The decision to host your first academy seminar, although exciting, is likely accompanied by a rush of important questions. Are you leading the seminar, or will you pay someone else like an affiliated master instructor? How much do you charge? How will you market the event to your students? How will you process payment for the event?
While these sample questions may be daunting at first, hosting your first seminar can be quite simple – it doesn’t have to be a large international conference! You have already taken advantage of the rapid-growth martial arts industry by starting your business. Now, you can take advantage of technology advancements and multiply your school’s impact by hosting a premier local seminar.
Defining Your Seminar’s Focus
Fortunately, seminar themes in martial arts are usually easier to determine than other fitness-related businesses like affiliate gyms or boutique studios. Although nutrition and physical activity are important for all of your students, local academy seminars are based on your specialties. From Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to Muay Thai and beyond, your school’s marital art focus areas define your seminar’s overarching theme.
Deeper than the theme are the subcategories or niche areas many schools choose to incorporate. For example, a BJJ seminar may include an hour-long takedown session from a presenter who is skilled in takedowns. There are countless scenarios to consider, and it ultimately boils down to you and your community.
Maximizing Your Seminar’s Reach
Once you have determined your focus areas and overall purpose, the next challenge is to make sure your community attends the seminar!
With your first academy seminar, keep everything as simple as possible. In deciding when to host your seminar, the options may seem endless. An efficient way to make this decision, if it works for your school, is to host your seminar on the same day as a large belt promotion ceremony.
After choosing the optimal date for your seminar, the next action may be to choose how you market the seminar. Depending on the size of your student base and the overall goal of your seminar, the first step of this marketing strategy is to decide who can attend. Is your seminar for active students or will you open it up to the general public as well?
Your target audience will determine your marketing strategy, but there are certainly some best-practice tactics which will help spread the word. From your email newsletter and social media communities to your website and blog, there are a variety of mediums to engage your target audience. Simplicity is key for you first academy seminar, so don’t overlook the classic flyer and the always-powerful word of mouth!
Beyond marketing your seminar, the other important aspect of your seminar is how it will be managed. That is, how people will register and how people will pay. Again, this decision is based on your school’s size and your overall goals. For smaller academy seminars, it is common for the students to register on paper at the school and pay cash. Many schools take a more efficient route and manage the registration through their business software.
As you examine opportunities for growth in 2019, like seminars, download our latest Martial Arts School Benchmark Report below to discover what martial arts businesses are doing around the world. If you aren’t planning to host a seminar soon, check out these expert ways to keep students engaged between testing.