7 Apr 15

5 tips to finding the perfect workshop venue


Attending weekend workshops can be a great way to learn new skills or up-skill without going to the trouble or expense in enrolling in a long term course.
If you are looking for a place to run your workshops from this may be more difficult than it seems. I am a mosaic artist and here are my tips for finding the perfect place to run workshops through.

1. Sharing Skills

If you are a creative person then there comes a time when others will ask you to share your knowledge and skills.  This may get you thinking about holding your first workshop.  If you are fortunate enough, you may have a studio or area in your home which you can use for this purpose. If not, then read on.

Initially, I was fortunate enough to have a studio in my home to begin with and this was a great place for me to work and I could begin to share my work with others. I simply loved working in this space and it suited me perfectly but when it came to holding workshops it really couldn’t accommodate more than 2 or 3 people at at time. So began my quest to find a suitable place to hold my creative workshops.

2. Finding Facilities

I began by hiring local council halls and whilst these certainly provided ample space they just didn’t provide the atmosphere which I was used to or for which I longed. All too often, I would arrive to set up for the workshop only to be confronted with sticky tables, stale bread crusts on the floor and moldy milk in the fridge. These were the markings of the local playgroup. I was definitely an intruder in their territory.

Together with the hire fee, Councils request a bond which is not an insignificant amount. Although I understand the reason for this, I felt that I should actually be charging them for cleaning up their halls, both before and after my workshops.

3. Ideal Space

When I held my first workshop at The Creative Fringe, it was like being home away home, in my old studio, but just on a much larger scale. It was clean, had a great kitchen and bathrooms and above all it had atmosphere. It was a place that was actually conducive to inspiring creativity. Naturally, workshop attendees loved it because there was so much to take in visually and it was a comfortable space in which to explore, learn and create.

4. Adaptability

For me, what is great is that it can be configured to suit my needs.  I have used the space to hold mosaic workshops where I needed to set up tables and chairs for attendees to all work together.  I also needed to have an area for having tools to cut tiles as well as having materials out for display and use. In this situation, participants needed to be able to move around freely in the space and not be cramped. I am able to configure this just the way I need it.

I am also now about to use the space for more intimate groups when I hold personal development workshops for women. For these workshops, I need a less formal set-up and a  need for a more casual layout. I will utilise the break-out areas of which there are several. Within these areas, women will be able to do solo work before coming together to do the group work.

5. Accessibility

I primarily hold my workshops on a Sunday so it is very quiet and attendees can usually park in the car park right at the entrance. This makes it quite accessible if people are having to bring their own supplies and equipment to workshop.

When something is that good, I do like to spread the word. I know the space is filling fast for weekends, so if you are interested you should check out the space and see if it’s right for you.

This has been a guest post by Clare Lavender of Mosaicworks and Coaching-I-Am. Clare is an official The Desire Map Licensee and facilitator, as well as an accomplished mosaic artist. You can also find her on LinkedIn and Facebook.