Exploring workshop ideas for your next event is important because they enhance engagement, facilitate learning and skill development, foster networking and collaboration, encourage problem-solving and innovation, offer a personalized experience, and differentiate your event from others. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

Table of Content

1. Introduction
2. What Are Workshops?
3. 15 Workshop Ideas to Try Today
3.1 Select a Suitable Platform
3.2 Create Breakout Rooms
3.3 Use Social Media
3.4 Create Opportunities for Connection
3.5 Leverage Event Management Platforms
3.6 Introduce Gamification in Your Workshop Strategy
3.7 Implement an Interactive Q&A Session
3.8 Provide Food and Drinks
3.9 Provide Data-Driven Resources
3.10 Target the Right Audience
3.11 Make Your Workshop A Subset of a Bigger Event
3.12 Promote Your Products
3.13 Create Opportunities for Partnerships
3.14 Ensure Your Audience Learns Something
3.15 Make Survey Collection Mandatory
4. Key Takeaway

As an event marketer, one of the best ways to sell your event is to include an engaging workshop as one of the packages. The main challenge with event marketing is showcasing your event as one that promises to be engaging. Many things are competing for your target audience’s attention, and a workshop is a quick and easy trick to get them to choose your event instead.

However, workshops only work if the contents are activities your audience would find interesting. This article will show you some workshop ideas you can quickly implement to transform the event in question into a moment your audience will yearn to share with you. Guess what? Another benefit of adding an exciting workshop to your event planning is that it makes your audience eager to tell people about your event. And like the best things in life, word of mouth is one of the most effective free commercials.

What are Workshops?

Workshop ideas are a great way to facilitate group learning and professional development. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

Workshops are the more interactive aspects of events that allow attendees to experience active participation in the topic of discussion. Workshops offer your event attendees the opportunity to learn new skills and have an experiential feel of the particular details of a niche. As an event marketer, infusing the promise of engaging in active participation helps your prospective attendees imagine themselves in the event. And if they can imagine themselves in it, they would most likely attend.

Why do Companies Conduct Workshops?

Workshops are an organized and a structured way for teams to collaborate and work together. Pic Courtesy: Pexels.com

Workshops create the space for event attendees to discuss questions, listen to perspectives, bounce ideas off each other, identify challenges, and generate solutions. The primary rationale behind workshops in companies is that they help to complete the two-way street that event communications should be. 

15 Workshop Ideas to Try Today

Without further ado, let’s get into the workshop ideas you can implement now to make your target audience schedule your event on their calendars. 

1. Select a Suitable Platform

A virtual workshop is an interactive session or learning experience hosted over a video conferencing medium.
Pic Courtesy: Unsplash.com

Virtual event attendance is a reality that has come to stay, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. Event hosts have come to accept this, and event marketing must cater to the engagement of both in-person and virtual attendees to secure their interest. To sell a workshop as a viable idea, you need to ensure that the platform for the event will allow the full participation of virtual and in-person attendees.

The challenge is often ensuring that the virtual experience of the workshop is as engaging as the in-person one. Selecting a platform that provides convenient features that enable such an experience ensures that your virtual audience participates fully. Signing a sponsorship deal with a reliable virtual platform can be an affordable way to realize this goal.

For instance, G2 polled different video conferencing platforms and rated them under features like:

  • Has the product been a good partner in doing business?
  • Presentations
  • Participant Permissions
  • Whiteboarding

G2 used its findings to determine which platform offers the best for hosting conferences. You can use a similar strategy to select a suitable platform for your workshop.

2. Create Breakout Rooms

Breakout sessions are a type of fun and interactive training where participants perform a number of training activities than just passively listening to a speaker talk. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

Workshops are interactive by nature, and it’s always easier to have more meaningful and engaging conversations when you don’t lump every attendee into one room. Creating breakout sessions will enable attendees to zero in on particular topics with a smaller group of people who share similar excitement about the subject. It also encourages more fruitful networking among the attendees. This is hardly the case when your workshop has no rooms.

Interestingly, you can also create breakout rooms even for virtual attendees. This is another reason a reliable platform with enough features is essential for your event.

3. Use Social Media

Social media is the best way to engage your audience and participants and is also a great medium to host live interactive sessions. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

Most of your target audience is more active on social media than in real life. Aside from creating an excellent opportunity to promote your event and workshop, social media is a convenient way to drive engagement and get maximum participation from virtual attendees.

Social media offers you an opportunity to host live interactive sessions, offer incentives and gamify your workshop in a way that could make it a trend or go viral.

4. Create Opportunities for Connection

As a professional, workshops provide you with the perfect opportunity to connect with people who share your interests. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

Always plan your marketing from your audience’s standpoint. Many attend events for connections, and if your workshop promises an opportunity, it would be easier to sell.

When creating the opportunity for connection, you should include the virtual attendees in the plan. This is why ideas like virtual breakout sessions are fantastic, as it would give them time to interact and get to know the people they would like to create relationships with.

Jewelry Arabia is one event that satisfies its audience’s need for connection. It is a 30-year old event in the Middle East that unites the most talented designers in the world with wealthy buyers. The organizers accomplish this by celebrating the idea of luxury and taste through an event that lasts for a few days.

5. Leverage Event Management Platforms

Event Management platforms go a long way in bettering the workshop experience as they easily take care of things like ticket management and registration & reduce chances of human error. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

Event management platforms provide numerous benefits like ticket management and enable the upload of videos you pre-recorded before the workshop. These are tasks that human errors can jeopardize. Also, the automated nature of event management platforms improves the networking speed for virtual attendees as they display the profiles of attendees. This information makes it easier for people to start conversations with only those that pick their interest.

Also, considering that workshops are hands-on, leveraging platforms that offer VR technology may be the best way to engage audience participation. For instance, Deutsche Bahn is a German logistics company that leverages virtual reality to create experiential training workshops for its staff.

6. Introduce Gamification into your Workshop Strategy

Gamification is an effective workshop strategy employed to engage your attendees/participants. Pic Courtesy: Pexels.com

People want to have fun while participating, no matter how serious your workshop might be. Gamification is a tested approach to introduce fun into your workshop and secure your audience’s engagement. This strategy works both for in-person and virtual attendees. 

Gamification can be a great way to introduce mild competition and opportunity to provide incentives in the form of prizes. This is also an excellent way to seek event sponsors willing to fund the awards and provide additional publicity for your event.

7. Implement an Interactive Q & A Session

Interactive Q&A sessions alter the workshop from an empty and mundane exercise in lecturing to a real and productive learning experience. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

There is no direct way to kick-start an interactive session other than through Q & A. It works every time, and you realize your audience wants to be heard as much as they want to learn. This session also allows attendees to showcase themselves in the light that would attract the connections they need.

Q & A improves engagement both for in-person and virtual attendees. Features like whiteboards, screen sharing, and live chats make participation more active for your virtual audience.

For example, after launching the CEF Energy call for proposals for Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), CINEA held another session dedicated to Q and A to guide interested participants on how to submit a good application.

8. Provide Food and Drinks

You can never go wrong with food. Events and workshops take time, and providing your audience a timeout for food and drinks helps to refresh them for subsequent sessions. It also proves the opportunity they need to interact and establish meaningful connections.

9. Provide Data-driven Resources

Audiences find true value in the workshop presentations when they are backed with solid analysis & data. Pic Courtesy: Pexels.com

Speculations and theories hardly catch the attention of many today. However, with the right data and expert analysis, your audience would be included to find value in your workshop.

This strategy works best if the information you provide is hard to come by. It is even more efficient if it is precisely what your audience needs at that moment to make headway in the business. By offering data and case studies, you make your workshop an indispensable session your audience can’t afford to miss.

For example, the Big Data conference held in 2020 was dedicated to offer concrete business insights on how to leverage the opportunities software as a commodity.

 10. Target the Right Audience

No workshop can be successful if it doesn’t have the right kind of audience. Choose the workshop idea as per your audience or vice versa. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash.

Workshops are an avenue for you to frame your big event in the minds of your target audience. This would help you have a more significant percentage of the right people as attendees. As you will see in the next workshop idea, this strategy works if the workshop is only a part of a bigger event.

11. Make Your Workshop a Subset of a Bigger Event

Workshops are a great way to market bigger events as they have the potential to drive attendee engagement and invoke interest. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

The definition of workshops, as provided in the above section, shows that while workshops can stand independently, they are an excellent way to market a bigger event. Workshops complete the communication channels by turning events into a conversation which is more fruitful than listening to the speakers’ perspectives alone.

Due to its potential to drive engagement, a workshop is a good marketing strategy for selling your main event. It also provides an enormous opportunity for you to solicit sponsorships.

For example this pre-conference event hosted by International Conference on Family Planning was one of other series of pre-conference events that would take place before the main event dates.

 12. Promote Your Products

Workshops are a great platform to promote products as it allows the audience to see, touch and feel them, eventually pushing them to purchase them. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash.

Compared to bigger events, workshops are not too serious and can be a great platform to slip promotional content into activities. Since it’s a hands-on session, workshops enable your audience to see, touch, and feel your products and that of your sponsors. An intelligent way to accomplish this is when you gamify your workshop and offer the products as prizes to winners.

Also, the earlier example about the Big Data conference was a fully virtual event which used and promoted products that featured under software as commodity services.

 13. Create Opportunities for Partnerships

Workshops are a great way for participants to meet, interact with, and forge partnerships with one another. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

More than providing opportunities for interactions, you should ensure your audience members share common interests. This makes it easier for them to find similarities that would lead to beneficial relationships. As mentioned earlier, some people’s only motive for workshop attendance is the high networking opportunities they promise. The easiest way to secure the satisfaction of this class of attendees is to provide the right crowd for them.

For instance, another event hosted by the organizers of Jewelry Arabia is the Cityscape Exhibition. This exhibition features top professionals in luxury real estate development across the globe including, architects, engineers, interior designers, etc. The aim of the organizers is to foster the formation of partnerships among these professionals.

 14. Ensure your Audience Learns Something

Workshop is a good way to learn a new skill or brush up the basics quickly. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash

One of the benefits of a hands-on workshop is that your attendees will learn a new skill or the basics quickly. This is why workshops are a good opportunity when it is gamified. It also provides them the first-time opportunity to test recent updates on your products or that of your sponsors.

For example, the International Conference on Mathematics, Statistics, Education & Law (ICMSEL-2022) was themed to enable participants learn something that would encourage innovation. Unlike regular conferences, it’s more of brainstorming sessions involving professionals and enthusiasts in science fields.

 15. Make Survey Collection Mandatory

Post-workshop surveys help organisers understand their audiences’ expectations better, which further helps to improve the event in the following year. Pic Courtesy: Unsplash.

The best strategy for planning a successful event is to use reliable data on your audience’s expectations. The best way to get such data is through post-event/post-workshop survey questions. A platform that enables you to conduct polls and receive responses simplifies the process of issuing event survey questions to every stakeholder.

Eventible is one such platform that will help provide social proof in the form of post event survey reviews from speakers, attendees, and sponsors to help the stakeholders improve the event in the following year. Read our blog, 27 Event Survey Questions For Maximum Responses to take a look at some of the survey questions that are asked on Eventible with a few examples.

Key Takeaway

Marketing an event is a huge challenge when you can showcase the opportunities for engagement to your target audience. Thankfully, a workshop is an easy way to accomplish engagement without going outside the program. 

Also, workshops offer the opportunity you need to promote your products or that of your sponsors. They have the additional advantage of being a hands-on experience from which your audience can learn new skills and provide reliable information you can use to plan subsequent events. 

Wish to leverage your workshop to market subsequent events? Visit Eventible now!

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