A guide to hosting a successful workshop

Other than the basic marketing tools, have you ever considered alternative ways to raise interest in your business? Organising a workshop to teach your area of interest to others could be just what you need to attract a new and fresh audience, as well as meeting new people who could become your colleagues.

Workshops are a useful tool for helping to work towards a common goal within your business – to train more people in something you’re knowledgeable about, or get ideas from people about a new project.

Read this step-by-step guide on how you can organise and run your very own workshop – then reap the rewards of sharing your knowledge with others.

Organise your day

First, determine your goal- what do you want your workshop to achieve? Is it to attract students to your apprenticeship program? Or teach your existing team new skills?

Clearly outline your aim, then write a list of activities, discussions and presentations you can do to allow everyone to achieve that goal, regardless of how advanced they are.

Bad workshops are boring and uninteresting because they entail a lot of talking, listening, sitting around and unengaging content. Plan some fun and engaging activities such as quizzes and puzzles, and make sure you include everyone who is attending, so that the whole audience feels they benefited from your workshop.  

Announce and invite

Start creating a buzz about your event. Social media is the most ideal tool for this: put an exciting and engaging notice up on LinkedIn, Facebook community pages and local newspaper websites. It’s the quickest and most effective way to target your ideal audience.

You can share social media links with those who attend and increase interaction with your activities to keep them engaged. Different forms of media make workshops and events more exciting. Your audience will remember you for putting on a unique and engaging workshop.

Preparation

In preparation for your workshop, write and practice your talks and presentations, and get your colleagues opinions on the activities you wish to carry out. Are they appropriate for 30 people? will it engage those 30 people? Will they work with 30 people? Is the schedule for the day specific and clear?

It’s highly recommended that speeches shouldn’t be longer than 20 minutes to prevent your audience becoming disengaged. Smaller quizzes and similar activities to complete throughout the day based on the presentation is better to make sure your audience are engaging with every word.

Keep in mind how boring it was sitting and listening to a teacher talk for an hour and remind yourself not to be that guy. Your event will be fun and entertaining if you make your participants active and engaged. Create PowerPoints, handouts and use visual aids for each task, along with your app-based interactivities.

Each activity should last roughly 30 minutes, and no long than 45, so your participants don’t become bored and lose interest.

Send out the invites

The purpose of you workshop is to get people interested and involved in your business, and that can’t happen if they don’t participate with you and see what you do.

Remember that some people aren’t fond of speaking in public, especially around strangers. If your audience are strangers, place them into smaller groups to complete their tasks so that it’s less daunting. Mix up your audience into different ages and backgrounds so that they mingle and swap ideas and learn something new.

It’s your job to direct the discussions and make sure everyone is working together, But most of all, you want to ensure that you are instilling excitement about your business and what you do.You always need to remember that although you’re the host, you should also have fun and enjoy it!