Written by a college dean, who argues that non-attendance in workshops is driven by indifference, and that workshops have to add real value to the individual in order for them to be perceived as worthwhile.
“That’s not because the content or delivery of workshops is poor. As with anything, they range from outstanding to awful. The problem is that workshops tend to presume a context of awareness in which the usefulness of what’s being offered is already clear. And most of the time, it isn’t.”
The “occasional raging success” workshop that actually achieves attendance goals is the one that bring real value to participants.
As an alternative to workshops, the author suggests a viral model to engage people in new ideas and initiatives. In this model, early adopters share with others, creating interest, engagement, and adoption.
Workshops Don’t Work | Inside Higher Ed. (The comments in this post from both faculty and workshop developers are as interesting as the text. )