Planning 1 and 2 day intensives and events can go beyond just thinking about the typical itineraries and schedules. What is your best course of action to make sure that your clients gain everything that they need in such a short time? Intensive one on one or small group meetings tend to get… you guessed it, intense! They are a way to move clients in a specific direction quickly and clearly. Your clients are going to come to your event to seek the clarity they are looking for and are going to want you to steer them in the right direction. How do you plan for such a daunting task?
1. Keep it Limited To Smaller Focus Groups
In order to get through all of the information that intensive programs generally make their way through, it will be imperative to make sure your groups remain small. You may even come across times where you should focus on one-to-one sessions, depending what your topics are about. Many of your attendees are going to be ready for a challenge and may even be expecting it, since they are signing up for something that they know is going to be intensive. Don’t short change them by opening up your intensives to more clients than you can realistically can handle!
2. Have a Specific Schedule Targeted On the Topic With Things You’ll Be Covering
Intensive events tend to have very little fluff. You are moving on a tight schedule in order to get through the items you need to cover in such a short amount of time. It’s full days spent doing accelerated training. Choose the areas of focus you’ll be working through carefully and make sure you have exact time frames in mind for each “Unit” you’ll be moving through. A good idea to consider is to move your intensive training through a series of “Steps” or “Units” that you have named and have a goal associated with.
Also make sure there are clear goals that everyone will be walking out of the intensive with. Are they going to be making business models? Developing specific action plans? Finding ways to make their company more profitable? Become more cost-effective? Identifying new ways of bringing in income? Whatever the goal, make sure it’s laid out clearly and concisely so people know what to expect.
3. Provide Support and Guidance, But Make Attendees Accountable
Many may be looking for a specific intensive event to gain clarity on ideas they may already have. Depending on what your specific intensive is about, make sure you provide the support and guidance that your clients will be looking for. They may have a plan of action for where they need to go, but they are stuck on how to implement it. They are done trying to figure things out on their own and are looking to you to guide them in the right direction!
That being said, this isn’t about you doing the work for them. Make sure you set them up for success, but make them accountable.
4. Provide Pre-Meeting Worksheets or Recordings
Help your attendees prepare so you can dive right in that first minute of your event. You’ll be able to start conversations knowing that your attendees have a clear understanding of what the outcomes are expected to be.
You may even want to provide items you generally charge money for, to make it more appealing to potential clients to sign up. Depending on the nature of your intensive event, you may even want to consider offering a 30 minute prep time session with each of your clients.
5. Provide Lunch and Refreshments Throughout the Day
Everyone needs to keep their energy up! While this may not be the luxurious and decadent nature of some events you work on, make sure that basics are covered and food and drinks are provided. Ask your clients beforehand if anyone has any special dietary restrictions you need to consider to make it as comfortable for them as possible. You’re going to be working hard for one or two days!
6. Make Sure Everyone Walks Away With a Summary of Key Learning Points and Next Steps
Are people aware of what they are going to get at the end of your time together? Make sure it’s clear what they will be able to gain by attending your intensive meeting.
Also consider things you may offer after the meeting. Perhaps e-mail support for a specific number of weeks? Will you provide a detailed summary of everything you covered, so they have all of the resources and ideas at their fingertips when they leave? More than likely, different clients will be looking for different goals, so providing more customized feedback may help them move forward.
Intensive and focused events are a great way to quickly move people from Point A to Point B. But it’s going to be up to you to keep things high-energy for your attendees so they can make it through such a focused and structured day. Hopefully with these tips, you can create your own intensive schedules and determine what the right plan of action will be for you!