If you’re planning a brand workshop with your team, you’ve probably asked yourself how long it should go. The length depends on the content of the brand workshop. However, it is much more important to adjust the time so that each participant has enough energy. In this article, we’ll show you how to best plan the time.
Manage the energy in the brand workshop
No matter what type of workshop it is, you’ve probably experienced someone pushing to finish sooner during the workshop. This one person suggests skipping breaks to finish faster or even to cut the brand workshop short. These people are poison to your brand workshop.
Even though we often feel like we don’t need a break, we actually do. Not just ourselves, but the rest of the team as well. The people who try to push the rest of the team to do this are selfish and usually contribute little in the workshop. The question now is how you can deal with this in the future and motivate your team.
The goal of your brand workshop is to be productive, solve problems, and produce valuable results. To do that, everyone on your workshop team needs to have enough energy. To enable this energy, your brand workshop needs enough breaks. This may sound simple to you, but in many workshops it is not enough.
How to schedule enough breaks
As mentioned at the beginning, it first depends on how many topics your brand workshop includes and thus determines the length. If your workshop goes over 90 min, which is very likely, you should definitely plan breaks. Let’s say your brand workshop goes over several hours, then you should schedule a break every 60-90 min. For example, you can schedule four or five 60-minute blocks, each with a 15-minute break. After the second 60-90 min block, there should also be enough time for lunch. At least 60 minutes should be set aside for this.
In our Brand Strategy Sprint we have three workshop days. One lasts about 5 hours, the other two 8 hours each. The workshops are very exhausting for the participants if there are not enough breaks. In our sprints, we always take a break after 60-90 minutes and observe that all participants come back from the breaks with fresh energy. This is directly reflected in the handling of the tasks in the Brand Strategy Sprint.
Lead the workshop
But what can you do if, despite having enough breaks, someone suggests skipping a break? Or even a second one, arguing that they still have enough energy? As mentioned earlier, it hurts your brand workshop and you should definitely, if you are not facilitating yourself, bring in a facilitator. This person’s job is to manage the energy during the brand workshop and ensure that the designated time blocks are met. In other words, he or she steps in if discussions arise in the workshop that take up too much time and ensures that things run smoothly.
A very helpful and valuable book that we can recommend for a deeper dive is The Workshop Survival Guide by Rob Fitzpatrick and Devin Hunt. In this book you will find many other valuable tips besides the right workshop planning and the right timing for breaks.