What the Geography Bee Can Teach Workshop Leaders

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Geography BeeMy son competed in his middle school Geography Bee yesterday.  He represented his 7th grade team, which means that he beat out 100 kids to get to the whole school level.  Each grade (6th, 7th and 8th) is split up in to 3 teams with 1 extra for the gifted students, so 10 kids were competing for the school championship.

Of course I attended the Geography Bee as a proud mom, but you can never turn off the workshop and seminar expert in me.  After all, when it is all said and done, the Geography Bee is an event and I love going to events to learn.  A middle school geography bee is no different and I came away with three lessons that every (aspiring) workshop and seminar leader should know:

Lesson #1: You know more than you think

When the students were asked a question, many times they were thinking hard and you could see them thinking: “I don’t know this!” After time was called, most times they came up with the right answer. They knew it all along!

What it means to you

Know that you really are an expert in your field.  Between what you have studied and your unique life experiences, you know more than you think.  Own it! It is time to share that knowledge, because there are people out there that need to hear your story and whose lives you can really help.  Don’t deprive the world of your expertise, just because you don’t think you know enough.  Get out there!

Lesson #2: Don’t rely on your speakers to promote for you

Seriously, if I had to rely on my son to let me know the time and date of the bee, there is no way I would have attended.  I would never have known when it was.  Thankfully, the school sent home an invitation addressed personally to my husband and I.

What it means to you

Sure, your speakers may have the best of intentions, but the reality is that most won’t promote your event.  It is not their biggest priority and they have a lot of other things that they are doing and promoting.  Provide them with the marketing materials to send out to their list and you will have a better chance of them sending it out.  Have your own marketing plan in place and then anything your speakers do is gravy.

Lesson #3: Celebrate your accomplishments

After the bee, all the kids and their parents were invited to a celebration, where there were donuts, juice and fruit.  Although some kids were disappointed in their results, we celebrated their achievement. After all, they won their team competition.  They each beat out 100 kids and that is no small feat!

What it means to you

Hosting an event, whether it is a 1-day workshop or a multi-day seminar, is a huge accomplishment, even if your results were not what you hoped for.  Celebrate your successes and learn from your mistakes. Decompress and take some time for yourself, treat yourself to a massage, a spa day or a round of golf. You have earned it!

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Daphne Bousquet, CMP

Daphne Bousquet, CMP

For more strategies to make your workshops and seminars more profitable, you’ll want to pick up a copy of the free report "Three Simple Secrets To Making 10K In A Day With Small Workshops." Daphne Bousquet uses her 20+ years of event industry experience to create profitable event strategies and marketing for coaches, entrepreneurs, speakers and self employed professionals that want to grow their businesses with workshops and seminars. She is the creator of the Butts In Seats Virtual Boot Camp, a unique digital course that teaches you how to fill your events with your ideal audience.
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP


  1. I love this analogy, Daphne, and congratulations to your son and his awesome team!

    You’re right — that was NO easy feat.

    Great tips for workshop leaders!
    In a perfect world (which, of course, we don’t live in), it would be wonderful if guest speakers promoted the dickens out of your event. But it’s always best to take the reigns and act as if you’re the sole promoter. Even though they definitely have a vested interest in getting the word out … duh … their main focus is preparing a dynamite presentation for your attendees.

    I’m a firm believer in celebrating the small victories along the way in life and business. Every mistake and every accomplishment holds meaning and the opportunity to better our best. 🙂

    • Daphne Bousquet, CMP says:

      Thanks Melanie! I sure am proud of my son.

      …their main focus is preparing a dynamite presentation for your attendees.

      Truer words have never been spoken!

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