Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Create Your Own Seminar

The Vegan Era CREW were very blessed to have conducted their very first seminar. YAY! We had such a magnificent turn out, and it seemed that everyone really enjoyed being together and talking to like minded people.

On this point, we thought it only fitting to share all that we have learnt and a few things that we could improve on.

Know Who You Are?
For us, we had very little expectations. I guess, as long as it wasn't Mandy and I talking to each other we were very happy.
Along with this, we are two very relaxed people. Hence, we thought our presentation should reflect that. We made it our point to be very free and relaxed when talking and if people had questions they could ask them there and then.

Upon reflection, we found that this was the one thing that people loved about our presentation. The fact that they could relate to us and they felt comfortable. That was a real bonus. When you stand up and talk in front of an audience you all feed of the energy, so if they are relaxed, you are relaxed.

Set It Up
Although we did not intend for this to happen, the relaxed atmosphere just flowed. Perhaps this had to do with the fact that we were delayed with technical difficulties so I had the time to meet people before hand and they could all get together to have a little chat.

This actually leads me on to my next point, try your best to have all the technical issues ironed out before the day. We use apple computers, and they did not work with the hard ware available to us. luckily we had a back up computer, however a lot of the software we were using for the presentation did not work. We were able to get around it, however, if had of tested everything a couple of days before hand we could have been more prepared.

Mix It Up
The CREW has been lucky to have been to a few seminars previously. In our experience we found most of the them boring and distant. We wanted our audience to feel like they really knew us, and they could relate to the material.

In order to create this environment we changed between power point presentation, video and free talking. After the presentation was complete, we received very positive feedback for mixing things up.

You always want as many people as you can to your event. We made sure that we had time up our sleeve to get our message out to as many people as possible. The tools we used were letterbox drop, email outs, cafe posters, local media (newspaper, radio) and social media. We were also fortunate in that our local library (the place where we held the seminar) also promoted us.

To be very honest we found the most effective way to get your message heard was through social media. Set yourself up with as many groups and like minded people as you can. Don't be afraid to ask them to spread your message through their friend network.
You often hear that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Well nothing has changed....well sort of nothing, it is no longer done through people verbally talking, rather typing on face book.

Give, Give, Give
Not only giving of your time, and of yourself but also give people other treats. People are really appreciative of little gifts especially when you are presenting vegan food. People like to know that they can cook beautiful little treats like cup cakes just as they used to.

At the end of our seminar we gave away books, bags and eats. People were left feeling happy and blissful and all it took was a little love.

Be Happy
Some of the information that we are presenting can be very confronting. We like to keep things very light and happy, however we did present one video that shows how many animals are killed per second around the world. It is confronting, but to finish of the talk we showed a happy video, something fun and light. This helped to uplift the  mood of the room.

What We Learnt
The CREW really enjoyed spreading the message, and as I mentioned we had very little expectations. So to have the outcome that we did we were so happy and motivated to do more.

We feel that we could streamline the presentation so that it flowed better when we changed between video and power point.
Set up a video camera and photographer and streamline the seminar on the web. Our next step is to work out how to get this information straight to you. There is a application on face book that allows for web-inars. It something we are looking into and could greatly improve the reach of your presentation.

We would love to hear what you think, so if you have any feedback please tell us. We love to learn always looking for ways better get the message out to the world.

Later Skaters.