Finding the Perfect Workshop Venue for You

How do you know when you’ve found the perfect workshop venue? It’s usually when your students ask you to teach more workshops in that space! Now depending on what you teach you’re going to have different requirements for your students. Some of you may even use your own home as your workshop space, but you folks aren’t the people I’m talking to today.

Finding the right space for what you’re teaching is vital for your students to return and for your workshops to remain profitable. I’m currently teaching all of my live workshops at the Center for Excellence in Raleigh, NC and it’s been a fabulous partnership. The Center for Excellence offers tiered memberships depending on how many times a month you will use the space—this is a great arrangement, but there are other options out there besides dedicated workshop spaces—you can also teach at community centers or lifelong learning programs that will take a percentage of your participant fees or pay you a flat rate from your workshops. I used to teach at several of these centers, but have now streamlined all of my workshops at the Center for Excellence because it makes sense for my business.

If You Teach Writing Workshops Here’s What a Great Workshop Space Looks Like

  • The location is good with easy access from major highways and the parking lot is not on a high or low slope. Folks shouldn’t have to pay to park! If it’s possible to meet ADA requirements, the workshop space is on the lower floor or there’s an elevator nearby. At one of my workshops I once had a woman fall down the stairs and although she wasn’t too badly hurt, this incident made me think twice about upper level workshop spaces.
  • There are plenty of tables and comfortable chairs and the room can comfortably hold 20 people. (I know you want big classes, right?) Save your students’ necks with tables, not clipboards!
  • Good lighting is very important both inside the space in and in the parking lot for night classes. I love spaces that have large windows and natural light.
  • There’s a whiteboard, easel and projector available.
  • The space gives you access to a copier or printer when that extra person walks in.
  • There’s a kitchen available with a water cooler and coffee maker.
  • The space is clean, free of vermin and well-maintained.

I’ve been teaching live workshops for six years and can attest to the importance all of these points above. Cost is also something you need to think about and a more expensive workshop space can be worth it if you give a lot of workshops.

Your Turn:

What’s missing off of this list? If you teach workshops, please share some of your words of wisdom with us!

Posted in: Workshops

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2 Comments

  1. Olalah February 29, 2012

    Alice – as a fellow trainer, you’ve hit great points. I’d like to add atmosphere. Depending on the content type and duration of the workshop, the environment can make or break the experience for the participant. Having a place to chat quietly, being able to relax comfortably and artwwork help to enhance an experience for many of my full day trainings.

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    • Alice Osborn February 29, 2012

      Hi Olalah, thanks for the comment! Yes, atmosphere and quiet space to think shouldn’t be overlooked. And while we’re talking about atmosphere, how about lots of fancy couch cushions! A:)

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