From Pumping Station: One Wiki
So, you want to start a class / workshop / event? Bully for you, you're thinking like a do-ocrat! Here's what you should probably do and think about next:
- First, gauge interest in your class (mailing list, IRC, or just shouting ideas during a meeting are all good methods), you probably want to make sure at least three to four people intend to show up, to make it worth your time -- more about this
- Decide what you want and don't want to teach. Set a scope that makes sense to you.
- Come up with a funny name.
- This can't be stressed enough. A funny name can be the difference between one attendee and a room of attendees.
Establish a Date
- Pick a day and time that works for you and has space available on the PS1 calendar.
- Ask firstname.lastname@example.org to grant you read/write access to the calendar.
- Warning! Don't try to ask the mailing list for a date that "works for everyone" down that path lies madness and obnoxiously long threads with no definitive answers. This is your project, make a command decision.
- Pick a day at least two (or more) weeks in the future so you can generate interest and people can plan to attend.
- Remember, PS1 is now large enough that several events can take place at the same time.
- This is a touchy subject, but don't be afraid to charge money for your efforts. Talk to people on the board if you're in doubt.
- If you're going to charge money for your class, a few things to keep in mind:
- PS1 should get a cut of the profits (unless you're charging only for supplies). This helps pay for the rent.
- PS1 full members (not starving hackers) should get a discount (the discount comes out of PS1's share of the proceeds, not yours). The discount is usually in the $10 range, depending on the cost of each ticket, and how much of a cut PS1 is getting.
- PS1 has an eventbrite account, to handle payments and managing attendee numbers. Talk to the treasurer for getting your event on there.
Write up a class description:
- Write something brief but flowery, and make sure to include the following things at the bottom of your post (seriously, use this exact format or you're going to get a lot of dumb questions from people who can't read anything not in bullet points):
- Who: who the class is intended for (the public, members only, beginners, intermediate, etc)
- Cost (if it's free, say that it's free, or people will ask)
- Where it is: include ps1's address, which room, etc
- (If you are going to use the Electronics Lab for events, please also subscribe to the electronics lab calendar (http://email@example.com&ctz=America/Chicago). Duplicate your event from the PS1 calendar by clicking the duplicate button in the more action drop down to create a reservation of the Electronics lab, and set your duplicated event to the Electronics lab calendar.)
- When it is
- What you'll be teaching, what the event is about, etc
- Find an appropriate picture to go along with your description (because all blog posts must have pictures!)
Draw attention to your class:
- In everyone's fantasy world, you just put something on the calendar and hundreds of people flood into PS1 to sit at rapt attention while you expound intelligently on [insert class subject here]. That can happen, but you need to do some marketing first.
- Post your class description to at the very, very least the following places (this is minimum effort):
- PS1-Public list
- PS1-Private list
- The calendar
- The Blog
- Other places you may want to consider:
- Other local hackerspaces' mailing lists (W88 and SSH for starters)
- Enthusiast mailing lists that talk about stuff you're interested in
- If your event is general interest enough, consider local event blogs like chicagoist and gapers block, or local specialty blogs
- The PS1 meetup group
- Make blog / similar blogs
Create A Roster of Attendees
- You'll need to know how many people are coming
- You may want to send out waivers / any special instructions ahead of time
- Give your attendees a way of contacting you directly
- (using Eventbrite helps with all of these things)
On the Day of Your Event
- Show up early to make sure everything is in order for your event. Only you know how long that will take.
- Make it easy for people to find you. Unlock the door, put up signs.
- Host your event! Share your enthusiasm for the subject!
After the Event
- Make sure your event doesn't leave a mess. Take down signs, and lock the door when you leave.
- Get feedback from your attendees: what did they get out of the event? What do they think should be done differently?
For assistance, contact Geoffrey Topham