How to Run a Successful Team Workshop

When workshops are poorly executed they represent a huge waste of time and money. At some point in time many of us would have experienced a poorly run workshop.

The benefits of a well run workshop can include problem solving, brainstorming, interaction and can build relationships. So to ensure you get the most out of a workshop session let us consider the following tips:

  1. Decide early what the goal of the workshop is to be. There could be a number of goals including to persuade, inform, entertain, get agreement, create cohesion, organise etc.
  2. Carefully consider your audience and ensure the goal relates to them. Only invite those that the objective relates to and consider the number of attendees.
  3. Set out an agenda for your workshop. Think about what elements you will incorporate to achieve your goal. What are the key points that need covering? What activities (if any) are appropriate? What aids will be required (PowerPoints, video, audio, internet access)? Will the attendees be broken into smaller ‘break out’ groups at some point?
  4. Ensure the venue will accommodate the numbers attending, the activities required and have sufficient technical equipment.
  5. Ensure that during the workshop notes are being compiled so that the outcomes of the workshop can be communicated to the various stakeholders. Also consider a feedback form for the attendees – this will help you evaluate your performance and help you improve for future workshops.
  6. The key difference between a presentation and a workshop is that workshops require the attendees to participate. Consider what group exercises are appropriate to ensure all attendees participate.
  7. By keeping ‘break out’ group sizes between 3 and 7 (relatively small) you will encourage more interaction than with larger groups.
  8. To ensure there is various perspectives on offer try and ensure different types of people are in each group e.g. different departments, ages, gender etc.
  9. Consider the use of an ‘icebreaker’ exercise early to get people relaxed and engaged.
  10. Morning sessions are better than afternoons as the attendees are more energised in the morning.
  11. The use of short, relevant stories is a good technique for ensuring the group feels more comfortable.

#Tip: If you still need some more assistance in how to run your workshop then one of the best ways to learn is to watch others in action. The business advisors at Watts Price Accountants can assist in facilitating or training.

Good luck facilitating your next outstanding group workshop!


Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants

The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.