At the start of term 2, in Contemporary Issues in Events module, I delivered a workshop with three other group members. The topic of the workshop was the effects social networking sites have on an event’s reputation. I decided this topic as it was one that interested me the most. This year I have learnt to be more confident and have challenged myself in all my modules to work with others outside of my friendship group.
Throughout my years at University no other module has focused greatly upon the topic of social media, therefore I wanted to take this opportunity to study and deliver a workshop in an area of interest. Social media is a key influence in society today in various industries not just events. When using social media in your company, if used correctly this could lead to a successful business or event. When we began to research as a group we had a collective understanding of the definition of social media, that it was associated with Facebook, Instagram etc. However, after researching we discovered that social media is a vast topic and that social networking sites come under one section of social media. Therefore, as a team we all had great interest in the use of social networking sites, thus changing the title of the Worksop to focus solely on social networking sites.
As a group we were punctual, organised and eager to get on with the planning of the workshop. As soon as the group was complete we created a group chat and began to converse. At the end of the first semester we arranged to meet up on a number of occasions and scheduled a meeting with Ewa, our supervisor. Once a structure was set for the workshop, each member was assigned a section to research over the Christmas holidays, so when we come back we would have all the information we would need to deliver a successful workshop. My role was to create the presentation as I have past experience with using a site in which makes presentations appear engaging and creative, which is key for a workshop, as we wanted it to be interactive. However, although i created the presentation, each member of the group provided me with helpful contributions when creating the slides. The group also had the websites login details and so they were able to make any changes at anytime. Alongside with creating the presentation, I also had my own section to research on.
The team consisted of Aminah Mohamed, Lauren Eagle-Allen, Jake Smith and myself. I had not worked with the group before apart from Aminah, who Aminah is always a pleasure to work with, as she is always creative. As a team we worked efficiently together to deliver a successful workshop. Being one of the second from last groups to present, as a group we felt we had a very long time to create a comprehensive workshop in which would be interactive for the students. Also as an individual i learnt working with other peers is that it is positive to interact with others who are not your usual set of friends, as you learn from others.
On the Day:
The day of the workshop I would say everything went as expected and that we delivered an engaging and innovative workshop. We each had our sections in which we knew how to deliver professionally. Everything was also evenly distributed on who was going to deliver different parts of the presentation which is essential, as we wanted to create a positive flow to the workshop.
Lauren and myself took the first activity ‘the icebreaker,’ splitting the group into three. After presenting the students the objectives, we provided them with a number of definitions of event reputation, by (Mahon, 2002) and (Schultz, et. al, 2006). I later took the section on the negative effects of using social media poorly, resulting in negative event reputation. Throughout the workshop we had other various activities where the students researched given event’s reputations that were interesting and later showing a video, which portrayed negative event reputation. We concluded on an interactive note with the use of an online quiz in which allowed the students to recap all they had learnt throughout the workshop, also throwing in some random questions testing their knowledge.
As a group we were happy with our feedback from Ewa and felt that the comments matched the content of the workshop and what was delivered on the day. The feedback in association to the material being innovative and useful and that we presented an effective and engaging workshop that combined research and students own experiences to the notion of event reputation. As a group we were happy with the feedback stated that we produced a workshop that was interesting to listen to with the various style to engage the audience. However, I do agree with constructive feedback that we did not discuss all topics in which were relevant to the events industry, some were just general examples.
Every member of the group researched around the topic positively, making sure we had great knowledge on social networking sites. Although we only had 12 students attend which was half the amount we expected, we managed the group well and made sure that we delivered an appealing workshop that was reflective of the interesting subject.
This model by Gibbs can be considered useful when it comes to critically reflecting a group workshop. You would simply go through each of Gibbs steps within the cycle and begin to review and reflect how things went as a group with the workshop. For example, the description part has been discussed previously stating what happened prior in the planning process and on the day of the workshop. The evaluation step can be considered one of the most importance parts as for the individual it is key to evaluate all that went good and bad, in order to learn for the next time. If using this model to evaluate the workshop, with the conclusion section it can be suggested that there are areas of the workshop in which could have been done differently. An example which was given in the feedback with the video is that we could have introduced the clip better or found another video that represented an event going wrong.
To conclude from the workshop I learnt the extent of the planning that goes into delivering a successful learning lesson that is engaging. An important skill i have gained is independent and teamwork skills. It is good to be confident to work with people you do not know so well, which will be beneficial to when starting a full time working with different types of people on a daily basis. Due to the workshop being based on social networking sites, i have discovered that I have great interest in the marketing side of events, which I hope to now be a career path for once I have completed my degree. For the future of the events industry it can be possible to suggest that social media will heavily influence events with the high use of social networking tools in elements of the event making them more interactive for future generations.