Have you recently been tasked to organize a successful workshop and wondered, “How to plan a workshop?” If that’s your recent predicament, you have nothing to worry about.
Planning a successful workshop can be confusing, stressful, and time-consuming.
In these most stressful moments, you only need a quick and practical solution to keep your project afloat.
Whether you need help before, during, or after the workshop, we have created an elaborate strategy for creating a workshop plan.
Read on to find out.
A. Before the workshop
Preparing for a successful workshop is all about smart plans and strategic decisions.
Here are some tips:
1. Decide your goals
Every event or workshop must have a goal. It helps you prepare a clear course of action defining a workshop's “why,” “who”’ and “what.” This saves time and gives you concrete reasons to host the workshop.
Here are some questions you can ask to determine your workshop goals:
- What do I expect from the workshop? (outcomes)
- How will the participants benefit from the workshop? What are their pain points? How can I address them?
- What activities am I planning to engage the participants in?
- What do I and the participants expect to learn from the workshop? (key lessons)
When you have everything ready, you need to involve your client or host, share the draft, and ask for feedback. It’s good to be flexible with the plan and keep a space for any changes. This ensures a seamless transition from plan A to B in case you need to pivot to something different.
2. Draft your agenda
Now that you’ve set the goals, start developing your outline and showcasing how you plan to achieve them.
You need to:
- Make a list of key points to discuss, then detail each point. This will help you create sessions and activities for the workshop.
- List the visual aids and technical equipment you’ll need for the sessions.
- Allocate appropriate timing for each session or exercise. Ensure that all activities are appropriate for the group size and that your venue has all the resources.
3. Define your attendees
The next step is to identify the prospective attendees for your workshop. The number of attendees will depend on your workshop’s goal. For example, a problem-solving workshop will probably require 10 or fewer attendees, while a soft-skill training workshop will require more.
To correctly identify your attendees, be specific but remain open to last-minute additions.
Here are the tips to create your attendee list:
- Focus on creating a “persona” for the workshop. This should include the beneficiaries, their needs, pain points, and interests.
- Make a list of who needs to be there. Try to be specific, but leave a few openings for last-minute additions.
- You can also interview potential participants to gather more information on their wants, needs, and expectations.
4. Find the perfect location/venue
Before picking a venue or location, ensure it’s convenient for the attendees. For example, if you plan to host a local workshop, pick a venue easily accessible to all your participants. But if some participants are coming out of town, you might want to choose a location near public transportation or where they will be staying.
Consider the following tips for finding the most appropriate venue:
- Work within a budget. Don’t forget to include complementary costs such as catering, supplies, entertainment, etc.
- Go for ample parking space if most of your guests are coming by car. Inquire about parking accommodation and valet facility. If you don’t find a venue with a parking facility, ensure at least parking spaces are available nearby.
- Choose a venue with ample space for your participants to sit and move around freely.
- If you plan to offer food at your workshop, find out about the venue’s services and amenities. Look for venues that include a kitchen, tables, chairs, linens, and amenities such as AV equipment or setup/cleaning services.
- Talk to your general liability insurance provider to endorse your event to the vendors as early as possible. This is for venues that demand insurance compliance.
- Consider a venue with a strong Wi-Fi connection to provide a better experience to your workshop participants.
5. Promote your workshop
Promoting your workshop can attract prospective attendees to your event. There are numerous ways to do this.
Here are some:
- Pre-announce your event. Create a poster with all relevant information and circulate it on social media platforms.
- Create a separate mobile landing page offering all the details of your event.
- Create custom tickets and place them strategically on your website to attract people to the event page.
- Publish promotional posts on X(formerly Twitter), Linkedin, and other relevant social media platforms.
- Write blogs related to your workshop and include a link to the event page at the bottom of each blog post.
- Write a press release and send it to the relevant media.
- Partner with journalists or editors of local and regional newspapers or news websites and publish an article around the theme of your workshop.
B. During the workshop
Once the workshop begins, the environment may get intense and busy. Here are some points to remember to sail through the event smoothly.
1. Brief the team and speakers
A few days before the workshop, start with a briefing call with the client, your team, and other guests, if any. This will help you ensure everyone is on the same page and tackle any emerging issues that need attention.
- Brief your keynote speakers on the intention behind the workshop and the participants in the room.
- Discuss what should happen before, during, and after their speech.
- Define clear roles and responsibilities of your team. You can even create scripts for people presenting or hosting.
- Ensure all your pre-workshop communication is sent out to the participants. This can be anything from logistics reminders to prep work.
- Always include a way for emergency contacts if something happens at the last minute.
2. Personal energy management
There’s a high likelihood you’ll face stress or anxiety once you’re done with all the arrangements. That’s why it is extremely important to do personal energy management.
To begin with, you can-
- Eliminate any other work before or after an important event.
- Meditate and participate in focus activities.
- Spend time in nature, do exercises, and do yoga.
- Take sessions with trusted professionals or a coach.
- Introspect and reflect on possible biases and personal intentions.
3. Get people involved
Now that people have assembled at your threshold and finally taken their seats, take a deep breath and delve into the agenda. You know the topics you want to cover, but come up with ideas to make the information fun and memorable for the participants.
To get everyone involved and finish the workshop successfully, keep these tips in mind-
- Divide your participants into small groups to encourage them to talk and interact in a comfortable setting.
- Try mixing up different types of people in each group. For example, don’t put the members of the same department in the same group. This will help participants to interact with different people and learn varied perspectives.
- Determine how people from each group will share their ideas. Will they write it down or say it over a mic? How will you record it? Don’t overlook these small but important details.
- If you have less than five groups, allow the entire team to evaluate the ideas from each smaller group. This is a productive way to narrow down your list of ideas and shortlist the good ones that shine.
4. Going with the flow
If you are a skilled planner, you must know how to observe the room, trust your instincts, and stick to or change the plan, depending on the need. This means you need to relax and go with the flow for things to work out as designed.
C. After the workshop
After the workshop is over, it’s time to look back and reflect.
Here is what you need to do:
A workshop primarily focuses on two key criteria: information and how you record and process that information.
Take some time to look back and write a summary of what happened.
Here is all that you need to include in your report:
- Workshop concept (goals and objectives)
- Agenda (sessions and activities), or you can simply include a printout of the session agenda.
- Attendee data (how many people attended, how many left, and other relevant data)
- Pictures from the workshop.
- Notes and observations
- Feedback received from participants
- Key recommendations or important decisions.
2. Following up
Once you have the reports ready, it is time to reflect on your work together. What did the attendees like? What would they like to change in the future? This is where constructive feedback comes in the form of follow-ups.
Here are some things to include in your follow-up emails:
- Certificate of attendance with the main topics covered and the total hours spent in the workshop.
- List of extra materials such as bibliographies and other resources.
- Feedback form or a questionnaire.
- Invitation to subscribe to your mailing list, follow you on social media, or provide any ways to stay in touch.
3. Gather your learnings
You’re mostly writing the reports and follow-ups on what others felt at your event. But you also need to reflect on your effort and performance to analyze what worked and what didn’t. A collection of personal learnings will help you to reflect, retain what is good, and focus on improving.
To reflect on your learnings, quickly jot down:
- Regrets - Any situation at the workshop that you regret, are worried about, or are sad about. What do you feel about the situation?
- Celebrations - Victory points at the workshop that you are proud of. How does that feel? How do you want to celebrate it?
- Lessons - Key learning points in the workshop. How do you view it? What have you learned? What could have been done differently?
4. Review best practices
While you are reflecting on your lesson, it’s also important to note the best practices that made the event a hit.
This can be anything that worked well, including:
- The flow of the workshop - How smooth was it?
- Time management - Were the participants given appropriate time to finish their dialogue?
- Extra segments - Why did it work?
5. Post-work analysis
Hosting a post-work analysis will help you to:
- Understand how much time you require to organize a workshop.
- Convince sponsors to maintain and support your work by showing concrete results.
- Encourage people to attend your future workshops and stay fulfilled.
Streamline workshop planning with Ticket Generator
Planning a workshop is a lot of work. From finding the right venue to planning activities between sessions, managing everything at once can be overwhelming.
That is why Ticket Generator is here to help you.
Ticket Generator is an all-in-one event management software to streamline your workshop planning process.
- Seamless registration process where participants can effortlessly register for your workshop.
- Convenient ticket distribution options where users can download the tickets in printable PDF format or even make it contactless by sending them via mail and SMS.
- Fully mobile-optimized and customizable landing pages where users can add various descriptions like boxes, banner images, register buttons, and form fields.
- Attendee analytics to help you improve your events and plan better. It gives you full visibility into important event metrics like time and duration, the total number of guests, the count of valid, invalid, and duplicate tickets, etc.
Sign up to know more!