Floral workshops are one of the best ways to increase your sales and engagement. But what goes into that exactly? Here are five tips for planning, setting up, and delivering a profitable workshop.
1. Do Your “Big Picture” Planning First
Before getting into the specifics, you’ll need to develop an overall plan focusing on what you want to achieve.
• Choose a theme. Decide on a theme that lets you show off your floral design style and get your participants excited. You may want to start with a holiday, like Mother’s Day. You can also plan one around wedding bouquets or arrangements, as DIY weddings are more popular than ever.
• Set a workshop goal. Do you want to cover a specific educational topic during your workshop? Or would you prefer to give a quick demonstration and then go around and help each participant? Having a goal in mind of what you want each person to get out of the workshop will help you prepare.
• Decide on the number of participants and staffing needs. For your first workshop, it’s best to keep to a manageable number of attendees — no more than 12. That way, you can connect with each participant and provide the experience they came for. Even then, you’ll want to have at least one assistant to help with setting up, tearing down, taking photos, and any additional sales.
2. Partner with a Venue
While you can certainly hold your workshop in your floral shop, partnering with another local business is also a great idea to create more community connections and support.
• Determine your venue. Would you like to hold your workshop in a local bookstore, coffee shop, restaurant, or another location? Knowing your customer and what venues they frequent will help you determine where to hold the workshop.
• Meet with the contact person. Do a walkthrough of the space and talk about the timeline of the workshop. You’ll also want to discuss the theme and layout of the space. You can also discuss marketing strategies at this time so you both get the best results.
• Work out fees and payments. It’s vital to get the financial aspects agreed to ahead of time. Determine how much you’ll need to charge your attendees to make things financially beneficial for both of you.
3. Prepare Your Materials
Once you’ve decided on your theme, it’s time to make your floral recipe and determine your budget.
• Order only the flowers you need. It can be tempting to choose more flowers when you see them at a wholesaler. But if you want to be profitable, choose only the flowers and greenery you need for your recipe.
• Separate flowers and materials ahead of time. To make it easy to set up the workshop, separate every participant’s flowers into individual buckets. That will also ensure you have all the flowers you need. Also, place a container, ribbon, tape, clippers, and any other materials with each bucket so you know you have everything in place.
• Have extra materials available for after-workshop sales. Participants may want to take more materials home to make more arrangements, so have extra vases, clippers, and other materials on hand to sell to them.
4. Set up the Space
On the day of the workshop, set up as early as possible so you can adjust anything before people arrive.
• Create a photo backdrop. To make the workshop even more fun, set up a photo backdrop so you can take a group photo. Participants can also use the backdrop to take a selfie with their arrangement and share it on social media.
• Set up your demonstration space. Bring a lazy susan so that you can show all angles of the arrangement as you’re demonstrating. Also, if you can do your demo on a raised platform, that would be ideal.
• Provide extra touches at each space. Set up each participant’s space with their bucket of flowers and materials, and ensure you have enough room between each setup. Also, add a personal touch with a welcome note and a handwritten place card. And don’t forget your business card or brochure.
5. Deliver Your Workshop
Stick to an outline for the workshop to keep things on track and not exceed the allotted time.
• Start with an intro and some education. Talk about you, your business, and why flowers mean so much to you. Then discuss the educational topics you chose in the planning stages, such as color theory or the basics of arranging.
• Create the design. Take it one step at a time, explaining each step, from filling containers with water and floral foam to creating the floral base/foundation to adding secondary flowers. Walk around the room between steps to help and encourage the budding floral designers.
• Celebrate with photos! After everyone has completed their arrangements, take pictures of them with their final product. It’s a great way to celebrate their accomplishment — and a fantastic promotion for your floral business when you share them on social media.
We hope these tips give you a good starting point for holding a floral workshop. We can’t wait to see your photos and hear about your successes!