Planning an ISBA Seminar

Planning an ISBA Seminar

The ISBA CLE Department is dedicated to meeting our members’ needs. We could not do this without our section and committee chairs who volunteer their time. This page is designed to help in the CLE planning process. Please keep in mind to start planning in-person seminars 6 to 12 months prior to the seminar.

Selecting a Date
Section Council or committee meets to determine the goal and topic of the seminar. They will decide the date (first and second choice). ISBA staff will then check the CLE Calendar for conflicts with other ISBA events.

Choosing Seminar Format and Location
The committee or section council selects the type of seminar. Options include an in-person seminar, live webinar, telephone CLE or in-person seminar with an option to attend via the web?

If the decision is to do a live webinar, there are several options. The speaker(s) can come to the ISBA Headquarters and we will broadcast the webinar from the bar office. This allows for us to stream the video of the speaker(s) and their PowerPoint materials. If the speaker(s) can’t come to the ISBA headquarters, ISBA staff will provide support remotely for the webinar. Staff will set up a time for a test webinar with the speaker(s) to walk them through the process of using the software for live webinars. ISBA staff monitors live webinars.

If the decision is to do an in-person seminar at the ISBA headquarters, in-person attendance is limited to 100 people. If in-person attendance will be over 100, then the ISBA staff will work with the section chair or committee chair on selecting a different location. The Bar office will handle any hotel and meeting arrangements. It is important to give the Bar office this information as soon as possible so your preferred date and location can be secured.

Program Agenda Content
In order to properly market an event, the following event information should be provided to the ISBA CLE Department (no less than three months out if possible):

  • Event title and scheduling/times of presentations
  • Event description (be informational and creative)
  • Provide speakers’ name and their firm or employer’s name. Include at the bottom of your agenda any speakers’ email and contact information.
  • Include lunch, break times and any social events (normally an all-day event has two breaks and one lunch break)
  • Provide inventive and engaging event or topic titles
  • Indicate on the agenda which presentations may qualify for federal and/or ethics credit. The ISBA CLE Department will obtain CLE credit.

Once all the information is completed and received by the ISBA, staff will create the event page, set-up registration and begin marketing the program. Incomplete information will lead to delays in this process, which may lead to decreased event attendance. It’s imperative that complete and accurate information is provided to ISBA staff by the agenda due date listed on the left.

Click here for an example of an event page.

Event Marketing
ISBA will make every attempt to promote your program via:

  • An article in the Iowa Lawyer Weekly from the section chair or committee chair inviting members to attend the seminar (for larger events)
  • Ads in the Iowa Lawyer Weekly (for larger events).
  • The Bar’s web site ( ).
  • The Iowa Lawyer magazine’s CLE calendar.
  • At least 1 mailing to your complete section membership and attendees from the prior year’s seminar.
  • ISBA Facebook.
  • Section listservs by the section chair or committee chair.

Speaker Communications
Please send a copy of the information you send to speakers and/or committee and sections members to the Bar office. A copy of the speaker letters and any committee/section communications will be sent to the chair(s).

Speaker letters from the Bar office include:

  • An outline deadline which is usually 4-6 weeks before the seminar.
  • Outline formatting and detailed instructions.
  • A request for biographical information to use in introducing speakers.
  • Audio visual requests.
  • Hotel information.*
  • Lunch and /or banquet attendance check lists.

*The Bar office will make reservations and pay for one night's hotel room and tax for speakers traveling over 100 miles.