How to run a virtual workshop

Earlier this week we facilitated a virtual workshop for the Kingswood Place Plan with the awesome team at Penrith City Council. At JOC Consulting we’ve been engaging online for a while but this was our first virtual workshop and we gained some interesting insights. Here’s our top 6:

Entering a new world: Participants will have varying levels of computer literacy. Send your guests a simple email on how to connect to the workshop, with all the necessary links in one place.

Creating connections: Workshops are about collaboration. As participants login, consider giving them a fun activity to complete while you wait for arrivals.

Getting comfortable: The first job of the facilitator is to make everyone feel comfortable. Run through technical checks and a brief overview of all the features that your webinar platform offers, including how people can ask for assistance.

Setting expectations: Let participants know how and when is best to provide ideas, opinions, and ask questions along the way.

Maintaining focus: It can be hard to captivate an online audience with a talking head. Virtual workshops make it very easy to integrate slides, video, animation or dual facilitators to engage your audience.

An opportunity for all to be heard: Gathering opinions, ideas, and feedback is easier in small groups. Utilise smaller virtual “breakout rooms” for activity work, assigning a facilitator and a note-taker to each group.

What are your thoughts? What works well and how can we all connect better? We’d love to hear from you!

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