If you've ever been to a workshop or conference, you'll notice that most event organizers are light on the paper materials and handouts.
Which is AWESOME, I say. All I need is an agenda that tells me where I'm going, and I'm SET!
However, if your event has lots of workshop components, or you have lots of speakers, or if people just need a damn book to follow?
Then you're going to want to take it to the next level.
Clients of mine have had really great success creating workbooks, or informational packets that their students and attendees can use on-site at a workshop or conference. I'm going to tell you why these pieces of print material are really helpful and why you'd want to consider making one, as well as how to make them, and some tips to keep in mind when designing said book.
I am a BIG fan of pre-made workbooks for the sole purpose that they help your attendees stay on track. A workbook that follows your curriculum means that you can have a more structured apporach to your "workshop" content. AND a workbook that you create for an event can be duplicated as an e-version, and either sold or used as a lead generator for your business in the future.
I would say between 10 - 20 pages is sufficient for a full-day workshop book, but it depends on what kind of content you want to put out there. You also really want to make sure it's a highly interactive book, meaning not a lot of direction/words, and LOTS of fill-in-the-blank or exercises that you can direct your attendees to complete (just like those language workbooks you had to buy in high school and college).
So something like:
List 3 things you want out of your event.
1. (Fill in the blank)
2. (Fill in the blank)
3. (Fill in the blank)
I'd say to have two exercises AT LEAST for each "module" you teach during your conference or workshop. Brainstorming exercises (using prompts around a specific topic), fill-in-the-blanks, free writing exercises, or anything that gives your attendees structure while allowing them to pull from the recesses of their brain is a great idea to include in your workbook.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
You'll need to get your content done and finalized pretty early. In order to have a workbook, you have to be able to work it into your
You'll need to find a way to keep people from skipping ahead or getting distracted by the book. I recommend ONLY creating a fillable workbook, instead of one that has tons of written content/direction because then people get swept up in reading the content of the book instead of paying attention to you while you're delivering your presentation.
What might attendees want to remember in 3 months? 6 months? The great thing about having a physical, written workbook is that attendees can go back, remember the experience, and view their process nostalgically. While that also applies if someone goes back and reads and old journal, sometimes, those thoughts or ideas, if not written with structure or guidance, can get jumbled and not be particularly helpful when looking back on them.