How to describe your workshop so that lots of people come!

We run a lot of workshops here, and have noticed one thing.

The more information you include, the more people will come, and the more they will be willing to pay.

Taking the time to write a comprehensive description of your event can make the difference between a sellout workshop, and you sitting alone in a room surrounded by art materials watching tumbleweed roll by.

So, what should you include?


 

Folks linocutting dragons at a workshop with Caroline Misslebrook

Folks linocutting dragons at a workshop with Caroline Misslebrook

Ze Practical details.

The smallest issue or uncertainty can put people off coming to something, so it’s good to answer all the practical questions you can when advertising.

Here is a checklist of things to work through when listing your event:

When?  

Time, day and date – and always include the year, as posters and internet listings may stay up till next year and cause confusion!

Also include exact start times, when people can arrive from, and exact finish times – and stick to them!

What?

What exactly is your workshop?  Literal descriptions are most effective, vague names for things rarely get much interest.  If it’s a guitar workshop, call it that.  If you do want to give a session a more interesting name, include a more literal description as a strapline.

Also, what will somebody get from coming?  New skills, new friends, fun, inspiration, challenge?  Focus on what’s in it for your clients!

What will people need to bring and what will be provided?

Where?  

We’re surprised how may people forget this detail!

Arting in the cafe with Kate Woodley-Smith

Arting in the cafe with Kate Woodley-Smith

Location is a huge part of why people decide to come (or not) so be specific, or if you are running something at home and don’t wish to publish your actual address, give a good idea of general location and an easy way to contact you to get the full details.

Also, where will people park, or get the bus or train to?  Where will they ‘report’ when they get there.  Where can they book?

How? 

This is a section many people neglect and it’s important.  How will folks get there?  How will they book?

How will they ask you any questions?  How will a disabled participant have their needs met?

Who?

This is a biggie.  Nobody is going to come to a session they worry is the wrong level for them.  Who is the session for – what experience would they need to have?

Why?

Why would somebody want to come to your workshop?

Why are you running it – what’s your passion and motivation?  Why is this artform so exciting?  Go wild on the description!


 

Glitterlicious Creativity playshop with Jani Franck

Glitterlicious Creativity playshop with Jani Franck

Other things you may want to answer:

What is …………. (the thing you are teaching) exactly?

Don’t assume people know what it is, just because you do.

Explaining thoroughly not only helps your potential clients decide if it’s for them, it establishes you as somebody who knows what you are talking about.  Win!

Who are you?  What is your experience, what inspires you, what’s your teaching philosophy?

People connect with people.  Share a photo of yourself, good details about your experience and inspiration and some personal details, too.

Informal drum decorating with the Djembabes!

Informal drum decorating with the Djembabes!

What will the session involve, practically speaking?

Some folks are practical, and some folks are jumpy about coming to something when they don’t know what it’s about.

Describe the practical stages of your workshop – this will help people to visualise what will happen, and also gives the message that the session will be well planned.

Also mention things like access, refreshments, toilets etc.  If somebody has mobility issues, they won’t book on a session if they think they won’t be able to use the loo!

Am I going to be OK if I am a total beginner?

Answer this question specifically.  Total beginners are usually very nervous about coming to workshops and often won’t book if they think everyone else there is going to be a pro.

Explain how you will help a beginner to learn what they need without them feeling silly.

Am I going to learn something new if I am quite experienced already?

Another one to answer specifically!  A more experience artiste may worry that the session will only teach basics that they already know.

Will there be breaks?

This is important to a lot of people, for a lot of reasons.  Mention it!

Bik leads a music circle for DICE - adults with learning disabilities.

Bik leads a music circle for DICE – adults with learning disabilities.

What will I get to take home at the end of it? 

Whether it’s a new skill, or a finished piece of art, paint a picture for your folks of what they will leave with at the end of the session

Speaking of pictures, use images to entice people to book – pictures are more effective than words.  Include images of you (essential!) and the artform, and if you have them, pics of previous workshops showing participants having a lovely time!

Good luck with your workshop!  Keep teaching what you know – the world needs more art.

Did you know you can book our gallery space to run workshops?  Well, you can!  We are always happy to chat about a hire arrangement that works for you, so please get in touch.

About arthousesouthampton

The Art House is a not-for-profit café, gallery and arts venue in the centre of Southampton. We are a place you can meet new people, meet up with friends or just come in by yourself. Our licensed café offers delicious organic lunches, Fairtrade tea and homemade cake. We also have a busy programme of events, workshops, and art exhibitions, a clothing and crafts boutique and lots more. Most of our crew are volunteers and you might even want to apply to join them. Come along and enjoy our unique, community run space.
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