Defined in the most general sense of the word, seminars are simply a group of people coming together for a discussion or forum on specific topics. Usually, seminars bring along experts or people with key positions as speakers and to lead discussions. However, the common thought is that seminars are often a company or business thing, and those outside of those stand less to gain from attending seminars.
The truth of the matter is the aforementioned (stereotypical) idea about seminars in not correct. In the first place, many universities and collegiate institutions, even courses that aren’t related to business and companies, often employ seminars as a learning venue. With those facts in mind, we can safely assume that if an individual wants to gain opportunities that he/she couldn’t with just his/her college academic backing, seminars are the way to go.
Getting down into the potential advantages that seminars offer to individuals first necessitates taking a certain seminar and breaking it down. For that, I’m going to use China Import Formula’s seminars, headed by Brendan Elias, mainly because it has all the advantages and has also proven to be effective.
- Discussion of topic not discussed anywhere else – as mentioned beforehand, seminars have a tendency to emphasize areas of knowledge that haven’t been discussed by others (or, at the very least, not that much). As such, seminars offer a wealth of knowledge that can’t be found anywhere else; to use the seminar I had cited earlier, Brendan Elias (and his team of experts that also serve as speakers in the seminar) discuss the operation of a China importing business (a very specific and niche, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a university or college that offers a similarly focused course about importing.
- Individuals experienced with the topic in question – in all cases, seminar organizers will make sure that their speakers are professionals within the field that the seminar is focusing on, because of two prime benefits: first, it gives the seminar a sense of legitimacy, second of all, having experts makes sure that the attendants of the seminar learn from the best possible set of individuals as possible. Hence, the China Import Formula’s seminar can be considered authoritative on the subject of importing from China because its main speaker, Brendan Elias, is one of Australia’s most successful importers.
- Just as effective as regular classes, or even better – if seminars are to be compared to regular lecture classes, one can either conclude that the former is either equal to or even better than the latter, mainly because, in the basest sense, they retain a fundamental similarity, that of having experts discuss their area of expertise. The key difference between the two is that of ambience; seminars tend to be cozier and less rigid, while regular lecture classes tend to be the exact opposite. This difference can make for a better learning experience when it comes to seminars over regular lecture classes.
- A very social experience – seminars place an emphasis on informal interactions. That, along with the varied audiences that seminars get (despite the myriad uniqueness of the participants, it is important to remember that they have a unifying factor: interest in what the seminar is about), creates an amiable ambience. This type of atmosphere then motivates communication between the participants, which in itself is an additional learning experience (besides the seminar’s lectures).
- Can double as a “mini vacation” – this is perhaps the one thing that sets seminars apart from traditional lecture classes: it may also serve as a getaway from the daily hustle and bustle in your daily life. Attendees are often given excellent lodging and cozy venues; as such, the seminar becomes a weekend excursion, as well as an opportunity to relax, for the attendee, and at the same time an enlightening event.
In a nutshell, seminars provide individuals with a viable alternative to traditional educational institutions in learning about certain topics.