Given that these have been the first workshops that I have ever organised, I’m quite happy with the outcome. Here is a list of thoughts that occured to me during and after these events, which will hopefully help me in the future to provide a better experience to any attendees. They are written in third person, as if I was talking to my former self who was then preparing the first workshop:
- Make realistic objectives. Sounds obvious, but it really helps you in leaving these events feeling like you accomplished your goals.
- Multi-tasking has its limits. Doing more than a couple or three things at once really lowers productivity and efficiency.
- Do not expect a specific kind of audience. Adapt yourself to what people know and want to learn instead of sticking to your plan.
- Introductory talks can be good, but don’t abuse them. Making them light and interesting will help bring up the mood.
- Show interest in what people would like to accomplish. They will feel better and have more fun doing that rather than what you wanted them to do.
- Simple and easy goals help kickstart a workshop. They encourage people and this way nobody will feel like they served no purpose.
- Prepare multiple backup plans and alternative activities. Some attendees might prefer different areas or you might run into difficulties.
These are mostly personal thoughts. Of course there are lots more that could be improved. In future talks and workshops I’ll try and improve as many areas as possible, even though I’m far from being a proper public speaker. Though, is that what computer scientists are for?