Running Virtual Workshops Remotely
Imagine this: one day, you wake up with a brilliant idea for a virtual workshop. Sure, you’ve hosted them in person before, but not remotely. Where do you start? What’s most important? How do you create a successful virtual workshop from your dining room table? Don’t worry; we’ve got nine tips to help you master the art of running virtual workshops remotely. And, if you want even more information, don’t forget to check out our Complete How-To Guide!
9 Tips for Running Virtual Workshops Remotely
1. Set Goals
Setting your goal is the very first step in running remote virtual workshops. Do you want to generate new leads for your business? Increase brand awareness about your company? Without a solid goal in mind, you won’t be able to build your workshop or measure its success. If you want to bring in new leads, you’ll want to make sure you have a registration form to collect names, emails, and company names. Not to mention creating a post-workshop plan for those leads. You could create an automated email campaign to nurture the leads and hopefully convert them to customers. So, break out the pen and paper and think about what you want most from running a virtual workshop remotely.
2. Target Your Audience
Have you got your goal in mind? Great! Next, you’ll want to choose an audience to help you reach your goal. To continue with the lead gen example, make sure the audience is tailored to your goal and presentation subject matter. For instance, if you’re hoping to generate leads for your local law office in Chicago, you may not want to target customers in California. Instead, focus on people located in Chicago or even Illinois. Once you have your target audience next, you’ll need to know where to find them. If you’re targeting business professions, consider running an ad on LinkedIn. If you want to reach a younger demographic, you could hop onto TikTok or Instagram to promote your event. Choosing the right audience is important because even the best presentation will fall short if the right people don’t see it.
While you may have thought research papers were behind you after graduation, those skills will come in handy when planning your virtual event. Running virtual workshops remotely requires a little bit of Googling. For example, if you want to include supporting documents in your workshop, you might search online for resources. Research might also mean scoping out the competition. Are there other workshops out there presenting the same or similar topics? What will you need to do to make your event better and stand out? Research may also be required if you’re in an ever-changing industry. You want to be prepared if your audience asks questions about the latest and greatest information on the topic.
4. Invite Speakers
If you plan to run virtual workshops remotely, you may benefit from having a guest speaker. Finding another thought leader in your industry can add additional credibility to your workshop. Not to mention, a guest speaker is a great way to increase exposure through their network. While vetting potential speakers, make sure to tell them about your goals for the workshop. Sharing your goals will keep you and your speak aligned, especially when writing out your talking points. Above all, carve out time to practice with your guest speaker before the event. A dry run of the workshop lets you work out any kinks and establish a flow for the presentation.
5. Choose a Setting
When running virtual workshops, it’s essential to have a professional setup. Choose a spot with natural light, so you don’t appear washed out or hidden in the shadows like Dracula. Try to avoid an area with disruptions. For instance, you may not want to present in your living room if you have a dog. The last thing you need during a virtual workshop is the mailman stirring up your pup. And, while not everyone has a fancy remote office, make sure your background is professional. For example, while you might be a car buff, you probably wouldn’t want to set up shop in front of your hot rod posters. If you don’t feel confident in your background, no worries, you can always use a virtual background.
Last but not least, try to present yourself professionally, even if it’s just from the waist up. Sure, you don’t need to wear a full pantsuit, but avoid dressing too casually. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
As mentioned above in the Speakers section, practice is important. When you’re running virtual workshops remotely, you’ll want to practice at least once or twice before the event. Even if it’s just you presenting, practice makes perfect. If you have a script written out, try not to read from it word for word. Instead, keep it natural and flowing by simply notating major points you want to cover. Also, make sure to practice with the virtual workshop platform you will be using. This will help you get familiar with the technology, so there are no surprises during the real deal. Similarly, while practicing your workshop, try using a timer to keep yourself on track.
7. Create a schedule
No matter how long your workshop may be, it’s still essential to create a schedule or agenda. Not only will an agenda keep participants on track, but it helps you stay focused, too. Depending on its length, be sure to include time for breaks. If your workshop is longer than a few hours, lunch or dinner breaks are much-needed, too. In addition, you’ll want to share the schedule with your audience at the start of your workshop. That way, they won’t get antsy wondering when the next break is. Or, you can even provide the agenda with materials you send before the event, but we’ll get to that shortly.
Sure, virtual workshops have a different environment than in-person training. However, you can still engage with your audience using your virtual event platform. For example, you can kick off the workshop with an icebreaker. Ask your participants where they’re logging in from or what they’re drinking if it’s a morning start. And, let’s hope they’re sticking to coffee or tea before five! If your virtual event solution has a chat feature, ask your audience to submit questions for the Q&A session. Finally, if your tool lets you send out polls, that’s another great way to keep participants engaged. Just because you’re not sitting in the same room with your audience doesn’t mean you can’t involve them in your workshop.
9. Send Materials
Everyone loves a good handout. Even though you are running your virtual workshop remotely, you can still share content with your audience. Sending digital materials ahead of the workshop to your participants is a great way to prepare them. You can include supplemental materials such as articles, whitepapers, or links to videos on your website. Similarly, you can also send materials after the event. Post-workshop materials can include a copy of the deck or even a replay of the training. Keep in mind you don’t want to dissuade participants from joining your live event by promoting an available replay.
Let’s Work Together
In conclusion, running virtual workshops remotely doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice quality or success. You can run fruitful training from the comfort of wherever you are and still provide your audience with helpful knowledge, tools, and skills. Your best bet for hosting effective training is choosing the right virtual event solution. Connex can help with that! We will tailor your solution to your needs and budget. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s work together to give you the tools for a successful virtual workshop from anywhere. Give us a shout today!