Organising and running a workshop for your small business seems like an easy thing you could practically do in your sleep, right? Well, don’t deceive yourself! Anyone who ever conducted one will tell you that it’s a big job. It takes organisation, focus and creativity. Some people hate going to them and when done wrong, they’re a huge waste of time and money. So, how do you do it right? Make it relevant, productive and memorable. Here are 4 tips on how to organise an excellent workshop for your small business:
#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 organisers? Do you need to do some team building? Structure your entire workshop around these goals and remain focussed on them, or else, the whole thing might end up in a shamozzle.
#2: Choose the right team
Choosing your intended attendees directly relates to your objective. For 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.
#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, discussions and activities. Knowing all that, creating a timetable will be easier.
Just as important as an agenda is a follow-up plan which will generate 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.
#4: 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 workshop venue? Will you need to organise accommodation for people who are coming from a long way away? And what catering facilities does the venue provide?
While the event venue can have a huge effect on your budget, not just in the direct cost of renting the location, but because of the amenities included, or lack thereof. You may be able to get a great location at a low cost, but if it doesn’t have the amenities you need, then your overall cost could be significantly higher and could cause you to spend an unnecessary amount of time, frustration, and money to properly hold your event.
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