HOWTO Host an Event at i3detroit

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Find a member to host

If you are not a member of i3detroit yet, that's ok. We love to have non-members hold events at our space. However, you will need to either become a member yourself, or enlist the help of a current member to host the event.

Check with the other members

Out of courtesy, you're advised to run your idea past at least a couple other members. Bring up your idea at a meeting or on the mailing list.

Get some help

Planning even a small event can be easier with someone to bounce ideas off of, and on the day of the event, it'll be nice to have someone to manage the door, show guests where the bathroom is, etc. Get that helper committed well in advance!

Schedule the event

Look on the google calendar: and pick an appropriate day. There's nothing wrong with two events going simultaneously, but try to avoid conflicts. Hint: scheduling well in advance will give time for the word to get out, and time for you to plan.

If you need help to add your event to the Calendar, ask on the list. We can grant you access, or just post it for you. Be sure to specify:

  • Date and times, including duration
  • Any description you want included

Create it on Eventbrite

Not all events need an Eventbrite page. Generally, if you need people to be able to reserve space at the event, you should use Eventbrite. Hit and log in. Either use if you know the password, or ask someone with access to add you individually to the account.

Because Eventbrite assesses fees for pay-tickets booked through their service, create the tickets with a free price. I (Nate B) usually create two types of tickets:

  • "i3Detroit member or gift cert holder / $15 materials fee" with a cap of roughly 30% of the seating.
  • "Non-member / $15 materials fee / $10 suggested donation" with the remainder of the capacity.

If you're creating a class with an actual mandatory admission fee, making the tickets "free" might run afoul of Eventbrite's rules, but let's try to fly under the radar. Also, it usually works really well to underpromise and overdeliver, then gently mention the donation jar and go do something else for a minute -- mandatory fees create the impression that "I don't need to donate beyond that amount".

NOTA BENE: Please set the number of available slots to someone reasonable! Creating an event with 50 tickets, if we only have 20 chairs, is suboptimal. Realistically, if ten noobs show up, are you gonna be able to bring them up to speed?

Note also that Eventbrite will interpret "1481 Wordsworth" as "1481 Wordsworth, Bracknell, UK". Don't let it do that. Specify "1481 Wordsworth, Ferndale, MI" and it should work OK.

Publicize your event

  • Post it to the Mailing list
  • If you've scheduled in advance, consider posting both a "save the date" right away, and a reminder a few days before the class.
  • Make a blog post on the front page
  • Follow the autotweet with some details in another tweet, if relevant
  • Post it on [[1]]. This can draw a lot of interest.
  • Announce it to specific local groups whose members might not all be specifically following us. Try the Penguicon-general mailing list, and the All hands active mailing list, for instance.
  • The day before the event (if it's been a while since the initial announcement), repeat these steps.

Be there

Remember, people that attend your event are your guests. You are responsible for having them sign a guest waiver and follow the rules.

Set out the donation jar

Midway through your class is usually a good time to take a break, talk a little bit about i3Detroit, set out the donation jar, mention the fridge, and head for the fridge. By the time you return with your drink, the jar will probably contain evidence of how well the class is going. If you're using a tool with a cost-recovery system in place, explain that at the same time.

Clean Up

Enlist the help of attendees or other members, if possible, but it is your responsibility to leave the shop clean at the end of the night.

Schedule a followup

If this is the first time you've taught a particular class, there may be some empty seats. However, if it's a good class, the attendees may want to take it again and they may tell their friends. The next time you do a class, you'll likely have more guests. You can even announce the followup at the end of class to make sure people know about it.