Here at Well & Truly we specialise in facilitating great workshops, and we also run training sessions that often cover how to meet well (download our free guide if you want some instant help on that front!) But is there a difference between the two, and does it actually matter?
I’ll answer the second question first: no. Well, not really.
Both workshops and meetings are intentional gatherings that should have a clear purpose and involve fully-engaged participants.
The only way in which the name matters is in terms of the expectations it sets. These expectations capture the key differences between the two, which is why naming your gathering appropriately can help participants arrive with the right mindset. They’re generalisations, but a good guideline if you’re trying to work out whether you’re planning a workshop or a meeting (check out last week’s post on whether you need a workshop for some handy questions to help you decide).
Length: workshops are, generally, longer than meetings. Think 3 hours minimum, up to a week if you’re looking at a sprint.
Collaboration: the more collaborative and ‘active’ the gathering is, the closer you’re getting to a workshop. If it’s more purely about discussion, it’s a meeting.
Output: is the desired output a decision, ideas or a plan? The first would suggest it’s a meeting, the latter two probably require a workshop.
Hopefully this list provides some guidance as to the type of gathering you should be planning. If you’d like further support, feel free to book in for a no-strings-attached call. We’re always happy to chat!