“Do I really have to follow up after a workshop?”
The answer is yes! The follow-up is a very important part of any event life cycle. You wouldn’t want to unbalance the circle of life, right? Keep Mufasa happy and make one last effort at great event building with a fine-tuned follow-up.
We’ll be taking a look at six steps to take post-event:
- The post-workshop social
- Expressing gratitude
- Revising the budget
- Next steps
One final stretch, folks. Let’s make it count!
1. A brief debriefing
To properly follow up after a workshop, you actually want to begin at the end of the day.
One of the best times to get feedback on a workshop is during the wrap-up. This way, your attendees’ feelings and opinions are fresh.
Ideally, you’ll want a little questionnaire for them to fill out. Not only will this provide valuable insight into your teaching practices, but it will also help guests to solidify what they learned throughout the workshop.
A survey doesn’t have to take too long but schedule enough time for guests to write down their thoughts on the new skills they have learned.
Popping the questions
Even for masters of the craft, it may be tricky coming up with clear, helpful questions. Try some of these to get the most out of your feedback:
- What was the goal of this workshop? Do you feel it met this goal?
- Has your skill level changed? If so, how?
- Which activities did you find the most helpful? Which were the most enjoyable?
- How can the workshop process be improved for better learning in the future?
It is helpful to make these surveys anonymous. A mysterious identity will allow your guests to be more honest in their critiques. This can be harsh, but using constructive criticism is essential to improving your workshop.
In the end, there are a ton of ways to put a lid on the workshop and close up for the day. Find the method that works best for you.
Tip: Creativity doesn’t have to end with the surveys. Here is one way to get feedback and close your workshop with a bang!
Sometimes, it can take a little time for new skills to really solidify in the mind.
That being the case, ask your attendees if you may contact them with further questions. The reason for a second survey is to allow time for reflection. If you get their immediate thoughts alone, you can miss important insights that come with time.
A week or two is probably a good baseline for a waiting period.
Tip: Here’s a thorough look at getting better feedback from workshops.
2. “Buy you a drink?”
Alright, we’re not advising that you flirt with your guests.
But it’s not a bad idea to invite the whole group out for food and drinks at your favourite local pub. Sometimes, the best dialogues take place after the workshop itself.
We know, it’s the end of a long day spent preparing and teaching. But think of the post-workshop meeting as a fun way to unwind and draw some good feedback from your attendees.
3. “Thanks for the memories”
A day or two after the workshop ends, send out a thank-you to your attendees in whatever format you prefer. This could be an email, a social media update, or even a simple group text if you got your attendees’ phone numbers.
You may want to restate the purpose of your workshop (“Our aim was to build the foundation of a gardener’s skillset…”).
Follow that up with an assessment of how everyone did. Most importantly, let your group know what lovely students they were and how much you appreciate their attendance.
Share the view
Your thank-you can also be a great opportunity to provide an overview of the workshop’s main events.
Participants often appreciate a recap of the important stuff. Plus, this can even serve to keep the conversation happening. Google Docs is an easy way to share notes, and you can give editing access to your attendees.
They can continue to add ideas and make points about the craft, updating the document with some of their personal notes and thoughts from the workshop experience.
4. Budget building
You can’t follow up after a workshop without looking at your budget, that’s for sure. This may be the least interactive of the follow-up steps. (It is certainly not as much fun as going out for drinks!)
Still, it’s pretty important to look at the money you spent and how you can be more efficient for the coming workshops.
Consider the cost of:
- Goodies and souvenirs for the attendees
- Papers printed (This can be surprisingly costly. How thoroughly can you make the switch to digital?)
- The venue
- Promotional efforts
- Materials for the workshop content, e.g. paintbrushes, marbles, yarn, plant pots, etc.
Tip: Budgeting doesn’t have to be a hands-on ordeal. Take a look at these 10 online budgeting tools to make the process a lot easier.
5. Blog it
Any photos or video obtained from your workshop can be put to good use. As you follow up after a workshop, spend a little time updating your blog or website with some of the insight you and your attendees had together.
This basically doubles as promotion for your ongoing workshop efforts. Make sure you emphasise all the positives of your workshop experience. What skills were gained? How have the guests’ lives been changed moving forward?
Some testimonials from attendees can work really well here.
Tip: Create a compelling workshop recap and get it out there for the world to see.
6. Rinse and repeat
Finally, follow up after a workshop with a second session! Not all workshops lend themselves to meaningful second episodes, but a “part two” or an advanced workshop can let you really dive into the topic.
This is one of the best ways to get to any unanswered questions from the initial workshop. Especially questions that require more hands-on training.
Part two will be generally easier than recruiting guests for the first workshop. The second session has a specific audience to draw from: Your new acquaintances!
Ending the workshopping spree
How do you like to follow up after a workshop? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below. Happy workshopping!