Becoming an expert in your community isn’t as hard as it might seem. One way to break into your local small business scene is to host local business-oriented workshops. You can host them free or paid depending upon the demand for the events.
Either way, hosting workshops is a great way to become known as the go-to expert in your niche.
Before you choose anything else, it’s important to know what the topic and theme of your event will be. This will help you determine the size of the event, the cost, and many other factors related to planning and hosting the event.
Now that you know your topic, it’s important to set a budget for the event. You will likely have a fee for the facility that you chose to use for the event. You may need to pay for technology, food, beverages, and other comforts for your attendees. Plus, you'll need copies of physical documentation to hand out to your workshop attendees.
Once you have set your budget, decided how big the workshop should be and all those details, it’s time to get a site for your workshop. You have the information about what you need, so now you can make calls and visit the sites in person to ensure it’s what you want.
Once you find the location, work with them to set the date for your event at least six weeks from now, so that you can get everything planned and marketed in time. When it comes to workshops, you don’t really need a year to plan. It’s better to keep the marketing and advertising for the event short.
Now that you have all the information from above, it’s time to start preparing all the documentation for your event. You will need handouts, and something tangible for the attendees like a t-shirt, a workbook, pens, and other branded premiums that they can take with them.
Simultaneously as you’re doing the above, you'll need to create marketing materials. Have an event website, online event sign-up, social media pages, newspaper advertisements, and any other marketing materials that you need to run ads online and offline.
While you’re working on the above, keep using the platforms that you’ve created to educate, inform, and engage your audience. Continue to go to other events as you let your audience know about your workshop.
Don’t limit your marketing to only online or only offline for local events. Using Facebook Ads, you can laser target your local community directly, but you should also look to your local newspapers and other avenues for getting the word out about your event.
Once you arrive at your workshop date, know that you’re prepared, and know your expertise, all you really need to do is relax and network. Let the event unfold as it should and don’t sweat the details now because you already did that in the planning stages.
Don’t worry if your event isn’t perfect. The important thing is to be there and provide excellent value to your audience. Even if only five people show up, that’s five people who are going to tell their friends about what they learned and from whom.
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