Hosting a Martial Art Seminar is not always an easy task, but there are several ways to succeed. Here is a list of seven techniques that I have used to host a successful seminar.
- Know your Audience. What do the students of the seminar want to learn about. What lessons will peak their interest and get them thinking. It is essential to schedule a lesson that will impact all participants of the seminar. To do this, ask the potential guests of the seminar what they want to learn about. Get insights about topics that will interest your guests.
- Do the little things. Little things can range from providing snacks to having a smooth payment system before the seminar starts. Make sure you have the proper waiver, and to gather contact info from people if you don’t have it. If it’s going to be hot, be a good host and provide water. If it’s an overnight camp, make sure people are prepared with the proper supplies. With experience, you learn what the little things are.
- Location, Location, Location. Where is the best place to host your seminar? Think about travel from all participants, and which location will provide the most conveniences for the seminar. This will depend on what you want to accomplish with your seminar. If it is an out in the woods type experience then conveniences may be exactly what you don’t want. Make sure and evaluate it the best you can, then come up with a plan that will work best for your guests.
- Figure out a good meal system. If you are a close knit group, then I suggest a potluck style system. However, it might be better to get food delivered from a company. Think about how the group will interact during meals, and how you want to guide the interactions. For some seminars, it is best to only provide some meals or no meals at all. Duration of the seminar plays a big factor. For longer seminars, I find it best to at least provide snacks and a couple of meals. It can add more value to the seminar.
- Figure out who is going to teach. Will there be multiple teachers or just one main teacher? Getting a teacher that will bring the most value to the students is key. Keep in mind, that presenters/teachers will have fees. And, most likely, the higher the value, the higher the fee. Make sure you keep your seminar instructor comfortable during the seminar, so that he/she/they will want to come back in the future. Getting feedback from participants will help in determining the best presenter.
- Make sure the price is right. I understand the goal is to provide valuable insight to your students, but having your seminar break even is essential. Calculate your price according to a few factors. First, what will your teacher charge you? Second, what expenses do you have? Third, you will want to bring money in to fund further business endeavors. Fourth, you will want to be reimbursed for the work you put into the seminar. Set a price that is attainable by your group, but will bring enough funds in. Sometimes, it is best to host a seminar for free. For example, will it bring more students in the long run to your cause?
- Have Fun! This is probably the most important piece of a successful seminar. You need to be relaxed and have a good time as a host. Your teacher and guests should also have a good time. Having lots of laughter at a martial arts seminar sounds like an oxymoron. I would argue it’s not, and that people will remember the laughter at a seminar. You want your guests to have a fun time.
These are just some of the strategies I have used for bringing in students to seminars. It takes a lot of energy to run a successful seminar. However, upon completing a seminar or a few seminars, you will feel much more comfortable with the process. Just be patient, and learn as you go. You will grow with the right strategies in place.