The core of successful online delivery in the past has been running workshops to determine digital strategy and website objectives. We have been doing this for years, for a variety of clients. However, in recent times, the ability to conduct in-person workshops has changed.
Workshops are critical for understanding a client’s objectives, goals, desired outcomes, and project boundaries at project commencement. Various tactics are used in a series of sessions to arrive at a solution that can be delivered.
A successful workshop concludes with clearly stated objectives and a plan that drives the project forward. Although the objectives of a workshop have not changed, the methods used to achieve them have. The shift to remote workshops has actually made it possible to involve more people from different locations, even overseas.
We have developed a methodology for delivering effective remote workshops to our clients, and the results are often better than those of in-person workshops. Remote workshops allow for everyone to be involved, with tasks assigned prior to the workshop and anonymous polls taken during the session. We can create breakout groups, with pairs being the best group size to ensure maximum contribution. In contrast, in-person workshops may result in some individuals not contributing due to potential peer pressure or their personality.
Hosting an online workshop may seem daunting, but it can offer numerous benefits by expanding your reach and engaging new audiences. These workshops can enhance various aspects of your work, such as flexibility, accessibility, greater reach, and follow-up support. For instance, instead of conducting a day-long face-to-face workshop, an online workshop can be divided into smaller segments, allowing participants to reflect on their learning in between.
Additionally, online workshops are more accessible to a wider range of people, although internet access should be considered. Most platforms like Zoom and MSTeams enable you to host meetings with a large number of participants, and video calls can help explain complex concepts to those who require additional support. However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that online workshops are not a comprehensive solution to promoting inclusivity since many individuals lack internet access or may not be able to participate in online workshops due to other reasons.
Choose your platform
There are many conferencing services you can use, and lots offer free (although often limited) accounts. The choice can be overwhelming, so we’d recommend checking out three options: Zoom, Skype, and MSTeams. You’ll want to think about the following things:
Keep your meeting secure
- Passwords: should you set a password?
- Mute: hosts can mute people as they enter the meeting.
- Switch video off: automatically disable video so people can choose for themselves.
- Users: only allow people with access details into meetings.
- Recording: record the workshop for review later.
Some useful tools to keep things flowing
- Screen sharing: share your computer screen with attendees.
- Breakout rooms: you can send participants to smaller ‘rooms’ where they can chat to each other, do tasks and report back to the group.
- Chat: easy to use type-to-chat feature.
After a couple of practice meetings and a bit of time looking at the settings for your platform, you’ll find yourself getting the hang of things.