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Council of Better Business Bureaus ®
Start With Trust®
Council of Better Business Bureaus
Evaluating Training Programs and Seminars
July 06, 2010

Some businesses are inundated with training program and seminar brochures on a daily basis. "Improve your management skills! Be a better manager! Learn how to communicate better with your staff in one day!" These programs are offered by national seminar companies, professional associations you may be affiliated with, and local firms that do not specialize in the seminar business, but run seminars as a way to educate potential customers about their area of expertise.

Oftentimes, small business owners do not have the time or the budget to sift through information about available learning opportunities. So, how do you go about picking the most worthwhile training program or seminar? Here are some things you and your staff should consider:

  • What is the content of the seminar? What are the course objectives? Are these objectives in line with what you are expecting to learn or what you want your staff to learn? Do not choose a seminar based on the title alone; they can be misleading.

  • Consider the return on investment of the seminar. If you have limited time to spend out of the office, will you learn skills or information that will make your time investment worthwhile? Does the value of what you will learn outweigh the price of the registration fee?

  • Find out who the presenter is and what are his/her credentials. If you are signing up to hear a particular speaker, call the sponsor to verify that this person will in fact be the presenter.

  • Keep location and site arrangement in mind. Do you have time to travel? Is there adequate parking? Are meals included?

  • Do you need credits for a professional license or certification? If so, is the course sponsor accredited by the appropriate agencies or organizations to grant the credits? Is there an additional cost for the credits?

  • Check out the company sponsoring the seminar with the Better Business Bureau.