So you decided to lead your first Workshop. Either re-run one already existing or one that was newly created, but how do you do that?

In order to make the Workshop the most accessible and best experience for everyone, here are a few things you might wanna do. As usual this is just a rough guideline from our experience, feel free to skip anything or only pick parts you consider useful for your workshop.

Settle on a date

While we aim to accommodate the learners as much as possible, coaches are critical for a workshop. Usually, date decisions are driven by coach availability. So set up a Doodle and let your potential coaches pick between a couple of dates. We call this a Call for Coaches. As you will see below, these dates should be at least two weeks in the future to allow for enough preparation time.

Don’t offer too many dates as only filling out the Doodle then already gets a chore. If you cannot seem to find a quorum consensus you can still post another vote with alternative dates.

Obviously, pick the date with the most coaches being available. Some coaches will not be able to make it to that date; such is life. They’re warmly invited for the next workshop or to host a workshop themselves — this way they can pick the dates to choose from.

2+ weeks before: start promotion

In our experience, you should schedule the event at least two weeks in advance to have some time to promote your workshop and make people aware it is going to happen. If you actually have more than 3 weeks that is amazing, but don’t schedule it for a half a year in advance (unless there is a good reason for that) because people will forget they signed up and the turn-up number will be lower.

When scheduling the event, please keep in mind:

When promoting, also make sure potential coaches know they are invited to come and who to talk to, if they want to. Usually that would be via answering on a public email or to you personally.

Lacking coaches? Send out a “Call for Coaches” to your Meetup group or local team mailing list, related user groups, relevant newsletters or message boards. Examples: blog post, Meetup message, email.

Two days before signups close

After signups are closed

Things to prepare

The Workshop itself

Coaches meetup before

Have a quick chat with the coaches, quickly re-iterate how this is going to work. Feel free to go through the Coaches Guide quickly. Get familiar with the space, tell them to be welcoming and inviting when people come in. Tell them to tell the learners to get comfortable and set up their environment. Tell the coaches to be standing while the learners arrive. That is more welcoming than sitting and working on your stuff.

Set up the space

Kickoff the event

Demo session (optional, but encouraged)

Often learners come up with amazing and awesome little slightly off-the-path hacks during the workshop. Either planned beforehand or just because so many awesome things happened, you might want to make a small demo session at the end inviting everyone to show their results of the day. Encourage everyone doing something creative to come to the front and show it to the others. It doesn’t only give them recognition on their work but also shows the others what awesome things you can do with just a little effort (of peers on a similar knowledge level.)

Closing the event

When the first people pack their stuff or after the Demo, ask for their attention for another minute to:

Congratulations, you just organised a great workshop.

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