This is the third post in a blog series about adding workshops to your service offerings as a way of increasing client participation and growing your business. So far, we have discussed an overview of holding workshops as well as brainstormed potential workshop topics.
Today, we’ll think about logistics. It’s important to think about the different formats workshops can take, as this will help you fit the workshops in to your calendar. It will also give you an understanding of why different topics suit a particular format better than another.
Workshops can take a variety of forms:
- A series of hour-long workouts and talks that builds to create a course of knowledge. Usually offered in a four-week series, it’s easy for clients to commit to the whole workshop. This format is useful for beginner-level participants: “Four-week Learn-to-Run Clinic” or “The Basics of The Four Swimming Strokes” or “Prenatal Fitness: Arms, Abs, Legs, and Back”
- A half-day workshop can offer expertise in detail. Each of these workshops drills down to a specific audience and a specific issue that they find interesting: “Yoga Hip Openers for Runners” or “The Importance of Perceived Effort and Pacing for Runners, Swimmers, or Cyclists” or “Prenatal Fitness & Prepping for Delivery”
- A weekend-intensive can combine workouts and lectures: “Intro to Healthy Eating and Practical, Effective Exercise” or “Try It All Out” where participants take a class in each discipline that you offer, with discussion about pros/cons of each.
Remember to let your topic dictate the best format for the workshop. It’s good to offer a variety of lengths of workshops, as you’ll attract a wider audience. While some people may want to commit to a weekly workshop for a month, their reality may be that three hours on a Saturday is what they can actually accomplish. Just make sure you tailor your content to the format and timeframe.
Be specific about whether the workshop is all active, lecture-based, or a blend of activity and lecture. Being clear about what you are offering will help your clients feel like their time and money was well-spent.
Finally, promoting your workshops is essential. Start with your regular client base, of course. But don’t overlook using these special events as a way to bring new clients in to your business. Advertising through your social media channels as well as offering incentives (bring a friend, a door prize) will get people interested in your workshop. Know how many people you can handle in your workshop– are you limited by equipment, parking, instructors?– and advertise accordingly.
It can be a lot of work to add workshops to your business planning, but the benefits they give are worth it. Remember that everything is hard the first time you do it, but that if you pay attention to your process you can use what you learn the next time to make it even easier. I think you’ll find that workshops have a high return on your investment (both time and money) and can make a difference in your credibility and bottom line.
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