Workshops, Seminars, Boot Camps, Oh My!

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Workshops, seminars, boot camps, intensives…  What’s the difference? They are all live learning events, right? Yes and no.  Yes, they are learning events.  And no, they are not the same. The word you use to describe your learning event conjures up a certain image.

Like everyone else in the world, your audience has a preconception about words and what they mean. What you name your event will affect what potential attendees expect from your event.  It also changes your positioning and your marketing.


interactive workshopWorkshops indicate a hands-on experience.  There will be exercises and the expectation is that something will be accomplished.  Generally, we think of workshops as shorter and more intimate events.  At workshops we demand more interaction with the workshop leader and other participants and perhaps even some individualized attention.


Seminars can be a short, like a half day lecture, or a longer, multi-day event.  When we think of seminars, we have the image of sitting in a chair, listening, learning and taking notes.  It is a more passive affair.

Although there are smaller seminars, there are also the big arena type events, where you are learning with 10,000 of your closest friends.  Large learning events are per definition seminars, since you really cannot be interactive with hundreds of people at the same time.

Boot Camps and Intensives

Boot camps and intensives are like workshops in that they are very hands on.  However, where workshops are shorter, like a day or less, boot camps and intensives are longer, 2-4 day experiences.  At boot camps, your attendees expect to work.  They expect not only to learn, but to implement.  And dare I say it?  Perhaps even getting their butt kicked a little.  And some of us need that encouragement!

So what kind of event are you planning?  Are you hosting a workshop, a seminar or a boot camp?  The word you use to describe your event raises certain expectations with your attendees.  It shapes the flow of your event and how you plan the content.

Finally, it influences your marketing and your copywriting.  The way you describe the experience and the outcome will be different for the kind of event you host.  Your marketing has to correspond with your event.

If you are billing your event as a workshop but have 400 attendees, it is not congruent.  Your audience will expect interaction and not get it.  The result will be disappointed attendees, more refunds and more stress for your event staff.

Whether you are hosting a workshop, a seminar or a boot camp, you always need to fill your room.  If you would like to know more about getting more attendees for any learning event, join me for my free webinar, The 5 Essential Keys to Filling Your Workshops or Seminars.


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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

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