February 3, 2021

How to Design an In-Company Workshop

Anyone who’s ever planned a company event will tell you it’s a massive job. And planning a great one that’s memorable for the right reasons? That’s even harder.

But when it comes to investing in your people there are certain events you shouldn’t pass up in spite of the effort, and workshops are one of them. Whether in-person or virtual, live workshops are a productive way to connect with attendees. From brainstorming to education, these internal events can be both fun and useful—provided you design them well. Here are some quick tips to get you started. 

1.      Start with an overview.

Before you dive in too deep, figure out the foundations. Are there any basic questions you want to answer, or concepts you need to address? Think of this as the brainstorming phase; partner with stakeholders to toss your insights, concerns, and ideas into one place for consideration.

2.      Determine the goal.

Next, boil your brainstorming down into a simple objective. Staring with an overview allows you to outline a single goal or group of goals, streamlining all of your next efforts into making sure each part of the workshop drives people towards the objective. Whether you want to increase strategic alignment or brainstorm for your company’s vision statement, a goal helps you get there.

3.      Decide who needs to come.

Are you planning a workshop for the entire company, or an intimate one for a smaller group? Just as you’d decide who really needs to come to a meeting, you should try to keep participation down to only the attendees who would get or provide value.

4.      List the tangible outcomes.

Having an overall big-picture goal can help you streamline the workshop, but you’ll also want to consider the takeaways that will come out of your workshop. These can help guide you in later decisions, and it can also help you know how to structure the event. For example, should each person walk away with a feedback doc of their own? Will all stakeholders generate plans for a new project?

5.      Decide when and where it will be.

Now is the time to dive into the nitty-gritty details. Find a date that works for your attendees, and start putting together an estimate of the time it’ll take. You should also decide whether the workshop will happen in a company meeting space or if you’ll want to book a venue for a larger crowd.

6.      Work backwards to make a plan.

Because you’ve already organized your workshop with goals and tangible outcomes, you can use them to work backwards to create a broad plan. Each chunk of time should be designed with these goals and outcomes in mind.

7.      Detail the activities in each section.

Once you’ve established a broad plan, dive into the details of each activity. Decide what you want to do, plan, discuss, or accomplish, and figure out who’s speaking when.

8.      Use improv games to warm up.

Whether your attendees know each other or not, warming up is a great way to get them focused and engaged right off the bat. Instead of diving into the workshop cold, start with quick games to loosen them up.

A great workshop can lead to increased engagement, shared information across the board, and plenty of new opportunities and connections—and a well-designed one is guaranteed to get you all of the above! If you’re looking for more ways to see success, or connect and engage with others, join us for a collaborative community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

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