Hosting workshops

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How to host a Bloominglabs workshop

We would LOVE to see you run a workshop on a topic you feel comfortable talking about (even if you are not a member). If you are unsure where to start, simply contact us at a meeting or send us an email and we can discuss your workshop (members should use the members mailing list or #workshops-planning channel on Slack, non-members can reach us at Workshops can be members-only or open to the public. We will work with you to identify what needs to happen from Bloominglabs with respect to safety and liability concerns, and any other needs you may have. If you need assistance during the workshop it's on you to enlist helpers. Often other Bloominglabs members can be enlisted, but we make no promise of availability. We're a friendly bunch though and we want your workshop to succeed, so it's usually not too hard to get assistance.

We have workshops in search of instructors too, if you want to host one but don't have an idea.

Planning and Set-up

1. Work with members on brainstorming, date setting, pricing, duration.

Please plan for clean-up time, both for students (sweeping, where tools belong, maybe taking out trash, learning cleaning is expected at the space), and yourself after to check for any smaller details.

2. Check that pricing includes materials, your instructor fee, any tool usage or consumables fees, and about $5-10 per non-member attendee for facilities, advertising, and such.

3. Request a registration button. Send the treasurer:

  • Workshop title
  • Maximum capacity
  • Pricing (Members/non-members)

4. Workshop information for the website:

  • Title
  • Date and Time
  • Location
  • Pricing
  • Capacity
  • Description/Blurb
  • Required to-bring clothing or materials, and suggested
  • Image

5. Publicity PublicityOutlets

Before the workshop

1. Before the workshop we will forward all pre-registration notices to you, and we recommend you send out confirmation or reminder e-mails with workshop details, help finding the location, and details such as materials required (or that all are provided), and any clothing restrictions.

2. Please arrange to test the space and equipment before the workshop, within the week before.

3. You may have to rearrange or tidy before the workshop, we can help you notify slack and put out signs to the effect of requesting people respect it with the date of the workshop.

After the Workshop

1. Send out an e-mail with any information (upcoming workshops, sources, more information) mentioned in the workshop, electronic copies of materials (slides, handouts), and the attendee survey (see below).

2. Fill out the host survey. (see below)

3. Send photo of receipts or invoice to treasurer with preferred method of reimbursement. Here is a blank invoice if you want to use this template: File:Workshop Invoice.docx

RSVP Management

For workshops and classes which have limited seating, we STRONGLY recommend only holding seats for attendees who have paid ahead of time. Numerous times in the past we've ended up holding seats for no-shows while at the same time we had already turned away overflow attendees. This ends up with us having a partly empty class which is discouraging and costs us valuable time and funds. Non-refundable pre-payment of workshops ensures our time is not wasted in these scenarios.


For advertising of events we have a number of outlets available, please see this page: Publicity_Outlets. This can include free on-air advertising since we are a non-profit. Generally the workshop holder is responsible for advertising their event. Our social media resources are also available for workshop advertising, generally someone at contact at bloominglabs dot org can get your message onto those resources.

Attendee Workshop Survey

Post-workshop surveys allow us to collect important metrics not only for the instructors, but for Bloominglabs as a whole. Survey results give us feedback which we can use both personally and as an organization to improve our workshops. Below is a link to the Bloominglabs workshop survey which can be sent directly to attendees, if you have trouble viewing the survey or the results please send mail to contact at bloominglabs dot org and they will get you setup with access.

Bloominglabs Workshop Report - for the workshop host

For reporting purposes we ask that anyone hosting a workshop fill out this survey AFTER the workshop has concluded. This allows us to produce annual tallies of workshops, attendance records, and financial records. This information is also vital for us to be able to collect and gauge impact metrics which can be used in grant and foundation applications.

Setting up PayPal links for Workshop Payments

When we run workshops we usually generate a PayPal button for each one on our front page which lets people pay for a workshop immediately. This is hugely beneficial and highly recommended for getting people enrolled in workshops. There are two steps for this. Firstly, someone with access to the Bloominglabs PayPal account needs to create unique "buttons" for each workshop (usually this will have to be the treasurer). Next, PayPal will give that person html code to embed in our website. The code will look similar to this:

<form target="paypal" action="" method="post">
<input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_s-xclick">
<input type="hidden" name="hosted_button_id" value="PLHKBNSXD46K6">
<input type="image" src="" border="0" name="submit" alt="PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!">
<img alt="" border="0" src="" width="1" height="1">

Please send the following information with your request to the treasurer:

  • Workshop title
  • Maximum capacity
  • Pricing (Members/non-members)

This can be embedded directly into our MediaWiki site and works just fine. You will need to add some text above the button to describe the workshop and such. All signups will be seen by the officers who get mail sent to treasurer at bloominglabs dot org. They will need to communicate signups with workshop holders to make sure workshops are not overfilled - ie: the buttons will need to be removed from the website if a seat limit is hit.

Other questions

We try to help each other out, if you have other questions about holding workshops, just ask! Come talk to people during our weekly public night, or ask questions on our various mailing lists.

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