Successfully planning a workshop takes organization, focus, and creativity. You would do well to think of a workshop as a small event with the primary objective of providing attendees with informative value.
Beneficial results of a well-planned workshop include excellent quality ideas generated, engaging and inspiring attendees to produce valuable input, and leaving participants with the feeling they each contributed to the betterment of the workshop. If planned well, a workshop will deliver incredible value to everyone involved.
Workshops are an ideal setting for brainstorming, building relationships, interactive learning, and problem-solving. That is why it is vital to effectively plan a workshop.
Here are 10 simple ways you can set out to plan a highly successful workshop!
1) Identify Your Workshop Goals
When setting out to define your goals, make sure that you can track and follow up on those goals. You want to strive for a shared understanding among participants of the target goals. Then there should be a consensus at the conclusion of the workshop on whether these goals have been reached.
Additionally, you will want to be specific with your goals. For example, do you need to increase inventory to better keep pace with customer demand? Do you need to teach your managers to be better at organizing? Maybe there is a need for team building.
You need to have your goal(s) at the center of your activities and discussions at your workshop.
2) Decide on the Type of Workshop
Whether your workshop is virtual or a professional training session, the type of workshop you opt for will influence how you plan for it. It will affect the type of equipment you’ll need to obtain and the type of meeting room you will require.
3) Decide Who Will Attend Workshop
Make sure the people who attend the workshop directly relate to the objective. For instance, if the goal of the workshop is to develop a solution to a particular problem or challenge, you might want a dozen or fewer key attendees. If your goal is focused on education, then you would lean toward a much larger audience and plan for small group discussions.
4) Create an Agenda
After you have determined the theme, objective, and audience for the workshop, you can put together an agenda.
The structure of your agenda might look something this:
Come up with a list of discussion points. Then break down each main point into details or talking points that you want to address with your audience.
Create a list of visual aides that you might use for each point. If you need technical assistance, this assists the people providing it to determine where they should focus their efforts.
Activities & Discussions:
Set aside time to determine which group discussions and activities you will hold at certain times during the workshop. Plan in detail how much time you will dedicate for each exercise. Also, tailor each of your activities toward the size of the participant groups at the workshop.
5) Research Workshop Audience
Investigate the type of content that will appeal to your audience. Examples of various types of content that could go over well with your participants are video, audio, and memes, etc. Think about what the goals are for the workshop and then come up with ideas for activities based on those goals.
If you are able to communicate with your audience before the workshop, provide them with a poll or survey so they have a way to share their suggestions.
6) Look for Workshop Locations
If this will be an in-person workshop, create a list of ideal venues for your workshop. Take into consideration the acoustics, space, and seating arrangements in your perfect workshop setting. Book a room that has high ceilings and make sure there is sufficient space for workshop participants to move around and post ideas to a wall.
7) Plan Activities
The most effective workshops offer activities at the beginning that are designed to be icebreakers related to the workshop theme. Then you have the main event, followed up by a decompression period.
8) Workshop Partnerships
You might want to consider workshop partnerships with brands that can possibly benefit your audience or enhance the effectiveness of the workshop. An example of this is a workshop on technology and you secure a speaker from a high performing technology company. This technology professional can offer keen observations and helpful insights that will leave workshop participants with practical information that they can take back to their work and immediately implement.
9) Develop Your Content
Come up with four to six pillars to use as a foundation for the content for your workshop. Try to find interesting topics that will naturally engage your audience. Topics that would lend themselves to vigorous discussions would be ideal.
While content that will build sales for a company is always a good idea, your content should build community, as well.
10) Prepare a Budget
You will want to make a spreadsheet that lists all of the items you will need for the workshop. All facets should be included, such as the venue expense, the cost for materials for the workshop, digital ad costs, etc. Factor in the prices and quotes for each of these things.
Then you will want to do some number crunching to determine your revenue goals if it is a for-profit workshop, and find out if the cost of hosting the workshop coincides with your estimated admission prices.
Hold Your Workshops at Burbity Workspaces
At Burbity Workspaces, we have professional meeting rooms that work for you. We offer spacious, well-appointed conference rooms that will help set up your workshop for success.
Our meeting rooms come equipped with comfortable seating, a large conference table, crazy fast WiFi, smart TV, and a whiteboard. Make the most of your workshop when you hold it at a Burbity Workspaces conference room.