Preparation and Conduct for a Workshop
A professional workshop is a wonderful opportunity to create connections with a number of people and is also excellent exposure for our business and different products offered. However, it is very important to give full attention to the marketing and technical elements so as to completely maximize the time – during the workshop and afterward – for the participants.
Remember that workshop invitees give their gratitude and pay respectable sums of money for the service. For that reason, in addition to professional contents, you must take the business visibility, conduct and attitude toward participants seriously.
Preparation in advance of the Workshop
Signage – Check with the place hosting your workshop to ensure the signage will be respectable and correctly placed. It is best to contact them about a week before and confirm they have the essentials and send them your logo to be added onto the signs.
Name tags –Anyone working with companies that have advanced knowledge of who is coming: Prepare name tags with the branding of your business and the host company in advance.
Branding – Make sure that your branding appears on anything with a visual surface facing the participants, such as: PowerPoint presentation, tags, writing paper, or pens.
Not everything needs to have branding on it, but it is best to have branding if the participants are asked to write something down and take what they’ve written with them.
Beginning the workshop
Self Introduction of the Workshop Moderator– At the beginning of every workshop, even if some participants already know the moderator, give background – particularly professional information about the business, its uniqueness and the experience based on which the workshop is taking place.
It’s best to add a “teaser” about what’s going to happen.
Technical details – To remove any doubts or questions and get complete attention about the content conveyed, you should provide the following details:
- Bathroom location
- Time allocation during the workshop
- Break times (In this way, people won’t speculate about when breaks will be. This happens regardless of how interesting the content).
- And so on.
Self introduction – if it’s a small group (up to 20 participants), it’s useful to ask each person to present themselves quickly (one to two minutes). Also, give them questions so they know what to answer – name, place of work, hometown, and you can also add a less routine question like something embarrassing or funny to create a nice atmosphere.
Did you ask for a funny or interesting story? It’s best to give an example about someone from the previous workshop or a personal story so that there’s something to encourage the start of conversation and participation in your request.
Most important – Use words that everyone can understand. It’s best to avoid words from certain professions with a set vocabulary, unfamiliar slang, big words and so on.
Take into account that in almost every group, there will be people for whom the workshop language is not their native language. And for that reason, it’s important to be clear, choosing words suitable for every person that speaks the language on an intermediate-advanced level.
Using a blackboard – It is important for there to be a board available near you throughout the workshop. In order to create interaction, questions are generally pointed at participants. You should write the answers on the board to give the positive feeling of an answer accepted and meaningful in the lecturer’s eyes.
An important point – When writing on the board, make sure that everyone in each section of the room / hall can see it. To create a cooperative atmosphere, you can invite attendees to write on the board themselves, ask the others to comment or come add themselves. This activity contributes a lot to increasing the level of involvement.
Sometimes when discussing a slightly complicated subject, it’s good to create a written or physical illustration. This makes it easier for the participants, particularly if you use them in an example.
For important subjects that constantly arouse interest in the workshop, it’s good to prepare written material and integrate your company website. Refer to the website for continued reading as a service. Of course, this also contributes to optimizing the website and exposing the company’s other products that appear on it.
If you use graphs, be ready for questions about the graphs and to explain all of the parameters that appear in them.
Video clips incorporated into the presentation for illustration – Check into the possibility of subtitles if the language isn’t comprehensible, and search for the best quality so that the message you want to communicate will be clear. If a high quality video can’t be found, explain the video in real-time.
Chatting during the workshop and resistance – We want to be nice and considerate right off the bat, but sometimes giving too much freedom can be damaging during the workshop.
- It is important to note someone speaking out of turn, and give the speaker total license to speak freely.
- Announce a short, limited period of time for speaking and stop exactly when you intended.
- If they’re not being attentive, you can ask those more involved to stop the others.
Throughout the workshop, refer to all the participants on the same degree, even if there are some that don’t participate or are resistant – the workshop is usually not at all the cause.
Your enjoyment is an inseparable part of the workshop’s success!