[hackerspaces] Promotion Ideas Help?

William Macfarlane wmacfarl at gmail.com
Mon May 9 00:00:43 CEST 2011

One thing that I suggest, based on experiences running class for kids
with Parts and Crafts (a hackerspacey/makerspacey place for young
folks), is to limit the number of classes that you're running.  In my
experience, it's easier to fill beginner classes than master classes
(which is too bad, since it means that there aren't very many master
classes in anything), and frequently beginners don't worry too much
about the specifics of the thing you're teaching.

There will be people who just "want to take a class at TX/RX" -- if
you have too many options, those people might not make the critical
mass required to have classes run.  You want to concentrate those
people into a few classes, not spread them out over many.

Otherwise?  Classes are actually pretty hard to get off the ground.
People say they're excited about them, but then when it comes to
actually signing up or actually attending, it can be quite difficult
for people to make time in their schedule, or work up the activation
energy.  It's not-very-helpful, but my other advice is "keep doing
them".  Run them even if you only have 3 or 4 people who sign up.
You're going to run a couple of seasons of classes before
word-of-mouth really starts working for you.  It's quite likely that
currently-busy people have seen your fliers and made a mental note to
check out your stuff later when they have time.

Concentrate on promoting a small number of classes taught by some
folks who aren't going to be really upset if their classes don't fill
up.  Run them even if you only have 3 or 4 people sign up.  Do it
again.  Etc.  Your target audience is adults who are self-motivated,
creative, project-oriented people.  This means, unfortunately, that
your target audience people are usually busy people who need some
advance notice and planning before they actually get around to doing
stuff.  You want the fact that you run cool classes to be in people's
minds when they find that they have some spare time and interest in
your stuff.

Also, if people are already registered for classes, ask them to spread
the word so that you can make the class more awesome.

On Sun, May 8, 2011 at 5:43 PM, Roland von Kurnatowski III
<rtavk3 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Howdy, checking in from TX/RX Labs the Houston hackerspace.
> We have started a series of classes at the space for May,June and sadly the
> response we got hasnt been great, we still have time to promote but were
> hoping some of the more experienced people here would have advice on how to
> get to reach people seeing as I have noticed many classes at the other
> hackerspaces have done quite well.
> We have ~13 classes and they are all very reasonably priced, we have
> experienced people teaching and have put up ~1000 flyers and done
> twitter/facebook/forums/meetup posts not to mention hit ur email list etc.
> Tried to get press attention and did get a stpry in the local free press
> magazine and some time on the tech show on our local npr affiliate.
> Any other ways to get the word out you experienced people know of?
> Thanks in advance!
> --
> -Roland
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