The Covid-19 crisis changes how we all work and play, more evident in the work environment. It is not the end of the world for those of you with scheduled face-to-face workshops. Instead of canceling, why not change the upcoming face-to-face workshop to a virtual workshop. You may fear that face-to-face was the only option for a practical workshop. This can be true if you do not think ahead and use some of the tips outlined below. The last thing you want is a boring digital workshop and here is how to run an engaging digital workshop
1) Enlist the help of a seasoned facilitator
Have you ever left a session feeling energized and engaged because of the facilitator? This does not happen by accident. Like any other talent, facilitation takes years of practice to perfect, as you learn what works best for which audience. Working with people who know how to offer engaging digital sessions that accomplish their intended goal is no different from online facilitation.
2) Select a platform that makes activities easier
It doesn’t have to be all talk and no action just because it’s a videoconference. Look for a platform where you can drill into the issues encountered by the organization. Like how hospitals and patients were the first activity in a recent workshop with healthcare staff. Use platforms with an online whiteboard where participants may scribble on virtual post-it notes and group them into topics like they would in a physical workshop. Participants can input responses in the spaces you specify.
3) Create breakout spaces for people to work in small groups
Small breakout rooms, preferably each with a facilitator, will maximize the productivity of your entire session.
Creating virtual breakout rooms through videoconference can be time-consuming. Use a platform that can interface with Zoom. It can help create tiny sub-groups that work on the same activity within a Zoom call.
If you don’t know the personalities in your rooms, try to have a facilitator for each one. If you don’t have enough assistant facilitators, you could go around to each room. This ensures everyone follows the instructions and sees if anyone needs additional time.
4) Break up your session into smaller chunks
Design workshops are frequently a full day of activities. People have children or other responsibilities in the real world, and a full-day session won’t work. Aim for a time limit of 3 hours or less. Similarly, you can do exercises that last 20 to 30 minutes in a session. Even in a breakout area, that’s too long for someone to be engaged online. Keep your activities to a minimum of 20 minutes. The good news is that typing is typically faster than creating activity sheets. You’ll be surprised at how much they can do in that time.
5) Make use of Klaxoon
Your organization may require teams to collaborate when solving complex tasks. These collaborative activities may require many meetings to make decisions. There will be instances when issues need fine-tuning. This is where Klaxoon comes to the forefront. The platform offers solutions that enhance collaboration between teams. Make use of the collaborative whiteboard tools that provide a powerful meeting package. Klaxoon becomes a one-stop-shop for both the quick impromptu creative session. Use its unique templates and meticulously planned resources when adding live video feeds to the board. Klaxoon has maintained a simple and functional interface that makes it easy to share despite the whole package’s complexity. You will never look at content for digital learning packages the same way again.
Will, it would be costly?
Clients may be afraid that a virtual workshop will be too expensive due to the additional platforms and personnel required to administer the technology. Clients who work with a facilitator would not have to pay recurring monthly fees for online platforms.
The good news is that an online workshop is frequently less expensive:
- Because virtual workshops are far more significant than face-to-face workshops, you can receive more input and hold fewer workshops.
- They can also save time. If done correctly, you can get 50 people typing quickly into fields instead of walking around the room with post-it notes.
- Of course, there will be no travel or catering!
The most crucial thing to remember is that function should always come first. Make sure your goal or pre-set outcomes are crystal clear. Work backward to figure out what technologies to employ to get there. If you organize virtual workshops correctly, they can be just as practical (and sometimes much more effective) as face-to-face workshops. To facilitate activities, choose your platform correctly. Your client may see as users quickly type down text, draw graphics, or record audio. You should be willing to go low-fi.