[hackerspaces] question about workshop strategy

Steven Sutton ssutton4455 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 11 20:23:55 CEST 2013

To add to what Alan was saying about Freeside, we also offer members a 20%
discount on classes that come out of Freeside's half.

So the breakdown looks like:
(50% of revenue to Teacher) | (20% member discounts) | (5ish% processing
fees) | (the rest to Freeside)

So for a $30 per student class, the Teacher gets $15 and Freeside gets
around $10 with the rest going to fees and discounts (only about 20% of our
attendance is members but it can fluctuate).

We advertise, schedule, and take payments using Meetup. Our space has only
about 50 members, but there are 879 members of our Meetup group that
periodically take classes.

We also offer a roughly equal number of free meetups, like CryptoParty, the
Neurology/BCI meetup, Analog Game Night, 3D Printing meetups, etc... People
can go to the free meetups and hang around the space to learn. The classes
just focus on basic skills to get people started with the different areas.

Like Alan said, we do a really soft sell for membership. We want people to
join up as members because they want to grow the organization. If they just
want to use services and be spectators (as the majority does), then that is
fine too. We try to include them and create opportunity for them to
contribute on their own terms.

So we fall along a pretty similar line as Will said of Parts and Crafts -
we offer some diverse options based on what the community seems to want and
the direction that we want to drive the space in. We've found it really
useful to have a few options available so that you can be flexible, but
still define the expectations and framework of those events so that you're
not too confusing. It's a tough balance to walk.

Steven Sutton
President, Freeside Atlanta

On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 1:58 PM, Alan Fay <emptyset at freesideatlanta.org>wrote:

> Our class policy is documented on the Freeside wiki:
> https://wiki.freesideatlanta.org/fs/Policy_Classes
> 1. It's a 50% split, but Freeside absorbs credit card fees, Meetup fees,
> etc.
> 2. Teachers not required to be members.
> 3. No members-only classes, but we haven't really experimented with that
> yet, not for any particular reason.
> 4. Community can be built up independently of the classes.  One thing we
> encourage is members trading skills with one another.  Just this week I
> traded setting up a basic wordpress website for an introduction to milling.
> We've also had people come in for a class, and fall in love with the
> space, and then become members - so I think classes supplement cultivating
> community, rather than a means to that end.
> 5. It is difficult - it's one of the downsides of teaching classes.
>  Remember, most people operate on the idea that they're paying for a
> service; so that's their singular focus.  I would put the number of people
> interested in more than just the class at around 1-5% of students.
> One thing you shouldn't do is treat the workshop or the class like a time
> share presentation.  That *really *turns people off.  If you're around
> before or after the class, offer to show people around if they want to
> check it out - if not, no hard feelings.
> On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 11:53 AM, Florencia Edwards <floev22 at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hi all, I wanted to ask you how do you do it with the workshops.
>> 1. How do you divide the winnings between the makerspace and the teacher
>> by percentage?
>> 2. Are all the teachers members? Is it a requirement?
>> 3. Are workshops for members only?
>> 4. If teachers are not members and workshops are not members only, how do
>> the people that go to the workshop relate to the makerspace. How can they
>> make community if they only go for some classes.
>> 5. Last question, how can one establish a relationship between workshops
>> and memberships or members, so they are not two separate things. Sometimes
>> people who come to our workshops think this is just a building the teacher
>> is renting, they go to class and never come back to the makerspace. We give
>> them tours and we even talk about the makerspace when there is a workshop
>> but they don't have the need to become members, because they can just come
>> to the workshop and never come back. It's difficult to create a community
>> that way
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20131011/abf72e8a/attachment.html>

More information about the Discuss mailing list