Over the next few months, we will be posting a series of easy to follow guides on how to host, plan and manage all types of events.
Having 9 years' experience in planning and managing corporate events, weddings, private parties and workshops, we have developed effective 'Eventie Master Tips' and advice that we will be sharing with you in this series.
The following is a simple, yet POWERFUL guide that will help you identify what you will need in order to host a successful workshop.
Step 1: Create a Vision Board for Your Workshop
Aims, objectives and goals - find images, words and phrases that represent this and stick them on a board. Once this is complete, be sure to place this board somewhere where you can see it daily.
Why do you want to run the workshop?
How do you as a host want to feel during and after the workshop? - here is where you ensure your feelings are in positive alignment with your goals.
What impact d you want to make?
Who is your target audience? TIP: conduct market research on your target audience - who is your target demographic? Are there similar workshops already on the market?
How many people do you wish to host? TIP: we find that 10 - 16 participants is a good number to host without compromising on the quality of the workshop.
Content of the workshop - draft a rough agenda/programme.
Funding - will it be a paid or free workshop?
Sponsorship - partnering up with relevant partners or inviting guest speakers who could sponsor your workshop can add great value to your workshop.
Step 2: Venue Sourcing
A suitable and ideal venue for your workshop.
The size of the venue - is it big enough to fit the number of participants you have envisioned? TIP: size matters! Ensure it is big enough to accommodate the participants but not so big that you lose that intimacy factor that is required to make the workshop environment fertile.
Location - is it located in an area that is aligned with your target audience? e.g. is it easily accessible with transport links? Is there free parking available? Is it in a safe area? Is it in a trendy area where your target audience is likely to be?
Facilities - does it offer facilities that support your workshops? e.g. accessible toilets, refreshments, chairs, tables or accommodation.
Availability - is it available on your chosen date and time?
Step 3: Date and Time
A date and time that is synchronised with your target audience, e.g. if you are targeting working professionals choose a time that accommodates their working schedule.
A date that is far enough in advance. This gives participants enough time to schedule it in their diaries. TIP: we advise a 2 - 4 months lead time, this is highly dependant on the behaviour of your target audience and the type of workshop you are hosting.
Step 4: Invitations
Draft and send out invitations. TIP 1: be sure to collect relevant information like contact details, special considerations, dietary requirements etc. Knowing this information amplifies your hosting capacity. TIP 2: provide enough information to sell the event e.g. FREE parking, FREE food, the workshop content, guest speakers etc.
Creating marketing materiel for your workshops.
Creating social media campaigns to increase engagement.
TIP: as participants register, begin engaging with them prior to the event. This creates positive momentum.
Step 5: Catering and Logistics
Ensure you have prepared for everything to run smoothly.
Catering - everyone ALWAYS appreciates an occasion with food! Providing refreshments encourages participants to focus and keeps them from getting hungry and distracted. TIP 1: consider the time of your workshop, this will help you decide what kind of refreshments to provides, e.g. if it runs over lunchtime organise a lunch meal. TIP 2: meal times are a valuable informal networking opportunity.
Workshop Collateral - research and prepare relevant material for the workshop such as handouts and ice-breakers etc.
Arrange room layouts and seating plans - we find that U shape, Banquet and Boardroom layouts provide enough room for active participation in a workshop.
Recruit an assistant to help with preparations prior, during and after the workshop.
Step 6: Finalise Agenda
Return to your Vision Board and ensure you have covered everything in your aims and objectives.
Build in breaks - comfort breaks are always appreciated by participants. TIP: try and be flexible with your break schedule, observing your participants during the workshop will help you determine when to have a break.
Rehearse - run over the agenda and adjust timings and make additions if necessary.