How to Plan a Workshop for Women's Issues

by Kyra Sheahan

Workshops give participants the chance to come together and meet others with similar needs or issues. A workshop is a place where people learn new tools or resources, find ways to overcome challenges and work on developing personal or professional goals. If you are spearheading the planning committee for a women's workshop, create a focus for your workshop. Whether it will be a workshop about women's issues in the workplace, women's health, domestic life or women's faith, the workshop planning strategies remain the same.

Establish the workshop budget. Before you start spending money, it is important to know what funds are available to you. Make a list of the foreseeable expenses, such as the workshop venue, tools, equipment, food and supplies. Try to divide your funds across the expense worksheet to allocate a certain amount of money to each category of expenses.

Set the date and time for your women's workshop. Make sure you select a date and time that is convenient for the crowd of women you are hoping to attract. For instance, if you are organizing a Christian women's issues workshop it would not be conducive to host the workshop on a Sunday morning, when the majority of your audience may be at church. Additionally, set the date of your workshop far enough in advance to give you time to plan. The scale of your workshop will impact how much planning and preparation time you need. Larger-scale workshops require more details and may take you several months to plan, whereas a small-scale workshop could be planned in a couple of months or a few weeks.

Pick your workshop venue. Assess your spacing needs based on how many workshop participants you anticipate coming. If your women's workshop will be intimate, you might select a venue of a more intimate nature, such as somebody's home or an office conference room. If you are hosting a workshop for women where you expect hundreds of women to show up, look to hotel conference rooms for potential venue options. Make sure the venue you prefer is available on the date that your workshop is set, and that the reservation cost fits within your budget.

Create an agenda for your workshop. Document the flow of how you want the workshop to go. For instance, the very beginning may be 30 minutes of introductions and icebreakers, followed by a one-hour lecture and then a 15 minute break. Incorporate a lunch break if you are hosting a workshop that is over four hours long, beginning in the morning.

Identify any special guest speakers you wish to attend your workshop, based on the issues that your workshop deals with. For instance, it may be appropriate to introduce a motivational speaker for a women's workshop on "how to build self-esteem and end abusive relationships," whereas a financial workshop for women could lead you to invite a well-known female financial advisor to the group. In addition to guest speakers, include activities for workshop participants to do and videos for them to watch.

Set your attendance fees. These fees should be based on how much money it will cost to put the workshop together, and if you want your organization to make a profit on the workshop.

Advertise for your workshop. Based on the women's issues that the workshop focuses on, select the appropriate places to advertise. For instance, you could advertise at local churches and on the radio for a faith-based women's workshop, whereas a workshop for women dealing with addiction could be advertised at substance abuse clinics and on the radio. Make sure your advertisements tell women the date and time of the workshop, along with the price for attendance.

About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.

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