So you need to run a remote workshop but you’ve never done it before. As a design agency with over eight years experience running hundreds of remote workshops both internally and with our clients, we can help.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures sending companies into work from home exile we’re sharing what we’ve learnt from our years of remote workshopping.

Before the workshop

Every company runs workshops differently but in our experience, a good workshop (remote or otherwise) requires a good plan. 

Our plans follow a rough, simple pattern:

This guide will explore what’s involved at each stage and what digital tools are needed to do it remotely.

Write a brief

Workshopping a problem or ideation takes creativity. In our experience, creativity thrives when the background and scope are well understood.

Do’s
Don’ts
Notes

The brief usually comes in the form of a document or even presentation sent around beforehand for people to read. We have a list of pros/cons for the tool we use at 100 Shapes at the below. We like using google docs/google slides to write all documents at 100 Shapes, we find allowing anyone to jump in and write simultaneously with you incredibly helpful, especially if you need a doc written quickly.

Preparation

We want to get everyone ready to start the workshop. Ideally everyone has read the brief at least the day before to get the wheels turning and incubate before the main event.

Do’s
Don’ts

During the workshop

The biggest question – which remote session application to use; there are many tools out there, it comes down to personal choice and your specific workshop requirements, we’ve given our view on all the tools we use further down the page.

Think about

Tools

Google Docs / Google slides (Google Apps)

Pros
Cons

Microsoft Office

A suit of desktop (and now web) for all office needs

Pros

Mostly universal – most companies offices have MS word on all computers

Cons

Google Meet

A video conferencing app from Google. Reliable and flexible, our go to.

Notes
Pros
Cons

Whereby

Pros
Cons

Zoom

Notes
Pros
Cons

Slack Calls

Notes
Pros
Cons

Tandem

Notes
Pros
Cons

Miro

Notes
Pros
Cons

Follow up

We found our clients often found a follow up after the workshop useful. It’s a great tool to help make sure everyone is on the same page with the workshops outcome and provides a nice paper trail

Do’s

We run lots of remote workshops for our clients, but are especially known for running “Design Sprints” which are a structured 4-day series of workshops and are ideal for testing an idea, launching a new feature, or tackling your greatest challenges, all in less than a week.