Why are workshops key to a conference?

Why are workshops key to a conference?

Over these last few years, it isn’t only the format of conferencing which has changed (hello, hybrid conferences!), but attendees are also expecting more out of the corporate conferences they attend. It’s time to break out of stiff presentations or hours-long panels and adopt a more innovative event format, which will involve your audience members more and keep them engaged throughout the session. 

You might be thinking, “Okay, easier said than done”, but we’re going to let you in on the best kept secret to a successful corporate conference – workshops! But why are workshops the key to transforming a mundane conference into a roaring success?


BECAUSE AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT REQUIRES VARIETY AND INTERACTION


Have you checked out our Ultimate Guide to Hosting Engaging Corporate Conferences yet? Here, we explain how planning activities in between conference sessions can help to keep your audience focused and engaged. Encourage speakers to adopt more conversational presentation styles, incorporate more interactive breakout sessions after panels or presentations which will require attendees to mingle and move about, or make use of electronic polls to get more attendee input while everyone is still seated. In this way, you won’t only be empowering your audience by giving them a voice, but you will also be giving them a more active role in the event.


BECAUSE THERE’S SO MUCH TO DISCUSS AND SO LITTLE TIME


Conferences can be an intensive learning experience for all who attend, but there are more ways than just having one-sided presentations to make your event impactful. How about limiting speaking time for all speakers to prevent your attendees from zoning out, and focusing more on hands-on activities which will help them convert what they are learning into practice? End each session with a quick Q&A or invite your speakers to close their talk with an open-ended question for audience members to deliberate between themselves.


BECAUSE ATTENDEES NEED OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE CONNECTIONS


Let’s face it, the main reason why most people attend corporate conferences is to meet new people and develop professional relationships. A workshop could provide attendees with the opportunity to mingle in small groups and pick each other’s brains on the event topics being discussed. Don’t be afraid to get creative here to bring everyone out of their shells… Consider breaking the ice between event participants with a simple yet fun activity like Boomwhackers, then setting up a speed networking event, in person or virtually, which promotes interaction between the attendees and the speakers.


BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO CHANGE YOUR RHYTHM


Attendees can only be closed off in a conference room for so long before they get bored and start counting the hours until they can leave. Don’t let your event get to this point. Slot some breaks into your conference schedule when your attendees can just take a break and play games. If you’re struggling to come up with fun ideas, take a page from our book (or website, for that matter) and check out some similar activities which we’ve organised for our clients in the past, like Change Your Rhythm and Boxed Up. By the end of the activity, your attendees will be energised and raring to get back to work.


Now that we’ve given our two cents on what makes a conference successful, it’s over to you. Once you set the objectives of your conference, make sure your moderators, speakers and event organisers are briefed well in advance to ensure that everyone is on the same page. If you need some help with the steps which follow, we’re here to help! Get in touch with our team on av@jugsmalta.com.

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