Planning a workshop, like most events, requires an immense amount of planning and effort. Many attendees attend a workshop to learn something new - whether that’s a new skill or to learn about something new in a certain industry. Read on to learn more about the top tips and tricks for organizing a workshop to make the one you host a great one.
<span class="mid-size-title">1. Answer the 5 Ws (and 1 H)</span>
Create a roadmap and align your goals by answering these questions before you start to plan your workshop event. The questions are:
<span class="mid-size-title">2. Determine Your Workshop Goals</span>
You shouldn’t go about planning a workshop event any further if you don’t have certain goals in place. Answering the questions above will aid in determining what kind of goals to set, and vice versa. Talk with your team about what they want to accomplish with this event and what each department would like the outcome to be. Some examples of common workshop goals are increased customer sign-ups or increased sales for your products or services. Using S.M.A.R.T goals will help you in this step as well to ensure you hit your goals perfectly!
<span class="mid-size-title">3. Choose A Type</span>
Choosing what kind of workshop you have will help to determine many other factors in your workshop planning process. Once you decide on the nature of your workshop, you’ll be able to figure out other important factors, such as the right equipment you’ll need and what to include in your budget.
<span class="mid-size-title">4. Build A Team</span>
In order to get everything that needs to get done for your workshop, you need a top tier team that will help you achieve all workshop objectives. Having other people to help you out will lift some pressure off the workshop planning that’s ahead of you. Find out which members in your circle have the bandwidth to help out and plan from there. If you need extra hands, ask friends, family, and stakeholders if they know anyone who would be willing to help out!
<span class="mid-size-title">5. Research Your Audience</span>
Learning a little more about your intended audience will help you target your efforts for marketing your workshop. If you can directly communicate with your audience, send out a poll or survey asking them their opinions about different workshops matters. See what kind of content they’d like to see from your team as you begin to plan for the event as well.
<span class="mid-size-title">6. Outline the Budget</span>
Creating a budget is necessary for any event planner, no matter what kind of event you host. Tools like spreadsheets can help plan out how much everything will cost and keep track of every expense in one clear place. A spreadsheet is a great piece to utilize after your workshop too; once the event is over, go back and calculate how much revenue was brought in with how much you spent to see if your event budget predictions were correct.
<span class="mid-size-title">7. Create An Agenda</span>
Think of a workshop agenda as a helpful outline for attendees and event staff to know what to expect during your event. This agenda should be set up just like any other event agenda: start off with an introduction going into detail about your event and thanking everyone who attended. Include any and all important changes in the event, like if guest speakers are going to be presenting and if you choose to include any networking breakout sessions.
<span class="mid-size-title">8. Learn From Competition</span>
The best way to gather ideas for your workshop event is to see how other companies run their workshop events! See what practices they use in their promotional efforts as well as any planning practices they have. You can model your event off the inspiration you gather from their event, such as details like length, activities, and themes.
<span class="mid-size-title">9. Pick a Date for the Workshop</span>
You’re ready to finally pick a day for your event! Keep in mind certain factors, such as weather, the schedules of your attendees, and the length you’re planning to make your workshop. If it lasts more than one day, make sure you give plenty of advanced notice to your audience so they can plan accordingly.
<span class="mid-size-title">10. Draft Your Communication Plan</span>
Think about how you want to communicate to your audience and future workshop attendees. Do you want to communicate with them on a daily basis about your event, or reach out every other day? It’s important to note how you want to communicate with them as well; will you go through social media, or send updates to their email inbox? These are important to note as you go through the workshop planning process!
<span class="mid-size-title">11. Build a Marketing Calendar</span>
Relying on word of mouth for your event isn’t enough these days; you need to expand your marketing reach, and the best way to do that is to organize your content into a marketing calendar! Creating a marketing calendar with posts to advertise your event will be beneficial to getting the word out. Create calendars for each social media platform with information about the event and to create buildup around it.
<span class="mid-size-title">12. Set Up for Sales</span>
Figuring out your process for selling tickets to your workshop is key! If you choose to sell tickets digitally, find a platform that makes selling and registering tickets for your workshop easy. There are many platforms to choose from for event registering, so be sure to know your budget and objectives when choosing!
<span class="mid-size-title">13. Your Content</span>
Marketing your workshop event online through social media is one of the best ways to get the word out! When you promote your event, make sure to create a comprehensive content plan that focuses on a range of topics, not just promoting your event. Your audience doesn't want to engage with content that focuses only on your workshop, so make sure the content you post is still interesting and gives users a break from event posts.
<span class="mid-size-title">14. Look for Locations</span>
If the workshop event you’re hosting is in-person, make sure to thoroughly assess your location options. Make sure it’s easily accessible to attendees, and if it requires travel, account that you may need to provide additional support for anyone traveling. Consider hosting it in a larger city that has more resources, like hotels and transportation, available for attendees out of town.
<span class="mid-size-title">15. Strategize Your Layout</span>
Visualize the different areas of your workshop by mapping out the layout of your event. Doing so will help you take account of the spaces available for various workshop segments, such as check-in, breakout rooms, and any other activities your workshop may have.
<span class="mid-size-title">16. Plan Activities</span>
A workshop doesn’t have to be boring - make it fun with different activities! Make everyone comfortable once they check-in by planning an ice breaker activity. If guests have been sitting in the same spot throughout the event, have an activity where they sit in a different area and get to know the new people around them! Not only should a workshop event be about learning new skills and ideas, but it should also be fun and a time to meet new people!
<span class="mid-size-title">17. Consider Partnerships</span>
Elevate your workshop event to the next level with the help of partnerships. Obtaining partners, or sponsors, for your event can help to make it even greater by giving you additional funds or additional promotion. There are different types of partnerships you can choose from: in-kind partnerships, media event partnerships, financial partnerships, and influencer/content creator partnerships. Choose which one works best for your company and you’ll have one great workshop event!
<span class="mid-size-title">18. Gather Tools</span>
As you go through each step of workshop planning, take note of any sort of tool you will need. This includes technology tools, such as spreadsheet programs or the right ticketing platform, to physical tools such as projectors or pens and pencils for workshop attendees.
<span class="mid-size-title">19. Review Workshop Best Practices</span>
Not only should you review the best practices for holding a workshop, but everyone else involved in your event should, too! Make sure everyone knows how to keep the energy upbeat for attendees and that you allot time in case attendees want to touch on certain subjects more. Prep for any additional time with extra speaking segments as well to keep the event from running too short!
<span class="mid-size-title">20. Do a Huddle</span>
As the event day closely arrives, meet with your team more frequently to cover all the event details. Having a team huddle can address any last minute issues that may arise as well as give you the time to create any backup plans. Doing so will save you time (and stress!) from dealing with them on the day of so your workshop event is seamless!
<span class="mid-size-title">21. Host a Dry Run</span>
If you’re hosting a workshop that’s virtual, a great way to make sure it goes smoothly is to try a practice run! With a practice run, you can ensure the platform is working correctly, you don’t have any audio or video issues, and that your internet speed is up to date. This will prevent you from having to deal with those issues if they arrive on the event day!
<span class="mid-size-title">22. Host a Post-Workshop Analysis</span>
Although your workshop may have ended, it doesn’t mean your event work is over! Checking all the data after your workshop is just as important as before and during the event. If your event is virtual, the hosting platform you use may have in-depth analytics where you can view attendee data and how guests interacted with your workshop. Get together with your team and go over everything that went well and anything that could use improvement - this will ensure that future workshops are even better!
Hosting a workshop is always a great idea because it’s an event that benefits everyone - attendees get to learn a new skill or new ideas while networking, and you can promote your business and gain the reputation of throwing a great event. No matter what kind of workshop you host and whatever format you choose, it will surely be one everyone remembers. Keeping these best workshop practices in mind as you go about planning the event, your workshop will go from good to great!
Workshops are a great way to learn new skills and meet new connections. If you’re thinking about hosting a workshop event, read on to learn 10 workshop ideas!