6 Simple Hacks to Ensure Satisfied Workshop Participants
Organizing a workshop is easy. Promoting it is even easier. But, satisfying the participants is tougher than satisfying your girlfriend’s mother.
You take the money, but you don’t earn it yet. No, I don’t mean you have stolen it.
We used to give a lot of workshops before getting full-time with our app, Programming Hero. Because workshops were our initial idea as a startup (which we now call as the prototype).
We were super-excited to teach. People enjoyed it. But, for some reason, they weren’t satisfied.
This was sucking the energy out of us. We didn’t want money, we wanted a satisfied customer who would then becomes our loyal fans.
We learned a few tricks the hard way to stand out and have satisfied customers. The trick is to be surprising to then be memorable.
Here I share them with you.
1. Give Away a Free Coffee Mug to Each Participant
Do you know what we love the most? Free stuff. Let's take advantage of that.
A few pro tips:
- If you have a brand, put your logo on one side of the cup as well. It will act as a promotion later on.
- Make them your super fans: just include something good about them on one side. And better, carve their name along with it. For example, “Mark, you rock.”
2. Print a T-shirt for Each Participant
While this might seem similar to the previous one, this is where you go to a little (I mean, the most) extreme.
Not everyone likes to drink coffee (or tea) and not everyone can carry a coffee mug everywhere. But, they sure might wear a t-shirt because it’s portable. Everywhere they wear it, they will remember you and at the same time, they are promoting you (when you include your logo in it).
But wait, don’t get excited here. This is hard work. This takes time (for planning and ordering and shipment) and not everyone has the same body size. Also, not everyone is willing to share their body size to you (not because they are fat but because you are fatter.)
Pro Tip: You can try Google Form to collect the body size like we used to do.
3. Get One Phone Sticker for Each Participant
You can try a sticker regarding the workshop topic. This sticker should be sticky to be able to be pasted behind the mobile or laptop. This sticker is to show the coolness you have and also to make the participant look expert at that topic. Nothing significant, but helps. Especially if they use it on mobile because they will always feel it when they hold it.
Blooper: Once we had no time for shipping a good, sticky sticker, so we quickly got something printed from the nearest photo studio and used that as an alternative.
4. Have an Extra (and if Possible Unique) Catering Item
Have something extra at the catering that others don’t. We used to bring our mom’s handmade chicken roast and vanilla pancake.
If that’s difficult for you, try figuring out the most-demanded food item and have it in extra and you end up becoming awesome. They will love you.
5. Hire a Professional Photographer and a Wedding Planner
Ask the wedding planner to decorate the venue in such a way that the participant feels like it’s his wedding today but ensure that he keeps the environment suitable for learning as well.
Pay the photographer to not take the best picture, but to take a lot of pictures of every participant — both individually and together and then forward it to them.
It’s a human desire to take selfies and photos nowadays, especially to take a lot of pictures to then choose the one where they look thinner and prettier. Use this as an advantage to both make them satisfied by reducing their load to get the best picture as well as get some extra promotion when they share it online.
Blooper: Once, our photographer was super-happy. He slowly shouted with excitement (so that others don’t hear about the surprise waiting for them): “We have taken 6475 photos in just 30 minutes.”
I went: “Wow, well done.”
We then went for a lunch break. He was giggling the whole time while eating. When we returned and it was time to distribute the photographs, we were shocked. All images got deleted. We could never recover it. Our participants were almost going in a coma. Maybe it got deleted due to over-capture but it was our bad day.
Pro Tip: Ensure you take a group photo and ask each participant whether you can upload it on your website/social media to have it as a memory. This sure acts as a memory but a promotion too.
6. Crack a Lot of Jokes— Make One a Takeaway
Who doesn’t love jokes? It’s cool if you can crack one joke every 30 seconds, but it’s way cooler if you can crack at least one joke as the takeaway of the whole workshop.
Summarise the whole workshop in just one line, in one single joke and you’ll be memorable forever.
Here I Take the Challenge With You:
Here’s the boring takeaway of this post: Give free items to your participants but make sure they can feel it, have them eat something different or in mass, reduce their stress of taking pictures, make them laugh.
Here’s the cool version: “Gift me a bikini to feel hot and seductive, take a picture of mine and make me laugh and cuddle. Ohh wait, let’s first have dinner.”