Plan the Learning Event
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Plan the learning event you want to run.
- Invite others to your learning event.
- Start generating excitement on social media about your learning event.
- Enact strategies for recruiting volunteers to help.
- Download sample planning documents and checklists.
Planning a learning event is a lot like planning a party. You pick a date, a location, invite people, and gather your supplies. In this unit, we take you through some best practices for planning a successful learning event.
What better way to get organized than to create a checklist in Quip? Anyone can start a free trial of Quip, and here is a handy Quip checklist for planning your learning event.
Get the Quip checklist: Learning Event Checklist
In addition to the Quip document, you get this downloadable pack with, email templates, a post-learning event survey, and more, including:
- Email templates
- Post-learning event survey
- Ready-made PowerPoint presentations
- Signup sheet
Download the pack here: Trailhead Workshops Enablement Pack
Start by figuring out who your event is for and what your goals are. Then decide if you are going to feature a particular public speaker at your learning event.
Finally, determine your budget, if any. Remember that you can have a learning event, such as a study group, for the price of a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop! The answers to these questions can influence your date and location, so it’s important to start here. Ask yourself:
- What is the purpose of my learning event?
- Who is my audience?
- Who will speak or teach at the learning event?
- What is my budget?
Once you know the audience, purpose, budget, and any special presenters, you can determine the date and location.
- What date will I hold the learning event?
- Will the learning event be in-person or virtual?
- Where will I have the learning event?
- Will I need Wi-Fi for the learning event?
- Will I have other equipment needs? (for example, dongle, cables, and so on)
As you’re choosing your location, make sure the location is accessible for all to attend. For example, find out where the entrance ramp is and make sure it’s available the day of your event and any signage is clear and visible. Ensure that attendees in wheelchairs can navigate through the space, and that appropriate restrooms and facilities are available.
Up next, figure out what you offer attendees who come to the learning event. Include these details in the invite.
- Will food be provided?
- Will you offer options for people with allergies/dietary restrictions?
- Will you purchase promotional items (that is, swag) or prizes?
- How long is the learning event?
- What time will it start? End?
- What will you do during the learning event? What is the agenda?
- Do attendees need to bring a laptop or any other items?
You don’t have to offer food at your learning event, but it’s good to clarify if snacks or food will be provided. If you do decide to meet in a local coffee shop, set expectations that attendees should be ready to buy their own coffee or tea.
Swag isn’t required, but depending on the learning event and your budget, it can be fun to have a prize or two! Swag can be purchased and shipped to many locations from the Salesforce Store.
You’re now ready to write your invitation! If you use a tool such as Eventbrite, Meetup, or Evite to set up your invite, you can collect RSVPs. Include key details about the learning event. Also include instructions or prework attendees should do before the date of your learning event.
On the invitation, include:
- Name of the learning event
- Date and time
- Transportation details and/or parking instructions
- Agenda, including details about the speaker(s)
- Details about food and swag, if any
- Prework, if any
- Necessary (or optional) items, such as a laptop
- Social media sharing tips and hashtag for the learning event
Prework can include things like:
- Signing up for Trailhead
- Earning a specific Trailhead badge (for example, the Learn Salesforce with Trailhead trail)
- Joining the Trailblazer Community
- Socially sharing what you’re looking forward to about the event using the event hashtag
Once your invite is ready to go, you can send it! Decide how you want to share the invite with others. You can send to specific email addresses or share the invite more publicly on social media or in groups.
It’s up to you how you want to share the invitation for your learning event.
Don’t go it alone! Ask for help. If you know some of the attendees, ask them to volunteer at the learning event to help set up the space or clean up afterward, or volunteer during the learning event. For a learning event where you plan to get hands-on with a Trailhead module or project, you’ll want roughly one volunteer for every five attendees.
Resend the invite one to two times leading up to your event. The day before your learning event, send a reminder with the date, time, and location of the event, along with the agenda and any public speakers.
For example, use subject lines like these for your emails.
- Lunch and learn is 2 weeks away! RSVP today
- Lunch and learn is next week! RSVP today
- Lunch and learn is tomorrow! It’s not too late to RSVP
This will drive attendance and signups.
If you’re the presenter, review the slides in advance and practice how you will deliver them to your audience. Rehearse in front of a friend or colleague, if possible. If you’re teaching a Trailhead project or module, earn the badge in advance. And be prepared to answer questions!
If your learning event is for adults, consider creating a hashtag (#Trailhead2U) and advertising it on the invitation. Invite your attendees to start sharing before the learning event and use the hashtag.
Ideas for social sharing (use the hashtag on each one):
- Tweet what you’re most looking forward to about the event
- Tweet that you’re planning to attend
- Tweet a photo of yourself in your favorite Salesforce/tech T-shirt
Encouraging social sharing beforehand helps build buzz about the learning event. Let’s practice right now. Tweet what you just learned!