What Determines A Successful Event?
Heather and I hosted our first coaching workshop last week, and I must say that it was a roaring success.
We’ve gone to so many events and workshops over the past year, and all the while we’ve been taking astute notes on what we loved, liked, disliked, and really hated. So when we went to put our first workshop together, we had a massive pool of knowledge to pull from.
Feel free to replicate this coaching workshop process in your own practice, and let me know how it goes!
While we have been going to other people’s Meetups (www.meetup.com) for months, we decided it was time to turn the tables.
Now, since this was our event, we were bringing people into our world, and could create an experience for them.
Instead of talking about what we do (which can be a pain in the butt for us nurse coaches), they were able to powerfully experience who we are and what we do.
First, we decided on a name for our Meetup. I didn’t want the word ‘coaching’ in there, because that is confusing and a bit of a turn-off for people. So we came up with “The Wellness Project”, and titled this specific event “The Power of Presence and Connection.”
We spent a whole day creating a 6-part workshop series based around the Wellness Project, so this was Part 1.
Heather and I paid the $20 monthly fee for Meetup.com, and set up our profile, put up some cool images, and came up with an outline for how we wanted our night to go!
Then we pushed the Go button, and let Meetup do it’s magic.
We actually lucked out and had the perfect number of people for the size room we had.
Since we are doing vulnerability exercises and giving people a safe space to be who they need to be in that moment, I would recommend a room that is private, closed off, and people can’t ‘peek in’
As is usually the case with Meetup (unless you are charging money, which we didn’t do because we believe this is the “Top of our sales funnel,” 50% of the people attended out of the 16 people who RSVP’d with a ‘Yes.’
So we had a room with no windows, and good sized desk, and enough room for the attendees to break off into smaller groups and to be able to move around and interact.
However, we just found a sweet yoga space that is more congruent with this type of work, so I’ll let you know how that goes next time!
We may have procrastinated on this a little bit and only really started planning the event the day before.
Now with that being said, we spent a solid 12 hours crafting this experience – really diving into each detail to glean the outcomes which we wanted.
We rehearsed together, out loud, everything that we wanted to say.
Heather was even practicing in her sleep!
While I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the day before to craft the details of your event, Heather and I have a lot of experience together as musicians. I’ve put on hundreds of shows, and we’ve jammed thousands of musical hours together. So for me, this was merely an extension of that skill set, albeit edgy for the both of us!
The Fun Part
So we found our platform to reach out to people, found our space, and put together the outline for our event.
As people showed up, we escorted them into the space.
Everyone was friendly, yet for some reason I prefer to not mingle too much before starting. However, in his book World-Class Speaking, Mitch Myerson talks about the value of working the room before any speaking engagement.
Now, even though this was a coaching workshop and wasn’t a speaking engagement, I took that advice to heart and just did what I do: be friendly, casual, and open to build rapport.
We had a good amount of structure to the workshop.
– Introduced ourselves with who we are and what we do.
– Crafted agreements around safety, confidentiality, and playing full out.
– Went around the room (prompts work well for this so that people don’t talk for 5 minutes).
– Heather spoke around why presence and connection are so important for her.
– Then we hopped into our first of three small-group exercises for the night.
Seven out of eight people in the room were moved to tears.
We had each person fill out anonymous feedback forms which were incredibly helpful. The most important one was to have a closing meditation to allow people to ease back into the outside world.
One of the participants said, “Wow, you need to come do this exact event where I work.” That sounds like planting some corporate gig seedlings to me!
All in all it was fun, enjoyable, and freaking powerful for our participants.