Learn how to plan and run an online workshop
Would you like to learn how to plan an online workshop? Here is what you need to know!
Would you like to learn how to plan an online workshop? Here is what you need to know!
An online workshop, as well as lectures and courses, is a great way for trained professionals to share their knowledge. Also, being able to do it remotely means you can reach people all over the world.
With the availability of open and distance learning tools (ODL), it is now possible to hold a workshop through digital platforms, for example.
In fact, creating such content is increasingly common in digital marketing strategies, helping to broaden the presence of brands in the marketplace.
To better understand this type of course and how to host one, keep reading!
An online workshop can be defined as a course made available on a digital platform to provide specific knowledge through videos, text, images and infographics.
Unlike training, an online workshop seeks to delve into a topic objectively and interactively. It is a great way for participants to carry out practical activities that will help them learn in a quick, approachable way.
This type of content usually lasts between 2 to 5 hours, as it focuses on student productivity and knowledge intake.
Typically, there are one or more professional experts in the field who talk about the subject matters they’ve mastered. For example, in an online marketing workshop, two or more professionals may split up to talk about offline and online marketing. Case studies and discussion are also an interesting way to dive into workshop topics.
One of the benefits of this model is that it allows a more technical approach. In addition, in its online format, it can reach a larger audience without the space or time limitations of an event held in person.
Creating courses and workshops online is a great way to share knowledge and experiences. However, without organization or planning, any project is bound to fail.
Many content creators have the desire to create online training, but they don’t know how to get started or what it takes to succeed or keep viewers engaged.
Check out what you need to consider to set up your online workshop:
First things first: Planning is nothing short of key for the success of your workshop. In this step, you will define the topic to be addressed, how long each video will take, who will be the workshop instructors, how many blocks the course will have, among other details. Information must follow a logical structure and must be connected.
At this stage, besides thinking about the logistics of course structuring, it is also necessary to create a content script, which can be compared to a lesson plan for an online course, which must follow an order: introduction, discussion and conclusion of a topic.
Also, if there is more than one instructor, it is important that time and content limits are set. That way one does not overlap the subject matter that will be presented by the other.
Choosing the topic is critical to ensure the success of your workshop. First, you must define whether the course will be aimed at beginners or experienced professionals.
This is important because the advertising should be aimed at the chosen audience. And this information should also be clear so that participants are not frustrated.
Someone early in their career will surely be frustrated at an advanced level workshop where they are unable to understand the topic at hand. On the other hand, an experienced professional will also feel deceived when presented with content that they already have vast knowledge of.
Thus, choosing the theme is critical. It must be relevant, stimulate interest, and innovative in what you set out to say. In the market, there are very saturated topics that are constantly repeated. Avoid them and try to think outside the box.
Beyond offering a compelling topic and unique material, the workshop should be given by someone who can really speak and understand the subject matter.
It is common for people to be shy in front of cameras, but a little training and new habits can help you to overcome this issue.
What’s more, even if you already know the topic and are an expert on the subject matter, try to learn even more about it. Search stories and cases on the Internet, talk to professionals on this topic in order to enrich your workshop.
Also invest in support materials – such as graphics, images, etc. – whenever necessary. Many people understand some subject matters better with the help of complementary content.
As noted above, defining the audience is very important for creating specific content. In addition to defining whether the course will be for beginners or experienced professionals, you must also define the expected scope and intended audience characteristics.
Some industries, such as marketing, are very large and have many particular traits. For example, success cases may have only regional relevance. Or the characteristics of an audience in one region may not make sense in another.
Thus, you have to define the niche to be reached. This will help both in building content – as examples, cases and theories will focus on that specific niche – as well as segmenting the online-workshop advertising.
You need to know how to answer this question: what is your purpose with this workshop? This course format requires a lot of planning and some investment.
Therefore, it is necessary to set clear objectives for measuring goals.
It can be to improve brand or professional branding, increase networking in a specific segment, or position yourself as an authority on a subject matter. But whatever the purpose, it must exist so that analyses can be made with the results obtained.
Defining whether it will be a paid or free online workshop is directly related to defining the purpose of course creation. If you want to offer very technical and exclusive knowledge in a very restricted market, it may be interesting to charge a participation fee.
But if you are looking to create a name in the market and attract an audience for your brand, the best option is to offer it for free. This way, people can get to know your work and your business and, at a later time, hire your service or purchase a product.
In this case, be sure to make a landing page to capture participants’ contact information. Since you are offering free, quality content, you can ask for something in return, such as a name, email, or whatever information you consider strategic for your business.
After planning and organizing the workshop, it is time to begin advertising. To get it done well, start it early and, if possible, create a marketing strategy for it.
Find out which channels your intended audience is on and start advertising. These can be discussion groups on the topic, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram. In addition, email marketing campaigns, if well targeted, can bring good results.
There is no point in being well prepared and sharing incredible content if the video quality does not meet the expectations of users. From the moment you intend to create and promote the video, there needs to be a minimum of investment in audio and video capturing equipment.
Note that we are not talking about the need to buy professional cameras, but it is necessary that those used can clearly capture what is intended to be conveyed.
Otherwise, the participant’s attention will be distracted by the recording environment, failing audio, or poor image quality.
Another alternative is to hire freelance professionals to do this work. In some cases, it is even possible to rent studios that are better suited for this.
Another important point is the choice of environment for the recording. If you are shooting at home or in the office, you need to set up an organized space that is similar to a studio.
Look for a place with good lighting, no outside noises, and no background that can distract the viewer. Also, warn others that recording will occur and that you shouldn’t be interrupted.
You also need to choose a platform for making the workshop available. This way, it will be possible to stipulate values and subscriptions and monitor the development of students in the course.
Look for options that allow you to create and sell your course, are safe, accept multiple content formats, and have good support for both you – the creator – and the user of the online workshop.
Finally, it’s worth noting that it is essential to offer a certificate to those who complete the workshop.
This will give credibility to your course and authority to participants who will be able to show in their portfolios and social media that they have gained guidance in the area.
It can be made available on the platform itself once the student has completed all of the material, or sent by email.
As you have seen, you can create a quality online workshop using planning and organizing and with the right partners. The transition from professional to creator may be difficult at first, but over time you will get used to making and promoting this type of material.
Hosting an online workshop helps your business establish itself as a market authority and attracts a new audience for your brand. Better yet, it makes it possible to reach your audience wherever they are.
Did you like our workshop tips? Do you want to learn more about creating online courses? Then check out our amazing complete guide!
This article was originally posted in October 2019. It has been updated to include more accurate and complete information.