Event, workshop, or training course?

Which one would you pick if you had to choose?

I know it would be ideal to go to events, participate in workshops and take training courses constantly and frequently, but the reality is that costs and time are not always making it easy.

Sure they have different purposes and different outcomes, but if you had time to pick one only, which one would it be and why?

Let’s say the event is one of those you don’t want to miss, the workshop could be ground breaking for your business and the training course is essential to learn new skills or improve the ones you already have to consolidate your way of working.

Let’s also say that more or less they will have the same economic impact on your budget.

I’m really struggling to assign the medals here… (and in fact, I won’t)


It usually lasts one or few days, you will get a glance at what others (ideally the best) are doing, where the market is, what kind of approach works best, you may find inspiration from other people’s work, what new products are coming out and so on.

And don’t forget the chance to network, which is probably the most important one, if you don’t suck at it like I do.

Downside: you hardly get any hands on whatever you will be hearing about on the day(s).


It usually lasts one or few days like an event, but it’s all hands on. If the focus is on what you were expecting it to be, you will come out with a pack of knowledge spendable in several occasions.

What it’s hard for me, not knowing a lot of people in the Workshops World, is to pick the right one. I believe a lot depends on the person or people that will teach and guide you through the different tasks.
Choosing the subject is not hard, choosing the workshop with the best way of teaching it is.

Training course

Duration may vary, but it usually takes up more time than the two options above (I’m talking about 40 hours course or so).

A training course expands your knowledge, enlarges the foundation of your business, it feels more solid than a workshop.
The subject will be analysed in depth. I am not talking about a year course and you probably won’t have your skills pumped up all in once, but I expect to get out of a training course with the tools to stand on my feet and grow the skill myself.

Downside: time. It requires enough time that you can spend away from your projects.

All the options are investments. They are all ways to improve the professional you.

So, I guess I’m looking for advice here: If you had to choose just one opportunity for professional development over the year, which would you pick?

4 thoughts on “Event, workshop, or training course?

  1. Chris

    Depends what goals you have. If you want to network, go to an event. If you want to learn stuff go for a training course. I think you answered your own question really…

    Another option to consider would be to pick a new thing to learn and write a load of blog posts about it – learning something then explaining it back clearly and concisely really accelerates how you learn, and the bonus goal is that you publicly look like you know your stuff which is always good. You’d also be able to choose your own timescale more effectively and you’d probably spend less money.

  2. ginestra Post author

    Yes, probably there is an instrinsic response in what I wrote. It happens that when I write I figure out what I was looking for. Writing requires to sit a bit longer on thoughts and it helps slow down.
    Still I am interested to know why people would choose one or the other options, in other words: why you make your priority the networking or the learning bit? Of course it’s all about the objectives you set for yourself, but how you set them makes the difference. For some priority is the money, for others are the new skills you can learn and so on. It’s all about balance and your way of living, I’m just curious to see what others think in this particular time, where money is tight and skills are necessary (and evolving fast).
    The beauty of blogging is that the blog itself can grow into something more with its comments, like it’s happening now: you added something to it and I tried to go deeper explaining what I wanted to know/ask.

    On the last option: that’s what I’m trying to do: write to learn (and also learn to write better).
    It definitely has its pros in saving money and learning at your own pace, but the cons are time consuming and less direct comparison (no real teacher yelling that you’re doing it wrong!). It works for me at the moment, but there are times when you need more.


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