A Workshop Designed for Connection

Say no to boring agendas with no time for connection


Recently, I was engaged to bring 40 participants from across the province together for a workshop. In three hours, we aimed to set a foundation for a Province-wide major events strategy. The workshop participants were motivated since events and sport tournaments can bring huge economic potential and numerous benefits for communities. Here’s how I approached the opportunity to design and facilitate a memorable experience.

Experience Design

The experience was designed to encourage collaboration between participants. Typically, these professionals work in isolation to attract events and there are even silos between neighbouring communities. Every moment on the agenda contributed toward collaboration and connection.

Workshop Guidelines

To anchor the discussions and create a container for the workshop, we established clear Guidelines. These were shaped with specific behaviours that were encouraged and shared throughout the workshop.  Each one was introduced slowly to ensure all participants understood the Guidelines for our time together. Before breakout sessions, we revisited the Guidelines to help focus the dialogue.

Connection Exercises

When introduced too quickly on the agenda, some icebreakers may result in eye-rolling or cringe-worthy silence. Instead, the opening activities we introduced were designed as thoughtful, short exercises to build connection and invite participation with ease instead of anxiety. Throughout the workshop, energizers were inserted to keep energy levels high and discussions dynamic.

The Summit

To ensure all three hours were engaging, the agenda included: playful introductions, time to share community updates, focused roundtable discussions, short presentations, and plenty of time for dialogue between participants. Each section was designed to add a layer of connection and build rapport between participants. The summit: five communities shared major event success stories to wrap up the workshop with a positive vibe and buzz of energy.

Did we achieve the transformation we were aiming for? Take a look at the group photo — to me this last minute snap before we adjourned captures the connection and energy we felt at the close of our session.

Together, in three hours we shaped the foundation for more consistent forms of collaboration between industry and government to build an attractive events portfolio for British Columbia. Interested to learn more about my tools to build transformative events and workshops in your organization?  Say no to boring agendas with no time for personal connection. Contact me and we’ll shape a new approach that will leave your participants feeling motivated and inspired!


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Designing and Facilitating a Workshop for Province-wide Collaboration

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