How to conduct a seminar ?

Salle de com­mis­sion du CID Deauville © BabXIII

Organ­iz­ing a pro­fes­sion­al event such as a com­pany sem­in­ar has become more and more com­mon for com­pan­ies. A sem­in­ar can con­sid­er­ably increase the feel­ing of belong­ing to a com­pany, it is an excel­lent man­age­ment tool. If you are won­der­ing how to run a cor­por­ate sem­in­ar, you will find here some tips and tricks.

Sundance en plénière

Sun­dance en plénière

What is a corporate seminar?

When the word sem­in­ar is men­tioned, we all have the defin­i­tion in mind: the gath­er­ing of a part or all the employ­ees belong­ing to the same com­pany to exchange around a pre­cise theme. This type of event is gen­er­ally organ­ized out­side the usu­al frame­work of the com­pany, to break with the habits and encour­age the atten­tion of the col­lab­or­at­ors. With the devel­op­ment of busi­ness tour­ism, the main des­tin­a­tions have struc­tured them­selves and offer spe­cif­ic spaces for this type of pro­fes­sion­al event.

The CID of Deau­ville, a con­ven­tion cen­ter in Nor­mandy, ded­ic­ates its spaces through­out the year to the organ­iz­a­tion of cor­por­ate seminars.


Why organize a corporate seminar ?

Organ­iz­ing a sem­in­ar must meet a cer­tain expect­a­tion, a clear and struc­tured object­ive. Com­pan­ies take the decision to organ­ize a sem­in­ar to sat­is­fy sev­er­al objectives:

  • Strengthen the group cohe­sion with­in the struc­ture with all employ­ees in a dif­fer­ent setting,
  • To pro­mote com­mu­nic­a­tion with­in the dif­fer­ent depart­ments of the com­pany in order to have a bet­ter intern­al communication,
  • devel­op team spir­it and the sur­pass­ing of each col­lab­or­at­or by means of unusu­al activities,
    to expose the new com­pany strategy and its val­ues to the employ­ees so that all become loy­al ambas­sad­ors of the brand,
  • Reward­ing the teams for the work they have done.


Leading a corporate seminar

The sem­in­ar lead­ers can be part of the man­age­ment com­mit­tee or they can be part of extern­al agen­cies and be assigned for this task. In any case, they must :

To know the object­ives of the event and the related constraints,
Know per­fectly the sequence of speeches,
mas­ter the present­a­tion tools,
frame the speeches,
man­age the time for each inter­ven­tion, for each planned animation…


What are the key steps to hosting a corporate seminar?

Step 1: Before the event, prepare your seminar

The pre­par­a­tion of a cor­por­ate sem­in­ar must be metic­u­lous. A retro-plan­ning of the actions to be car­ried out must be put in place. It will help struc­ture the event.

Prepare a clear and structured plan
  • What is the pur­pose, the object­ive of organ­iz­ing this seminar?
  • Which employ­ees should attend?
  • What type of activ­it­ies do you want to organize?
  • What is the budget for cater­ing?
  • Where will the event be held?
  • What theme will the event focus on?
  • How will you organ­ize your day or evening?

Once this plan is in place and all the ques­tions have been answered, you can move on to the next step.

Use of visual aids

Before you embark on set­ting up a sem­in­ar, pre­pare your event with visu­al aids. Visu­al aids such as Power­Point or Canva present­a­tions are much more mean­ing­ful than a speech. They will also allow you to struc­ture your thoughts for a bet­ter over­all under­stand­ing of the sub­ject. The Deau­ville CID has con­fer­ence rooms that are fully equipped for the dis­tri­bu­tion of digit­al media: pro­ject­ors and audi­ovisu­al screens, flip charts, sound system…

Offer one or more attract­ive activ­it­ies for participants
If you want your busi­ness events to be rel­ev­ant, think about the par­ti­cipants’ interests. Pre­par­ing an activ­ity related to their hob­bies, or a theme appre­ci­ated by all, allows you to quickly win over participants.

  • To unite teams, choose fun and cre­at­ive activ­it­ies such as quizzes, mind games, con­certs, escape games, sports chal­lenges, artist­ic activ­it­ies, dis­cov­ery of her­it­age and unusu­al places…
  • To seduce your employ­ees, choose relax­ing activ­it­ies to unwind: gast­ro­nomy and oen­o­logy, a stay in a priv­ileged setting…


Yoga sur la plage de Deau­ville © N. Plante 
Le Han­gar à Enigmes © ©J.Basile

Step 2: During the event, live your seminar

Run­ning a sem­in­ar requires a con­stant invest­ment. But a good pre­par­a­tion before­hand allows you to approach the event more serenely. Keep in mind the fol­low­ing main points:

Encourage employee participation

Inter­ac­tion dur­ing a sem­in­ar is essen­tial, do not hes­it­ate to encour­age your employ­ees to par­ti­cip­ate in the debates. The par­ti­cip­a­tion of your employ­ees dur­ing the sem­in­ar is a good indic­at­or: the more inter­est­ing the top­ic, the more nat­ur­ally your employ­ees will intervene.

Keeping your employees’ attention

In gen­er­al, a sem­in­ar takes a full day. It is there­fore import­ant to keep the atten­tion of your employ­ees as high as pos­sible. To break the mono­tony of a present­a­tion, enrich your speeches with anec­dotes and pro­pose, for example, to organ­ize role plays. Breaks and lunches should not be neg­lected: these inform­al moments of shar­ing allow you to relax between two meet­ings and to strengthen your teams.

Encourage group discussion

As a com­pany employ­ee, we spend most of our time at our desk sur­roun­ded by our col­leagues. How­ever, is the com­mu­nic­a­tion between all depart­ments har­mo­ni­ous? Dur­ing this sem­in­ar, it is import­ant to encour­age group dis­cus­sion between your employ­ees: Why not cre­ate teams by asso­ci­at­ing people from dif­fer­ent depart­ments? You can then cre­ate a real moment of shar­ing and cohe­sion with­in your company.

Conclusion of the seminar

The con­clu­sion of the sem­in­ar is one of the points to take into account dur­ing the event. You should end your sem­in­ar with a sum­mary of the res­ults of the dis­cus­sions held dur­ing the sem­in­ar and the changes that will res­ult in the company.


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