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Tips for hosting an online creative workshop
Follow this guide to learn how to create events in a new virtual setting successfully
Art Girls Jungle 24 Aug 2020
(photo via @blondestuckinthe2000s)

As many in-person events are now going online people have been given the chance to rethink how events can be organized virtually. Follow this guide to learn how to create events in a new virtual setting successfully – whether you are launching something new or adapting an in-person workshop to fit a new online format.

Think about your why and pre-plan your workshop

Know your purpose before starting your event, because if you don’t know why you’re running the workshop, it will be obvious, and you will run out of ideas – fast!  So, like any workshop you will need to pre-plan. It doesn’t need to be too rigid and you may have to go off-grid sometimes; but without the distractions of a usual workshop, you are on your own this time. By relying more heavily on a plan, rather than winging it, you can make sure the time runs smoothly to keep your students engaged and entertained. To test your plan out, do a practice run first and watch the footage back.

Choose the right format

The choices for video platforms are endless. When choosing a platform for your workshops think through your needs. Who are your target audience? How many people will be attending your workshops? Do you want to be able to record your workshops? How technologically savvy are the participants? Think these questions through before choosing, to make sure you are selecting a platform that will best serve you. 

Image via @loveofhuns Instagram

Get to grips with the technology  

Now you have chosen which platform to go with, it is time to familiarize yourself with it. Before running your workshop, make sure the audio works, the internet connection is strong enough and the camera is clear. Prepare for all the problems that may arise beforehand to avoid embarrassing mistakes.  

Set the stage

Make sure your backdrop is nice, you have all the equipment you need nearby, and you look presentable. You can find ideas here to achieve the best digital backdrop.

Share your agenda

Share an agenda or overview at the start of the workshop so participants know what to expect. In addition to welcoming participants, warm-ups can also be a good way to test out ideas for the first time without devoting too much time to them.

How to make your workshop special

It’s often the simple acts of cute repetitive ideas that can set your workshop apart and above the rest, and earn your workshop a memorable trademark. How about inviting your attendees to raise their coffee if it’s a morning workshop?  Or a show and tell of an artwork in their home? How about making a signature trademark of your own too? An interesting fashion item you wear for each workshop. A new backdrop in your home? A quote or fact of the day? A cute mascot of some kind, like the appearance of a pet?

Invite others to speak

At any event people, want to feel welcome. As the mediator, consider how you can help ensure other voices are heard within a group. Connect with people by prompting questions via the chat box function and reading the replies to make the workshop feel more interactive and personal. You may want to also invite a few people to un-mute themselves and speak up. Acknowledging what people are saying can feel like having a conversation at scale. Another way to keep things from feeling too monotonous is to also invite outside guests to share your stage.

Keep up your energy levels

Remember your energy is contagious, even through a screen – so keep it up, even though it may be hard when people are not physically present in the room. You got this – good luck!

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