Holding your first workshop - the five things you need to know
Guest Post by Jade McKenzie
ARE YOU KEEN TO DIP YOUR TOES INTO THE WORLD OF WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS?
HERE ARE THE 5 THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU DIVE ON IN!
ONE // You don’t need a big budget
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to throw an amazing event. When it comes to your venue, there are plenty of low cost options out there. Community centres, councils and libraries across Australia are an amazing resource where you can book a space for as little as $3 an hour. Co-working spaces, yoga studios, or warehouses can also be cost effective options.
If you find a venue that makes you squeee with happiness but seems a bit out of your reach, ask the manager when their off peak times are or when you can access a lower rate.
Nervous about other costs? Holding events in between main meals means you only need to provide light refreshments such as tea, juice and sweet treats. And if you require additional items for things such as gift bags or professional services like a photographer, you can offer businesses a sponsorship package, services swap or some free tickets to the event in return for collaborating with you.
TWO // The best workshops are a complete experience
The most fulfilling, happiness inducing and ah-ha filled workshops are those that are a complete experience from start to finish. If your aim is to create connection, ensure that guests are greeted as soon as they walk in, that they can mingle easily and then have a way to continue the conversations post event.
If your aim is to educate and inspire, give them printed materials and workbooks, visual slides and an engaging presentation. If your aim is to create peace through an activity such as yoga or meditation then give them a soft and gentle atmosphere and some soothing tunes.
It always helps to think about your objective and build the experience around that.
THREE // Generosity sells
There is nothing more icky than going to an event expecting to be informed about a topic and then end up getting the hard sell put on you. There is definitely a way to promote authentically and in a non-sleazy way, but before that even comes into the picture I believe it is best practice to give, give, give.
Give your time and your presence to the people in the room with you. Give expert knowledge, information and tips that aren’t readily available elsewhere. Give guests the opportunity to openly approach you and have a chat.
When you are sincere about giving your best, people will genuinely want to want work with you. By the time you offer them a way to continue the relationship, you will have a line of people eager to sign up – no hustling required!
FOUR // You can be creative in your marketing
You don’t have to promote your workshop just through the stock standard ways. Get creative and share your vision with your audience.
» Create a simple, weekly graphic with an inspiring quote related to your workshop content
» Share beautiful photos of the venue, goody bag items, décor or printed materials
» Profile your speakers with a cute pic and a short but interesting bio
» Tease people with little snippets of what the day will bring them
» Keep people updated with what you are doing and show them the work behind the scenes Encouraging engagement in the lead up is a nice way to remind people about your workshop without feeling repetitive.
FIVE // You will have bust through some fears
Expect to feel emotional at times. Worries such as, I don’t know where to start, I am overwhelmed, nobody is going to come, I’m not good enough and what if people are disappointed, can pop up but I promise you – this is normal! These little suckers have a habit of creeping up on you but if you can find the strength, tools and support to work through these then it is definitely worth it.
A good course of action is to assess, reflect and act. Be aware of when it happens and assess what emotions are coming up, reflect on why it is an issue for you and then take positive action to overcome it. If you can gently work with your fears instead of letting them hold you back, I promise you there will be an amazing experience on the other side.
Holding your own workshops and events can be a bit of work but the connections you create and the positive impact you have on people’s lives is incredible. Keeping spreading your message lovelies and happy planning!
ABOUT JADE MCKENZIE
Jade is an event professional for heart-centered entrepreneurs and business owners who get sweaty palms at the thought of running an event themselves. With over a decade of experience in event management, she has an unrelenting passion for giving her clients the ability to step into their spotlight and shine.