As with planning a movie, there is a considerable amount that you can do before the event takes place to make it run as smoothly as possible.
When planning a full workshop (maybe taking up either a half or even a full day) it is clearly important to do a reasonable amount of preparation so that it appears professional to those taking part and to maximise the chances of success. Nothing is more guaranteed to disengage participants than constant pauses and interruptions due to missing equipment, the need to move the furniture about or the lack of any discernible structure to proceedings.
But as mentioned previously, many of the techniques explained here can be used on a standalone basis as part of an existing meeting, ad hoc and off the cuff. In fact once you really get into the participatory groove there’s nothing more satisfying than energising a flagging meeting than by suddenly dropping an appropriate participatory exercise into the mix!
Many of these techniques require nothing more than some flip chart paper, marker pens and possibly a few ‘Post-it notes’ (and of course some enthusiasm!). In short, nothing that need get in the way of a bit of spontaneous participation.