After running hundreds of workshops, I’ve tried to narrow down some ways to make our day more successful. Your role as the organizer makes a huge impact on the day. The exact same workshop can be a success or a failure depending on how well prepared the room and group are.
- A smaller room that is slightly cramped is better than a giant room that feels empty.
- A long room is better than a wide room (this way I can see everyone at once).
- Someone in the room must know how to quickly and easily adjust the room’s temperature.
- For 3hr+ sessions, folks must be seated at tables, facing forward if possible.
- For 3hr+ sessions, we need chart paper, markers, and post-its for the participants. I’d estimate groups of 4, and two pieces of paper per group.
- Group sizes larger than 150 are not advisable for 3hr+ sessions.
For The Organizer
Note: much of this applies only to day-long professional development workshops, not conferences.
- If you’d like to introduce me, use the bio here. Read through it first. Don’t wing it! You’d be surprised how many people mispronounce “bass.”
- You must begin a workshop by explaining the norms (and consequences) to the group. You must have this planned out in advance. You must have it prepared on a slide. I will put this slide into my presentation for you.
- You (or someone in the room) must have the authority (and willingness) to enforce the norms. If participants are disruptive or not participating, I expect this to be taken care of by you.
- You must participate during the day. Please do not sit in the back on a laptop doing work. This sets a bad example. If there are multiple gifted specialists in the room, have them disperse and sit with groups rather than all sitting together.
- My MacBook Pro can connect through VGA or HDMI.
- I need an audio connection into the room’s sound system. This can be a 3.5mm connection or HDMI.
- I need a podium up front for my laptop so I can access it during my presentations.
- I must present off my own laptop due to font and file compatibilities.
- I need a handheld wireless mic for groups larger than 35. A lav mic is less ideal. A podium mic is no good. Have extra batteries ready.
- Check that the projector’s bulb and filter don’t need to be replaced mid-session (It’s happened! 😝).
- I always post a PDF copy of the presentation online after the event ends. I don’t provide access early.
Hopefully these don’t sound too picky! Promise I’m not a diva 😉, but I do want to make the most of our time together.
Please feel free to email me any questions: email@example.com