How to host a great workshop

A collaborative design workshop is a great way to get people involved making changes and improvements. Here are some tips to host a great event.

Pick a great venue

The venue is really important and sets the tone of the event.

An interesting, special or unusual venue can be a real incentive for people to get involved. The venue also sends a message about the importance of the event and the value of people’s time and opinions.

Uscreates has held events in theaters, on boats, in swanky meeting rooms, and hi-tech pods. It does not need to cost a fortune to find a great venue, as organisations are often happy to support great causes. Ideas for venues: local cinemas, football grounds, museums, boats or bandstands.

Host a party

Help people to be creative, innovative and to contribute by making sure they feel comfortable and are having fun.

Imagine you are hosting a party. At a party you would want all your guests to feel welcome, and to have a good time. Think about invitations, refreshments, where people will sit, how to introduce people to each other. Think about small details like welcome packs, greeting people at the door and the atmosphere.

Uscreates plays music whilst people are arriving to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. We try and greet everyone individually and we like to provide great, healthy food to help people feel energised.

Document Everything

When you are running an event it can be hard to listen and record every conversation and idea. Provide lots of methods for people to document such as cameras, post it notes, scribble pads, video cameras and dictaphones.

Uscreates uses professional photographers and cameramen to capture the event and we produce short films to share the experience and outcomes. This is useful to share progress and build momentum around your project.

Invite and confirm

Your guests are key to the success of your event. Invite participants in plenty of time to make sure you have a good range of people and a good turnout. Confirm that people are coming a day or two before and organise travel for people if necessary. Expect that a number of people will not turn up so invite more than you think you need to hold a successful workshop (however, be aware that sometimes more people arrive than expected so always be prepared to expand if necessary!).

Facilitate interesting activities

To support people in coming up with interesting, original and innovative ideas, facilitate interesting, original and innovative activities.

This is Uscreate’s key skill. We use a range of creative techniques from the discipline of design thinking. Some of our favourites are:

Speed meeting: helping participants meet each other and break the ice quickly

 

Lateral thinking sprints: an activity to help people explore the possibilities of a seed of an idea. Download our Lateral thinking worksheet here.

Rapid prototyping: getting people to quickly mock up and model ideas helps them think through how they might work in practice and helps them visualize the idea to others.

We love hearing about other people’s tools and methods so please share great tips here.

Get in touch

If you’d like to chat more about hosting a great workshop contact Joanna Choukeir at joanna@uscreates.com.

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