I left my full-time consulting job to start a business earlier this year. One of my main offerings is workshop design and facilitation to help teams solve complex problems more collaboratively. So things like brainstorming, pain point identification, stakeholder alignment, etc.
I define workshops as collaborative working sessions with targeted activities that encourage attendee participation and more focused discussion on specific challenges. They are alternatives to traditional meetings to help teams spend their time more productively and reach actionable next steps in a short period of time.
However, as I’ve been researching and conducting informational interviews, I’ve realized that “workshops” means something different to different people. Some think of it like I do, others like a training session, and still others have a different definition. While I understand that we could call these workshops anything we want (we could even make up a name!), because the important part is the value we bring, I’m still finding it hard to connect with potential customers at times because of the disconnect with the term “workshops”.
So my question to all of you who are facilitators offering similar workshops….what do you call them?! If you call them workshops, how do you communicate with people what that means on your websites and in your conversations? We’ve had some suggestions from people to call them “working sessions” to indicate that work is done in the workshop and it’s not just training. Or, do you stay away from mentioning the “method” (which is a workshop) entirely on your website/marketing materials and use your introduction conversations to focus on the value you bring? For example, something like “We can help your stakeholders create a shared vision and kick off this initiative on the same page and with the same priorities" and then just talk through my definition of a workshop.
I am curious to hear any advice from you all!