How to organize a workshop for Korean Startups in Seoul

How to do a workshop for Korean startups in Seoul? Since covering the Korean startup ecosystem for over 7 years I have organized my share of events and workshops in Seoul. Some of these were 1 day, some were 2 days, and for bigger startup conferences it can last for up to 3 days. It is always a great feeling to bring startup entrepreneurs in Korea together. In this article, I will write about what you will need to set up a workshop in Seoul. The advantages of workshops are that you will have an instructor that will guide you along the way. Furthermore, you can be more hands-on rather than learning through online courses. Finally, workshops are a great way to network with people with the same issues you are facing.

What is your workshop about?

Workshop in Seoul

A good way to find the answer is to actually ask the Korean startup entrepreneurs through a survey. It will be crucial to figure out exactly what they need help with. You want to be specific and that will be the main goal of this one or two-day workshop. A good tip is to go on forums or Reddit to see the trending questions for entrepreneurs in Korea. Join startup communities in Korea and see what issues many of them are having. The goal is to make sure Korean startups leave with knowledge or skills they did not have before. Therefore, it is important to create a clear outline of the topics and instructions that will be offered at the workshop.  With this outline, creating an agenda will be much easier to do.

Lastly, you must be clear whether or not your workshop will be done in Korean or English. It is our experience that workshops done in Korean attract a wider audience. Of course, your topic will be key in whether to go with English vs Korean. However, if you have to choose, go with Korean and have translation services in English.  

How many people do you want at the workshop?

It is very important to determine the size early. This will help you determine the venue. When starting out I suggest going small as you gain more experience along the way. Going small also has many benefits. The workshop can offer better service and care. Therefore the next time you do the event, you will already have an outline and agenda so the process will be much easier. Then you can increase the number of attendees. Many Korean events want to go big right away but in my experience, that is a mistake. Start out small and slowly build your audience and community. Each workshop should increase in attendees or else you are not doing it right.  

A large event has its pros and cons. The pros are that it is great for team exercises and you have more people to network with. There are a lot more options when you can form teams and do team-oriented exercises. The cons are that you will not be able to give individuals the attention they need and will need to have more prep materials and a bigger venue. The main purpose of a workshop is to get more hands-on personal help from experts. This is something you can’t get online and something you can’t get if the attendees are too big. We recommend a typical workshop should not exceed 50 attendees.  

When do you want to have your workshop?

This is another important step. Most Koreans do not like going to events on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Events during the weekday is a great excuse for many workers to leave their office a little early. Remember most Koreans need to stay at the office due to office politics. Going to these workshops or meetups is a great excuse for them to leave early. Try to set the time around 6 pm. However, keep in mind that most people in Korea will arrive around 30 minutes late. The most popular dates for the workshops are Thursday. If it is a two-day event it is possible to have it ending on Friday.

Where will you hold your workshop?

Startup Workshop at Coex

There are many places to hold a workshop in Seoul. The best are co-working spaces but if you have a larger budget it is good to see what Coex has to offer. Make sure you hold the event located in the Gangnam district.  Google Campus Seoul offers free event spaces to its members. It is free to become a member so this option is what I would recommend.

Campus Seoul

Create an event page using ON-OFF MIX

ON OFF MIX is the Eventbrite of Korea.  Most of the meetups and events are posted on the site. You will be able to do your ticket there. Or you create your own event page and link it to the ON OFF MIX.  The ON OFF MIX is also a great way to advertise your event to the Korean public.

These are just a few tips when organizing a workshop in Seoul for Korean startup entrepreneurs. Remember to make the attendees feel special but offering fun and innovative activities that get them involved. Keep the data from the event and you will be able to grow your community with each event.