TAMLO's Workshop Experience
We have much experience running digital marketing workshops at TAMLO. In fact, one of our four key service areas at TAMLO is digital strategy and planning. This is for both for Japan and for English-speaking markets. One way that we help our clients to build their strategy is through live workshops. These can be quite broad (e.g. digital marketing) or they can be quite specific (e.g. SEO strategy for the Japanese market). We have been running these interactive sessions now for several years and along the way we have found there is a list of things you should do and not do if you want your workshop to run smoothly. In this article we list 10 things to do and 5 things to not do.
Digital Marketing Workshops - 10 things to do
Planning before anything - Careful preparation is essential when undertaking any project. But this is especially important for digital marketing workshops. They are live and involve a considerable amount of discussion over a two hour or more session. Get your planning right and you will set yourself up for success.
Communication is key - Take the time to truly understand why a workshop is necessary for your client’s business challenge. It’s important that everyone involved knows exactly why the workshop has been scheduled and what to expect during the session. This will eliminate the possibility of any unexpected surprises during the meeting.
Tailored content - When you completely understand why you are undertaking the workshop, create content that matches what is needed. No two workshops are the same, so be sure to think carefully about what you are trying to achieve during the workshop and the steps needed to get there.
Keep it interactive - There are a multitude of ways to keep your audience engaged during the workshop. Don’t be afraid to try interactive techniques such as ice-breakers, quizzes or audience participation. The interactive element will help the participants to enjoy themselves while retaining the information you are looking to convey.
Have regular breaks - No-one can concentrate for two or three hours straight while keeping their attention at 100%. Make sure that you factor in short rests periodically. We usually have breaks every 45-60 minutes to let participants pause, grab a drink or use the bathroom.
5 More For You
Use technology - This is especially important if you are facilitating the workshop online, otherwise it will be more of a presentation and less a workshop. Online video conferencing is a must, but at TAMLO we also use the interactive whiteboard tool Miro. It has some great features, from interactive sticky notes to session timers and interactive voting.
Practice makes perfect - Run through your workshop plan with your team, present your content to them as though they are your participants, and ask them for feedback. This will highlight any areas for improvement and help you to understand if your timing is right for the session. It will also help you to prepare for any questions that might arise on the day.
The team around you - From our experience, it is important to have one person as the main facilitator during the workshop. This person is the main host and will lead and guide the format of what is spoken about. It may also be useful to have 1 or 2 more members attend from your own organisation. These colleagues can act as support and can help to keep the session running smoothly.
The work continues after - The work should not finish following the end of the session. We definitely recommend sharing the slides with your participants. Above and beyond this, it might also be useful to share proposal documents depending on what the subject for the workshop has been.
Create workshop templates - Although each workshop should be tailor made, that does not mean that you cannot create templates for particular workshops. This will help you to save time when facilitating similar sessions in the future. Some of our own templates include: an SEO workshop template, a digital marketing strategy template and a social media marketing workshop template.
Digital Marketing Workshops - 5 things to not do
Reading from your workshop content - The content of your workshop should act as aides and catalysts for discussion. This means that they should not be text heavy and should include more images and blank areas for interaction. If you end up reading from your workshop content, then this is a sign that your content is not set up correctly.
Going over the allotted time - In business, people lead busy schedules and if they have allotted 2 hours for your workshop then make sure you stick to this. Otherwise, it can lead to people dropping out of your session as they need to make their next meeting. This often involves some uncomfortable conversations.
Assuming that the participants all know each other - This is especially important when working with larger organisations. Your participants may not all know each other which might lead to them feeling shy and unwilling to participate. To cater for this possibility, spend time on an icebreaker at the start of the session and have people introduce themselves to the group. This will help people to feel comfortable during the session and assist in building a creative atmosphere.
Only having a plan A - It might be that the technology you are using won’t work for some of your participants or maybe the client has decided to take their marketing in a different direction. Whatever has happened, make sure you have a back-up plan for every eventuality. Switching to google slides or simply discussing the change of tact could be easy solutions to the challenges mentioned.
Stick rigidly to the plan - The digital marketing workshop is a live event. Difficulties may occur or the client may be particularly interested in one of your sections. On these occasions, do not be afraid to venture off your structure and spend more time on a section at the expense of time. This can lead to breakthroughs for you and the client, and don’t forget that follow up sessions can be arranged.
Get in touch
That concludes our digital marketing workshop - 10 things to do and 5 things to not do. We hope that you have enjoyed our insights and found our experiences of use to you. If you are interested to learn more and want t know what workshops we can facilitate, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to assist.