How to organize a one-day workshop

To begin with, it is worth clarifying what the activity you want to prepare is in general. A workshop is a form of learning during which the people involved actively work - assisted by a facilitator. In the main, it is about leading the people involved through a process where they are expected to increase the level or acquire specific competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes).

I. What you need to know at the start

Ideological assumptions

A good workshop consists of three key factors:
challenge - the workshop must interest those attending so that they think of participating in it as a challenge and an adventure.
capabilities - what will be covered during the workshop must take into account the capabilities of the people participating. The tasks and topic must be tailored to their competencies.
relationship - the idea and theme must somehow relate to the people participating in the workshop. They must feel connected to it.

Required competencies

To prepare for and conduct a workshop, you will need several key skills. On the one hand, there will be basic logistical competence, allowing you to secure aspects such as the workshop room, coffee breaks, recruitment or cooperation with partners. In addition, workshop facilitators should have basic knowledge of group processes and the ability to work with a group and moderate.

Best practices

One-day workshop

Principles important when conducting a workshop:
Treat participants as partners - never place yourself "higher" in the hierarchy when conducting a group process. Of course, you should take care to develop a certain authority with the participating persons, but let it be the result of your high competence and a well-prepared workshop, not rules imposed from above. Treat the people participating with due respect and simply in a collegial manner
Create a safe space based on trust - remember to be inclusive and inclusive. Take a moment at the beginning of the workshop to create a friendly, safe atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable. If someone, for whatever reason, doesn't want to participate in any part of the process - don't force them to. For example, if you are planning integration exercises that may in some way involve violating people's personal space (e.g. by grabbing hands), point out that if someone is not comfortable with this, they do not have to participate, etc.
Participants need to know what is happening and what is about to happen - when conducting a workshop, you need to make sure that participants know from the beginning what the process is like and what it is going to lead them to. At the very beginning conduct a so-called "briefing", i.e. a brief introduction to what is going to happen, what it is supposed to serve and what the purpose is. Also use a mini-briefing before each task, so that, in addition to explaining what needs to be done now, it is also clear why we are doing it. At the end of the workshop, we also suggest that you introduce a so-called "debriefing" - a summary of what happened, during which you will give space for those participating to share their thoughts on what they learned.

everything has a beginning and an end (even at the expense of time) - A good group process is a bracketed whole. When planning your workshop scenario, stagger the workshop well so that you have time to conduct both the introduction and the summary and evaluation. If for some reason you have slippage, and you are not limited by the time you can spend in the workshop room - it is better to extend the meeting than to leave it without closure.

Each task/part must follow from each other - The workshop should maintain a logical sequence. Depending on the goal set, tasks should lead from the detail to the general or vice versa. Ensure that each of them brings you thoughtfully closer to achieving the intended effect.

Evaluation, something not to forget - in addition to debriefing, or summarizing learning outcomes, don't forget the evaluation round. There are countless evaluation methods you can use. Make it a point to give those participating space to express their opinion about the process you have prepared. At best, it will be a time of gratification for you, when you will hear a lot of good words about what you have prepared/prepared. At worst - you will receive very valuable information about what you can improve in the future. We also recommend creating an evaluation survey for those who participate.

If you're just starting out and don't feel you're ready/ready to run a workshop, and you have a certain budget - it's worth hiring an outside trainer/coach and watching closely how he or she conducts the class.

II. How to get started

Placing activities in time and dividing tasks

At this stage you already know why, how, and what you are doing - now it is time to plan. Remember that a well-planned action realizes itself, so it is worth spending a lot of time on it now, because it will save you time in the future.

List the tasks for each activity

You have the activities prepared and described. Now break them down into the specific tasks that need to be done within them.

List of tasks

One-day workshop

25 tasks, 5 categories. Some tasks may not be appropriate for your project if, for example, you already have a group that will participate.

Logistical preparation of the workshop:

determining how big a room we need and finding the right one

determination of equipment needs

provision of necessary equipment

determine snack and beverage needs for coffee breaks

provision of snacks and beverages for coffee breaks

determining the needs for workshop materials
provision of workshop materials

Substantive preparation of the workshop:

setting the scenario of the workshop
preparation of the persons conducting the workshop

Establishing cooperation with partners:

defining what we want from the partners
finding a contact for partners
preparation of information materials for partners
sending an email / phone call to partners
making an appointment to visit partners
meeting with partners

External communication and recruitment of participants:

preparation of communication and promotion strategy
creation of an application form
implementation of communication strategy and start of recruitment
selection of participating persons
preparation of an infopack for those participating
sending an infopack to those who participate

Implementation of the workshop:

preparation of the workshop room
registration of persons participating
implementation of the workshop scenario
cleaning and commissioning of the workshop room

Grouping of tasks into areas of responsibility (quite broad)

As I'm sure you've noticed for yourself, the tasks in the various activities sometimes repeat or are similar to each other. Now group them into categories. Remember that the areas should not be too narrow or too broad.


How tasks are divided into areas of responsibility

4 areas

area 1: Partnerships and collaborations

Includes tasks from the department: Establishing cooperation with partners

area 2: Marketing and promotion

Includes tasks from the groups: External communication and recruitment of participants

area 3: Logistics

Includes tasks from the department: Logistical preparation of the workshop

area 4: Meritory

Includes tasks related to: Substantive preparation of the workshop and implementation of the workshop

Timing of tasks (Gantt)

Now try to put all the generated tasks on a timeline. The Gantt Diagram tool will be useful.


Gantt diagram

A Gantt diagram is a tool used to plan and track the progress of projects. Imagine you have a big board with days or weeks marked on it. On this board, you place different bars that represent the various tasks needed to complete the project. Each bar shows when the task starts, how long it takes and when it ends. This makes it easy to see what needs to be done, when it's happening and how the different tasks are related to each other. The Gantt Diagram helps teams organize their work, makes it easy to track progress and helps keep the project on track for completion. You can find a Gantt Diagram template in Google Sheets, for example.

Division of responsibility for task areas

At the very end, see your plan, analyze whether there is definitely nothing missing there, and finally divide in the team the responsibility for given areas of activity (we suggest you share not tasks, but whole areas). Take into account the competence and time capabilities of the people in the team in question.


Assigning team members to areas of responsibility

Partnerships and collaborations

Jan Kowalski

Marketing and promotion

Ania Kowalska


Adam Kwiatkowski


Katarzyna Kwiatkowska


The final element of logistical planning is to create a budget. Based on your planned activities, prepare a statement of all the costs you will incur in the activity.

III. Important matters in progress

Resource inventory:

You have successfully planned the workshop. You know what tasks you need to do and what needs to be taken care of. You also know how much money you need for it. Now you should look at it and evaluate how much you are able to carry out this plan. Ask yourself if you are missing something? Do you need an outside trainer/coach to lead the workshop? Do you need extra cash for snacks and drinks? Do you need a larger workshop room than you anticipated? Ask yourself similar questions for each area and determine to what extent you are ready/ready to implement and whether you need anything else. If you find that you are missing something, think about how you can get it and include this process in your plan.


"However, I think we need the help of an external trainer/coach to prepare a good scenario and lead the workshop."

Include in the plan new tasks in the area of Partnerships and Cooperation:
determining what kind of person we need
research among friends or elsewhere
writing an announcement
recruitment of trainer/coach
setting the principles of cooperation


"The classroom at the school may be too small and under-equipped, we need something bigger, with access to a projector and screen."

Include new tasks in the Logistics area in the plan:
determination of needs
research workshop rooms
contact with the owner/landlord
setting the rules of cooperation and booking a date

things to remember

At this stage you should already know perfectly well what to do. To put you even more firmly on the right track, we have prepared some instructions for you on how to work in each area:


Book the hall well in advance. Ideally, if you manage to "make a deal" with the local community center, school or city hall to provide you with such a place for free. Remember to agree in advance on the terms of cooperation - preferably by contract. Also make sure that the room is well lit and large enough, that there are enough chairs and tables in the room, and that it is possible to modify its layout (i.e., for example, that the tables are not permanently fixed in some place). We advise against conducting workshops in halls with a theater layout, i.e. one where there is a stage and an auditorium of some kind, and it cannot be modified.
Make yourself a list of the equipment you need well in advance. Take care of every detail and determine what you have provided as part of the hall rental and what you have to get yourself.
When planning your coffee break shopping take care of both sweet and salty snacks and coffee milk.
Make a list of workshop materials after consulting with the workshop leaders, ask for specific information about their needs, and preferably ask them to write down what they need, and then order it from Allegro or buy it from a stationery store.


The main task in this area is to prepare a scenario for the workshop. Here is what should be included in it:
description of the workshop - that is, a description of the idea behind the workshop (why do we think it should be held?)
Workshop Objectives - each workshop has its own unique objectives, most often limited to increasing or acquiring specific competencies. Remember, the goal is the most important thing.
Participants - describe who the participants are (description of the target group) and their exact number.
duration - how long the individual parts will last, and how much the whole thing will take. Without this knowledge, we cannot predict how much time we need to carry it out
methods and materials - Each scenario must include a list of materials we will need, as well as a description of the methods we will use during the scenario.
program - that is, finally, a step-by-step description of what is to happen.
If you are not the one who will be working with the group, it is also an important task to meet with the person responsible for this, to establish the rules of cooperation and to make sure that such a person has a good understanding of what you want to achieve with the workshop.

Marketing and Promotion

When preparing your communication and promotion strategy, consider what channels you have at your disposal and what target groups you want to address. Try to choose the best ways to reach the profile of the people you want the information to reach.
Plan well in time the messages you send. Ideally, the target group will encounter the message about the workshop not once, not twice, but several or a dozen times and in different channels. In this context, nothing is as important as regularity.
When preparing a recruitment form, ask for personal information, but also contact information such as phone and email. Also remember the consents required by RODO.
Always recruit a few more people than you anticipate seats. Experience has shown us that if you organize free events, people often don't attend at the last minute. It's better to have three more people than to miss five.
When dealing with the people participating who have been recruited, be understanding/forgiving. You must be aware that these people know little or nothing about what you are planning, so they may ask "stupid" questions from your perspective. Never let them feel ridiculed by you in any way or that they are unprotected.
When sending an infopack, remember to make it clear, transparent and pleasant to read, and to include all the necessary information both logistically and in terms of content preparation.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Before you start looking for partners, determine exactly what you need from them. Also think about what you can offer them in return. Maybe it will be a mention on social media? Maybe setting up a partner's roll-up in the workshop room? It's good to have these suggestions written down beforehand.
When looking for partners, be guided not only by how much they are able to help you, but also by what they do, especially if they are companies. Remember that it is very easy to lose a good image by establishing cooperation with entities that may "have something behind their ears".
When preparing materials for partners, make sure that they are not overloaded and explain well what you are about. If you will be sending them by email, remember that the person reading it should be able to figure out very quickly and easily what you are planning and how you see the partner's involvement. It is best if you create and send them literally a few slides of the presentation, or even one one-pager, with the most important information about the workshop. The remaining issues are worth presenting and discussing already at the one-on-one meeting.

Self-control mechanism

Bravo! You already have everything you need to start implementing your action. Now the most important thing is to monitor progress and react to problems. To this end, we propose to you the solution of periodic evaluation meetings. Choose one person among you who will be the coordinator/coordinator of the activity. Her task will be to conduct, for example, weekly meetings during which those responsible for the task areas will be able to tell you how the preparations are going and say whether they need any help. Such an arrangement will allow you to lean together on emerging problems and ensure a good flow of information in the team.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for you! Good luck!

IV. Example


Opening workshop of the project "Youth space: ecological challenges"


The Important Matters Foundation launched an educational project in which groups of young people from Warsaw and the surrounding area discussed the EU's priorities for the younger generation. The first topic we took up was environmental challenges. We wanted people interested in the same problem to be able to get to know each other, integrate, talk about the ecological problems of most interest to them, as well as gain valuable knowledge on the subject.


Individuals between the ages of 16 and 30, living in and around Warsaw, interested in climate and ecological topics.

Expert person:

Izabela Zygmunt, European Semester and European Green Deal Specialist (EC Representation in Poland)

Preparation process:

Establishing the purpose of the meeting
Description of the target group
Prepare a schedule for the meeting - to make it as engaging and interesting as possible for the target group.
The decision to invite an expert person.
Development of the needs for the appearance of an expert person (we wanted a person who could bring closer the EU climate policy).
Development of the needs for the appearance of an expert person (we wanted a person who could bring closer the EU climate policy).
Developing a potential list of expert persons we want to invite to the event.
Selection of a trainer who will conduct the workshop on behalf of our organization.
Preparation of the scenario of the workshop (including the integration and discussion part).
Space reservation.
Create a communication plan for workshop recruitment and promotional materials for the event.
Development of a recruitment form.
Prepare a description of the event and a request to prepare a speech on EU climate policy and send an invitation to an expert person from the EC Representation in Poland.
Confirm the participation of the expert person and arrange the details of the speech.
Promoting the event on social media.
Order the workshop materials needed to conduct the workshop.
Hiring a person responsible for photo coverage.
Prepare a multimedia presentation for the trainer leading the workshop.
Contacting those enrolled in the workshop to provide them with logistical and substantive details.
Purchase of materials for the coffee break.
Conducting a workshop.
Summary of the event (e-mail thanks, evaluation survey and contact with expert person, payment of invoice for workshop space).
Sharing coverage on social media.


Facebook coverage


I. What you need to know at the start
Ideological assumptions
Required competencies
Best practices
II. How to get started
Placing activities in time
Task listing
Task grouping
Schedule tasks over time
Division of responsibility
III. Important matters in progress
Inventory of resources
What to keep in mind
Self-control mechanism
IV. Example

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