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Thread: Not to sure....

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    Member gypsyroze's Avatar
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    Default Not to sure....

    if this post belongs here. But I wanted to know if you ladies have suggestions on how to have a successful workshop? I'm planning one for Nov 2007, so any suggestions would be great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gypsyroze View Post
    if this post belongs here. But I wanted to know if you ladies have suggestions on how to have a successful workshop? I'm planning one for Nov 2007, so any suggestions would be great!
    Hi gypsyroze, check out www.Nadiyahs.com on Articles click on " Sponsoring a event" it may help you. Marie
    Last edited by Michelle; 10-02-2006 at 03:12 PM. Reason: fixin' the quote

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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    - If it's an event of any size, don't expect to actually be able to TAKE your own workshop! You will be waaay too busy for that. And don't charge your vendors to take the workshop.

    - Once you finalize the date and instructor, start advertising it on the internet immediately! I travel to a lot of workshops around the country, and it's not uncommon for me (and the other nutcases like me) to book trips 8-9 months in advance. And of course check with local or area groups to see what their schedules are before you start booking.

    Inevitably you will pick a date that someone else is already using, but you can try to limit the problems from it. Obviously if you're in Chicago, you don't have to worry about what Atlanta people are doing, but you wouldn't want to schedule something opposite an event that's within a 45-60 mile radius.

    - If you're having the event at a hotel, make sure (if you can) that your event doesn't conflict with some other huge event in your area. I've seen some not-very-nice things happen when hotels overbook (which they do) and in one case, the dance sponsor lost the ballroom, and we ended up having the workshop in a tiny little conference room. YUCK!

    - Again, if you're having the event at a hotel, it's always nice to get one with an attached restaurant, an indoor pool and whirlpool spa. Even Hampton Inns offer these amenities, so you're not looking at a huge expenditure. The spa is especially nice if you're hosting an instructor known for really WORKING participants.

    - Make copies of all the registration forms and contact information, and keep those copies SEPARATE from whatever you're using to check people in. One year in Atlanta, the sponsor had her registration book stolen and had no idea who had paid for what, or how to get in touch with anyone.

    - If you have a two-day workshop, find some way to differentiate between people who paid for one day, people who paid for both days, and walk-ins. A lot of people use those paper bracelets, or some kind of colored ribbon pin. That way you can tell at a glance who's supposed to be in the room, and who hasn't yet paid. (It's weird how many people try to steal into workshops, by just slipping past the registration desk!

    - Be sure you and instructor have all your ducks in a row. Get everything in writing, all spelled out in the contract. Leave nothing out, even if you've known the instructor for decades.

    - Once you know what's being taught, advertise that. We just had a thread on Bhuz about mystery workshops. Be as specific as possible instead of just saying "we'll be working technique on Saturday and a choreography on Sunday." Get the song name, the style, any info you can and make it available to would-be participants.

    - Work with your vendors -- let them know the CD the choreography is coming from so they can stock up on it, have them bring videos and dvds of the instructor (if she isn't bringing them herself) or ask the instructor if there is anything she would like to recommend to students (videos, books, CDs) and have the vendor carry those.

    Additionally, if you're having a prop workshop, ask the vendor to bring plenty of canes, veils, whatever.

    - If you're having the event at a hotel, the staff can make sure you have plenty of water and glasses available. Don't forget to make this arrangement! If you're having the event at a gymnasium or auditorium, make sure you arrange for a good water supply and disposable glasses. (You don't want to make people leave the area to go to a water fountain.)

    - If you expect out-of-towners, you might put a map of nearby restaurants in their registration packet. Or at least announce in class what restaurants are nearby.

    - If you're having a show -- BE SURE TO GET A GOOD SOUND SYSTEM!
    Egads, this is SO important. If you're going to just use a portable CD player, PLEASE get one with detachable speakers. By the time you get the sound where it needs to be, the speakers will bounce the CD all over the place if they're not detached. There is little more annoying than trying to dance while your music is skipping. If you're using the hotel sound system, be sure to check it beforehand, and test each performer's CD to make sure it plays. (You might designate an official sound-man or woman to do this for you. Lots of husbands and boyfriends seem to enjoy this.)

    - If you are having the event at a hotel, please discuss what you're doing with the hotel staff beforehand so they don't get freaked out by everyone running around in yoga pants and coin scarves. A lot of the staff members I've dealt with have been really positive about the workshops, and have explained to other guests what we were about.

    - Get the cell phone number of the hotel maintenance man. You want to be in contact with him during the workshop in case a speaker breaks, the thermostat gets messed up, or other. Seriously, meeting the guy ahead of time and asking him to be "on call" for you during your event is WELL worth the money.

    - Don't be freaked out by low numbers for pre-registration. This is routine for the midwest and south -- hardly anybody pre-registers very early. If you're thinking about cancelling the event because it's a month before the date and your numbers are low -- DON'T!!!!! You will more than likely get the numbers you want, usually one or two days before deadline.

    - If you're flying in an instructor, be aware of both your airport problems and his/hers. If you're flying her from Denver to Chicago and the weather is bad, you're going to be looking at flight delays. Take this into consideration when you book an instructor. It's also good to have a back-up plan, in case your original instructor gets sick or can't make it. I've never had this happen to any of my groups, but in happened in Indianapolis a few years ago. If you have to bring in the back-up, make sure she teaches the same style or same method. (In other words, don't replace an Egyptian style teacher with a Tribal one, or you'll never have people coming back to your event.)

    Terri Shaw just recently organized her first workshop, and it was a HUGE event in Atlanta with Suhaila. You might contact her about what she would and wouldn't do -- she's very sweet and would probably be happy to talk to you.
    http://www.tezrathegypsy.com/

    Good luck -- and as soon as you get it arranged, let us know!

    Oh, just FYI - the Indianapolis group and the Louisville group always have a major event the weekend before Thanksgiving. I don't know if that makes a difference to you, where you are, but just thought I'd let you know. We've found that we can't get ANY reponse for the weekend of Thanksgiving, and pretty much after that the market is dead until after the first of the year. Halloween weekend is usually busy in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. Don't know about Chicago, but you're probably far enough from there that it wouldn't matter.


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    Member gypsyroze's Avatar
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    Well, I'm discussing a plan with Suhaila... I hope it works out. So far, tentatively its for the 1st weekend in November, 2007. I'm so nervous. I tried to have an event 3 years ago, and it was a flop. One of the dancers decided she would play DIVA and things weren't going the way she wanted, not just with my event, but others as well and so she cancelled at THE LAST MINUTE. There are people still very mad at me about that. I later learned that there was all this behind the scenes drama with her, and not to feel bad about it. I have been asked to try again... and so I have found the courage to face the rath of the dance community and try again. That's why this time, i am trying to be as prepared as possible.

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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    You'll have them crawling out of the woodwork for Suhaila. Don't worry about what happened in the past -- but be sure and let the surrounding areas know what you're planning. I don't know how far you are from Louisville, but I know a bunch of KY gals who are just dying to take class with Suhaila again.

    Doncha just love the drama?

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    Member gypsyroze's Avatar
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    Drama... you have no idea!

    I just hope that its a success. I'm glad that i have someone to help me.

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Gypsyroze, some members of my school went to see Suhaila, 2 weekends ago in Michigan. I couldn't make due to conflict of my work schedule, but I would love the chance to see Suhaila, next year.! And it's very close by!
    Keep us posted
    Yasmine

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