Organizing and running a business workshop seems like an easy thing you could practically do in your sleep? Well, don’t deceive yourself! Anyone who ever planned a workshop will tell you that it’s a big job. And planning a good one? That takes organization, focus and a lot of creativity. Some people hate going to workshops. Who could blame them – done wrong, they can be a huge waste of time and money. So, how do you prepare a workshop that will not only be relevant and productive, but also memorable? Tough questions demand an answer! So, get ready for 3 (+1) tips on how to organize a business workshop.
#1: Define Goals
How are you supposed to know where to go, if you don’t even know the destination, right? That’s why defining a goal for every workshop is mandatory. Do you need to improve your company’s hiring procedures? Do you want to teach managers how to be better organizers? Do you need to do some team building with a newly formed team? Make sure to stay focused onto those main questions during your workshop, otherwise the whole thing might end up in a pointless get together.
#2: Choose the right team and location
Knowing who will attend directly relates to your objective. To give an example, if the goal is to find a detailed solution to a problem, you might only need 10 or fewer key attendees. If your goal is centered on fresh marketing ideas, then you might be happy with a larger group that will generate lots of unconventional insights and ideas.
Equally as important as the team would be choosing the right location. Make sure the size of the location fits to the number of the attendees. Also, ask yourself the following questions when in the decision-making-process: Will everyone be able to reach the venue? Will you need to organize accommodation for people who are coming from a long way away? And what catering facilities does the venue provide?
#3: Develop an agenda and a follow-up plan
There’s always one thing to remember: The more detailed the plan, the more likely it is that your workshop will run to schedule – and be successful. Outline main points, visual aids (if needed), discussions and activities. Knowing all that, creating a time table will be easier.
Just as important as an agenda is a follow-up plan which will give away some information on whether your workshop was actually a success. Create a questionnaire to give to all participants at the end of the event, and give them plenty of opportunity to share their opinions on how well it went. Feels a bit scary? See it as an opportunity for you to learn and improve. It’s a matter of course, that all of the decisions which were made during the workshop have to be communicated to the group afterwards. So, how will you do that? Will you send out a mass email to everyone with the details? Will you put it on your company’s intranet? Make sure everyone’s informed.
In case your workshop’s goal is to address a difficult or sensitive topic, it’s especially important to get the group comfortable before starting. One way is to tell a story that’s loosely related to the topic before you begin discussing the heavy issue.
Feel ready to start organizing your workshop now? Maybe you know the details already but are still looking for a suitable location? In that case, our CODE_n SPACES might be exactly what you need.