Ten tips for running a successful workshop

Running a successful workshop can be a difficult task. Whether you’ve held lots of workshops before or are just starting to organise your first, there are several things you should keep in mind as you begin the planning process.

Our Events Team here at W12 Conferences have helped dozens of organisers host workshops at our West London conference venue, and we know how to make an event productive and memorable. Read through our top ten tips to help make your workshop the best it can be.

1. Find your Venue

Whatever event you’re holding, you need to make the right choice of venue. Location, facilities and price will all play a part in your final decision. Make sure you find out from your potential attendees what’s important to them.  

2. Identify your Goals

These need to be set before any planning begins and should be at the forefront of everything you do. Set yourself some meaningful, measurable targets so that after the event you can measure your success.  

3. Exercise Restraint

Don’t be tempted to overfill your sessions. Too many students will limit the effectiveness of your workshop.  

4. Keep Activities Testing

Make sure your activities are neither too easy nor too difficult. Hitting the right mark here is the key to engaging, challenging and motivating your students. Without their ‘buy-in’ there’s no way your event can be a success.  

5. Plan your Schedule

Start the day with some ice breakers to warm up your guests and use a range of different teaching methods throughout the event to keep the sessions fresh. It’s also a good idea to have regular breaks in your schedule. If your venue has an outside area, encourage your guests to get some fresh air to re-energise them. You could also consider some break-out games to help inspire people’s creativity and to help bonding amongst your students.

6. Challenge your Attendees

In order to learn, it’s important your attendees are stretched in their capabilities and pushed out of their comfort zones. Remember, you are running a workshop, not a lecture, the aim of the game is participation.  

7. Plan Learning Opportunities

Choosing the right experts to lead your sessions is imperative, but it’s also important to give your attendees the opportunity to learn from each other.  

8. Think about the Catering

Serving the right food and drink throughout your event can boost the mood and give your guests the fuel to perform their best. Make sure the lunch you serve is light on carbohydrates and high in slow-release foods and that the tea and coffee you provide is really good quality.  

9. Follow-up with Guests

To help create a truly memorable event and to increase the results of your workshop it’s important to send your guests away with exercises to complete in their own time. As well as enhancing your guests’ learning, it also creates an opportunity for your event to reach other potential attendees for next year’s workshop.  

10. Gather Feedback

As with any event, it’s really important to evaluate how well it’s gone. Talk to your guests about what they thought about the workshop and take their advice on things you could have done better.  

Your next workshop at W12 Conferences

If you need any help organising your next W12 Conferences workshop, give our Event Team a ring on 020 3313 1606. Our team of experienced organisers can offer you as much support as you need to put on a perfect event.