Making the Most of Your Business Workshop: A How-to Guide
Hosting a full-on business workshop is a much bigger endeavour than just hosting your typical business meeting or seminar. Business workshops have certain goals that must be met. These events are generally administered by top-level businesspeople and industry insiders. That’s why, if you’re tasked with hosting one, it’s important to make the most of the opportunity. To help take your workshop from good to great, we’ve got you covered with some basic tips on hosting and planning, as well as some things you can do to go above and beyond.
Hosting a workshop: the basics
If you’re relatively new to planning a business workshop or you’re looking for ways to improve your next one, we’ve put together some basic tips to help you along.
Start by identifying your goals
Honestly, there should be a workshop on holding a workshop, but since there’s not, we’ll start with the most basic idea behind holding a workshop: the goal. Figuring out how to define the training goals for employees is the most crucial part of any workshop. After all, if you don’t know why you’re there, then how will your attendees learn anything?
It can be as simple as deciding what it is the workshop is trying to teach employees. Often, the goals will be much more complex than that. Setting up training programs or teaching employees new technology, procedures, and protocols can be a difficult process.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, consider why your employees need this training. What gaps are you trying to fill? What skills need improvement? From there, you can figure out the best way to structure and deliver your workshop.
If you ever find yourself stuck, don’t be afraid to ask your employees or attendees for their feedback. A pre-workshop survey will go a long way toward planning and executing a successful, productive workshop.
Find the right space for the workshop
The workshop venue you choose is one of the most important elements of the whole process. Not having the right space to train employees can make much of the effort go to waste.
In some cases, you just want a large auditorium space with plenty of seats. In other cases, where training is more intensive, you may need a classroom-style space that is easy to divide up into individual workstations or groups.
Some workshop venues offer free-form office spaces and workstations in a less formal environment that may be perfect for a more hands-on workshop. Knowing what type of space and amenities you need (and don’t need) will make your search much easier.
Book early and leave extra space
In the case of workshops, the more space, the better. You may wind up needing the space without knowing it. Just because you have a rough head count of who’s coming a week out doesn’t mean there won’t be last-minute attendees. This is especially true if your workshop is an industry-wide training program.
A general rule for booking any venue is to book more space than you think you’ll need. This doesn’t mean booking an auditorium when you only need a board room, but having extra space when you need it will prevent problems.
Advanced tips to make your workshop stand out
Now we’ll discuss some more technical tips and smart techniques to improve the success and the general appeal of your business workshop.
Whether it’s in the presentation of the training or the actual training itself, one of the fastest and most efficient ways to improve your workshop success is by using the latest technological assets to train employees.
These can include anything from the latest phone apps and computer software to advanced tools like AI-assisted drafting tools, 3D imaging technology, and more. These technologies not only make things easier, but they can also improve the retention of information.
Some concepts are difficult to explain via the typical lecture or whiteboard. 3D models and other assets help employees conceptualize better and thus learn the information more quickly.
Don’t dismiss group learning
Whether at the workshop or while back at work, group learning and collaboration is one of the most powerful tools to keep employees working hard, motivated, learning, and interested.
Many employees simply learn better in a group setting. Working alongside colleagues can also boost motivation and morale, whether through partnership or healthy competition. This method increases productivity and overall knowledge retention.
Embrace alternative training methods
There are more ways to train employees than you might imagine, some of which don’t even involve fancy technology. Some businesses use interactive programs that inspire homework-like participation in order to get employees involved in the training process.
Active participation, in whatever form you choose, can be more beneficial than even the most well-thought-out lecture or demonstration.
Final thoughts on hosting a successful workshop
There you have it: our complete guide to hosting and improving your business workshop. We hope these tips have given you the edge you need to be highly successful in your next business training session.