New events

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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:

Where's the Calendar

Here it is: PS:One Google Calendar

Initial Steps

  • 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.
    • Decide what you want and don't want to teach. Set a scope that makes sense to you.
  • Come up with a good name.

Establish a Date

  • Pick a day and time that works for you and has space available on the PS1 calendar.
    • Sending an email to the PR director at with a formal request to add your event 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.

Write up a class description:

  • Write something brief, 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 ( 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: Date and time. Start time and end time might be nice, too.
    • 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):
  • Other places you may want to consider:
    • The Blog (which means a post on the web site)
    • Facebook, make it an event.
    • Twitter
    • 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, or local specialty blogs
    • Make blog / similar blogs
    • Eventbrite or Meetup or similar:

Create A Roster of Attendees

  • You'll want 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

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.
  • Have guests or anyone that has not signed a waiver use an electronic (online) waiver if possible. Have paper copies of waivers ready for nonmembers, or anyone new that hasn't signed a waiver before.
  • Make it easy for people to find you. Put up signs.
  • Host your event! Share your enthusiasm for the subject!

After the Event

  • Make sure your event doesn't leave a mess. Clean up. Take down signs, and make sure the door is firmly closed and locked if you had it unlocked/open.
  • Get feedback from your attendees: what did they get out of the event? What do they think should be done differently?