WORKING ABROAD / OCT. 09, 2014
version 4, draft 4

Organizing Workshops: Planning & Contacting Companies

If you have good organizational skills and you would like to earn some money by applying them, you may want to consider organizing workshops. In the previous past years, workshops became a blooming business and the number of companies that are willing to pay for them is rising.  The good thing about organizing workshops is that you are not expected to speak there yourself, but merely to ensure that everything goes according to the plan. Therefore, they are a perfect means of applying organizational skills to ensure good revenue. Read on to find out what you would need to consider in order to organize a successful workshop.

Planning the workshop

  • Formulate the theme
    • The first step in organizing a workshop is to determine its main topic. To do this, you could do some research to find out what kind of problems companies are facing. Your workshop should be an attempt in helping companies with particular problems, and thus you must understand their needs.
  • Make a brochure that explains the workshop’s theme
    • Since you won’t be speaking on the workshop yourself, you will need to find speakers. However, before you do that, you first need to make some sort of the presentation that explains the concept behind the workshop. Try to explain what makes the workshop unique, what its proposed structure is, and what is expected from speakers. Don’t forget that the design of the brochure/presentation is important – don’t simply make it in a Word file as this won’t look professional at all. Also, try to show that you have done research about the workshop’s topic and that you possess general knowledge about it. Otherwise, potential speakers may not consider you seriously.
  • Recruit speakers
    • Once you have your brochure ready, you should send it to the potential speakers. You should make sure that speakers have enough expertise in order to help you offer a quality workshop.  When approaching them, you should set up an email that explains why you are contacting them and what kind of compensation you would offer them.
  • With the help of speakers, formulate the workshop’s structure
    • Since it is the speakers who are experts in the field, you should give them the opportunity to structure their talk. Ask them to send the power-point slides to you so you could re-check them.

What is important for you to remember is that the workshop must be of good quality. Otherwise, you may end up providing companies with a workshop that doesn’t teach anything valuable. In this case, company will consider you a fraud. To avoid this, you should always try to fine-tune the workshop until both you and the speakers feel that it will have a positive impact.  

Contacting companies

Once you have the structure of the workshop ready, you may start thinking about approaching companies. To do this, you should:

  • Make a brochure that explains what the workshop will be about
    • In order to convince companies that they should spend money on the workshop, you need to make a good presentation or brochure. Make sure that you list the reasons why the company would benefit by sending its employees to your workshop. Explain the problem that is being addressed and emphasize what the employees will learn.
  • Research online to find out which companies may need your services
    • Not all companies would benefit from a particular workshop, and thus you must limit your target group to those who would benefit the most. For example, if you are organizing a workshop that tries to address the issue of job-burnout, you should contact only those companies whose employees are at a high risk of burnout.
  • Set up an email to approach companies
    • In the email, you should briefly explain who you are and what the workshop will be about. Send attached the brochure that you made. Apart from writing an email, you may also try to call representatives from various companies. Sometimes people are more willing to look at your brochure if you have called them first, while at other times the brochure may have a bigger impact if you just send it via mail. Try both approaches and see which one works better.
  • Start contacting companies
    • The more companies you contact, the more chances you’ll have to earn money. Even if only five companies decide to take your services, this will be a success.

Organizing a workshop is not very demanding. All you need to do is to conduct the necessary research online, be structured and thoughtful, and ensure that your workshop will have a positive value for its attendees. Having experts in the field as speakers is important as well, as it will ensure that you will provide companies with resources and knowledge on which they can rely.

Follow these tips to plan a workshop effectively and make the most of your approach with companies.  

 

Image source: iStock

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