You Ask, I Answer: Making Marketing Conference Workshops Engaging?

Chantal asks, “I’m running a social media workshop in a month and am struggling to find ways to make it more interactive. What suggestions do you have?”

Great question. Workshops, like any form of content marketing, need to be entertaining, engaging, and educational. So how do you make a marketing conference workshop more engaging? Engagement in a workshop setting REQUIRES participants to be doing stuff, as opposed to sitting passive. Let’s go through a few different things you can have them do. Watch the video for the 5 key techniques I like to use to make workshops better.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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In today’s episode shauntel asks, I’m running a social media workshop in a month and I’m struggling to find ways to make it more interactive. What suggestions? Do you have great question. Workshops like any form of content marketing, because they are a form of content marketing need to be entertaining, engaging and educational. The three E’s of all content marketing, a must do as many of those as possible. You want all three but at the very least, you can need to be doing two out of three now educational is pretty straightforward. give people information that they need based on

what they asked you to teach, entertaining, probably not the best person to ask bat follow folks like Kathy close guest or Robin tight or folks like that to who are who are proven entertainers and public speakers.

Edge engagement is all about participation in a workshop setting. workshops are different than talks, a lot of people who are really good speakers, public speakers are not necessarily good workshop leaders. Because the skill set is different. A workshop is much more close to a classroom setting where you have a significant amount of time to teach stuff to people, and to validate that the information got from your brain to theirs. As opposed to being on stage where you just do your dog and pony show for 1520, 3040

minutes. And then and then Off you go. People in a audience in a Publix beach are much more passive. Yes, they’re tweeting or clapping or paying attention, maybe. But they’re not engaged, they’re not doing something in a workshop, they absolutely need to be doing something in order for them to feel like they’re getting value out of it. Especially if it’s like a half day or full day workshop. full day workshops are probably one of the most difficult exercises you can go through as an educator. Because people don’t have that much energy. They don’t have that much stamina unless they’re constantly being engaged. So let’s look at a few different things that you can do to make your workshops better. Number one, the first thing I always do with a workshop is spend 15 to 30 minutes doing input, which is okay, well, why are you here? What did you want? What do you want to get out of this? Sometimes I will have the organizer send out a pre workshop questionnaire to see what people say and then ask again in the workshop to see if the answers are different because I attendees change or there are some things that people will want to really see. But you want to try and do both, ideally. So get that pre attendee feedback

for things that people can do. I like the sort of the rhythm of teach the explain the thing you know, what is the thing why is thing important? How to do the thing and then a valid so what is Twitter analytics? And why does Twitter analytics matter? How do you pull the data and then Okay, now let’s let’s validate that you got the information and that you can make use of it. When you structure a workshop like that where you you do a deep dive on a few techniques rather than the scatter shot of a public talk you know attendees do get more value they you may not and you will not get through as much material as you think you will because that validation part takes time we as professionals who’ve been doing this awhile are like well you know, just click click click click click and you’re done right but for a lot of other people they don’t move it that’s because they don’t do it as much as we do so that what why how validation the walkthrough is a very specific techniques is a great way to keep people engaged, keep the what and why relatively compact, and then the How have people follow along and then have people do it themselves and value did they were able to do it on guided. The second thing to do is group exercises. This is especially true for anything that is creative in nature teach a technique like how to use contagious snag and say, Okay, now you let’s let’s see you folks work together as in groups of two or three or four and craft, you know, some some interactive screenshots of your own. Let’s see you go ahead and do that group exercises are especially good when the materials a little tough and

people are afraid of being singled out. So if a if you’re using like IBM Watson studio, IBM Watson studio can be a very intimidating experience. So pairing people up or grouping people up to three or four, they can all kind of point around and help each other based on what you taught and help them remember. Oh, yeah, and when you’re doing neural network model, are you having a choice of the SPSS back end of the spark back end? Which one was that married, you remember and married like, Oh, you for this application use the spark modeler. So it will get people in Indore interacting and working together collaborative, which is very useful. The third thing are we can work well, depending on your skill as a moderator are hot seats where you say, okay, you know, somebody bring up your, your LinkedIn profile or your Facebook page, and we’re all going to pitch in ideas for how to make it better. And you as the the workshop leader will be doing the lion’s share of the suggestions but you can say, Okay, well, you know, I wouldn’t use that image size on on that profile. It’s not the best side the best image sizes 1200 by six at

try and keep your text under 20% on just as a general rule on Facebook, and so on and so forth. So you use hot seats as a way

you have to be very skillful as a moderator to pull that off, because it can leave people feeling defensive and criticized. So you want to make sure that you elect people and start with yourself. Start with your own profiles, you can say, Hey, I’m, I’m not perfect, I got stuff wrong with my profile to let’s critique mind first, and then don’t be abusive to yourself. Right show that the exercise will no harm shall come. And the fourth one, and again, this depends on you reading the crowd. And the comfort of the crowd will be contests and competitions to say like, okay, in the next 15 minutes, we’re going to have a contest and you could win, I don’t know, a free song off of Spotify or something, or whatever meaningful giveaway that you want to give to your crowd and say, in the next 15 minutes, you’re going to craft as many emoji based tweets as possible or something, something like that. But think about the way that game shows work. Either regular game shows or shows like Iron Chef or America’s Test Kitchen and things like that where you can take the idea of the format and then transpose it into your workshop to make the workshop more interactive. So those are some ways to take those social media workshops or frankly any marketing workshop to the next level walk through his group exercises hot seats and contests and competitions. Read the crowd carefully though not every technique is right for every crowd you’re gonna have to get some experience with it and get a sense of what people are comfortable with and you’ll find that out in the inputs either with the the pre pre workshops questionnaire and then on the day of you’ll look at people’s temperament and go this is not a contest crowd or you see a bunch of folks like ya know, ya know, my my vacuum cleaner companies, the best vacuum cleaner company, there’s competition competition time so you got to learn to read the crowd. So great question complex question and will require a lot of practice. I would suggest doing a run through some of these a dry run maybe with some friends, some colleagues just to test it out and test out your skills as a moderator as always pleases have any follow up comments in the comment section and subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks. You’re watching want help solving

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