Looking to elevate, train, and upskill your team members or customers? Setting up a virtual workshop might be your best bet. The following tips and techniques for creating a successful virtual workshop in 2023 will get you started!
- What is a virtual workshop?
- How do virtual workshops work?
- Different types of virtual workshops
- Tips for running an engaging virtual workshop
- Challenges in virtual workshops
- Creative ideas for virtual workshops
- Kaltura’s solution for hosting virtual workshops
What is a virtual workshop?
Virtual workshops are interactive events that are conducted online. It is a space where businesses, event planners, marketers, and speakers can come together to exchange ideas, views, and expertise.
Outcomes of such events can range from networking, knowledge-sharing, and education to a sales pitch as well as fund-raising.
Unlike traditional events, virtual workshops are not bound by geographical or even time constraints. And they prove to be an efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable way to conduct events.
Virtual workshops have a lot of advantages over traditional events. Firstly, it reduces travel costs associated with attending events. And it also reduces the amount of pollution attributed to travel.
Secondly, virtual events are more accessible to people with disabilities. Due to the lack of physical constraints, they can easily be set up in an accessibility-friendly manner.
Thirdly, content from such events can be easily archived and shared with a larger audience that couldn’t make it to the actual event.
When it comes to community building, virtual workshops provide a great platform for people from far reaches of the world to connect.
How do virtual workshops work?
Virtual workshops employ a virtual event platform. The host broadcaster can control the whole session from the back end. They can adjust the audio, video, and even the chat box.
The selection of the platform depends upon the organizer’s requirements. But if you are looking for a professional-grade, scalable, white-label, and highly flexible platform, then Kaltura Events is your best bet.
Typically, the organizers will send out an invitation link to all the participants. They can then join the event as scheduled via a click on their invitation link.
From this point, the participants can interact with each other through the platform’s chat function. Some platforms, like Kaltura, can even let you conduct polls, so you can get feedback from the attendees.
Different types of virtual workshops
Virtual workshops come in a host of different formats – educational workshops, brainstorming workshops, onboarding and training workshops, collaboration sessions, and more.
Depending on the needs, virtual workshops can be a one-way audio/video stream where one person talks and the audience listens, but it can also imply varying levels of audience interaction, from moderated Q&A sessions to full-on collaborative interaction.
Lectures can last for an hour, a day, or even a week. They involve tutoring and knowledge sharing about a specific subject by an expert or a group of experts.
But, all these types of virtual workshops have one common goal – to bring together people from different backgrounds to exchange views and gain knowledge.
Tips for running an engaging virtual workshop
Unlike traditional events, virtual workshops require extra prep work to ensure they are engaging and successful. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- Set up a goal and objectives for the workshop
- Create an agenda and plan the event
- Utilize marketing strategies to promote the virtual workshop
- Test the tech and software in advance
- Set clear instructions and expectations
- Collaborate with experts in the field
- Connect with participants by introducing yourself
- Encourage active engagement and participation
- Invite feedback from participants and make the required changes
- Follow up with a thank you note
Lastly — and as with any event — leverage your platform’s analytics to understand the performance of your virtual workshop, tweak your strategy for future events, and substantiate your reporting with data.
Challenges in virtual workshops
Like every other event, virtual workshops have a set of potential challenges that can be addressed. Most often mentioned is the challenge of creating a personal connection with the participants. That’s why it’s important to incorporate engagement elements into your workshop, like polls, room and personal chat, and a Q&A session.
If your audience hails from a larger geographical area, or even worldwide, time zones may become a challenge for some organizers. Depending on the level of interaction you are planning to have with your audience, this challenge can be partially solved by recording the session and offering it on-demand after the event, or streaming the recording to other time zones as simulive (the event content recording is streamed as if it were live, with chat functions activated so participants can interact).
And finally, the security of the event must be kept in mind. Participants’ personal information must be kept secure and private. Make sure your virtual workshop solution or event platform has all the necessary security in place, such as encryption, permissions management, and SSO.
Creative ideas for virtual workshops
Besides the traditional format of events, event organizers can also get creative and explore new ideas for virtual workshops.
From ‘ask me anything’ sessions to virtual bake-offs, virtual comedy shows, and even virtual games, there is no limit to the kind of events one can come up with.
Ideas like open mic nights, virtual art classes, or meditation sessions can add engagement and thrill to your virtual workshop. Here are a few more ideas to help you add some pizzazz to your workshop and make it a memorable event:
- Open your virtual workshop with an icebreaker activity
- Kick off your brainstorming session with a mind-mapping exercise
- Add gamification to your virtual workshop with a competitive element, such as quizzes. Use a leaderboard to keep score and add thrill to your event.
However, the trick is to ensure that participants are engaged and can connect.
Kaltura’s solution for hosting virtual workshops
To host an exemplary virtual workshop, organizers must have the support of a reliable platform. Kaltura’s virtual event solution is designed to meet the needs of any event, at any scale.
Kaltura Virtual Events lets you create any kind of event starting from a customizable template and comes with a full set of tools to create, manage and measure your virtual events from A to Z on a single platform:
- high-quality 4K streaming
- automatically generated branded registration page and event minisite
- automatic recording
- multiple chat capabilities
- transcriptions and closed captioning
- third-party platform integrations
- Data encryption and SSO
- Analytics and data collection
- … and so much more!
Live or on-demand, Kaltura Events Platform will bring you closer than ever to your audiences. Curious to see how Kaltura can do just that for your brand? Book a free demo today!
Hosting virtual workshops is no longer an issue of futility. With the aid of reliable platforms and innovative ideas, event organizers can explore new ways of engaging with the audience and reap the benefits of events.
However, regardless of the platform or the format you choose, ensuring that the events are secure and engaging is key to having a successful virtual workshop.
Utilizing the different engagement options, like polls and quizzes, can also keep the audience entertained and engaged.