Planning an Event
Planning an Event
If you're thinking of running an Event, either at the Hackspace or externally, then it's a good idea to talk to other Hackspace members about it, either in the Space, or via our Social Media (there's special areas to do this). Of course, it's generally good to have at least a rough idea of what you might do, first, on paper, in some electronic form, or at least in your head (the traditional "draw it on a napkin" shouldn't be forgotten).
If you wanted to, a tool like Five Ws (this is a 5Ws overview) might help (though it was originally used by press reporters, you can use it for just about any design task), and there's a lot of support tools out there to help develop ideas - don't forget, different things work best for different people.
Types of Event
It's a good idea to think about who will be the target of the event, Hackspace members, people who've already expressed an interest in the Hackspace, or the general public. Or, some combination of these. Whether this is a one-off event, such as a 'taster', part of a series, say of three, or something planned to run regularly, like weekly, monthly, or what ever.
There will likely be things needed to run the event, provided by the organiser(s), and/or the attendees, such as laptop computers, maybe preloaded with specified software, or something like materials to hack; it is amazing what you can do with drinking straws! The attendees may need some previous knowledge or experience, to get the most out of the event, but it's a good idea to be flexible about this.
Involving the attendees in the event, as something other than a passive audience, is strongly recommended. As a Hackspace we want them to consider hacking!
Whether an event is free or paid-for is important. Some events may be free for members, but others are expected to pay. And, it's a good idea not to forget Donations. Most of our Event Policy is to do with paid-for events.
Availability of tools (or physical space) may mean we can only run an event for a limited number of (active) attendees. Maximum event size should go in your publicity, and tools may be used to 'book' attendance. Being able to talk about actual attendance to General Meetings is good, so it's worth keeping track of this.
Small events or those requiring access to specialist tools or materials will likely be run in the Hackspace. Large events at an external location, such as (part of) a Fair or Show. Medium size ones may be at an external location, or maybe in rooms booked in the IC. Wherever the event is please think about Health and Safety. Some locations, such as the IC, will require a Risk Assessment to be submitted before we can use their space.
When the event runs will affect who can attend; weekend events tend to get the widest range of people, and those travelling longer distances to attend, evening events local people, who may be employed in the day. The Hackspace hasn't (mid 2017) run any daytime weekday events, but there's no reason these shouldn't be possible.
Please do not forget that people need to know about the Event to be able to attend.
We have our Events Diary, but that works best for regular stuff, typically weekly or monthly. Again, we have Social Media, our website and occasional Newsletter, and more traditional things like local radio and the press may help. If an event is paid-for we need to make this clear, and how much. Giving people enough time to consider attending is important, but if you advertise too long in advance the event may be forgotten - again, different people 'do' going to events in different ways.