Guides/Planning an event

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Events don't have to be serious affairs to make something. If its something of interest to the community, suggest it, run it and enjoy it! Previous events have included Yuri's night, games days and pubspace. If you're not sure if people will be interested and want to find out before mailing the list try asking on IRC

NOTE if you want a to make your event a regular thing (e.g. pot plant fancier's anonymous) follow these guides but also read our info on Recurring events.

Suggested order for arranging an event:

0. Prelude

Our Facilities and Expectations

Familiarise yourself with our facilities. We generally use the Classroom for workshops, which can hold about 20-30 attendees (depending on whether they need desk space, or whether it's a discussion group or talk.) Other rooms are available, but their use will interfere with member activities.

It is also important to know if you're planning to charge attendees, and whether it will be a public event. The very most of our workshops are free and open to the public; but some events may need to cover their material costs.

If you plan on charging attendees then we would appreciate a donation to the London Hackspace for the use of our facilities; talk to the trustees for details.

If your event involves young people and children then please have a look at the Young Hackspace checklist.

It's also important to tell the mailing list if you're doing anything that involves filming or recording, as some members may want to plan around it. Any external companies will need to pay for their use of the space, so please check this carefully in advance.

Planning and Scheduling

Due to the nature of our organisation there is no one person to discuss your event with; you will negotiate it with our community, which can be reached in a number of ways.

Workshops and events are usually 'born' from our membership, if you are looking to find a space for your existing meetup/event or are not yet a member we may not be the best place for you to host it.

If you're new to our organisation it is advisable to find an experienced London Hackspace member who can help you get in touch with others.

The most important channel is the mailing list, as it is our authoritative place for discussions. If you try to arrange something without emailing the list, another member could turn up and make noise all day, ruining your event. If this happens, it's useless pointing at a discussion on IRC, or a conversation with someone else.

The next most important is the calendar. This is crucial for managing resources and allowing anyone else to see at a glance what's happening on a particular date. If you don't add something to the calendar, you run the risk of clashing with recurring events.

1. Propose the event

This is good for sounding out interest and signing up volunteers/victims. These discussions will also reveal if your event is suitable, or whether aspects needs to be changed to make it feasible.

2. Arrange a date

  • Mail the list with a suggested date and approximate number of attendees
  • Important: Make sure that your suggested date doesn't interfere with other activities. The mailing list is a good place to discuss this.
  • Send out a link to find the best date for a group of interested participants

3. Announce the date

Don't announce the date, or confirm it with anyone else, until you can see the date on the calendar. The calendar is the authoritative source for bookings, and will be used to resolve any conflicts.

4. Make it run smoothly

  • Remind people on Twitter using the @londonhackspace account
  • Turn up in advance to prepare - not everyone will have read the calendar
  • If your event involves young children then please read the Young Hackspace checklist and prepare the space appropriately.
  • Clean and tidy up afterwards (this is also not optional)
  • Don't annoy other users of the space by ignoring the doorbell, even if you've started. It's your event, you're responsible for letting people in and greeting them.
  • Put up a sign so people know when you plan to use the space and so people know where to go if they wander in while the door is propped open.

5. Paid events

If you charge for your workshop and make a profit we strongly encourage you to share some of the proceeds with the London Hackspace. As an example of this, in a mailing list discussion about Music Hackspace events it was suggested to donate 30% of the profit (not revenue) to the organisation. Other workshops donate all their profit to the organisation, earthshine's Arduino workshop being an early example of that.

You can pay any proceeds into the LHS bank account (as used for your membership payments), make sure to provide a clear payment reference so we know when your payment came through!