How to Host a Seminar

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One week before the seminar Dr. Battaglia will need to know the size of your audience.

Dr. Battaglia will autograph books, videos tapes and DVD’s during the breaks.

He will be equipt with a laptop, a video projector and other materials needed to present his seminars.

Your organization will need to provide the following equipment

  1. Two TV Sets – two-day seminar only (Sunday)
  2. One VCR ½ inch – two-day seminar only (Sunday)
  3. Six dogs on Saturday – two-day seminar only
  4. Pin on microphone – all agendas
  5. Two long extension cords - all agendas
  6. Large projection screen – all agendas
  7. Table in the seminar room and person who will be responsible for book sales - all agendas
  8. A bar type stool for Dr. Battaglia to sit on - all agendas
  9. Name tags for participants to help networking - all agendas
 

Suggestions based on experiences of other clubs

Things to do

  1. AKC education department:
    The AKC has agreed to work with Clubs that host this seminar. AKC will provide free services along with the mailing labels of clubs in the three-state area surrounding the seminar. Mention the states you want. For mailing labels, host clubs should contact Kathy Caruana (919) 816-3862 or KAC1@AKC.org. While these services are free, you cannot wait to the last minute. Mention this seminar and Dr. Battaglia as your speaker.
  2. Publicity:
    Focus on the commuting distance first. Contact club presidents and secretaries and their newsletter editors. Remind them to: Please announce YOUR seminar at their club meeting and in their newsletters. Provide them with several flyers and handouts for distribution. Follow up two months later to see if they need more. The most effective flyer is a one-pageannouncement. Use a colored paper (yellow, light green) and mention to save this date for the seminar featuring Dr. Battaglia and (NAME OF YOUR SEMINR) i.e. "How to Breed Better Dogs that Win". In your flyer, ask attendees to bring pedigrees of the next bitch they plan to be breed. This statement should be included in all flyers and mail outs.
  3. Direct mail:
    Direct mail is the most effective way to reach your audience. Handouts at matches and shows have limited effectiveness because most people are busy at shows and matches. Don't depend on flyers left on tables.
  4. Websites:
    These are very effective ways to reach a large audience. Ask the AKC, your club and other clubs to post your seminar on their site. Send email to friends and ask them to forward your flyer to other friends and clubs.
  5. Flyers:
    At your club meetings hand out your flyers and ask your members to take them to other clubs where they are members.
  6. Advertising:
    Most club magazines and newsletter editors have strict deadlines for free publicity. It is usually four to five months prior to a seminar date. Other good sources for free advertising are: AKC Gazette, AKC Breeders Quarterly, Off Lead, Breed and Show, Canine Chronicle, and Dog World. Contact the editors early. Some will assist you in preparing materials. Also consider sending a "Letter to the editor" mentioning your seminar.
  7. Superintendents:
    This is another great resource because they have well-developed mailing lists. Contact the one used by your club and request that your flyer be included in your clubs +premium. Borrow their mailing list if you can. Contact other clubs and ask for their permission to have your flyer included in their Premium. This is your single best investment of time and postage. Most superintendents and clubs will help if you approach them properly.
  8. Your Committee:
    You will need at least 5 workers. Those who try it do it without the involvement of other members will not be as successful. Workers are needed to contact other clubs, distribute and mail flyers and be available to answer questions. They need to be familiar with the agenda and the topics. They also need to know about costs (husband and wife, group rates etc). This committee must serve as ambassadors who can answer questions. Remember that your audience is interested in knowing what will be covered in the seminar and why they should attend.
  9. Confirmations:
    Do not overlook the importance of immediate feedback. It prompts participants to look for a buddy, someone to ride with and share a room, etc. As soon as you provide feedback, attendance will begin to increase. Clubs with the largest attendance have been those that provided early feedback and information such as like the agenda, map and what to bring (pedigree, 3 ring note book, etc).
  10. Pre-Registration:
    A small break on the cost is usually a plus. A group rate is better. Pre-registration gets people talking to others about the agenda, bringing a dog, sharing rides etc.
  11. Three-ring binders:
    Each time a person signs up, remind them to "bring a three-ring binder for notes". Tell your audience the publisher will provide free handouts and supplements that will enhance understanding.
  12. Facilities:
    A good location is essential. Be sure it has a high ceiling and good food. Most motels and community colleges offer reduced weekend rates. Community colleges and local libraries usually have excellent meeting rooms. If you use a motel, mention a lunch or dinner and then negotiate for a free meeting room. Set the meeting room for tables and chairs rather than just chairs.
  13. Raffle:
    A seminar ticket raffled at your show, match or club meeting will get people talking. It also provides publicity and excitement for the seminar.
  14. Reservations:
    Each month report at your club meeting the number of club members and non-members who have made reservations. Your officers and board members need to register early as a sign of support.

NOTE:
If the IRS should question your clubs status as a non-profit organization, show them copies of the flyers and advertisements as proof that your club provides educational services to the public. This seminar also qualifies for the AKC annual educational requirement.

Things To Avoid

  • Do not rely only on handouts at matches and shows.
  • Do not let 1-2 people do everything. There is too much to do.
  • Don't be late notifying clubs and newsletter editors.