite with a newsletter or a phone call regarding information about the seminar.

5. Expenses

This area should include the travel cost and accommodation for the guest instructor, the seminar cost for each individual, the cost of the hall, the accommodation cost for the guests.

6. Numbers

Define the number of people and the grades you want at the seminar – for example you want to hold a senior seminar with red belts and above and a maximum of twenty-five people.

7. Entry Forms

Design an entry form that details what the seminar is about, who the guest instructor is, the date of the seminar, how long the seminar is running for e.g.(2 days), where it is being held, the options for accommodation and the cost, also a contact number for any enquiry’s.

8. Accommodation

This does not have to be compulsory, but is good to have an option for people.

9. Booking

Make sure the hall is booked well in advance. You must arrange and book the travel and accommodation for the guest instructor. Book accommodation for the students attending the seminar that have organised accommodation through you.

10.Certificates

Certificates should include the name and signature of the guest instructor and the organiser of the seminar. This is because they are a good reference for the lower grades when they go for their black belt.

A well planned seminar helps the instructor as well as the students who have been appointed a section which they can take care of and arrange under your supervision.

The initial step is to write a formal letter to your guest instructor asking if he or she would be interested in taking part in your seminar. Once you have someone who is interested in instructing, you should make a phone call to find a date that is suitable for both of you. The times and how long the seminar is going to be running for should also be discussed. When dates and times have been confirmed, a newsletter should be sent out to each of the clubs you wish to invite.

The cost per person can we derived after you have worked out how much it is going to cost for the hire of the hall and the guest instructor’s travel and accommodat ion.

The newsletter should have an introduction on what the seminar is about along with the guest instructor’s name and the cost per person. The dates and times you arranged should also be included.

When the guest instructor confirms details you should estimate the number of people that are coming, so you know how many people to accommodate for.

Entry forms should be attached to the newsletter, which contains information about the content of the seminar and who the guest instructor is. Also include the price per person, dates and times, options for accommodation along with your name, address and phone number. This is to be sent to the guests from other clubs with a date to get the forms back so you the exact numbers of who is attending the seminar. The money should also be sent with the entry forms.

The expenses for the guest instructor, travel and accommodation should be covered by the people attending the seminar so you don’t run at a loss. Deciding on the numbers can be discussed with the guest instructor depending on what the seminar is about and what grades you want there.

It is best to make the accommodation as close as possible to where the seminar is going to be held. Find the most suitable hall for the number of people that are attending the seminar and that has the facilities you require. Concerning the accommodation for your guests, it is best to find something comfortable and not too expensive.

When everything had been organised with the guest instructor and the clubs, then bookings should take place.

As the organiser of the seminar it is a good idea to go around to the motel to make sure that everyone had a safe trip. It is also a good idea to run over times and ask people if they have any questions or queries about the weekend. It is also good to get feedback from your guests about the weekend, if they enjoyed themselves and had a comfortable day.

In conclusion, when organising your first seminar you must make sure you plan well ahead of time, remembering to delegate responsibility to those who can assist you in the planning.




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