Conducting a successful workshop requires hours of long planning. If you are someone who has conducted several workshops you must know how having a general template can save many hours and direct all your time, energy, and focus on the content you want to present.
This is a workshop proposal template that will tell you exactly what should be in your planning checklist, what you need to arrange, what should be the interactive workshop activities, how to market your workshop; all in all how to conduct a successful workshop.
When you follow up on this template you will only have to fill it or customize it for future workshops, saving your time and energy.
This is the first thing you need to clarify: what is exactly what you are trying to achieve from the workshop? For example, if you want to conduct a workshop on health and safety awareness in your company, your goal should be: all employees have a better understanding of health and safety.
Who will attend?
This is to decide who your target participants are and who can benefit from this workshop. For the example mentioned above, all the company employees would be the participants.
How many participants?
This depends very much on your workshop goal(s). For example, if your goal is to raise awareness about some topic, say “career counseling” then you would want many participants like parents, psychologists, teachers, and other professionals to be present.
However if your goal is to find a focused and detailed solution to a problem then fewer participants would be needed, around 10.
The venue of workshop and logistics
In order to pick a suitable venue for your workshop, you need to think of some logistics and the practicality of it. You need a venue big enough to accommodate everyone, the visual equipment, refreshments, and enough space for the facilitator to move about.
Ask yourself how convenient would it be for your participants and would they be able to reach the venue. You also need to think about what visual equipment you would need, how much space would it occupy, what additional devices would it need, and how much would the venue cost.
Consider what would be the seating arrangement, is it u-shaped or in rows? The U-shaped arrangement gives a lot of space for the visual equipment and promises maximum interaction as everyone can see you and you them but, this arrangement is not possible if there are 20 people or more.
You can decide on your seating arrangement by deciding upon the level of formality you want to maintain in the workshop; will the event be very formal or you plan it to be slightly informal.
Selecting the date
Make sure that your workshop date doesn’t clash with a holiday or pre-existing events for the primary people you want in your event. The timing of the workshop should be such that your target participants can make it on time.
Create an agenda
What should happen in your workshop, in what order, and how much time should each activity take? These are the questions you need to answer while making your event’s agenda.
Create a list outlining the 4-5 main points you want to discuss and break them down further. Try to be as specific as possible keeping in mind the total time of the workshop. You need to go as per agenda or else you cannot be able to limit your words and time.
List the visual aids (if you want) related to each of your main points. If someone’s going to provide technical support in carrying out visual aids, this would clear it out to that person.
During your workshop, if you want to distribute any handout or pamphlet or flyer regarding the title, list that too.
List the interactive workshop activities you want to conduct during the session. There can be a single activity or several activities as you go by explaining your main points or after that. These activities should require input or interaction with your participants. Keep in mind they are participants and not the audience.
Market the workshop
Now that you have arranged the venue, decided your target participants, and created a timeline for your workshop, you need those people to mark their calendars for your workshop.
There are several ways you can publicize your event. However you choose to market it, it must contain the title, date, time, address of the venue, facilitator’s name (if it will help), and contact information. You may also add a title or accomplishment of the facilitator (if any)
- Make flyers (digital and printed) and post them in offices, or circulate them via email, or post it on your social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc)
- Post it as an ad in your local newspaper
- Word of the mouth certainly helps a lot. Ask your friends and family to spread the word
Feedback is a gift that you would want. Design a questionnaire to be handed out at the end of the session. It should ask the participants of their opinion on the workshop. This would help you in improving your role as a facilitator and in planning future workshops.
Giving feedback to your participants about how their input helped accomplish the workshop goal can go a long way and is a key feature of a successful workshop. They should know how they contributed to the event.
Keep your participants updated about the actions you took after the workshop. This can be done again, by circulating emails to your participants or making a group of them on Facebook.
Workshop planning checklist
- Facilitator available (if it isn’t you)
- Got the venue
- Got participants
- Planned refreshments
- Visual aid equipment
- Presentation (if any) ready
- Agenda ready
- Feedback forms
- Technical support
Role of Facilitator
If you are the workshop facilitator you should know your contribution would be extensive and this role would require you to do the following:
- Read and research about your title and workshop goals
- Lead all activities
- Manage the participants during the event
- Answer follow up questions from participants
Planning a workshop can seem like a hefty task, one where you have so much to plan and do. A workshop planning template like this one can save your planning time by more than 50% so that all that’s left to do is build confidence and collect content to give one impactful workshop. Good luck!