All of us have attended workshops and conferences. We listen, take notes and vow to return home as conquering heroes. Soon, the continental-breakfast and afternoon-cookie fueled adrenaline fades. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, workshop regrets…I’ve had a few.
A local half-day workshop I attended recently got me thinking about the plan to stop workshop regret in our lifetime!
Small business owners, even the savviest entrepreneurs, rarely have time to gather knowledge they could use to further their businesses. Some resources are as easy to find as knowing which page to “Like” on Facebook or using Google. That’s not enough.
Sometimes, a great personal experience can give you the boost you need. Here are a few tips:
1. Effort – This begins before a workshop. Local community colleges, service organizations, small business incubators and professional groups offer options. The workshop I attended was a half-day event and done by Noon. You’re busy, but so is everyone else. Find community resources you trust and locate sessions that are aligned with your needs. Before you sign up…..
2. Assess the format – Is there a keynote session? Find out about the speaker(s) to see if their message is on your radar. The keynote session I attended was led by a great communicator named Steve Crescenzo. His presentation alone was worth it (and his message influenced my thoughts in this entry). Next, are there breakouts? Learn the subject matter to see if it fits for you. It’s called being a good customer – which we look for right?
3. Plan – If you don’t understand your business needs, you don’t understand what you want to learn. Pick a workshop that isn’t what you want to learn, you are more likely to feel like you wasted your time. (Hint – This isn’t the host’s fault. This is user error.) I had a game plan before I went and attended the sessions that had info I was looking for. Plus, I was using my….
4. Common sense filter – We hear amazing stories at workshops. Think about them. Put yourself in the stories as they apply to your situation. A common mistake is taking info from a workshop that is too big for you to process. Use that presentation as a filter for your situation. That will help you tailor the perfect fit.
My current professional effort helped me be a good workshop customer. I attended knowing the offerings, knowing what I wanted from them, made the time to attend and found scenarios that related to current projects. While I thought the workshop was excellent for content alone, the old adage applies – you get out what you put in.
So, have your plan and make your study goals attainable. That will keep your fresh-baked workshop dreams from becoming a stale reality.
Connect with Glenn Kass and Catch Driver Marketing at www.catchdriver.com for help with marketing, public relations, branding, event management and more. You can also find him on Facebook (Search: Catch Driver Marketing) and Twitter (@CatchDriverMktg).