• Identify common workshop pitfalls: Learn about the typical reasons workshops fail, such as lack of clear objectives, wrong speakers, and poor scheduling.
  • Understand the importance of content: Discover why engaging and relevant content is crucial for workshop success and what to avoid.
  • Enhance participant engagement: Find out how to keep attendees actively involved during and after the workshop.
  • Utilize event planning software: See how software can help set clear goals, select the best speakers, and keep everyone informed and prepared.
  • Improve future workshops: Learn how to use feedback and data analysis to continuously improve your events.
  • Streamline event logistics: Understand how event planning tools simplify scheduling and communication, making your job easier.
  • Boost attendee satisfaction: Discover strategies to ensure attendees are well-prepared, engaged, and leave with valuable takeaways.

Workshops can easily fall flat. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Is your workshop struggling with disengaged attendees and poor outcomes?

Common issues – as we uncover below – rear their ugly heads again and again. But we say, no more. Imagine seamless planning, engaging speakers, and enthusiastic participants.

Event planning software sets clear goals, selects the best speakers, and keeps everyone informed. Your attendees will be engaged, well-prepared, and ready to learn.

Transform your workshops into successes. Use event planning software to streamline your process and enhance participant engagement. Start planning smarter today!

7 reasons why workshops fail

Crowded Workshops With The Back Of Students Heads Losing Interest In The Speaker
Why workshops fail Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

Lack of clear objectives

A workshop is a structured session designed to lead to specific outcomes. Without clear objectives (outcomes), the workshop will not be successful. 

Your attendee’s experience will be disorientated and unproductive. In fact, all the main planning elements will be thrown off, such as… 

  • Building relevant content.
  • Booking appropriate speakers. 
  • Offering attendees solid benefits and takeaways. 

The wrong speakers and teachers

For even the most well-prepared and eager students – a bad teacher will hinder attainment. 

Some of the symptoms of the wrong teacher can be as follows… 

  • The content will be of poor quality and not relevant. 
  • The delivery will be uninspiring and will lead to low retention of your messages. 
  • It can affect your reputation, trust, and relationship with your attendees. 

Poor scheduling

Ineffective scheduling can disrupt the flow of a workshop. It can very quickly lead to trouble… 

  • Logistical headaches for planners and attendees. 
  • Participant frustration. 
  • Overtired participants.
  • Disengaged participants. 

From Confusion to Confidence: How Our Team Can Help Your Event Succeed from Sched Support on Vimeo.

Poorly prepared attendees

Participants arriving unprepared can hinder a workshop’s progress, with knock-on effects for other attendees… 

  • The participant might have a lack of confidence to contribute to discussions. 
  • It could waste people’s time if the teacher has to get the participant up to speed.
  • It could distract other participants, who arrived prepared. 

Relevant and exciting content

Attendees attend workshops to get value for their time and money. Whether it’s to build their skill set or learn. Here are examples of content you can NOT give them: 

  • Generic content found on the first page of Google. 
  • Large blocks of text without visuals.
  • Overly complex or irrelevant topics.
  • Purely theoretical material with no practical application.
  • Long monologues without audience interaction.
  • Outdated or inaccurate information.
  • Unstructured or disorganized presentations.

Insufficient participant engagement

Getting your attendees through the door is only half the battle. Once they’re in the seat, it’s your mission to ensure they don’t start yawning, looking at their phone, or watching the clock. 

Taking care of the preceding 5 problems should naturally take care of this. However, here are ADDITIONAL causes…

  • Limited opportunities for audience participation or questions.
  • Lack of interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, or group activities.
  • Presentations that ignore or do not address audience feedback or interests.
  • Content that is not tailored to the audience’s level of knowledge or interests.
  • Sessions that exceed the audience’s attention span without breaks or changes in format.
  • Ignoring different learning styles and not incorporating varied teaching methods.
  • Failure to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all participants.

No post-workshop engagement

Your attendees have lives outside of your workshops. So don’t give them a chance to forget about your event when they go back to them!

The absence of follow-up activities or messaging after a workshop can lead to a quick decline in the retention of information. Without follow-up, attendees may struggle to integrate what they’ve learned.

How event planning software makes successful workshops

Workshops Incporporated Into Owaa Event Planning. Here Three People Are On A Stage Leading A Discussion
How event software boosts workshops

Setting objectives and goals

When setting goals, we always say, be SMART… 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound 

Organizers can ensure each workshop is designed with clear outcomes in mind, significantly reducing the risk of failure due to ambiguous objectives. 

You can become a master of the art of being smart by reading our guide to setting the right goals for an event.

How event software helps: Attendee feedback and data analyses

Ask your audience for feedback on the workshops using surveys or social media polls. Act on their suggestions, and let them know about the improvements you’re making.

According to SurveyMonkey, 83% of people appreciate when their feedback is acknowledged.

And with Sched, you can improve every future event. By using easy-to-use event reporting tools to quickly review performance, let attendees rate sessions, gather feedback, understand audience preferences, share insights with presenters, and export data with one click

Choosing better speakers

An Exampe Of Our New Call For Papers Tools For Workshops
Call for Papers tool for workshops


You never have to worry about choosing boring trainers ever again with Sched’s NEW Call for Papers tool.

Effortlessly curate your ideal workshop lineup and start leading the conversation in your field today. Elevate your workshop’s prestige and offer attendees unparalleled insights by connecting with the brightest minds globally. 

  • User-friendly interface: Build a unique, professional-looking call-for-speaker system without needing to be a tech expert. This is tech for non-techy people.
  • Effortless selection: Quickly pinpoint the top speakers your audience craves. Let our technology do the heavy lifting, saving you precious time.
  • Expert magnet: Attract industry leaders to enrich your event with their insights, ensuring your audience enjoys premium content effortlessly.

HOWEVER, The rollout of our Call for papers is in high demand. 

Join the waitlist now! 

Streamlined scheduling for your workshops

Event Schedule Event App For Workshops
Event schedule event app for workshops


No more bored attendees. No more exhausted brains. Just a smooth schedule that’s easy to build, and gorgeous to look at!

  • Save time with efficient event scheduling: Create a stunning and interactive event schedule that’s easy to access on both web and mobile. Sched’s software ensures a seamless experience for planners, attendees, speakers, and sponsors.
  • Keep everyone in the loop: Last-minute changes? No problem. Our integrated communication tools keep everyone up-to-date instantly.
  • Simplify planning: Manage multiple sessions across different locations with ease. Keep a clear overview and avoid planning disasters.
  • Stay organized: Say goodbye to scattered tools. Use one centralized platform for all your scheduling needs.
  • Manage and track attendance: Easily keep an overview of your attendees. Enable self-check-in, add last-minute attendees, and export attendance reports with Sched.
  • Take charge of session registration: Promote and organize your content effortlessly. Allow attendees to select sessions and build their own schedules. Set room capacities, manage waitlists, and prevent double booking with ease.

How to Create an Event Schedule that Will WOW Your Attendees from Sched Support on Vimeo.

Better prepared attendees

Event planning software can distribute pre-workshop materials and important announcements to attendees. This ensures that all participants come prepared, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the workshop.

Improving participant engagement and facilitating real-time communication

Event Lobby And Announcements Channels For Workshops
Event lobby and announcement channels for workshops


No participant should feel out of the loop – isolated, uncomfortable. Give them the tech to make them feel an active and welcome part of your workshops:

  • Enhance engagement with custom agendas: Attendees can select sessions, manage their schedules, and self-check-in.
  • Foster meaningful connections: Sched facilitates networking with customizable profiles, direct messaging, and event channels.
  • Stay updated: Last-minute changes? No problem. Our app’s communication tools keep everyone informed with instant push notifications and emails.
  • Stay connected anytime, anywhere: Access your event on mobile or the web. Use Sched’s mobile app or a branded event website to stay connected on the go.
  • No internet? No problem: Sched’s app works offline so that attendees can access the schedule even without a connection.
  • Unlock new channels: Use push notifications to generate buzz and keep attendees engaged before, during, and after your event.
  • Eliminate multiple systems: Juggling scattered planning tools can feel like solving a puzzle. Sched brings everything together in one centralized platform, simplifying your event organization.

Post-event engagement and on-demand content

Just because your event is over doesn’t mean it has to end. With Sched, you can keep your event live, even when the workshops are over.

This allows your attendees to continue to browse the schedule, sessions, profiles, and content at their leisure.

This allows them to relax and enjoy your event in the moment, knowing all the valuable information will be available to them later.

On-demand content

With Sched, you can offer on-demand content, such as workshop slides, recordings, and documents. This is invaluable for professional development.

It relieves attendees from the stress of trying to write down everything your instructor says. They can watch and read the materials at their leisure, making it a lasting resource.

PRO TIP – 66% of event managers Use the thank you email as post-event engagement. Try it yourself to recap highlights, takeaways, CTA’s, and more!  

Case studies: Awesome workshops in actions

Caudleading the Way: Inclusion – Access – Equity: In an education first, Caudleading the Way launched the first Universal Design for Learning initiative in California. 

  • PLUS, they used Sched’s scheduling, analytics, and content options to produce wildly successful workshops! 


Egg Harbor Township School District: Sched’s analytics and feedback tools helped Egg Harbor Township School District build tailored professional development events.

  • This allowed them to bridge the generation gaps among educators. PLUS, these relevant workshops led to greater staff retention and job satisfaction!

The takeaways 

Workshops don’t have to fail. With clear objectives, the right speakers, and efficient scheduling, they can be a hit. 

Event planning software is your secret weapon. It keeps everyone informed, engaged, and prepared. Boost your workshop’s success and leave your attendees impressed. 

Ready to transform your next event? Start sched for free, now! 

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Author: Harry Prince

Harry is responsible for content creation at Sched. From non-profit project development to cheffing, his experience is varied. Originaly from Scotland, he's currently writing from Amsterdam. Outside of telling stories about events, he likes cooking, old trains and running.