Creating Your First Workshop: You Need Content First
What happens in your brain when you start thinking about hosting your own live event? Do you imagine standing on a stage with bright spotlights on you, hundreds of your people engrossed in your every word?
Or maybe bright white walls, gorgeous swag, and delicious treats at each place setting, with a small, intimate group of your clients around you?
Or maybe a gorgeous exotic location with yoga, fruit smoothies, and lots of deep talks about love, life, business, health, insert-your-area-of-expertise-here?
All that dreaming about place, time, and mood is a great start. But you'll need to plan your content first.
Most of the time, when clients ask me about hosting an event, I ask them "Well, what are you going to teach?" And they'll tell me something very vague and undefined about health or relationships. Or sometimes they even have a curriculum that they've already created and now they want to teach it live.
At any rate, they tell me that they'll figure it out later.
However, structure, content, and flow of the event need to be figured out first before you can even book venues and before you can even create a budget.
Because if you don't know your content, you won't know:
•If your event should be three days or two
•If you have enough material to teach
•If people even want to come to your event
•How to organize your content seamlessly so that people leap from one touch point to the next
Well-developed content is the most important piece of a well-planned event. It's like any online product: if you don't know what you're selling or what people will get out of the workshop/retreat/conference, then you're going to have a difficult time convincing people to buy your event.
How to combat the content battle
It starts with taking out a blank sheet of paper and asking yourself what the ONE GOAL is that people will have accomplished by the end of your event.
Then, break it down into two or three teaching modules that you can develop a curriculum around to get to that one goal.
Finally, create some exercises that can go along with this content modules; maybe writing worksheets or visualizations or group work. All are strong ways to reinforce the points you've been teaching.
Finally, lay it out like this:
5-10 minutes: Warm up and introduction to lesson
10-45 minutes: Lesson
45 - 60 minutes: Activity to reinforce lesson
60 - 75 minutes: Q + A/Debrief
You can normally do about 3 or 4 content modules a day, depending on the length of your workshop, as well as if people are doing lunch on-site, off-site, together, or on their own.
You don't have to have everything fleshed out, but when it comes to teaching a really badass program, you need to make sure you have as tight a schedule as possible because, with live events, almost something is sure to go wrong and if you don't have an airtight schedule in advance, it will make it much more difficult to roll with the punches on event day.