Business seminars bring together employees from the same company, for a day or more, outside the work environment. But the current circumstances have turned virtual seminars into a reality. So companies need to adapt. How to organise an online seminar What are the different types of remote seminar?
The different seminar models available
The business seminar aims above all else to create or maintain team cohesion, and to boost dialogue, cooperation, awareness, rewards and challenges among employees from the same company. Today, we refer to team building seminars. Several different types of seminar exist according to the type and number of employees and the aim of the seminar:
- The work seminar. The key aim of this seminar is to work on company projects and move forward by bringing several employees together in one place. People from outside the company can also take part. The work seminar encourages people to exchange ideas to boost their productivity.
- The induction seminar. Here, new arrivals are helped to make their mark and discover the corporate culture.
- The training seminar. To remain competitive, it is important for companies to regularly train their employees in new skills, or to update their existing skills. This is the purpose of the training seminar.
- The motivation and team building seminar. This type of seminar is a fun way to motivate employees and boost their performance by giving them the opportunity to discuss ideas in more relaxed circumstances, outside their work environment. It is the perfect way to build ties and strengthen team spirit.
- The management seminar. This type of seminar is designed for company managers and executives to analyse the status quo and define the company’s new strategic direction for the future.
- The management seminar. Managers, executives, heads of department and team leaders come together to think about the challenges faced by their different areas of responsibility, the messages they should communicate to their employees, and the new skills they must acquire to achieve this.
- The sales seminar. This type of seminar is designed for a company or group’s sales team. The aim is to assess the previous sales period, consider ways to improve, and set specific goals for the upcoming period.
Further reading: How do you organise an effective brainstorming session?
Organising a digital seminar: best practices
Due to the current situation, company events have not escaped today’s widespread digitisation. To avoid a negative impact on team cohesion and to maintain contact in spite of distance, company seminars are being turned into online seminars. With social distancing in place, it is no longer possible for a company to bring its employees together under one roof. The solution is to create remote seminars, by bringing teams together virtually.
Just like for a traditional seminar, organising a digital seminar requires good preparation. How to go about it Here are a few best practices you should adopt.
Set specific goals
First and foremost, it is vital that you know why you are organising the online seminar: team training, welcoming new employees, discussing performance and future strategic direction, building team spirit, etc. Depending on your goals, you can choose the model of seminar that best meets your needs. You also need to decide the number of participants.
Once you have carried out this first step, you will have your foundation. Then you just need to decide the details of your seminar activities.
Use an appropriate online seminar platform
Depending on your objectives, some online meeting platforms are more appropriate than others. If you are organising a motivation and team building seminar, it is important that your platform enables participants to react and allows for a range of activities and networking opportunities. Ideally, you should be able to alternate between time in sub-groups and plenary sessions for all participants. In this case, a tool like Glowbl provides the necessary conditions for an interactive event that reflects reality as much as possible.
If the seminar aims only to enable the company boss to speak, in order to address all employees remotely, a simple webinar or streaming platform would suffice. Finally, if the aim of the seminar is to train employees, a virtual classroom solution is the best option.
Pay attention to format
An online seminar cannot capture attention in the same way as a face-to-face seminar. Background noise and other distractions can disturb your employees when they are working remotely. It is therefore vital that you adapt the format of your seminar content, speeches, and activities accordingly.
Ideally, your web seminar should not exceed three hours. It is particularly important to plan regular breaks to hold participants’ attention throughout the event. If several people plan to speak, it is best to restrict each person to 10-15 minutes maximum.
Similarly, if you need to present figures, use graphs and try to support them with pictures and keywords. Generally speaking, the more your presentations are concise and pleasant to look at, the more attentive your employees will be.
Organise fun activities
To avoid losing your participants en route, make sure you give them the opportunity to take an active part in the seminar. There are several fun activities you can adapt to your type of seminar, such as a survey, a real-time brainstorming session, a virtual escape game, or an online board game (Pictionary, musical quiz, etc.).
As well as capturing attention, such activities stimulate creativity, boost team spirit, and create a relaxed atmosphere for participants to get to know each other in an original way. Another, not insignificant advantage of these activities is that they provide rhythm, which is vital for effective online team building.
Further reading: Four team building ideas you can use remotely
Just like for a traditional seminar, we highly recommend that you collect employee feedback on your digital seminar. Using a survey, for example, you can ask them which parts they most/least enjoyed, ways to improve, ideas they took away with them or particularly liked, etc.
Using this feedback, you can draw up a report to share with the whole company, so that the ideas that come out of your seminar do not fall by the wayside but, instead, are used to ensure continuous improvement.
Further reading: Online meetings: what are the advantages?