Well, if you’ve visited the classroom’s web site http://www.theclassroomspace.com you’ve seen that quite a lot happens!
On the web site, you will notice a tab to click on, at the top of the home page, which directs you to the classroom calendar. This is the best place to begin because you can see what days and time slots are currently free. After determining where you might be able to fit your activity in, contact me and we will begin by marking those days on the calendar.
I recommend scheduling a month or more in advance to allow for advertising the class or workshop. And on that note, what Artist & Craftsman provides, for advertising, is:
1) Listing as an event on our Facebook page
2) Home page description, including whatever images and links you require, on the classroom web site
You are responsible for any other advertising*** for your class, although we are occasionally able to include mention of classes in our monthly promo emails, to our mailing list signups. Information recommended for your advertising:
1. Catchy Title
3. Maximum / Minimum number of attendees
4. Cost (per series with preregistration and/or a drop-in per day rate)
5. Concise and unique description of your class
6. Instructions for supplies. Do you provide and include in cost of class? Is it a separate optional supply fee? Would you like A&C to put together a 20% discounted supply kit, optional or required for your class?
7. Your preferred contact information to register your students.
8. Any link to a Website or other reference to your work
9. A Short biographical description
10. Two or three images of work that will be featured, some of your own work, or of yourself.
We recommend scheduling free in-store sales floor demos (best held during weekends) to get people’s attention, pass out your fliers and answer potential attendees’ questions.
You sign your students / attendees up. Once we’ve got you scheduled, interested participants contact you to get registered for your class or workshop.
Classes should fit reasonably with Artist & Craftsman Supply's business niche. We're an art supply store. We sell paints, brushes, clay, glitter, markers, stamps,... we're a supplier to visual artists and we look for that "tie-in". So as much as we love yoga classes, music lessons, etc, we're going to be more likely to schedule 2D and 3D visual art lessons, frankly.
The room rules are short and simple:
1) Clean up after yourselves: remember the girl scout rule “leave the space a little better than you found it”. Use provided paper to cover tables to keep them clean. Clean paint which might have accidentally gotten on tables and easels off. Sweep up charcoal dust, glitter, etc.
2) Show up.
I have noticed that, occasionally, I schedule a class only to discover that the instructor is really just using Artist & Craftsman and the classroom web site to advertise something they do elsewhere. The biggest frustration which results from this is that people make a trip to the store, to join the class and there’s no one there. That makes us look bad.
3) Storage is unavailable
Materials used for your class should be portable and removed from the space at the end of the class. The space is small and lots of different activities take place in it so as much as we would love to let people stash their supplies, there just isn’t room so factor that in when developing your program.
4) Take care of the tables and easels
Please be respectful of the classroom furniture. If a knob gets lost from an easel, it’s not very easy to replace. The tables are not designed to hold a lot of weight. Avoid sitting on them. If paint has gotten on an easel, wipe it down.
5) Be mindful of toxicity
Ask yourself if your materials are safe to use in a space with limited ventilation. For now, the windows in the classroom do not open. They’re cemented shut. I hope to change this in the future but for now, there’s no cross draft so those of you who might want to use stinky stuff, consider alternatives. And your friendly Artist & Craftsman Supply sales clerks are just the people to consult on the matter!
6) Note who else is scheduled
See who might be following your class and allow time for your clean up to enable them to start on time. It’s rare for this to take longer than a half an hour.
I am sure this does not answer all of your questions so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 206-545-0091 and I look forward to welcoming you to the classroom space!
***The success of a class here depends on the instructor’s individual advertising efforts. Here are suggestions from cartooning teacher Sean Robinson:
Things have been pretty well attended, and a good chunk of that is from getting the word out in as many applicable places as possible. But before I get to the actual ideas as to where/how to promote, there are a few things that are useful to get together.
The first thing I'd recommend is you have some title for your class that's both descriptive and (if you're lucky) google-able- i.e. unique enough that someone can find your class among all the others out there with the same topics. My class title, "Sunday Morning Cartooning," was suggested by Chris who works at A and C- thanks Chris!
Secondly, for many of the promotional avenues I'll suggest below, you'll need a well-honed description/pitch for the class. Remember, this description needs to communicate an awful lot. It should tell someone what they can expect from your class (what skills they'll learn, media they'll work in etc), who the heck you are (your credentials, possibly links to your work), and communicate what a great time they'll be having! This can be really tough to do well, so if you have friends that are good at that sort of writing, sit down and buy them a coffee and describe your class to them and then get them to write it for you. One-line testimonials from former students can be great because it's a less awkward and possibly more authentic way of promoting yourself.
Thirdly, it really helps to have some type of punchy, illustrative graphic or logo (or both) that you can use with all of the promotion you do for your class. In my case I have a logo that's readable at many sizes, and an image that I've used on all my posters so far. I might switch it up at some point, but it'll always be in the same vein. Repetition breeds recognition.
Potential avenues for promotion
1. Craigslist event ads. Posting info about your class on Craigslist is useful for a few reasons- for me the main one is so I have a link to send out in any emails, Facebook invitations, etc I end up sending out. Consider it a home base for your class, some place you can reference when someone writes to you for more information.
2. Posters and leaflets. Make a poster- a beautiful, easy to read, high contrast, informative poster, and print up a lot of them. Black and white on color paper is very affordable, which is good as you don't want to feel like they are a precious commodity. Find places in the U district where your audience congregate- in my case it's Comics Dungeon, Xanadu, Cafe Racer, Pudge Brothers Pizza and Scarecrow. If you're teaching a painting class, your audience is going to be very different- make changes accordingly. Make sure after your class is over that you come and take down any posters that are still up, or ideally replace them with new, updated ones. I've been rotating colors for each round of my classes so that I can easily spot the outdated ones. Thank every place that lets you put them up, and BUY SOMETHING before you ask :) Lastly, make a 4-up version of your poster- i.e. miniature posters (leaflets) that fit four to a page and can be trimmed down and passed out to anyone that's even vaguely interested in your class. People are less likely to write something down or remember it than they are to keep, at least temporarily, your beautiful leaflet. My leaflets, left at Artist and Craftsman and the other locations I mentioned, accounted for half my class enrollment last round.
3. Meetup.com or other meet and greet sites, bulletin boards for artist groups in the area. Great for sending notices etc.
4. Tell every one of your friends via email and encourage them to send it along to people that might be interested.
And lastly, once you have students in your class and they love you, KEEP their email addresses. Every person who attends one of your classes should end up in your personal database of "people that might be interested in other classes I teach." Don't bombard them with messages, but do inform them when you have a follow-up to your initial class. They and their friends will be your students in the future as well as the present. Happy promoting!"
Sean Michael Robinson