Just got back from facilitating a two day workshop for a major global brand who employees over 86k employees, so I thought I’d share some tips and things that work well.
- Location, Location, Location
Ok, so we were lucky to be abroad, but the key element is the room. Don’t scrimp on size or having windows. Everyone needs to stretch their legs and make sure you fling those windows open. If you can find an adjacent balcony or breakout area even better. Encourage people to use the room – I often ask people to get up out of their chairs and walk to the flip charts. It may only be three steps, but it works wonders on your energy levels. Our room had floor to ceiling windows with the view of the Bosphorus. If you can afford a foreign trip or a different location – do it. This provides a little extra zing to the session.
2. Get Help
Ok, so we were paid to help, so this may sound like a loaded tip, but it’s so essential for the client to be able to down tools and know that everything is in control. Participating in the workshop is so important and a trusted facilitator can ease the constant desire to ‘take over’, move things along, etc.
Make sure that those who attend have a vested interest in the session. Get them to present, do homework, come with ideas etc. They will come fully engaged and potentially a little nervous about presenting to their peers – a healthy tension that reaps great results. Improve the chances of everyone getting on buy assigning teams before they arrive at the venue. That way you can combine weak with strong markets, loud people with quieter ones, opinionated with senior leaders and so on.
Try and find ways of unwinding after a long day. Our workshop was stitched together with food and the local culture. Don’t force a work agenda into the unwinding bit – fun is fun, so let people disconnect. They may regret it in the morning, but in the long run, relationships are formed and they stay in the room focused.
Whatever you do, work out what success looks like before you start. Not knowing this creates a meaningless session. Have constant check in points to ensure that you are meeting your objective(s). If you are not, ditch a session and focus on your KPIs. The wrap up session should be a celebration of the deliverables.
So that’s it – well, it’s not – delicious food is super important, but I’m not sure whether that’s my stomach talking or not.
Footnote: Flock have delivered over 100 different workshops globally averaging 80%+ on NPS score. We run sessions on process, working together, brand naming, innovation, visions, brand values, marketing excellent, production, better briefing, getting more from your agency and many more. For the record this one received 94% so if you are interested in speaking with me, then do get in touch.