Coming into this sphere of in-person workshops, I was a newborn. I had no idea how to begin and what to do first. So, before I even considered it, I attended a few others workshops beforehand. I learned a few tips and thoughts for in-person workshops I wish to share after successfully co-hosting one of my own. It was easy to decide to share in-person workshop tips and thoughts, so you know better than I do.
That gave me a general idea of the process considerations, provisions, and running. All this still does not prepare one as well as the experience from beginning to end. There are so many realisations I came to whilst going through this.
The biggest one is the expectations of those attending and hosting the workshop. Having the why is very important as it will determine what you think the monetary value of your why is worth. A significant point to consider is that there are workshops you may attend or host purely for enjoyment, some for food, and some for connection or knowledge. In-person workshops differ, so these tips and thoughts are based on my experience only.
That also goes both for the hosts and attendees.
Let’s Get into it
An in-person workshop isn’t profitable unless you have numerous sponsors, including the venue.
- Here is where your purpose comes in. Determine from the get-go why you’re doing this and what is the most important thing you wish to gain from hosting such a workshop.
- Then choose a theme which aligns with your purpose & expectations.
- Be honest with your expectations. If it is about making a profit first, then make sure to try & tailor it towards that. Make a list of sponsors and venues which speak to the type of service you wish to offer within that space & don’t be afraid to ask & discuss a beneficial exchange.
- Market research, how much will your audience be willing to pay for the experience you offer? Speak to the actual value & not just the material value of the event, which all costs money. If it is about the inner experience & knowledge, then a beautiful aesthetic venue isn’t a must-have; it is just a nice to have. Your audience should also understand that. Are they investing for the information or a lovely venue?
- Are they attending for the value of the goodie bag or the interaction, connection, and entire experience amongst like-minded people?
Watch out for a blog with potential workshop venues and spaces. One very special one which I have already spoken about on this blog here. I will share tips and thoughts on how to choose a venue for in-person workshops and events.
Important tip and thought when approaching a brand: the ever-forthcoming Cisca DK shared with me.
We went with Eco Diva.
- What is the theme of your workshop & how does it align with the brands you’ve chosen to approach? So, if it is a sip & paint, you will reach out to wine farms & crafts spaces.
- When reaching out to brands, you must submit a proposal. Hope some of these thoughts and tips will help.
- The event details like who will attend, where it will be, when it is, the number of attendees and your vision for the workshop.
- Then it would be best if you told them how this aligns with their brand and how they will benefit from the potential collaboration. (You will make a reel, post, take pics on the day, tag the brand, etc.)
- Please make a list of the brands which align with all the above details & try not to approach competing brands because you want to let the brand know that they’re the only skincare brand you wish to align with & will be promoting, concerning this event, for example.
- When reaching out via social media, say that you are putting together an event and would like the details of their PR manager, marketing team manager or PR company.
- Also, remember everything here when you come to the collaborating host section because all the above must align in that relationship regarding every discussion from the beginning.
Tips and thoughts to consider when deciding on The Venue for an in-person workshop
We had our workshop at the beautiful Studio Candor.
- Have a few venues in mind. Always visit the location before you consider it.
- Have clarity on all the financial expectations associated with the venue.
- Will they provide cutlery, dishes etc.?
- Will they allow you to bring in your food, or will you be catering from them?
- How will the payment work regarding individual orders over and above what you provide?
- Will there be assistance in person on the day of the event?
- How much are they willing to do & help with on the day? You don’t want to over-expect on the day of the event from your venue hosts.
- Will there be someone to pour drinks? What are the fees related to bringing in your own, or do they have a per glass cost per person you can pay for beforehand?
- Will you have a hot drink station, or will there be a barista to assist? At some venues, this comes at an extra cost.
More questions you can ask yourself when planning an in-person workshop
- How early can you arrive and how much time can you take afterwards to clean up?
- Consider the noise pollution around and inside the venue, especially if it is a talk-intensive event.
- Ensure that the presentation station’s view from where everyone will be seated is clear. There should not be large, long flowers and vases on the tables, which could hinder the experience of information and presentation intake.
- What are the décor expectations, and what are the allowances around that?
- Is there a deposit, and what are the conditions?
- When does the total amount need to be paid?
- Ensure that you maybe have some money saved as an initial investment for these things before the ticket money starts coming in or if a venue will give you some extended time.
- Take a lot of videos and images of the venue, so you can always look back at them as you plan.
When collaborating, there will be a lot of back & forth. Consider these tips and thoughts – Make sure the process is a divide & conquer with expectations all clear.
- A list of everything needing to accomplish. From venue visits, shop trips, pick-up trips and content. Everything that needs execution must be on the list.
- Then speak to your dominant strengths and choose things on the list that you can execute more easily.
- Put together a combined brand guide. Choose an aesthetic which speaks to both brands. Choose 1 or 2 colours from each brand that you will use across the designs for advertising and any materials you will be printing or using for the event.
- Be very bold and clear on your expectations.
- Be willing to compromise. It becomes easier knowing the primary purpose you’re doing this. Then you won’t sweat the stuff which will rank below that on your priority list.
More tips and thoughts for an in-person workshop collaboration
- Create a google doc where all edits and information are updated by all involved at any time, and everything is in one place and ‘writing’ for clarity. Use different colour texts so there is explicit knowledge.
- Create a folder in your drive for all images and media.
- Decide if you wish to own your role in the workshop or if you will create a flow where everything is tailored to fit in with the next. For example, are you going to have a separate booklet or a combined one?
- What is each person’s role, and will there be enmeshment? Will one be able to contribute to the other’s session, or will it be preferred not to?
- Define the personality types and be aware of the challenges you may face as an individual, which you must work on, on your own and the challenges which need addressing with regards to mutual respect and healthy communication.
- Also, make sure to understand each other’s roles and services, so you are informed when talking about the workshop or event.
Tips and thoughts on the finance aspect of an in-person workshop
- Put every single cost down.
- Try and save wherever you can without spending anything out of pocket.
- Make sure to decide on a break-even point.
- What is the minimum amount of tickets you will need to sell to host a full successful workshop? It should be about half the amount at a push.
- Have a priority list according to what will make or break the workshop and what you will be able to do without in this instance.
- The venue should be at the top of the list and should be paid for first.
- Have one person deal with the finances completely. That person should decide on everything as discussed on the priority list. This person should also execute all the financial run-around.
- Decide if it will be a profit share or if one person is doing all the planning and you’re paying the other a fee for their session where their materials and needs will all be included in that quoted fee you’re paying them.
- Have a financial table on the document where everything is recorded. The list, what ticked off, paid for and what isn’t etc.
Some difficult considerations for an in-person workshop regarding financial decisions
- Be prepared to make no profit.
- If you cannot, do not spend on anything before ticket sales money are in to compensate.
- If you are able, then it is your workshop; spend away…
- Set clear expectations on the amount that will be received in total, and account for fees that Yoco or any of the platforms you’re using will take.
- Be clear on when the Profits will be split considering the deposit return time and the time it will take for everything to clear regarding banking and the platform used.
- Decide what will be done with the unsold tickets. Will you be having a 50% off sale to close or give away the extras if already catered for to those who wished to attend but are not financially structured to at that time? It’s a way to give back.
- Those who bought tickets at full price should understand that, because no one wants to just waste an experience already paid for that someone could benefit from, right?
Consider the amount you wish to put towards paid advertising on socials etc.
There will never be enough time in half a day to present, interact & execute an in-person workshop. A tip – Always plan less than you think will fit.
- When communicating and interacting, humans are together in a space created for that kind of energy then there will never be enough time.
- Time is relative; keep the content minimal in note form. Just use a few key points, get them across and open discussion. Here is where the true value lies.
- If yours is not information-intensive, then just a regular reminder in the form of a timer for snacks, change in activity or break will be beneficial.
- If it is information sensitive, a stopwatch will help you move things along if you need to get through a certain amount of valuable information and points.
- Keep the necessary stuff for the beginning of the workshop.
- Keep activities that can be completed at home if need be.
- If you wish to complete an entire activity, then keep a visual timer for everyone to see so that all are cognizant and can choose their pace accordingly.
- Setting clear expectations eliminates the rush, anxiety & unfulfilled aftermath of a workshop where you didn’t get to half of the things you wished to cover and do.
- Telling everyone they have 20 minutes to walk around, grab a coffee and use the bathroom, then stipulating a time everyone should be seated allows them freedom of the known rather than the unsureness of the unknown.
- Try to get a venue where people can linger around afterwards to unpack and mingle.
- For emotionally charged workshops of connection, the mornings are excellent, giving everyone the rest of the day to recover and rest.
- If you are going to have alcoholic drinks or an intense workshop, then Saturdays are best, so everyone has Sunday to recover. This is a tip and thought based on my experience.
- Inform your guests that they need to plan for at least a 30-minute window after the workshop allocated time because things may run over time, and some may have other commitments, so they plan accordingly.
Tips and Thoughts on The Execution Finale
Try & prep as much as you can to the last detail beforehand. When you get to the venue, it should just be, unpacked & place. Give yourself enough rest the night before, and stay hydrated throughout the morning and during the event. Make sure to sit and eat with your guests. Your energy is vital and sets the tone for the event. Having a supportive co-host is highly beneficial. So be that kind of co-host yourself.
Healing sharing spaces offer a great deal more than just a morning out. Once run and executed successfully, you will love it so much. These spaces of in-person connection and interaction void of judgement, dress codes, stereotypes and status are underrated. More healing rooms should be held, and more people can access these spaces.
I hope and dream of having a team where we can make these spaces regular, consistent, affordable and accessible. I hope to share more regular tips and thoughts on in-person workshop spaces to encourage more of these spaces.
This was my first experience, and there will always be more to learn and think about. I am sure there may be much more to consider that I haven’t touched on. Leave your tips and questions in the comments.
Visit other blogs for more about healing spaces and the spaces or sessions I hold here. If these tips and thoughts for in-person workshops have been helpful, come back for more.
Don’t forget to have fun, hold space, and allow room to be kept open for you. Share from your heart with all the authenticity streaming into your being.
Don’t be afraid to collaborate, ask and share in these experiences. Everyone is allowed at the table in healing spaces. You will be received precisely where you are in life. The only way to decide on something is to place yourself right at the core of it.
Keep an eye out for a blog detailing how our first workshop went and what one can expect from such a workshop.
As always, with much love,