Making the decision to hold a workshop is possibly the easiest part of the organisation and setup process. The planning stage, however, isn’t easy (so don’t let that scare you off), but it’s the most important. Once you begin the process, you will find yourself with more questions than answers; how do I do this, how do I do that, what about this, what if I do this or that, why can’t I?

The lists below will help you plan a great workshop. How do I know? I’ve managed more than I have fingers to count, personally set up and pulled down. The best workshops are the ones that are well planned and uncomplicated. The more you complicate them, the more can go wrong. It’s so rewarding when you organise an event for a client, and they ring after it’s happened and tell you how great it was and that everything ran like clockwork. Hearing this is music to my ears.

Use the ten tips below as the foundation for creating your workshop. It’s true, ‘the devil is in the detail‘ so make sure you are prepared to spend some time getting this right. Cutting corners will reflect badly on you and your business.

Block out time in your diary to plan and prepare. Rome was not built in a day; there is no need for you to feel you have to develop, plan and prepare your workshop in 24 hours; this won’t work. You will be able to lay down the foundations of your workshop during this time, but a successful workshop takes time and planning.

Before you can start on the list of 10 planning tips below, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my message?
  • How do I deliver it?
  • What is my objective?
  • Who is my audience?
  • Do I charge entry?
  • How will I advertise?
  • How do I follow up?

Once you work through the points above, then you can get started on the planning.

  1. Plan your budget
  2. Determine the number of attendees
  3. Choose a venue
  4. Prepare a knockout invitation
  5. Seating arrangement best for your workshop delivery
  6. Workshop timeline, a few hours, half day, full day
  7. Consider how attendees will arrive, public transport or car
  8. Post evaluation
  9. Make refreshments available
  10. Have your tool kit with you

When you plan your workshop, also keep your target attendees in mind. What type of workshop resonates with them? How will you communicate your workshop to them; what is going to make them want to sign up for either a paid event or a free event? Know where they frequent online so you can maximise social media to carry the message of your event.

I’d love to know what other tips you can add. Please leave a comment below.