To stay on top of your career and ahead of your competition, you have to make learning a lifelong, ongoing process. Conferences, seminars, and workshops are acknowledged forms of training, information-gathering, and networking. They are usually short, practical, and up to the minute. But such events must be more than just a day away from the office. If you want to take full advantage of these opportunities to invest in yourself, you’ll need to be aware of the following advice…
Today we’re sharing a few thoughts on how to choose and get the most out of a workshop. Of course we hope to meet you at Biz Talk, but hopefully these tips will help you navigate whichever workshop you are considering!
- There are so many workshops out there, so be sure you choose one that will truly benefit your business. We caution against attending a workshop that is merely for networking and inspiration. Those are both amazing aspects to in-person workshops, but when you’re paying money for a workshop, you want one that’s heavy on teaching—this way, you can go home with new tools and skills to actually improve your business, blog or craft! Asking past members or even emailing the founders or hosts of the workshops you’re interested in is a great way to connect and find out a little more about the bulk of the workshop. We love receiving emails from potential guests who want to find out more about Biz Talk, and we understand the seriousness behind choosing one that fits you, as workshops are an investment for your business! We’re pleased to say we keep Biz Talk as affordable as possible for our attendees and pack it with a ton of goodness, so our guest’s are happy gals 🙂
- Arrive early and network. Look on your attendance as an opportunity to spread your network of contacts. After registering, select a position near the door or the coffee service area where you can see and acknowledge most others attending. A mix of familiar and new faces will add variety to your networking. Don’t forget to include a presenter or facilitator on your list of networking contacts. Remember, the one topic that most people enjoy discussing is ‘themselves’. Exchange business cards and, if necessary, arrange follow-up meetings. Jot on the back of the cards points about the contact and where you met. Don’t leave it too late to take a seat at or near the front of the room.
- Go in with an open mind, willing to learn new things and to see business, blogging, photography or design from a different perspective. Soak up absolutely everything you can!
- Be bold and ask questions. We absolutely love our Q&A panel at the end of each workshop—and so do our attendees! It’s proven to be one of the most beneficial parts of our day. We bring in at least four people who are very talented and seasoned in their industry—interior designers, photographers, event planners, graphic designers, blogging gurus, etc. Guests can write down their questions throughout the workshop, and we answer all of them at the end. We know how important it is to have rockstars from these creative spheres answering guests’ burning questions! There’s so much to learn. (Even Ashley and I are constantly learning in this ever-changing industry!)
- We encourage people to make business goals every few months! If you’re looking at potential workshops to attend, choose one that will help you meet at least one of those goals. If you’ve already chosen a workshop, consciously take in all the information presented and continually ask yourself how you might apply it to achieving your goals.
- Stay in touch with the friends you make at the workshop. There’s nothing like a community of supporters behind you in these creative industries. Find a few friends in your niche or in another creative field.
If you’ve been to a workshop, please do share your best tips for a successful workshop experience in the comments!