06 Jul 5 Workshop Tips for an Enriching Event – Looking Back at Magnetize Your Brand
Usually, after an exciting and productive day, I sit back with a cup of tea and reminisce with my husband James about the events of the last few hours. The Magnetize Your Brand workshops on March 26th and June 17th were no different. Both times, I hosted my workshops at L’Espace Beaconsfield. What a thrill! Lets recap 5 important tips for creating an enriching event:
Tip #1 – Know your Audience
Understanding the makeup of the audience is essential when constructing a workshop. Business background, work sector and experience are some of the important factors which need to be weighed carefully. What brought each person to your workshop? Which sectors do they hail from? What drives them?
The audience at both events comprised of 40 to 50 business professionals, spanning the complete spectrum: small business owners, solo entrepreneurs and medium sized companies. There were goods manufacturers as well as service providers. Naturopaths, gym owners, acupuncture clinic owners, marketing consultants, even a costume designer, all mingling together, making connections and spreading value.
Sounds quite diverse, doesn’t it?
What these seemingly dissimilar people all had in common was that they were all decision makers and/or stakeholders with branding questions. Although they came from varied platforms and backgrounds, they all understood the importance of brand image – but they were unsure of where or how to start.
Tip #2 – Content is King
Content content content! The information (and the way it is presented) is the foundation of the whole day. Content must be relevant, interesting and useful. A participant should be able to name the key takeaways that made the whole day worth it.
Keeping all the varied backgrounds and personalities in mind, the content for the MYB workshops was focused on finding a visual identity for a brand image and how to articulate this onto the page. We ran through branding principles such as colour psychology, fonts, icons, message and graphic style. Pinterest was the tool of choice on how to gather images that attract the individual’s eye and put them in one place. From there, we could start sifting through commonalities to build the foundation of a robust brand identity.
Sometimes, when facing such a broad topic as brand image, ideas, examples and impressions can become easily muddled. For this reason, I introduced worksheets. These worksheets help to give structure to a highly unstructured exercise. Having an organization tool for random thoughts can be the bridge that channels us towards the end product.
The workshops are a mix of theory, journaling, q&a, discussion and speakers, to mix things up. The important lesson was that we can integrate our personal likes/dislikes, quirks and backgrounds into a base for brand identity. It is this crucial insertion of “self” into our brand which makes it as unique as a fingerprint.
This unique brand identity is what magnetizes your ideal client to your business. People everywhere are looking to make a connection… to feel understood and comfortable. When they are able to tap into the underlying humanity of your brand, thats when the magic begins. Interest becomes engagement, which is followed by purchase and loyalty.
Tip #3A: It takes a Village – Sponsors!
We spend years developing a valuable network of people – why not engage them in your workshop? Sponsors are one way to expose your audience to a variety of interesting and potentially worthwhile contacts.
One valuable learning that I had myself, was the importance of engaging your personal network into the process of building a workshop such as this. Sponsors, for example, really help to push these events off the planning page and into reality. On the 17th, I was honoured to present my amazing sponsors:
Likewise, during the March workshop, I had the unique privilege of introducing:
Diana Lidstone, a supremely well connected & effective business coach
Jenny Rich from Stella & Kate, a freelance copy writer & social media marketer
Amel Mehenoui, SEO expert & owner at MobiWebMedia
Tamara Rifai, hair stylist & green hair salon owner at Revolution Hair Studio
Zoonie Nguyen, video marketing coach & trainer from Talentelle (who filmed the day!)
I have personally worked with or obtained the services of all of these sponsors and can absolutely vouch for their integrity and quality. My sponsors added huge value by speaking about their industries, offering raffle prizes and creating a buzz! Thanks to their diverse backgrounds, they added a dynamic element to the content. I cannot wait to work with them again!
Tip #3B: It Takes a Village – Speakers!
Speakers play an integral role in any workshop. They offer information from other perspectives and can add insight into topics that are related to the main event. Speakers offer a change of pace, a change of voice and can make great connections for the future! Choose speakers who add interesting content and memorable take aways.
I was careful to select speakers who were able to add value to the content of the day. I’ve been working closely with psychic medium and intuitive, Lisa Lajoie of TappingIntoIt.com, for over a year and I have mad respect for the work she does. Lisa mentors people both in business as well as personal areas with her gifts. Her talk about trusting personal intuition when it comes to business decisions has certainly enriched my own experiences and has helped me to grow my business in a productive and soul filling direction. I was so pleased to be able to give the audience a taste of Lisa’s special talent.
Asking Ruchy Khurana of Ruchy Skincare to present her branding journey was a decision I made in order to help the audience connect the principals we were working on with a real life example. I began working with Ruchy over a year ago and have helped her create her brand identity and packaging in a very collaborative manner. I think the participants enjoyed her presentation and humour and were able to identify the value of a branding specialist in a concrete fashion. Plus, they were able to test out her product line which is incredible!
With the help of Stephanie Gafoor, my own business has been able to take off exponentially! Virtual assistant extraordinaire, Stephanie manages all sorts of admin and social media related tasks for me while I focus on what I am best at. Her brief overview of the web-based tool Canva was a great value add for participants who are looking to brand their social media accounts.
This was my second event at L’Espace Beaconsfield and there will definitely be more to come! I am thrilled to discover that what started as a professional alliance with Shannon Fitzpatrick (co-owner of L’Espace Beaconsfield) has evolved into a wonderful friendship and partnership. Shannon is definitely one you would want on your team!
Finally, the day would not have been complete without the talent and calming presence of James Cornish, my love and my photographer. He captured special moments on camera and has always acted as an invaluable sounding board in all things professional and personal.
Tip #4: Participant Appreciation Time
Workshop events are just not possible without the people who attend! When the room fills with excited, interesting people, the day flows perfectly. Every success is directly attributed to the people sitting in the chairs. Recognizing the importance of audience members is critical!
Both of the Magnetize Your Brand workshops were jam packed with information and discussion. We cover a lot of ground in just a few hours and are able to touch on several important topics. People are encouraged to ask questions about their specific situations as often as they want, but I am aware that nothing beats the comfort and attention of a one on one session.
With this in mind, I always offer a way to work with me that extends to after the event itself. I want participants to know that I am there for them if they wish to work further with me on their brand identity. During the day, they can get a feel for my style, experience and approach to the subject. My 15 years in the advertising and marketing industry is up for the taking! Participants are encouraged to tap into my knowledge base and see the potential in their brands.
My goal at the end of the day is for participants to find answers for all their questions on their brand identity… and to stimulate some more, important questions! A successful brand is a brand that feels like “you” — its my job to help navigate through the masses of ideas towards this goal.
I hope that everyone walked away from the table with a renewed focus and ideas to propel their businesses forward!
Tip #5: “The Opposite of Networking is NOT WORKING”
Workshops are a fantastic place to network! A room full of enthusiastic, like-minded business people is a gift. What we choose to do with that gift will determine the value.
My new found passion is watching different people come together and form meaningful networks. You never know who you might be sitting next to and how they may come into play at some future time. I have seen past participants come together to do business and, more importantly, become friends! I love this — I’m a networking cupid.
When participants, sponsors and speakers make connections, it gives the room a dynamic buzz. My favourite part of the day is watching how friendships are struck and how conversations evolve. Suddenly, ideas are fresher and discussions are more in-depth.
Remember that brand identity also includes the people, organizations and brands that we surround ourselves with. Networking helps us to find common ground with all kinds of people — people who we might not have crossed paths with otherwise. The more we put ourselves out there, the more we can expand our village.
Third Time’s a Charm
March 26th and June 17th were both amazing days for me. I walk away from workshops with a great feeling of accomplishment and purpose. When I am teaching the basics of this complex beast called branding, I feel I am in my element. Being surrounded by enthusiastic business people is inspiring and makes me love my career even more! I hope the participants, sponsors and speakers all enjoyed themselves and walked away with some valuable insight and meaningful relationships.
Here’s a bit of news: there is already a wait list for the NEXT Magnetize Your Brand workshop! The date is TBA, however, if you or someone you know could benefit from this experience, you can sign up for more information **HERE**.
Looking forward to seeing you there!