A workshop is an opportunity to teach a skill to a specific group of stakeholders. A popular example is a rain barrel workshop. Homeowners can learn how to build and install their own barrel, as well as how using rain barrels will benefit them and the environment. A more formal workshop might teach municipal planners and engineers about new storm water best management practices. Like other types of partnership building activities, workshops need to be focused and clear in their objective. Workshop registrants will generally expect to receive materials and instruction so that they can take the information they receive back to their homes and workplaces and do it themselves.
- Set the agenda and communicate it early.
- Bring in specialized speakers as needed to teach your participants new skills.
- Require registration (even if the workshop is free) to get an approximate number of attendees.
- Make copies of all presentations/instructions. You may want to compile this information into a folder or binder. Consider acoustics of the space and bring in audio visual equipment if needed. If you are outdoors with many participants, break them up into smaller groups so that everyone can hear what is being said.
- Food - workshops are typically long enough to require some sort of refreshment. This may mean coffee and donuts in the morning or snack breaks and lunch provided at a day-long event. Multiple-day workshops should provide meals or be located so that participants can obtain their own food.
- On the day of the event:
- Gather materials and arrive at least 30 minutes early to meet the site host, set up tables and demonstrations, and be ready to greet early arrivals.
- Start on time. Take scheduled breaks. Then end on time, too.
- Gather evaluations at the end of the day. Thank your site host for allowing you to use their facility.
- Send a written thank you note to the site host and/or speaker the day after your event. Publicize your success in upcoming newsletters and press releases.