April 15, 2019
Workshops are perhaps one of the most effective tools for learning, brainstorming, and networking, but they’re not always the easiest type of event to plan! Let’s take a look at some of the best questions that you should be asking to make organizing a workshop simpler, more straightforward, and even enjoyable:
1. Do I really need a venue?
This really depends on what sort of workshop you’re planning, and the facilities that you have available to you at your own premises. Two priority considerations are space and location. If your office isn’t particularly accessible, and can’t comfortably accommodate your anticipated turnout, opt for a venue.
2. What should I look for in a venue?
Again, this all depends on individual circumstances. However, some broad aspects to consider are the ability to accommodate the technology you’ll be using, space for any entertainments, break facilities, comfort for participants, and venue layout — eg. do you want one big room or multiple small rooms?
3. Is the venue price fair?
Finding suitable halls for hire isn’t just about finding the right price; it’s about finding a fair price. The price of a venue shouldn’t be considered as a standalone aspect. Instead, there needs to be context. For example, one venue may be more costly than another, but weigh up exactly what you get for that price.
It’s important to consider that the location, equipment and season can be some of the reasons why the venue price varies.
4. What production costs will be involved?
Depending on your plans, there may be additional costs on top of venue hire, so always take these costs into consideration. Many organizers will have production costs, for example, especially for presentations and demonstrations. Production costs include fees for lighting, sound, staging, supplies, and props.
5. What information should I send in advance?
Once you have secured the right venue, it’s a good idea to send some preliminary information to your participants. This should include details of the venue and available facilities, estimated timings, information about nearby accommodations, parking and public transport details, and local taxi numbers.
6. Should I have a plan?
Yes. But try to be flexible and remember that some participants may not be able to stay for the entire event. Rather than perfectly planning each individual aspect, take a broader approach to organization, focusing on categories such as main points, visual aids, discussions, activities, and creative exercises.
7. What will I need?
There will be many tools and items that you’ll need throughout the day, but perhaps most important of all is a selection of materials that participants can take away with them and peruse in their own time later. Have these materials ready in advance and make them easily accessible near to the venue’s exit.
8. Will it work?
Well, that’s a question only you can answer! It can sometimes be tricky to gauge the success of a workshop on the day itself, so it’s worth following up with your participants later for feedback. This is a great opportunity to learn, improve and make your next workshop even better than before.
Jamie Shankland is currently the founder at Just Venue and Online Booking Platform. Jamie has had numerous awards including Scottish Edge Winner 2018 and Young Great British Entrepreneur. Jamie has companies in the Tech Sector, Oil and Gas and loves start-ups. Jamie has a keen interest in, Social Marketing, Growth Marketing and Content Marketing.
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By Henry Fosdike