– S.K.Verma, IFS (Retd.), Ex. National Vice President

Time stops for no one and let’s not misses out on some really amazing things that your organization has offered. Various Events (Programmes / Functions / Meetings / Special Events) are organized as per broad parameters of policy of the Organization.

As the seminar leader you will develop strong presentations skills, improve your abilities, demonstrate teaching skills in a workshop environment, learn the “ins and outs” of meeting planning ,understand the role of a seminar leader, gain expertise with visual aids and provide a much needed educational service to others.

As a program participant you will acquire a keen insight to these education topics, apply the skills learned in role-plays and exercises, observe and learn from the presentation skills of others, work with other people who have similar interests and offer your own thoughts on the important ideas covered . The ultimate reward is success.

Basic objectives are :
a.    to seek advice from Subject Matter Specialists or designated persons with expertise and the experience on specific subject matters.
b.     to co-ordinate and integrate efforts by the various groups / agencies in implementing programmes; and
c.     to ensure a harmonious and integrated approach in Policy /Administration / Project activities/ Special occasion etc.
d.    to resolve the issues and problems that arising during implementation.
e.    to ensure implementation of an integrated approach in Policy and Administration.
f.     to resolve the issues and problems that arise.
g.     to co-ordinate and integrate efforts for implementation. 

To ensure that you’re fully leveraging the power of your event title, select the type of event that best fits the experience you want to create.

To engage listeners, many organizations provide outlines, notes sheets, reading materials or copies of important documents. Provide Projector for PowerPoint presentation to follow when listening to the presentation. 

1.     The type of events you can host are varied. Every event is different such as Seminars, workshops, conference, symposia, user conferences, summits, Tele-seminars Web-conferences. As such use the nomenclature for the event accurately because it communicates volumes about the type of experience your participants can expect.

2.     Here’s a quick explanation of each type of event.
I.  Seminars are educational events that feature one or more subject matter experts delivering information primarily via lecture and discussion. Seminars are an increasingly popular way to generate qualified leads for your business. Many professionals and organizations recognize that the best way to convince prospects of their expertise is to deliver high-quality education and, therefore, deliver free seminars that are high in content. There are presentation by experience papers, Case study by professionals/ members/ Subject talk; or a meeting for giving and discussing information; or a group of advanced students studying under a professor with each doing original research and all exchanging results through reports and discussions; a course of study pursued by a seminar; an advanced or graduate course often featuring informality and discussion or a scheduled meeting of a seminar. 

II . Workshops tend to be smaller and more intense than seminars. This format often involves students practicing their new skills during the event under the watchful eye of the instructor. Hands-On Workshops typically involve participants doing work on a particular issue during the program. The promise is that when they leave, they’ll have at least a rough plan or tools in place to address the challenge. Subject and practical exercise to formulate proposals to emphasize problem solving or a Action Plans after Group discussions;or a usually brief intensive educational program for a relatively small group of people that focuses especially on techniques and skills in a particular field

III. Conferences often features keynote presentations delivered to all attendees, as well as multiple break-out sessions. Attendees often expect to receive information about the subject  trends and developments. Attendees learn about latest knowledge enhancements, as well as new and advanced strategies for using the informations to achieve goals and solve problems.

IV. Meetings: This is  an act or process of coming together into conformity with the views, wishes,or as an assembly for a common purpose or a permanent organizational unit or  intersection, junction. Knowledge Interfaces to come into conformity with the views, wishes, or opinions of different members; or for General Review or for framing future Policy meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern; or a usually formal interchange of views/consultation; or Major event-quarterly, half-yearly, annual or bi-annual etc .

V. A Symposium is typically a more formal or academic gathering, featuring multiple experts delivering short presentations on a particular topic.

VI. A Summit is a gathering of the highest level of leaders and experts. 

3.    Many times events are poorly run as these are not well organized and because these are Unproductive, time wasting, never start and ends up in time and frustrating. Mostly the events never start and end up in time and frustrating. We have to Re-Learn ways and means for (the Art of) management of meeting to improve the events by using modern systems and skills. Do your ‘Home Work’ properly. Requires preparation and discipline, but doing so can make a huge difference to the productivity of your organization.

4.     Advance Planning is useful to run meetings more effectively, efficient and creative design, logistics. Anticipate all elements of meeting Assess what is most important through careful planning and publicity.

5.     Assess who are your participants and your sponsors, Objectives / Theme / Participation level / Invitees / Cost and coordination.

6.     Select an appropriate dignitary to be invited along with list of Subject Matter Specialists with their topics of lecture or presentation.

7.     Select an appropriate THEME and divide it into 4-5 SUB-THEMES to support and promote the Theme.

8.     Select Chairmen for each session as well as Rapporteurs for each session. All presentations can not be made in the limited time. Hence ask all contributors to send a brief of their presentation. Their copies can be distributed to all participants along with ‘Reading Material Kit’.

9.     Prepare a Key Note Address for the Dignitary, if he is a generalist about the subject of the event.

10.   Prepare day to day detailed Programme.

Tentative Program of Technical Sessions
Date from …………….. .to ………………..
Date: ………………………. 
Inaugural Session – Time from … to ….a.m.
9.00 – 9.05 a.m. Welcome address
9.05 – 9.10 a.m. Lighting of the Lamp
9.10 – 9.15 a.m.Welcome Address
9.15 – 9.30 a.m.Inaugural Speech by
9.30 – 9.45 a.m. Key Note Address by
9.45 – 10.00 a.m. Presidential address
10.00 – 10.15 a.m. Vote of thanks

Technical Session I – Sub Theme……….
11.00 – 11.05 a.m. Introductory remarks
11.05 – 11.25 a.m. Presentation 1
11.25 – 11.45 a.m. Presentation 2
11.45 – 12.05 p.m. Presentation 3
12.05 – 12.25 p.m. Presentation 4
12.25 – 12.45 p.m. Presentation 5
12.45 – 12.55 p.m. Questions & Answers
12.55 – 01.00 p.m. Summing up by Chairman /Moderator

Lunch Break
Techical Session I I–Sub Theme………
2.00 – 2.30 p.m. Introductory remarks
2.30 – 3.00 p.m. Presentation 1
3.00– 3.30 p.m. Presentation 2
3.30– 4.30 p.m. Presentation 3
4.30– 4.50 p.m. Questions & Answers
4.50– 4.30 p.m. Summing up by Chairman / Moderator

Golden Rules of Meeting Management:
Follow them to help make the event more productive and less frustrating. Each of the rules requires commitment from all participants. Golden rules are:

Rule 1: Run your meetings, as you would have others run the meetings that you intent to attend
This is the most fundamental Rule of Running an effective meeting or being a good meeting participant. It is all about ~ considerate of others. All the other Rules flow from this principle.Always Know What Time It Is The clock is God in meetings. Out of respect for the commitment and sanity of everyone who attends, meetings should never run over the time allotted. Especially regularly scheduled meetings. If the session gets bogged down in an issue, table it for another meeting. If the meeting must conclude by taking an action or decision, then schedule it accordingly. Tell all the participants before the meeting starts that it will go as long as necessary to reach the stated conclusion. Don’t mislead people by minimizing the amount of work involved; that kind of trickery will only come back to haunt you.  

Rules 2: :Be prepared and ensure that all the participants are comfortable.
Distribute meeting agenda a day before the meeting and make sure everyone has access to any relevant background materials. All Participants arriving at the meeting ought to be well prepared with the help of Agenda and Background materials. No one should arrive at a meeting not knowing why he or she is there and what is supposed to be accomplished.

Rule 3: Stick to the Schedule
Start the meeting on time and end it on time (or even early). Starting on time requires discipline by the organizer. Participants arriving late show a lack of consideration for all those who were on time. If all participants know that the organizers always start the meeting right on time, then there is greater likelihood that everyone else will make an effort to be punctual.

Keep the agenda realistic. The Chairman should inform the allotted time to each speaker and control it effectively. If speaker narrates stories and irrelevant issues.. one should intervene and divert him to spare time for other speakers.

Regular Routine meetings should be scheduled at a time that is reasonably convenient for the participants. For inconvenient times (e.g. after the end of the official workday) can have negative impact on morale. Emergencies are a reality for most: Organisations and may necessitate meetings at odd times also.

Rule 4: Never Forget the Main Reason for Meetings
The only good reason to have meetings is to do something together that you can’t do better alone. In business, meetings have three primary purposes: communicating, administering, and deciding. Of these, the first and last are most worthwhile. But the focus of all three kinds of meetings should be action. They should either be communicating the intention to take an action or the results of action that has been taken, administering a plan of action, or deciding among alternative actions. If you find yourself calling meetings “or going to them” that have some other purpose, you’re wasting your time. And everyone else’s. Find something else to do.

Rule 5: Stay on the Theme / Subject:
If the meeting becomes clearly go off on a tangent, then either the Chairman or the Organizer or any one person assigned for the job, ought to have the responsibility of gently guiding back the Speaker or discussions by participants to the main topic of meeting. In case a few people often tends to tell stories, poems during meetings, then either the Chairman or, should guide the discussion back to the agenda .

Rule 6: Don’t hold unnecessary meetings
Meetings are crucial vehicles for maintaining good communication. Carefully assess how often-routine meetings really need to be held or how productive they are? Can they be held less frequent ? Or, perhaps, can they be held standing up someplace and kept to a few minutes in office, but it is important to find the right balance between good communication and productive uses of time. .

Rule 7: Remember the Golden Rule of Meetings
Praise in Public, Criticize in Private: Shut off public criticism when it arises. It’s extremely destructive to morale and should be prevented. Indeed, much misery could be avoided in the business world if all members of the corporate community would remember a simple fact: if they are working for the same employer, then they are all on the same team. Corporate politics we will always have with us, but that doesn’t mean that we have to accept them tamely. Help your vocally critical teammates by making it clear, in advance of each meeting, who is in charge, how long the meeting will last, and what the point of the meeting is. Then deal with attempts to take the meeting in other, more vicious directions as simple misunderstandings of the agreed-upon ground rules. Politely but firmly steer the meeting back to the right terrain.Don’t misuse it to get people to stray from the straight and narrow, or bend the rules, or set the quotas dangerously high, or cut corners on quality, or any one of a thousand such activities that go on every day in misguided organizations everywhere. Your corporation has a set of values. If it doesn’t include adherence to a code of ethics and the rule of law, change the values or find values or find somewhere else to work.

Rule 8: Conclude meetings with a clear statement of the next steps and who is take them.
Meeting organizer should clearly summarize what needs to be done and who is going to do It. This is crucial otherwise the meeting will have been a waste of everyone’s time.

Rule 9: Do Not Convene Meetings Outside of Normal Business Hours

Of course there are times when this rule must be broken, but they should be reserved for real emergencies. People who schedule meetings for evenings and weekends are merely advertising the embarrassing fact that they have no life – and they’re expecting others to give up theirs. That kind of person should not be allowed to run anything, much less part of a modern corporation, because they lack the basic humanity to do a good job. Surviving in the fast-moving, devil-take-the-hindmost business world of today requires good peripheral vision as well as keen understanding of the work involved. Those without the necessary life balance can’t possibly understand that world they’re in or see around the next business corner.