By EHM Feature Writer Sarah Jensen
I hosted my first live workshop in Adelaide recently and it went off without a hitch. From the outside it looked effortless – pick a date, write a sales page, sell all the tickets, get some kick ass sponsors and teach a group of 14 women how to rock their goals.
Sure, in hindsight.
But when you’re planning and presenting your first workshop it’s a rollercoaster of emotions.
Hosting a sold out + successful workshop? That takes a whole lot of love, effort, energy, time and self-belief.
So here are 7 things I learned about planning and running a killer workshop, even if it’s your very first time.
1. Set goals before you start
Before you start planning your workshop, decide why you’re doing it and how you want your guests to feel. Knowing this will help with decision making and influence everything from the venue you choose to the content you present.
2. Stay organised
Planning a workshop means wearing a lot of hats. You’re not just the event coordinator, you’re the marketing team, communications manager, presenter, content generator and face of the event. Staying organised, tracking tasks and setting reminders means you’re in control and nothing gets missed.
3. Work with an expert
I worked with the gorgeous Jade McKenzie from Event Head who mentored me through the process of planning and presenting my first workshop. Having an expert on board for support, strategy and sanity checks was absolutely invaluable.
4. Take your time
Everything takes longer than you expect, whether it’s selling tickets, coordinating sponsors or presenting your content on the day – build in a time buffer for every task!
5. Get help
I was going to run the workshop solo but asked a friend to come along and help set up in exchange for a free ticket. I totally underestimated how amazing it would be to have someone there helping me out – not just in pointing people to the bathroom and putting out the dessert but for moral support too.
6. Practise, practise, practise
When Jade suggested I practise my presentation at least 3 times before the event I thought she was nuts. Surely I can just show up and wing it, right? Wrong. Doing ‘dry runs’ is so important. It helps you feel comfortable and familiar with your material, you can test the timing of your presentation and it gives you the chance to tweak the content and make presentation notes for yourself. I was worried the workshop would sound ‘rehearsed’ but it actually helped me feel more relaxed and confident on the night. Thanks Jade!
You did it! You delivered a brilliant workshop that everyone loved. There were post workshop hugs and high fives and you’re feeling great. Congratulations!
Make sure you spend some time in quiet reflection or debrief with a friend, loved one or mentor. Take time to celebrate what you’ve achieved + make note of what worked and what you’d do differently next time. It’s all useful information you can use to shape your next sold out event.