50+ Sample Conference Workshop Proposal

What Is a Conference Workshop Proposal?

A conference workshop proposal is a formal proposal that aims to pitch a conference idea to an event organizer or an event committee. A conference workshop is meant to educate, inform and enhance the skills and knowledge of the participants.

According to an online article by Globe Newswire, the worldwide MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) industry’s estimated value peaked at $805 billion dollars back in 2017. Today, it is expected to reach over $1,300 billion dollars by 2028. Despite the negative impact on the event industry due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the MICE industry is expected to continue to adopt more digital solutions such as online conferences and webinars for the long term.  

Requirements of a Conference Workshop

A conference workshop is still an event and just like any event, it comes with a set of requirements. The following examples listed below are some key requirements that should be on your checklist when proposing a conference workshop.

Participants. A conference or workshop can barely be called such if there is an absence of participants. People are the primary target of any meeting or conference. An event like a conference or seminar is usually considered a success if there is high attendance or if a significant amount of people show up to the event. If a workshop manages to attract a large number of participants, it means people are interested in the event. And because there are all kinds of conferences and meetings, you can expect to have various groups attending these types of events. Employees, students, leaders, and people from the same profession are just some common examples. Resource Speaker. Now that you have participants eager to attend the conference, the other main requirement to cross out in the list is the resource speaker. Depending on the topic of your workshop, conference organizers often look for resource persons who are in the position and authority to share knowledge and expertise. These can be experienced individuals with a good track record and thought leaders who are experts in their particular fields. Many conferences have similar formats where the speaker gives an informative speech or lecture then holds an open forum at the end of the session. In some cases, workshops and conferences also have moderators in addition to resource persons. Moderators are the people who facilitate the session and are tasked to keep the program under control. Program. A key requirement in all conferences is a program. Without a proper agenda, a meeting or conference will cease to become one. In organized and professional spaces, structure and format are considered important. Thus, preparing a program or an itinerary that the attendees can rely on or take part in is imperative. Of course, the content of the program will greatly depend on the subject or topic of the conference. Workshops and conferences usually tackle one subject or combine related topics into single or multiple sessions. In the case of workshops for example, these are normally skills-targeted and often involve several training sessions. Acting workshops, first-aid training or business writing workshops are just some common examples. Logistics. An often overlooked part of a conference workshop is the logistics aspect of the event. Extensive preparation is needed to hold a conference, especially for big-scale productions. International summits, nationwide conventions, general assemblies and the like are not easy to execute. It takes a considerable amount of resources to implement bigger events of such scale. Everything from stage production, transportation, audio system, to the setting up of tables and chairs all fall under logistics. All these need to be in place when prepping the venue for an event. Venue. Another primary requirement for any workshop or conference is the venue. Smaller and more intimate meetings can be held in boardrooms or simple conference rooms. But bigger scale events obviously require more space. Booking the right venue for a conference or convention is crucial. It should meet the specifications set by the organizers. Conditions such as adequate room for a hundred participants or an easily accessible location within the city are examples of such considerations.

Types of Conferences

In the events industry, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) related events are increasing in number each year. And for each category under MICE, it can be further classified to more specific cases. The examples below tackle some of the most common types of conferences.  

Academic Conference. For teachers, professors and even school administrators, academic conferences not only center on the educational system but also on the formation of students and school children. These types of conferences are a ground to share best practices, update academic guidelines and policies, and essentially exchange relevant information concerning education. In other cases, conferences are opportunities for professionals in the academe to present new research or basically come together to learn from each other. Virtual Conference. In a world ravaged by an ongoing pandemic, social interactions have dramatically migrated online. Work from home arrangements have only accelerated the adoption of more virtual conferences. Webinars and online meetings have quickly become the norm. Even if a virtual conference lacks the irreplaceable experience of in-person interaction, it does come with a few pros as well. Organizing a virtual conference or workshop is relatively easier and less costly compared to if it were held the traditional way. Without the need for a venue, lodging and transportation, that alone can cut costs drastically. These days, conference participants simply click on a link to join the online discussion. Business Conference. Similar to academic conferences, business conferences are targeted at a specific group of people. In this case, it is the business community. These kinds of conferences can cover a broad range of business-related topics such as economics, management, finance, organizational development, labor practices, and even human resources. It is essentially a space for people in the corporate and business communities to convene together, share best practices, and learn from each other. Conferences can sometimes also be referred to as conventions or general assemblies and usually attract quite a lot of members in the private sector. Trade Conference. A trade conference is similar to a business conference, but its main objective is more directed towards networking and showcasing goods and services. Usually, what happens in trade shows is that conference attendees are free to roam around at their own time and explore or sample the different offers. Participating companies and vendors display trade booths and interact with attendees freely and professionally. Business cards are exchanged, relationships are initiated and potential business partnerships grow. A trade conference is an excellent ground for building or expanding one’s professional network.

How to Create a Conference Workshop Proposal

To create an effective conference workshop proposal, your proposal needs to have a few essential elements. You can choose to start from scratch and create your own, or use an existing template to save more time and effort. Regardless, make sure to keep in mind the following steps when writing your proposal.  

Step 1: Objectives

Your proposal should always begin with the statement of objectives. What do you hope to achieve in your conference? Who will benefit the most from the workshop or conference? It is crucial to lay down the purpose of your proposal. Without a clear goal from the beginning, you run the risk of submitting a half-baked or ill-defined proposal. Your objectives are supposed to set the tone of your entire conference proposal. It provides the direction of the proposal. Stating a singular or a couple of main objectives should suffice. Avoid listing too many objectives if you want to have a proposal that is specific and focused. 

Step 2: Event Description 

Once you have identified your conference objectives, the next step is to provide adequate details about the proposed workshop or conference. How are you planning to execute the event? Aside from the general information such as the date, time and location, you might also want to expound on the specific plans and strategies that will enable you to meet the objectives that were previously stated. Lastly, make sure to describe the plans not just for the event day itself, but also for its planning phase and its post-event phase.    

Step 3: Itinerary or Program

As previously mentioned above, a typical conference is never without a planned itinerary. Whether it is a 3-day workshop series or a week-long trade conference, you need to present a proposed schedule of activities. As much as possible, provide as many relevant details as you can like the topic for the given day, location, duration, resource person, etc. Conferences, seminars and related events normally cover either a single or several topics all at once. Therefore, it’s imperative that a clear and straightforward program be found within your written proposal.    

Step 4: Evaluation 

Once you have gone over the general details and schedule of the conference, another key component in the post-event phase is the overall evaluation. Event and conference organizers need a tool that will allow them to gauge the success or failure of the event. This must be explained in detail in your conference proposal. These tools could be participant polls, feedback forms, or simple questionnaires. The main objective is to allow the audience members or participants to rate and give recommendations once they complete the workshop. The process of honest and candid evaluation offers organizers an opportunity for growth and improvement in the next event.      


How do you write a workshop proposal?

To write a workshop proposal, you need to first determine the objectives of your workshop. Next, describe the topics to be tackled then outline the itinerary schedule of the proposed workshop. Do not forget to include other important information such as the workshop facilitator’s name, required equipment, etc.

What kind of conferences are there?

According to an article published by Oregon State University, there are several different kinds of conferences. These include conferences, symposiums, seminars, colloquiums, workshops and roundtable discussions.

How do you structure a workshop?

To structure a workshop, it requires careful planning and preparation. A workshop presentation needs a compelling introduction, ground rules and a clear list of topics to be covered. You also need to determine how you want to present this to the audience or workshop participants.

Conferences and workshops are meant to help people learn, interact and improve both in their personal and professional life. If you are planning to organize a conference or workshop, browse the wide range of sample templates above to get started on your own proposal today!