7 secrets of running an effective workshop
7 Secrets of Running an Effective Workshop
Are you planning on brainstorming with your team on new product ideas? Or developing new ways to grow your business? Are you and your team making the marketing plans for the remainder of the year? Or are you putting together the topics for your content calendar? Here are the seven secrets to ensure you get the most out of your workshop.
1. Plan the process
It is important to spend a little effort in thinking about the proces of your workshop upfront. Determine the right flow of the session. Don’t simply think that when you get some folks together in a brainstorming room it all will “magically” work out. You need to plan your workshop in advance. Preparation always pays off. And as little as five minutes of thinking about the process will ensure you will get the most out of your workshop.
2. What is your goal?
Start with stating the goal of the session. What do you want to get out of it? When would your workshop be a succes? What is the desired output? Are you interested in a huge range of broad ideas, or do you desire a very detailed action plan? Then design your workshop accordingly.
3. Pull together a great team
There is no point in running a workshop alone. So you need to put together a great team. Depending on the subject, you need to bring the right people into the room. Gather people who can review the topic from different angles. Invite for example marketers, sales people, a technical guy from R&D and someone from customer service to your creative workshop.
4. Get creative impulses
Consider inviting an expert on the subject, to give extra inspiration and new views on the matter. Why not invite someone from outside your own brand team or company? You will be amazed what new insights someone with fresh-eyes can bring to the table.
5. Manage the energy of the group
Design your workshop so, that it takes into account the natural energy flow of the participants. Be aware of the after lunch dip. Don’t make your workshop too long either, because humans can’t concentrate for huge amounts of time. Allow for (and plan!) regular breaks. Why not go for a quick walk together to get some fresh air?
6. Capture all creative ideas
Especially when you set-up a workshop for generating new ideas, it is important to capture all creative output. Write them on flip-charts or have your participants collect their thoughts onto sticky notes. This way you can review the output of your workshop afterwards.
7. Plan the next steps
How many times have you attended a fun workshop -during which some nice ideas were generated- to return the next day and nothing happened except for “business as usual”? The most important secret in running an effective workshop is to take a few minutes at the end of your session to plan the next steps. Which actions are needed? Who will pick them up after the workshop? And by when? This ways you ensure that ideas are put into action.
Do you have other secrets to run a more effective workshop? Do share them in the comment section below. If you need any assistance in planning your next brainstorm session or need someone to facilitate a creative workshop, feel free to contact me.