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Seminar vs Workshop: What is the difference?

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Posted April 24, 2018
These days, businesses have more options than ever when it comes to employee training. That wealth of choices means organizations can find just the right training paradigm for their needs, but it can be frustratingly difficult to figure out which option is the right one. Even just choosing between the two mainstays of corporate training – workshops and seminars – can be confusing.

To be clear, every option has its place, depending on the subject matter and goals of the course. Both workshops and seminars offer training designed for participants to enhance their skills. From there, however, they are very different creatures; and when it comes to developing writing skills, workshops stand out. Here’s why.

Writing workshops are interactive.

Seminars focus on one-way communication. The trainer or educator stands up in front of a group and presents a lecture or presentation on the topic at hand. Seminars can be wonderfully entertaining if done well, but audience participation is typically limited to questions at the end of the session.

By contrast, workshops are highly interactive between participants and the facilitators. They tend to be activity-oriented and offer hands-on experience, including discussions among participants, skills development activities, and technique demonstrations. Participants can ask questions at any point; in fact, to some degree, participants influence the content of the workshop with their questions and comments – creating a more tailored experience.

Writing workshops are smaller.

Workshops are interactive only because they are smaller. Seminars, by contrast, might host hundreds or thousands of participants. Since seminars are one-way communications, they scale nicely, and a single trainer can engage with a huge number of people simultaneously. Participants do not, however, receive individualized attention and, with particularly large seminars, questions can go unaddressed entirely.

Workshops can be sizeable, but in those cases, they usually break out into small groups to make it easier for facilitators to lavish more attention on each participant and their smaller group. This is particularly key when it comes to an activity like writing, which is an active skill that improves best when it comes with immediate, professional feedback and personalized instruction.

Writing workshops use participant writing samples.

It also helps when the workshop uses samples and examples specific to the audience. Seminars can sometimes do this, but workshops are the perfect venue to incorporate a company’s own writing into the lessons, so that the learning can be less abstracted and have more relevance to the participants’ specific needs. These are only a few of the great benefits of writing workshops. If you think your team needs to sharpen their writing skills, contact Hurley Write today! 

Seminar vs Workshop: What is the difference?

Contact Hurley Write, Inc.

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Prefer to chat? Call us at 877-249-7483
Prefer to chat? Call us at 877-249-7483

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