Workshops provide the perfect opportunity to inject a dose of fun into events. They also give attendees the opportunity to learn a new skill in a format that’s far more interactive than a webinar or breakout session.

Workshop events make great additions to larger events and conferences, and also function well as standalone events. Just note as we return to in-person events—and increasingly plan with a hybrid future in mind—the attendee experience looks much different from just a few years ago.

Besides choosing the right format that translates seamlessly to your workshop topic, event planners must also figure out how to make workshops engaging and beneficial to all attendees. 

Looking for some fun inspiration? Read on to learn more about engaging workshop ideas.

What is a workshop event?

Male speaker giving presentation in hall at university workshop event.

Workshop events are smaller than conferences and typically focus on discussing a specific issue or topic, mastering a new skill, or obtaining a certification. In addition, workshop event formats can be highly interactive or more conversational and educational. 

Workshop events are beneficial because they allow workshop attendees to network and learn in smaller groups versus large-scale breakout sessions.

Workshop ideas: 8 tips for hosting a successful event

1. Choose the best format for your attendees 

Just as the industry learned how events could be fun and exciting in virtual and hybrid formats, the same applies to workshops. In fact, your workshop event may even work better as a fully virtual experience.

Hybrid workshops also work well, especially if you want to expand your audience to those who may not be able to attend in person. Additionally, smaller and more intimate in-person workshops may also perfectly suit the needs of your audience.  

The best format for you depends on the needs of your attendees. Just note that your event technology needs will vary for hybrid, virtual and in-person workshops. But more on that to come later.

2. Provide food and drinks 

Keep your attendees feeling fueled and hydrated with some choice workshop refreshments. Breakfast and strong coffee never fail to pump up attendees for the day. Also, make sure to provide lunch and a snack if your workshop stretches into the afternoon.

Depending on the topic of your workshop event, you may even consider serving beer and wine. You know your workshop audience best, so we’ll leave the alcohol decision up to you.

3. Make workshops a component of larger events 

If planning a larger event, include some training workshops and encourage attendees to participate to get the most out of the learning experience. You can even market the workshops as an upgrade to generate additional income for your event. For another option, host free workshops before the main event to encourage more attendees to register.

Just make sure to market your event workshops during registration to ensure attendees know about the added benefit.

4. Leverage event workshop sponsorships 

Securing relevant workshop event sponsors can help offset costs and provide extra value to your attendees. For example, say you’re planning a workshop around tree planting for members of a gardening society. You could enlist a local gardening center or big-box store to supply the trees, soil, and other needed materials in exchange for exposure during the workshop.

If you intend to use a mobile event app or virtual platform, make sure the technology allows you to showcase sponsors prominently across your workshop.

How to find and secure event sponsorship: the ultimate guide

Looking for unique event sponsorship ideas that delight? Check out the Ultimate guide to event sponsorship.

5. Incorporate new technologies

The event community continues to find new and exciting ways to level up all event types with technology, so think about how you can use tech to deliver value and boost registrations.

Some emerging event technology trends include:

  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Wearable devices, including watches, armbands, and “smart” badges
  • Combining live and pre-recorded video
  • Contactless check-in
  • Event diagramming and digital floor plans

6. Use an event management platform 

Computer screen showing workshop event experience in event management platform

Speaking of event technology, a truly end-to-end event management platform provides a single solution to manage your event, whether hybrid, in-person or virtual. A comprehensive event platform combines a mobile event app for fully in-person experiences with a virtual platform for hybrid and remote attendees. 

Event platforms can help organizers:

  • Manage ticketing and registrations
  • Host live streams and pre-recorded videos 
  • Facilitate attendee networking and connection
  • Store workshop agendas, maps and floorplans, and other materials in the cloud
  • Power continuous engagement and learning
  • Provide pre- and post-event metrics

With the right technology, your workshop ideas can easily go from good to great!

7. Maximize fun with gamification 

Group of diverse friends playing game on mobile phone

We love workshop events because they bring people together and inspire attendees to take action. Event gamification blends the best of both worlds.

An event game adds an element of fun and excitement to all event formats by injecting friendly competition and fully immersing attendees in event content. For example, you can use gamification to promote fun workshop challenges, like completing scavenger hunts, demonstrating key workshop learnings, answering trivia, and so much more.

Make sure you choose an event platform that includes built-in gamification. 

See gamification in action: Check out how Resource and Financial Management Systems leveraged gamification to enhance software training and boost attendee engagement.

8. Engage attendees with polls and Q&A 

Whether your registrants tune in from home or attend in-person for your event workshop, attendee engagement proves key to your event’s success. Use event platform features like polls, Q&A, live chat, virtual whiteboard, and surveys to foster engagement between attendees, your workshop content, and sponsors.

The buzz about hybrid: tools and tips for better attendee engagement

Upcoming webinar: The buzz about hybrid events: Tools and tips for better attendee engagement, hosted by Webex Events, EventMB, Slido, and Vidcast. Register today.

Host fun and engaging workshop events with Webex Events

Webex Events is an end-to-end event management platform that comes fully equipped with leading engagement features, endless sponsorship opportunities, and full customization to help you power exciting workshop events, no matter in-person, virtual, or hybrid.

Leverage Webex Events to bring your next workshop idea to life. Engage attendees with third party tools and integrations, like Syncwords Slido, Vidcast, Miro, and more!

Schedule a free demo to see how Webex Events can help you manage your next workshop event! 

Olivia VanCuren
Olivia VanCuren

Content Marketing Specialist @ Webex Events (formerly Socio). Words enthusiast. Passionate about events that foster meaningful connections.