HOWTO Host an event at i3detroit
Find a member to host
If you are not a member of i3detroit yet, that's ok. We love to have non-members hold events at our space. However, you will need to either become a member yourself, or enlist the help of a current member to host the event.
Check with the other members
Out of courtesy, you're advised to run your idea past at least a couple other members. Bring up your idea at a meeting or on the mailing list.
Schedule the event
Look on the google calendar: http://www.google.com/calendar/render?cid=i3detroit%40gmail.com and pick an appropriate day. There's nothing wrong with two events going simultaneously, but try to avoid conflicts. Hint: scheduling well in advance will give time for the word to get out, and time for you to plan.
Contact Nick, Nate1 or Ted if you need help to add your event to the Calendar. Be sure to specify:
- Date and times, including duration
- Any description you want included
Create it on Eventbrite
Not all events need an Eventbrite page. Generally, if you need people to be able to reserve space at the event, you should use Eventbrite. Hit http://www.eventbrite.com/ and log in. Either use email@example.com if you know the password, or ask someone with access to add you individually to the account.
Because Eventbrite assesses fees for pay-tickets booked through their service, create the tickets with a free price. I (Nate B) usually create two types of tickets:
- "i3Detroit member or gift cert holder / $15 materials fee" with a cap of roughly 30% of the seating.
- "Non-member / $15 materials fee / $10 suggested donation" with the remainder of the capacity.
If you're creating a class with an actual mandatory admission fee, making the tickets "free" might run afoul of Eventbrite's rules, but let's try to fly under the radar. Also, it usually works really well to underpromise and overdeliver, then gently mention the donation jar and go do something else for a minute -- mandatory fees create the impression that "I don't need to donate beyond that amount".
Publicize your event
- Post it to the public mailing list
- If you've scheduled in advance, consider posting both a "save the date" right away, and a reminder a few days before the class.
- Make a blog post on the front page
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org as per http://blog.instructables.com/2011/04/hackerspace-round-up-end-of-april/
- Follow the autotweet with some details in another tweet, if relevant
- Announce it to specific local groups whose members might not all be specifically following us. Try the Penguicon-general mailing list, and the All hands active mailing list, for instance.
- The day before the event (if it's been a while since the initial announcement), repeat these steps.
Set out the donation jar
Midway through your class is usually a good time to take a break, talk a little bit about i3Detroit, set out the donation jar, mention the fridge, and head for the fridge. By the time you return with your drink, the jar will probably contain evidence of how well the class is going. If you're using a tool with a cost-recovery system in place, explain that at the same time.
Enlist the help of attendees or other members, if possible, but it is your responsibility to leave the shop clean at the end of the night.
Schedule a followup
If this is the first time you've taught a particular class, there may be some empty seats. However, if it's a good class, the attendees may want to take it again and they may tell their friends. The next time you do a class, you'll likely have more guests. You can even announce the followup at the end of class to make sure people know about it.