Successful workshops or seminars are a result of adequate prior preparation on the part of the organiser of the event. These events are a costly and a time-consuming effort, therefore it is of paramount significance that the event meets or exceeds the desired objective of communicating the information conferred to the selected target group. Globalisation and technology have played a major role in giving the opportunity to conduct seminars or workshops in a variety of different ways. The resourceful organiser, whether you are in a government or a private enterprise, should be alert and responsive to embrace these changes that occur in their working environment which impacts the profitability, efficiency and their effectiveness.
Workshops and seminars traditionally were conceived as being different types of training devices but in recent times, the two things are being seen as synonymous and more or less they are referred to as the same thing. Preparing seminars and workshops require an understanding of a variety of unique skills and concerns. Each workshop has a unique set of the target audience and more unique skills and objectives, and possibly a different number of participants. It is usually held in a different place with different infrastructure. Two workshops can never be identical even if they are on the same topic.
There are a wide number of activities that are involved in preparing a workshop and these activities are organised into three stages that are preparation, implementation and evaluation stage
Preparation for a workshop requires a number of activities such as;
- Determine the budget that is available to host the event
- Determine the theme or the topic to be presented at the workshop
- Engaging with the relevant presenter and securing them
- Identify the target group and the number of participants required
- Securing the venue and finalising the event details
- Contact relevant ministries, departments or target group to inform them about all the events
- Finalize list of persons attending
- Sourcing all the resources that are required by the organiser and the presenter
- Contact an accountant and request a local purchase order
Funding is an integral part of the event since the amount of funding available for hosting the workshop will determine the factors that are essential for planning the event.
- Number of audiences
- Equipment required
- Informational materials
- Availability of refreshments
- Expertise of presenter
Theme / Topic
The topic of the seminar should address the issue should be simulated by the interest of the business groups or the wider society. The topic that is selected should naturally lead to the objective of the seminar. These objectives determine the scope of the seminar and should deal with the areas that are specifically related to the achievement of the seminar’s objective.
Selection of Presenter
The quality of the presenters can greatly determine the success of your seminar. Therefore, it is necessary that you choose speakers who are appropriate for the topic chosen. Ideally, a speaker should be someone who is at the top of their field or someone who possesses in-depth knowledge of the particular area either academically or professionally. The presenter should be well aware in advance about the topic that he is going to speak about and it should meet all the desired objectives of the event that they will be presenting. The material that is presented should be accurate and up to date. This will undoubtedly influence the equipment and visual media used in the presentation. Confirmation of the speaker participation in the event should be sure at this point.
Points to consider:
- Expertise/Strong research background
- Ability to convey knowledge to a large audience
- To be unbiased and non-partisan
- Should keep an alternative speaker as a precaution
The aspects of participants will determine the structure, content and activities offered in a workshop. Some of the key questions that have to be taken into consideration are:
- What is the size and composition of the group?
- What are the ethnicity, gender, ages, and teaching experience of the participants?
- What is their level of interest?
- What are their needs?
- How to alleviate problems that might emerge?
Find Workshop Spaces for Rent
Your workshop venue will depend upon the type of seminar that is being presented. The facilities of the venue should cover all the necessities required for a comfortable accommodation. Budget and needs of the presenter should also be taken into consideration.
Points to consider:
- Computer accessibility
- Lighting & Acoustics
- Audio / visual requirements
Determine how long your seminar will be, the model of deliverance, equipment needed by the presenter, handouts or the learning material for the participants, breaks to be conducted and refreshments, and deadlines for replying. Secure a caterer to provide refreshments.
Contact Relevant Departments / Participants
Initial contact of those Departments or persons identified to attend the workshop, with the complete details of the workshop included. Includes:
- Deadline for response
- Workshop overview
- Essentials for eligibility
- An estimate of participants required
Liaising with Departments/participants to ensure that the information distributed by the organiser was received. Ascertain the potential participants who are visiting the workshop and remind them of the start date.
Prepare the Final List of Participants
The final list of those Participants attending the seminar is prepared. All relevant persons like Caterer, Presenter, and Facilitator are notified of the number of participants.
All resources needed for the workshop is obtained or sourced at this stage.
- Projectors, Laptop
- Flip charts
- Software to be utilised
- Name tags
Follow all these points and then lastly make all the payments required. This will help you create a workshop that will create a lasting impression on your audience.