A content-rich presentation is the core of a successful seminar. But to ensure that your attendees have a pleasant -- if not knock-their-socks-off -- experience, it's important to ensure that your event runs smoothly.

But if you are the only one working your event -- a common scenario for new seminar promoters and professionals who use free seminars to generate leads -- chances are good that attendees will have a less-than-stellar experience. If you're welcoming participants, handing out registration materials, and trying to get your presentation loaded, while also fielding questions about where the bathrooms are and what time you want lunch served, someone or some need is being ignored.

When you wear the hats of presenter, registrar, event planner and technician, it can lend a frenetic feel to your seminar environment. Participants may get the impression that you're disorganized or feel that they can't bother you with questions or to say hi. The worst-case scenario is that you're so busy attending to event planning needs that you are unable to perform at your best when it comes time to deliver your presentation.

If your budget allows, hiring an event planner to coordinate the production of your seminar is a wise investment. Event planners can handle details such as negotiating contracts, coordinating the layout of your meeting room, ordering food and beverages, reserving equipment, and overseeing the registration area.

Don't have funds to outsource all of your event planning? At the very least, find assistants to help out the day of your seminar. For example, get a few people to check in participants. Use others to help ensure that your meeting room is set up properly and run errands for you if needed. You may even want an assistant on hand to serve as an A/V technician.

You can, of course, hire people to assist you. Family and friends are logical choices when your business is new. Another option is to seek volunteers from among your attendees.

To solicit participant volunteers, offer a work scholarship, where you let some participants in for a discounted fee if they agree to volunteer their time and talents to staff your event. Depending on the type of work that you do during your seminars and the relationship you have with your fans, a work scholarship can grow into more than a mere business transaction. It be positioned -- and perceived -- as an opportunity for a rare behind-the-scenes look at how an event runs ... to develop a closer relationship with you ... and to be in service to your students.

If you need a certain number of assitants to staff your seminar, promote the opportunity in your marketing materials. Good places includes a call-out in a seminar brochure, a P.S. on your sales letter, on your registration form ("Yes, I'd like to be considered for the work scholarship") and even in a list of frequently asked questions.

Even if you do not need volunteers, keep the idea of a work scholarship in mind. Then, if you get a request from a cash-strapped prospective attendee who wants to get in for a discounted price, you'll have a ready-made deal to offer.

To ensure that your volunteer workforce helps, rather than hinders, the flow of your event, require participants to show up early. Communicate from the start about what they are expected to do and when they are expected to work.

Finally, be sure to clearly explain what you want each volunteer to do, as well as what they should do and who to consult with if any emergencies, questions or surprises arise. Most volunteers will work hard for you out of gratitude for the discounted tuition you've extended them -- and their enthusiasm can be channeled to deliver an extraordinary experience for other participants.

Author's Bio: 

Jenny Hamby is a Certified Guerrilla Marketer and direct-response copywriter who helps speakers, coaches and consultants fill seminar seats and make more money from their own seminars and workshops. Her on- and offline direct marketing campaigns have netted response rates as high as 84 percent -- on budgets as small as $125. For more free seminar marketing secrets, visit seminarpromotiontips.com