How to organise a workshop?

For those of you who have never organised a workshop before, here you will find a quick guide of things to consider.

  1. Think through your needs. You will need space, supplies, a method of communicating so that everyone can hear, good lighting, comfortable room, etc.

  2. Plan your presentation. Make a lesson plan of sorts... what will you say? What order will you present it in? How will you make your presentation interesting and easy to remember?

  3. Define your audience: The type of people you think will benefit most (beginners, intermedia, advance, children, young mothers, etc.)

  4. Promote the event a month in advance, with the poster on your front door, and invitations at check-out. Get your customers to pre-register for the show, and encourage them to bring their friends

  5. Register the participants in some way... either by paying for the class or by RSVP. This will allow you to get a handle on how many people to plan for and how much you will need in the way of supplies and elbow room. This also gives you contact information for each participant so you will be able to follow up later if you want.

  6. Arrange for space. If you have a large number of potential participants and space is at a premium, you could do several smaller classes instead of one larger one. On the other hand, if you have a large room, you may need some sort of public address system so that everyone can hear.

  7. Arrange for supplies and make detailed lists of supplies necessary. Nothing is so small that it does not matter. Things like pins, needles, measuring tape etc. can make or break the class.

  8. Display the different projects like quilts & pillow cases and have print out the pattern and make up kits in advance. Tip: print out a different free downloadable pattern; roll and tie with a pretty ribbon, put in a basket, and let customers pick one as they sign in for the event, or in each chair.

  9. Display items from the same collection together, for bigger impact and have all relevant fabrics displayed together, by collection, on a table next to this display rack.

  10. Space chairs and tables comfortably. Too few tables for too many people leads to frustration for both you and your students.

  11. Anticipate as many needs as you can... and make arrangements for them. The more thinking you do in advance, the less apologizing you will do during and after the class.

  12. Recruit enough helpers. Depending on the difficulty level, if the group is over 5 people, you'll need assistants who can help each participant individually with their projects.