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“I’m really concerned, Veronica,” Ange confided during one of our sessions. “My events are always full and interactive. But this time, no one spoke. No one networked. It was like presenting to ghosts. Have I lost my touch?”
Ange (not her real name) and I had been working together for several months at the time of this conversation. We have pivoted her business to focus on her niche in a more targeted manner, and this was her first workshop presentation post-pivot.
Understandably, she was worried that the pivot had destroyed her business. So I got curious.
“Had you done this workshop before?”
“No,” she said. “This was the first time.”
Great, I thought. That means that the issue was isolated to this particular workshop.
“Did you use the same format as usual?”
Ange admitted that she had not. She typically conducts an ice breaker or some other initial networking activity to begin her workshops, but this one was already jam-packed with information. “I didn’t want to wear them out or run out of time.”
But what was the topic?
“Identifying your dream and building a plan to achieve it.”
That told me everything I needed to know.
Ange is a mindful, empathetic events organizer. She works hard to ensure her attendees have a transformational experience. But in this case, she had taken out the one thing that would make her attendees feel comfortable enough to share and collaborate on a very sensitive topic.
“Though most of your community is very dynamic and excited to share, in this case they won’t feel safe enough to show their most vulnerable selves if they haven’t had the chance to build trust through an ice breaker,” I explained.
But Ange still had an issue. Ice breakers and networking would extend an already very dense workshop. She hadn’t priced the workshop accordingly and was worried it would all get out of hand.
As an entrepreneur coach, this showed me a great opportunity.
“Ange, you’re telling me that you packed the workshop so tight that you don’t even have time for a five-minute ice breaker. What that says to me is that the workshop is too dense as it is. Let’s take this opportunity to break it into two parts. You can slow down the information, add more ice breakers and networking, and charge more.”
“But won’t it look weird to have a single two-part workshop when all the rest of mine are one-off events?” Ange worried.
“Let’s take a step back,” I said. “Do you have any structure or orientation for how your workshops thread together? Are they organized along your Client Journey in any way?”
Ange shook her head. Another opportunity!
“Let’s organize your events, then. We can label them as ‘beginner, intermediate, and advanced’ according to the amount of information in each. That will give your attendees a sense of orientation, firm up your client journey, and allow you to charge more for the ‘advanced’ workshops!”
Ange loved it. In one short session we were able to both identify and resolve the issue she experienced in one workshop AND transform her events to invite even more enthusiastic attendees to work with her.
- A clear path forward helps clients stay oriented and involved
- Labeling events or courses creates greater income opportunities
- Participant interaction within workshops is never time wasted
- Study success AND study challenges — they both can open massive doors!